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Living Locally

Understanding year-end business taxes with Dorward & Company

November 30, 2016

Corporate taxes are a complicated task. The rules are constantly changing, especially with the recent shift in Federal and Provincial governments.

Dorward & Company is ready to help business owners understand the changes and get through their year-end taxes. This is the “bread and butter” of Dorward & Company Chartered Accountants, says Stephen Johnson.

Stephen’s first tip for clients is being organized with their bookkeeping. “The more organized you are, the better the results will be,” says Stephen. “If you come in with a box of receipts and don’t really know what went on, we’ll do our best to piece it all together but we ask our clients to at least bring in a clean set of books.”

“This way, we can do more effective tax planning as opposed to putting together all their receipts for them.”

Being this organized also comes in handy if a company is ever audited. Stephen gives one example, where a mechanic came in seeking help. He hadn’t kept his records properly, and he’d been flagged for an audit by the Canada Revenue Agency to the tune of over $100,000 in taxes.

“This is what we’re trying to prevent. We want to keep our clients on side, and give them advice to protect them in case Canada Revenue Agency comes in.”

A common discussion Stephen has with his clients is the best way to pay themselves from a corporation. “We help determine the most efficient way to take money out of their company with the least impact on tax.”

It varies between businesses and individuals whether salary or dividends would be best. Someone with children would be better off tax-wise to take a salary, because dividends reduce the amount of child tax benefits available, for example.

Stephen says he’s seen more tax changes since the NDP and Liberal government took over than he ever has in 16 years as an accountant. “It’s turned the industry on its head,” he says.

Stephen advises getting professional help. In Alberta, there are no laws preventing unqualified people from giving accounting advice, which doesn’t bode well for the client.

“When we see a client come in the door where things have gone wrong in the past, our goal is to fix them and make it better.”


Get in touch with Dorward & Company Chartered Accountants today.
Click here to learn more about Stephen and his team.
Learn more about what other business services are available through Dorward & Company Chartered Accountants.
Check out the Sustainability Profile for Dorward & Company Chartered Accountants.

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