I filed my taxes on November 2 by myself, since I wasn’t comfortable with the first accountant I hired. It turned out to be not that scary (aside from, well, making really big electronic payments) - I don’t mind balancing books, making sense of GIFI codes, or searching the Quickbooks/TurboTax websites for information.
A little over two weeks later, I received a Corporation Notice of Assessment that said I owed an additional $146, with no interest due if I paid it before December 31, 2012. (Good news: that means my tax payments made it into the correct account!) The difference was in the Ontario tax calculations. It was easy to send in another tax payment through my bank.
Someone from the Canada Revenue Agency has been trying to reach me in order to ask questions about my HST registration. We’ve been playing phone tag for a few days. I called the CRA to follow up on that and ask a couple of questions. I confirmed that I was eligible for quarterly instalments instead of monthly instalments. The CRA agent also pointed out that I needed to take into account that I just wrapped up a short tax year, so I recalculated all of my instalments and set up bigger payments. I double-checked that they don’t mind me overpaying my instalments for a little peace of mind. (I know, funny question! “Is it okay if I send you more money than I need to?”) Whew!
I’d still like to know an accountant whom I can e-mail quick questions or ask to review my books. In a few years, I’ll probably want to start taking money out of the corporation in order to take advantage of the basic personal exemption for taxes, and it would be great to have an accountant help me get that set up properly. In the meantime, it’s good to know that the CRA isn’t all that scary – no be-suited auditors breaking down our door! <laugh>
As a foreigner working in Canada, I have to deal with lots of paperwork. The three documents I stress out about the most (and therefore remember to renew) are my work permit, my passport, and my temporary resident visa. Without a valid work permit, I’d be an illegal alien. Without my passport, I can’t travel. Without my visa, I can’t come back into the country.
Because there are big consequences if I don’t get things like that sorted out (possibly getting kicked out of the country? having to answer yes to awkward questions on future visa applications? getting stuck on the wrong side of the immigration counter?), I haven’t needed long-term reminders.
Renewing my social insurance number, which I really only dig up during tax time and when opening new accounts? That apparently gets me every time. This is the second time I’ve pulled out my SIN card and realized it had expired.
So here’s a checklist for other folks on work permits, if you ever need to renew your passport:
Something like this happens when my task management system fails. I’m getting better at not letting things fall through the cracks, so little failures like this are instructive. I much prefer testing my task management now rather than later, when it might Really Matter.
So, where had it failed?
Slowly figuring things out!
It’s a good thing I checked the status of my permanent residency application online, as the request for my passport had slipped through the cracks of my e-mail. (Must’ve looked spammy.) So I’m in the final stages of my application, hooray! Now I need to send my passport to the Buffalo consulate so that they can stamp my passport, and then I’ll leave Canada and land as a permanent resident.
This is like those logic puzzles I so loved to solve as a kid. ;) (Still do!)
I have two variables to play with here:
So, what are the options?
Looks like the best option is to mail my passport to Buffalo after the training trip. There’s still a risk that I won’t get my passport back in time, but that’s the lowest risk of all the options.
Yay decision trees!