CRA Scams

Warning about CRA scams

Here are some recent examples of CRA fraud attempts:

Caller identifies themself as from CRA and that there has been crimes committed against the CRA and that your file has been submitted to the Federal Court and that there is a warrant out for your arrest.  The call display is area code 647 (Toronto).  Needless to say this is a somewhat distressing call to receive.  If you received this type of call the RCMP Fraud line is 1-888-495-8501.

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The culprits pose as employees of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or Citizenship and Immigration Canada , threatening jail or deportation if fictitious fees or over-due taxes are not paid.

“The victim is then directed to pay the purported fees through e-transfer, money wire transfer or the purchase of pre-paid gift cards, which they are directed to mail to a specific address,” police said in a release.

CRA officials say they are aware of the scam.

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There is also a phone and email scam where a fraudster purports to be a Canada Revenue Agency representative and pressures the potential victim into paying a non-existent debt.

RCMP say they’ve received a number of complaints. Police say people are being called by someone claiming to be from the tax agency who uses threatening and coercive language.

People are also being emailed a link to a website that looks to be the CRA’s and asked to enter personal information.

Police say the revenue agency will never ask for information about your passport, health card or driver’s licence. It will also never leave personal information on an answering machine, or ask you to do the same.

If you want to confirm a call really is from the CRA, call them using a number listed on their website.

Police say you should also ask yourself the following:

  • Am I expecting additional money from the CRA?
  • Does this sound too good to be true?
  • Is the requester asking for information I would not include with my tax return?
  • Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?
  • How did the requester get my email address or telephone number?
  • Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?
  • Is there a reason that the CRA may be calling? Do I have a tax balance outstanding?

For more information on these scams and what to do, go to the CRA site at the following link.

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/corporate/security/protect-yourself-against-fraud.html

You can also talk to your accountant who will be able to act on your behalf and ensure that the call is legitimate.

Going Online

Benefits of going online!

Benefits of Online Accounting

Maybe you’ve heard someone talking about cloud, paperless or online accounting and you’re wondering why people are moving to it? There are a lot of reasons business owners, bookkeepers and accountants are making this change.

Here are our favourite benefits of moving your accounting online.

It’s secure and easy to recover

Working in the cloud means you’re working on a platform with multiple layers of security. If your phone, tablet or laptop is broken, lost or stolen, all your data is safely backed up in the cloud. No more managing upgrades or backups or sending files back and forth to your accountant.

Streamline your business

Going paperless sounds great doesn’t it? It’s possible (and easy) with cloud technology! Use your phone or tablet to capture your receipts and manage your expenses easily. Say goodbye to pesky piles of paperwork taking up space and your energy.

Run your business on the go

Access your data, financial information, reports and the information you need to make business decisions on the go from anywhere, anytime, on any device. Free yourself from the office and enjoy the freedom to run your business wherever you want to be!

Improve cash flow, get paid faster and grow your business

Cloud accounting technology includes online invoicing which allows you to send invoices to customers quickly and seamlessly and follow them up automatically. Modern accounting platforms help you improve your cash flow and get paid quicker – what’s not to love?

Access real time financial data

Cloud accounting software gets you financial data in real-time. This means you’ll have the information on hand to make informed, quick and accurate business decisions when you need to.

Add more to your software

Once online you’ll have access to hundreds if not thousands of helper apps.  Think of online payroll, cash management, job tracking, customer management, and reporting tools.  There are also many industry specific apps that have been designed to work with accounting app like QuickBooks and Xero. If you have a pain point, there’s probably an app out there that can help.

Get information how you want it

Don’t like spreadsheets or boring reports? Quickly access reports, dashboards and other information in easy to understand visual formats. If you understand exactly how your business is performing, you’ll be better positioned to run a successful business. How can you make good decisions if you don’t have all the right information?

Collaborate with your accountant, colleagues and partners

Grant your accountant access to your file and you can expect real-time advice as well! Collaborate with your business partners and colleagues by allowing and restricting user access as you need.

We love it!

We love online accounting so much that it’s all we do! Our passion is helping businesses move to the cloud and thrive there.

Connect with us today to see how we can make this happen for your business, too.

Bookkeeping – why it’s important

One of the concerns I hear on a regular basis is regarding bookkeeping.  Why do I need it and why is it expensive and can I do anything to reduce my costs? This article covers bookkeeping for corporations; bookkeeping for sole-proprietors may or may not need to be as rigorous depending on your situation.  To be sure always ask your CPA who can advise you for your specific situation. So you have a corporation and you have contacted your CPA to get the year end done and the question comes up – is your bookkeeping complete?  What does this actually mean and why do I need it done?

What is bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping allows transactions to be categorized and totalled; it also allows the GST and / or PST to be calculated to be able to prepare the GST/PST returns.  Depending on your situation it may also include preparing payroll for you and your employees.

Who can do my bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is not currently a regulated field so it can sometimes be difficult to find a quality bookkeeper.  Your CPA likely can do the bookkeeping for you if not will be able to provide you names of a quality bookkeeper.  If you want to find a bookkeeper on your own look for someone with certification from IPBC (Institute of Professional Bookkeepers) or CIB (Canadian Institute of Bookkeeping).  You can do your bookkeeping yourself as well as long as you understand how to do it.  There are courses available that can help.  Most people get a bit lost however when it comes to the GST and/or the PST (in BC).  Some of the rules especially the ones around PST can be quite complex.

Why do I need all the receipts, can’t you just go from Bank or Credit Card statements?

Often the receipts are required to determine how much GST / PST was paid.  This information can’t be obtained from the statements.  Particularly for things like utilities, meals and professional services since the amounts aren’t always standard. Also the receipts tell us if there is something that is not a business expense purchased — many times we see a pack of cigarettes or gum on the fuel receipt for gas.  The cigarettes and the gum would not be considered a business expense so shouldn’t be included.

Sounds time consuming – how long does this take?

Experience shows that it takes about 1 hour for every full page of bank and/or credit card statements that you have for the company.  If you have a lot of company expenses paid by cash or have personal expenses mixed in with the company bank and credit card accounts, that hour can become two hours quite quickly. Being organized and having all the receipts is the best way to keep the costs down.

Is there any way to make this faster / less expensive?

There are tools in the marketplace that can speed up the bookkeeping, services like HubDoc and ReceiptBank will retrieve information from your scanned in receipts that can be imported in to your bookkeeping file.  The service is not free so you need to balance out the bookkeeping fees with the fees from these services. Online bookkeeping services like QuickBooks and Wave allow connections to most bank and credit card service providers.  The connection will provide a ‘feed’ into your bookkeeping file taking some of the pain out of the data entry.  While some automation does exist, the transactions need to be reviewed to make sure they are classified correctly.  There is a monthly fee for these services but typically is it less than the cost of the bookkeeping.  The longer you use these services the better the classification of the feed gets – thus reducing your bookkeeping costs over time. For payroll there are 3rd party products like Ceridian and Payworks and most online services like QuickBooks and Wave provide a payroll feature – again for a fee.

OK so I understand what the bookkeeping is and some of the methods to get it done, why do I need it?

Bookkeeping needs to be done to classify the transactions to prepare your tax returns and to prepare financial statements. Different tax rules apply to different types of transactions so it is important that they are classified properly for taxation purposes.  For example, meals and entertainment are taxed at a different rate than office supplies.  Drawings and / or owners contributions for your incorporated company also need to be properly identified as this is directly connected to the income that you are required to report on your personal tax return.  GST returns depend on income being properly recorded and GST on expenses calculated as this offsets the amount of GST you are required to pay.  PST (BC) rules are industry specific and can sometime be quite complex and even contradictory.  Taxes filed incorrectly can result in penalties and interest and in the worst case scenario a CRA audit. For more information about bookkeeping and getting your bookkeeping done, please contact us

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