Interview with Justin Goulet
This is news director Justin Goulet and I am here in the studio with Allan Madan, Chartered Accountant. The tax season is upon is so he is going to give you some helpful tips to survive this season.
Justin: Allan, how are you today?
Allan: I am doing well Justin, and I really appreciate you having me on today.
Justin: That’s my pleasure. Like I said it’s that time of the year so I am happy that you get to inform the listeners and all the residents of Mississauga on what to do during this tax season. Now, could you describe yourself to all the listeners and tell us what you do exactly.
Allan: Sure, my name is Allan Madan and I am a local Chartered Accountant here in the Mississauga region. My firm and I have been in the industry for about eight plus years now and our goal is not only to prepare tax returns but to maximize the returns that an average Canadian receives.
Justin: Okay, now what are all the services that your firm provides?
Allan: Well, again, thanks for asking. The main services that my firm provides are personal tax preparation, business tax return preparation, as well as US tax return preparation. We have many Americans living here in Canada who need our help.
Justin: Exactly, What is your background, where did you go to school to become a Chartered Accountant?
Allan: Well, I went to the wonderful city of Kitchener-Waterloo, and if you have ever been there during the October festival you know how great it is. I went to school at the University of Waterloo and was there for a few years. Fortunately, I passed and obtained my Bachelors and Masters of accounting there after completing my CA, which is known as the Chartered Accountant designation.
Justin: Oh wow! Did you start your firm from then on or how did that all come about?
Allan: I initially worked at a company by the name of Deloitte which is one of the largest accounting firms in the world. I was there from the year 2000 to December of 2006, and thereafter I started my own firm in January of 2007. It’s been a wild ride, a fun ride, and I am really enjoying it.
Justin: That sounds incredible. Allan, during this season I want to ask you, what are the advantages of going to a registered accountant over filing your taxes yourself?
Allan: Right, that is a great question. I realise and recognize that there are softwares available like Turbotax and UFile that do make it simple for the average person to file their own tax return, but there are many pitfalls if you don’t hire a qualified accountant such as a chartered accountant. Firstly, you won’t be likely maximising all available credits and deductions, and you may not know about the most recent changes in the legislation and tax that could impact your return. So, the real benefit of going to a qualified accountant is his or her years of experience to really help you get the most money for your return.
Justin: Now you mentioned softwares like Turbotax. How does that affect you and your firm as a businessman yourself?
Allan: Well, I think it has caused us to up our game, so to speak, and that’s a good thing because now we are competing with online software as well as those that you can download on your computer. We now have to add more value to the clients. As part of the tax return preparation process we will give prospective tax planning points that help clients not only save today, but for tomorrow as well.
Justin: Do you see the number of your clients dwindling as these software come into play?
Allan: No, not at all. The reason being we are adding value to the client. Not only is the value today in terms of maximising refunds but it’s giving unique tax planning strategies for the future.
Justin: Well that’s fantastic. It’s good to hear all of this. Next, what’s the biggest problem that you see people encountering during this time of the year?
Allan: The biggest problem that I see people encountering is ignoring the fact that they may not be required to file the return but it’s their benefit to do so. Many Canadians believe that because they have no tax liability owing or they make very little income there is no benefit in filing a return. That’s a big mistake. Many government benefits such as the Trillium benefit and the GST HST benefit are paid only if you file a tax return. So, that’s really the biggest mistake I see people making.
Justin: Now what advice would you like to give out to some people? Is there one word, one sentence of advice you would like to give the listeners during this time of the year?
Allan: Right. I think it’s important to read the T1 General and Benefit guide and make a checklist for yourself when reading through it. See which credits and deductions you can apply for, and that you and your family can apply for. Because many Canadians forget to apply for these deductions and credits they are literally leaving billions of dollars on the table for the taxman every single year.
Justin: Wow, that’s amazing, that’s absolutely incredible. Is there anything else you would like to cover, anything else you would like to tell our listeners?
Allan: Well, I have some great tips that I would love to share today.
Justin: Of course.
Allan: One of the tips is, it’s simple, and it’s to report all of your T slips. You may have a T slip from your employer, or from your bank or financial institution. If you forget to report that slip you may actually get a severe penalty known as the ‘Failure to Report Penalty’. So, accuracy is the key.
Number two, maximizing all available credits which I have touched on. Common credits include tuition, children fitness and arts credit, the first time home buyers credit, the family caregiver amount, and medical expenses. If you are married, you should also consider transferring some of your unused credits to your spouse. That way if you can’t take advantage of them at least your spouse can by reducing his or her tax.
Finally, if you work from home consider writing off a portion of your work space at home. This includes things like rent, or if you own your home, a percentage of your mortgage interest, property taxes, utilities, and repairs.
Justin: Wow, now you mentioned the failure to report penalty. What are the consequences of failing to report exactly?
Allan: Well not only do you owe the tax that was due you will be subject to interest at the rate of five percent per annum compounded on the balance owing plus a 20 percent penalty for failure to report. If it was gross negligence, or if it was tax evasion, the charges could be even more severe, including criminal prosecution. That’s not to scare the average person, but what that means is you should pay close attention to when signing your return because you are making the representation that the information is accurate and complete.
Justin: Exactly, you want to be really careful. Now where can the listeners get more information on your firm?
Allan: Thanks again for that question. For more great tips and tricks on how to save tax and to learn a little about me you can have look at my website, www.madanca.com.
Justin: Well Allan, thank you so much. Anything else you would like to add before you head home?
Allan: I think that the benefit that the most listeners should receive from this broadcast is that it’s worth your while to hire a professional accountant, whether it’s me or someone else. You want to make sure that the return is done right and you are getting all that’s due to you.
Justin: Excellent, Allan thank you so much for joining me in studio. It was a real pleasure and I think the listeners are going to take a lot from this interview. Thank you.
Allan: Thanks for having me Justin. Thank you.
Madan Chartered Accountant would like to thank Justin Goulet and thehazefm for this opportunity.
The information provided on this page is intended to provide general information. The information does not take into account your personal situation and is not intended to be used without consultation from accounting and financial professionals. Allan Madan and Madan Chartered Accountant will not be held liable for any problems that arise from the usage of the information provided on this page.