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Canada’s Tax Landscape Grows More Complex. Baker Tilly Toronto Can Help

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Fabio Bonanno

Principal, Tax, Baker Tilly Toronto

Tax season is upon us, and Canadians are once again facing the perennial question: can I do this myself? 

Canada’s tax rules are becoming more convoluted every year, and the financial realities of Canadian lives are growing more complex just as quickly. Whether it’s through small business ownership, capital gains, trusts, taking on tenants, or participating in the gig economy, more Canadians than ever before are juggling multiple income streams and an uncertainty surrounding just how much tax they actually owe. Even those who have, in years past, been confident in their ability to prepare their own taxes would do well to ask themselves this year whether engaging a tax professional might save them time, stress, and money.


“The role of the tax advisor is to ensure you’re paying the right amount of tax within our tax legislation, and also to mitigate the risk of negative tax consequences from filing incorrectly,” says Fabio Bonanno, Principal, Tax at Baker Tilly Toronto, one of the country’s largest associations of chartered professional accounting firms. “If all your income is reflected on a T slip and there’s been no major life event, then I would say the tax software systems that are out there would do a decent job at guiding you to the right filing. But, as soon as your income falls outside of those slips, which is happening more and more given the nature of our economy, then ideally you do seek help from a tax professional irrespective of income level, if you want to maximize your deductions and credits and ensure that you’re filing things correctly.”

It takes expertise to navigate Canadian taxes

It can, after all, be hard to know whether or not you are filing correctly. For example, the government recently introduced new bare trust reporting requirements which changed the filing responsibility of a great many Canadians. And then, this spring, those changes were suddenly reversed. Canada’s changing tax landscape is complex and fast-moving enough that only a professional can reasonably keep track of it. Or, better yet, a team of professionals. 

“The advantage of a place like Baker Tilly is that we have so many resources available to us,” says Bonanno. “It’s impossible in this day and age, with the complexity of our tax system, for a single tax professional to know everything.  The advantage of being part of this network is that when we don’t know the answer, we’ll always be able to find it. There is expertise within the network that will have that answer.”

Paying the right taxes tomorrow means planning today

The relationship with a tax advisor is not confined to tax season alone. For business owners especially, the time to get answers to pressing tax questions is not when the tax is due but ideally years or even decades before. 

“Without proper planning there can be a lot of unexpected taxes and expenses when it comes to succession, whether that’s through sale of the business to a family member, sale to a third party, or the death of the business owner,” says Bonanno. “Ultimately, every successful business leads to one of these three outcomes, and all three require tax planning. If you’re a business owner, I would suggest not only should your business run through an accountant, but also your personal filings run through that same accountant as well. One complete package. This is the kind of thing Baker Tilly specializes in.” 

In short, for Canadians staring down an increasingly complex tax situation, talking to a tax professional is kind of like planting a tree. The best time to do it may have been twenty years ago. But the second best time is now. 

To learn more about how Baker Tilly Toronto can help,
visit or call Fabio at 647-438-4021

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