Resources

Let’s Go Digital This Tax Season

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working remotely. As a result, we strongly discourage clients from mailing their tax information to us. Please upload your documents and checklists electronically via our secure portal. This method also allows you to keep your original receipts, forms, and other documents. Please note that while we accept mail via Canada Post, we cannot accept deliveries by courier.

Getting Your Personal Tax Receipts and Slips to Stern Cohen Electronically

Many of our clients have requested an online process.  Our new process is much more secure than sending by mail and much faster.

In addition, most people have or are receiving soft copies of their tax information so they (and we) find it easier than dealing with paper.

Finally, concerns over COVID-19 are eliminated (versus handling physical papers) and we want our staff to be safe.

Here are step by step instructions to help you go digital this year!

What to Send Us

Complete our Online Tax Checklist: Online Tax Checklist
It will specify the slips or supporting documentation that are applicable to your unique situation.

Then…

Option 1: Take a picture with your mobile phone. Your phone’s a mini-scanner!

  • Email the picture(s) to yourself OR download the pictures to your computer.
  • From there you can move them to a folder and zip* them (to reduce their size and save time uploading multiple documents to our portal).
  • Remember to name the zip folder with your full name in the title.
  • Upload the zip file to the secure  Stern Cohen Portal

*How to Create a Zip Folder:

It’s easy! First gather all the files/pictures you want to send us into ONE regular folder. Then right-click on the folder, and point to “Send to” and select “Compressed (zipped) folder”. Remember to put your full name in the zipped folder name.

Option 2: Try a secure online file sharing solution or a mobile app 

We have tested and recommend Box or Genius Scan. They are both available as mobile phone apps and they make it easy to take and send pictures of your documents and slips.

Box has a free individual plan with up to 10 GB of storage (and a 250 MB file upload limit). It offers secure file sharing to your account. You can simply drag your files there like you would with File Explorer, OneDrive or DropBox. OR you can use their mobile phone app to take a picture and upload to your Box account.

Genius Scan converts pictures to PDFand it’s also free!

More Tips

Summary of Medical/Dental Expenses:

TIP: Do you have multiple expenses from ONE service provider? SAVE TIME by asking them for a “Statement of Account” for 2020. For example, if you frequently purchase medicine at Shoppers Drug Mart you might have 30 receipts in a year. A “Statement of Account” from Shoppers (or from any of your frequent service providers) will save you and us time documenting your expenses. You can provide the annual/total amount (instead of listing each charge) if you have a Statement of Account (keep the separate receipts as backup).

BONUS: If the CRA questions any of your personal medical expenses, the Statement of Account is a solid supporting document. The CRA tends to decline receipts only showing the owing amount, causing time consuming back and forth communications.

If you don’t have a statement of account, please provide the information below (in Excel if possible):

  • Please include a general description (e.g. Dental, Eye Doctor, Prescription).
  • Indicate the service provider (for example the Doctor’s name and/or the Clinic name).
  • Indicate the amount.
  • Please provide the transaction date.
  • Off counter drugs, like Vitamine C, are not eligible medical expenses. If in doubt, make sure to upload your receipt or send it to us. We can determine if the expense is eligible or not.

For Charitable Donations/Political Contributions:

  • As charitable and political donations are treated differently, please indicate them separately.
  • For political contributions, it’s also important for us to know if it’s federal or provincial.
  • Indicate the charity or political party name.
  • Indicate the amount.
  • Please provide the donation date.
  • Charitable lottery tickets are not eligible.

More Resources:

2021 Canadian Tax Return Deadlines

Step by Step Guide to our Personal Tax Season Process