How Online Billing Made Tax Prep Simpler

No one enjoys tax season. But do you remember back when you had to complete everything manually, with no access to real time information and drowning in a paper avalanche?

With the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and many of the utility and business service suppliers, like BC Hydro, providing access to your account information online at any time; the scenario of drowning in paper is starting to subside. These online tools and systems also mean that there are now fewer instances of you finding gaps in your company’s paper trail and of you missing any payment deadlines.

David Marsh, a partner at Vancouver accounting firm Marsh, Marsh & Company, says that by allowing access to this information online is helping speed up the process of preparing taxes. "It means you aren't waiting around for companies to make information to be available to you anymore," he explains. "You can go online and access the information right away."

And while you do still need to be able to provide the Canada Revenue Agency with hard copies of receipts, you don't have to print them until they are requested.

"I don't have to walk into a room full of boxes to try and find a piece of information anymore," comments Marsh, "I can find all the information on my computer."

Online Utility Billing

BC Hydro, like many of the utilities and service providers, has been an integral part of this online revolution. By creating a profile on their website you can gain access to all of your account information including your payment and consumption history, as well as set up pre-authorized and equal payment plans. You can even download your billing data in spreadsheet form and print out bills for the last 12 months.

With the CRA recommending that you keep your tax records on hand in the event they are required for verification or an audit, these online accounts help can help organize your billing data by creating PDF versions of your bills and storing them on your computer until they are needed. This not only saving you space in your office and making records easier to retrieve, but it is also helping you reduce your impact on the environment.

Online Tax Submissions

The CRA also provides you with access to your tax information online. Services include:

  • T4 and T4A Information

    Accessing your T4 and T4A information can now be viewed on the Canada Revenue Agency's My Account for Individuals page, meaning that you don't have to wait for hard copies to arrive in the mail. 

  • Filing your T1 as a Sole Proprietor

    The CRA’s Netfile service allows you to submit your personal income tax and benefit returnonline. Perfect for if you are self employed or own a sole proprietorship.

  • Filing your T2 as a Corporation

    Like sole proprietors, incorporated businesses can also submit their taxes online through the CRA website.  In fact if your corporation has an annual gross revenue of more than $1 million it is mandatory for your to submit your taxes online.

  • Make Payments

    And to round off the process, you can also make any relevant payments online through your online account profile on the CRA website.

To find out more about BC Hydro’s account profiles visit the BC Hydro website and find out how you can:

  • Gain access to billing and payment tools;
  • View your account history including your daily average or total usage by month; and 
  • Download any detailed billing or usage data you require into a spreadsheet-ready format. 

While you are there, why not read more about BC Hydro’s product incentive programs, and find out how they can help save you money in time for next year’s tax season.