now browsing by author


Setting Up ‘My Account” with CRA

My Account is a secure portal that lets you view your personal income tax and benefit information and manage your tax affairs online. It allows you to track your returns filed, your refund, view or change your return, check your benefit and credit payments, view your RRSP limit, set up direct deposit, get Notice of Assessments & receive email notifications.

My Account is:

  • Convenient – It is available 21 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Easy to use – After registering, simply log in with your CRA user ID and password.
  • Fast – Information is up-to-the-minute and transactions are processed immediately.
  • Secure – The CRA user ID and password are just part of the security.

Before you can register, you must have filed your income tax and benefit return for the current tax year or the previous one.

To get access, you will need:

  • your social insurance number;
  • your date of birth;
  • your current postal code and;
  • an amount you entered on your income tax and benefit return –have your return on hand (the line requested will vary and it could be from the current tax year or the previous one).

Click on the following link to see how to set up your My Account with CRA.

COVID Update – July 2021

With the province of Ontario starting to re-open this month, we wanted to provide an update on how The Homestead Group Inc. will operate moving forward.  We will continue to operate as we have for the past 18 months – virtually.   This means that in-person appointments for tax prep will no longer be a service that we will be offering to our clients.  Consultations & client meetings will be done via phone or video call.

COVID has afforded us the opportunity to work from home, with each of us taking turns being in the office on certain days.  We have all come to appreciate the lifestyle benefits/balance that working from home has provided & will continue to keep that in place.

We ask that our clients continue to send us their tax & bookkeeping information via mail, email or drop off to our locked mailbox. 

Tax Season 2021

Given the current & ongoing situation with Covid, our office will continue to remain closed to clients for the foreseeable future. Since mid-March 2020, we have been primarily working remotely with only one person in at office each day.

For the upcoming tax season, we ask that you submit your tax information to us via: mail, email or drop-off to our locked mailbox. We will confirm once we have received your information, & once we get started on your return(s), will call with any questions or clarifications. Please keep us updated with any changes to your situation (address, children, marital status, email).

Please ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork organized before you send /drop off your information. We require receipts for donations, medical, rent, RRSP & tuition.

Once your returns are completed, we will either email or mail them back to you for review & signature, depending on your preference.

At this point, we are assuming that April 30th will be the tax filing deadline, however, as with 2020, that may change. The cut-off date, to get us our information to ensure that your return(s) will be completed by April 30th is Friday April 23rd. We will do our best to complete any returns received after April 23rd, however, there are no guarantees.

We are accepting a limited number of new clients & ask them to reach out to us via email (

Take care & stay safe!

CRA Filing Updates

As per the CPA Canada website:

On March 18, 2020, the federal government released information on tax extensions and other changes that have become necessary due to the COVID-19 crisis. Although this was welcomed news, there is still some uncertainty as the announcement did not provide a comprehensive update on all tax deadlines that are soon approaching.

The specific measures in the announcement include the following

  • Personal returns — The deadline for filing T1 returns that were due on April 30, 2020 has been extended to June 1, 2020. Individuals expecting a refund or benefits should file sooner if possible, as the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will process refunds.
  • Trust returns — For trusts having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019, the return filing due date will be deferred until May 1, 2020.
  • Income tax payments for all taxpayers — The CRA will allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to income tax balances due, as well as instalments and no interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

It should also be noted that no mention was made on relief for GST/HST for businesses.

On CRA services, they have sent most staff home and will focus on essential services including the continuity of benefit payments and associated functions while cutting back activities in other areas. Although the CRA will continue to respond to incoming calls at call centres, they will operate at a significantly reduced capacity and may give priority to enquiries related to benefits.

The government also announced that benefits such as the Canada Child Benefit and the GST credit will be enhanced.

Tax Season 2020

Just a reminder that the deadline to get your taxes to us (mail, email or drop off to our secure mailbox), to ensure that they are completed by April 30th, is April 23rd.  You are still welcome to send in your taxes after the 23rd, however, we cannot guarantee that they will be completed by the April 30th filing deadline.

Additionally, we are unable, at this time, to take on any new  T2 (corporate) or bookkeeping clients.

We appreciate your continued patronage & look forward to seeing you this tax season.

Beware of CRA Telephone Scam

Recently, a few Homestead Group customers have been contacted by individuals claiming to be from the CRA.  These callers are very aggressive and forceful in their claim that unpaid taxes are owing to the CRA and must be paid immediately.  They ask you to pay by credit card or pre-paid credit card.  Often, they threaten charges, jail or deportation.  THESE CALLS ARE FRAUDULENT.

The CRA:

  • never requests prepaid credit cards;
  • never asks for information about your passport, health card, or driver’s license;
  • never shares your taxpayer information with another person, unless you have provided the appropriate authorization; and
  • never leaves personal information on your answering machine or asks you to leave a message containing your personal information on an answering machine.

If you are a Homestead Group client, you have signed a Form 1013 which instructs the CRA to contact us if they have any questions or concerns about your tax return.  If you receive such a phone call, ask them to call your accountant — we are on record with the CRA so they know how to contact us directly.

If you receive such a call, take note of the caller’s phone number, then contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

Tax Filing Deadline 2016

The tax filing deadline is April 30th which falls on a Saturday this year.  When the filing date falls on a weekend, CRA typically extends the deadline to the following MondayCRA has yet to announce this extension, but we will let you as soon as it’s confirmed.   But why leave it to the last minute … book an appointment now to get your taxes prepared & efiled.   You can do that on-line via our BOOK NOW tab.

Review Us on Facebook & Win!

Facebook Promo

All clients posting a review for The Homestead Group on Facebook, during March and April, will be entered into a draw for a $100 VISA gift card.  Don’t delay … post a review now at

It’s Tax Time … Again!

Tax season is here!  Be sure to set some time aside to start organizing all the slips and receipts that you will need to complete your 2014 tax return.  Use our Tax Checklist (located under the Resource tab) to ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork to accurately prepare your return.

Once you have all your paperwork together, call us or book an appointment online with one of our Tax Specialists (located under the Book Now tab), or come by during office hours and we will be pleased to assist you.  Our office hours for March and April are Monday to Friday, 9:30am – 6pm; Saturdays 10am  -5pm.

We welcome new clients — be sure to bring in a copy of your previous tax return, your Notice of Assessment, your SIN card, along with the birth certificates for any children under the age of 18.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Why Outsourcing Bookkeeping is a Smart Business Decision

Many small business owners are often hesitant to outsource their bookkeeping needs.  Outsourcing the tracking of their business income, expenses, and government filings is often viewed as an unnecessary cost.  Additionally, they may be uncomfortable giving someone else access to their company’s financial information.  These are both valid reasons that give small business owners’ pause, but in reality, outsourcing your bookkeeping needs is a smart business decision.

When talking to prospective bookkeeping clients, we reinforce that if someone is a good cabinet maker, that doesn’t mean that they can run a successful cabinet making business.  Doing your own bookkeeping requires time, knowledge (of accounting and bookkeeping software) and requires you to be organized and have an eye for detail.  Bookkeeping services have the experience to manage your books efficiently, while adhering to government filing deadlines which frees up business owners to do what they do best — service their clients.  Simply put, let someone else manage your books, while you manage your business.  This can be a painful lesson when the government levies penalties and interest for late filed returns.

When your business is in start-up mode, you may not need a bookkeeper initially as you can easily track your sales and expenses on an excel spreadsheet.  As your business grows, so will the demands on your time and the volume of bookkeeping entries necessary to track all your business activities.

If you are in a start up situation, it is prudent to meet with an accountant or bookkeeper as they can guide you in registering your business or corporation, registering for HST, source deductions or WSIB, and provide perspective on what to expect as you get your business off the ground.  They have valuable experience that can shorten the learning curve for any new business.