Paul S. Hewitt, CPA, CA provides a full range of tax services for individuals, small business corporations and trusts. Tax services include: professional tax preparation, tax dispute resolution, tax appeals, and tax planning.
The Income Tax Act has hundreds of rules specifying deductions and tax credits that may, or may not, be claimed. Failure to follow the rules often results in penalties and interest or paying more tax than is legally required. Sound judgement must be exercised to apply the law in a favourable, yet supportable, manner.
As a seasoned Toronto tax accountant, with a thorough understanding of the law and its application, Paul minimizes taxes by taking advantage of every deduction and credit to which you are entitled. He makes sure your tax deductions are supported and able to survive a challenge by the CRA.
Personal Tax Preparation
It's more costly to fix errors and omissions in tax returns than it is to prepare them properly in the first place!
You can avoid many potential tax problems by having your personal income tax return professionally prepared by Paul. He will properly calculate and document specific deductions, able to withstand CRA scrutiny. He will make sure your tax return makes all necessary disclosures. You will avoid costly penalties and interest charges.
Some taxpayer situations and specific deductions are more likely to draw the attention of the CRA, resulting in reviews or tax audits. Often these areas involve very specific tax laws or they may require the exercise of sound professional judgement, based on a thorough knowledge of the tax law and experience.
Paul S. Hewitt, CPA, CA minimizes your personal income taxes and reduces your risk of being audited by the CRA. Individuals with any of the following tax situations will benefit the most from Paul's expertise.
- Employment expenses
- Rental properties
- Foreign Property
- Sale of Principal Residence
- Medical & Disability claims
- Alimony or Support
- Immigrating or Emigrating
Case Studies has a few interesting personal tax situations that Paul has successfully argued on behalf of his clients.
All personal tax return clients receive unlimited tax consultations throughout the year. Avoid costly tax mistakes! All it takes is a quick call to get the answers you need.
With your authorization, Paul matches your income tax information with the CRA's data, to help ensure accuracy and completeness of your tax return. He reviews your tax assessments to verify that the CRA has assessed your return accurately.
Corporate Tax Preparation
Most small business corporations benefit by having their tax returns professionally prepared by the accountant who reports on the financial statements. To learn more, visit Small Business Accounting.
During that work, the accounts are scrutinized for proper tax support and reporting of all legitimate deductions and identification of items that must be disclosed in the tax return. Errors and omissions can lead to costly penalties, lost deductions and interest charges.
The corporate income tax preparation process is your first line of defense against CRA tax audits and reviews. Errors and omissions can lead to costly penalties, lost deductions and interest charges. They also lead to a lot of unneccessary stress!
Transactions between an employee or shareholder and the company can have unintended and severe tax consequences, if they are not properly structured and monitored. Professional advice is strongly recommended whenever corporate funds are paid out to owner-managers.
In Ontario, corporations must file an annual corporate income tax return. Other tax returns may be required, depending on the company's activities, including:
- HST return
- T4 Summary (payroll)
- T5 Return (dividends & interest)
- WSIB (Worker's Compensation)
- Employer Health Tax
Each return has its own filing deadline. Missing deadlines and making errors, or omissions, often result in steep penalties and interest charges. So, it is important to file your tax returns accurately and on time.
Tax Dispute Resolution
If you or your company is about to be audited by the CRA, you need an experienced and knowledgeable tax accountant to help you avoid costly tax reassessments which often cause severe cash flow difficulties and even bankruptcy.
For individuals, certain types of expenses are more likely to be audited or reviewed. Automobile, home office, and entertainment expenses are typical high risk examples. Restaurants, contractors and other cash-based small businesses are much more likely to be audited.
When these types of businesses are audited, the CRA uses special methods to detect and estimate "unreported sales". When found, the CRA issues reassessments for HST, corporate income tax and personal income tax to the owner. Usually, all of these reassessments include significant penalties and interest charges. Learn more on the Restaurant Owners page and on Paul's Restaurant Tax blog
Professional representation is most effective before and during tax audits, when Paul can protect you from CRA traps and ensure your tax position complies with the tax laws and is properly supported. CRA auditors can be biased against taxpayers and they do make mistakes. It takes an experienced tax accountant to protect your interests during tax audits. You can read about a great example of this in Case Studies.
Paul S. Hewitt, CPA, CA can often reduce or eliminate proposed tax reassessments before a tax audit is complete, by correcting auditor errors and making sure that relevant tax laws have been applied correctly and in accordance with case precedents.
Did you miss a deduction in any of your last 10 tax returns? Paul can help you file an adjustment request to get the tax refunds you deserve. Did you fail to report all of your income in the past and you're worried the CRA will come after you? Paul can help you file a Voluntary Disclosure that will eliminate all penalties and give you peace of mind.
There are a variety of ways to legally reduce the taxes you are required to pay or gain access to funds without paying taxes. Tax planning is done before you make significant transactions. After a transaction has been completed, it is usually difficult, if not impossible, to fix unintended tax consequences.
Paul S. Hewitt, CPA, CA encourages all of his clients to discuss significant transactions and contracts before they are executed. In most cases, there is no charge for seeking Paul's expert counsel. You may be charged a fee, only if additional tax research is required.
Some of the more common tax planning strategies include:
- holding companies to split income
- Owner-manager remuneration decisions
- tax-free transfers of property to a corporation
- trusts for creditor protection and income splitting
- estate freezes to pass wealth to the next generation
- corporate reorganizations to preserve losses
- share trading to match gains and losses
- tax-assisted investments
Implementing an effective tax plan requires an in-depth understanding of your entire tax situation. Some innovative planning strategies may require an advance ruling by the CRA to have the confidence that it will achieve the goals desired.
After a tax audit or review, the CRA may reassess you and/or your company for additional taxes, penalties and interest. You have the right to appeal these reassessments within certain time limits.
Restaurants and other cash-based businesses face particularly difficult CRA tax audits. Typically, the CRA starts by auditing HST. Using special "indirect" audit methods, the CRA attempts to estimate "unreported sales". CRA auditors always allege significant unreported sales, unless you have expert tax audit representation during the audit. Learn more on the Restaurant Owners page.
After finding that your business failed to report all of its sales, the auditor calculates the HST that should have been paid and issues a reassessment, usually with penalties and interest added.
It is extremely important to fight these reassessments. Otherwise, the CRA will subsequently issue corporate income tax reassessments and personal income tax reassessments to the owner of the business. Unchallenged reassessments invite future CRA audits and make it much more difficult to win future cases.
Paul has appealed many cases like this and won. You can read about some of them in Case Studies.
Paul S. Hewitt, CPA, CA has over 30 years' experience winning tax appeals large and small. Paul has the knowledge and special expertise necessary to successfully fight restaurant and bar reassessments for "unreported sales". He wrote the book on restaurant audit defense strategies. Well, actually, it is a blog, which you can read here.
Most tax appeals start with a Notice of Objection, that outlines the facts and reasons why you think the CRA is wrong. Though it can often take a considerable length of time to be reviewed, most tax appeals are resolved at this stage.
If at first you don't succeed, you may appeal to the courts, where your case will be decided based on its merits and the evidence provided.
Trusts & Estates
Need help administering an estate? When someone passes away, there may be up to three personal income tax returns to be filed for the year of death. Paul can help you navigate the entire process of liquidating the estate assets, repaying debts, filing tax returns and disbursing funds to the heirs.
A trust is usually created when someone dies. The estate's property is held in a trust until it is disbursed to the heirs in accordance with a will. In many cases, trusts will be required to file income tax returns to report income received by the trust each year.
Trusts may be set up to hold property on behalf of its beneficiaries. Trusts may also be used to creditor-proof your assets and split income with family members. Professional tax planning advice is strongly recommended in these cases.
Get help fast for your urgent tax issues. Request your complimentary initial consultation today.