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Rentals and Deductions: Top Write-Offs People Miss

Rentals and Deductions: Top Write-Offs People MissThose who own rental properties must include rental income on their taxes every year. But did you know that owners can also often claim a number of tax deductions based on the expenses tied to their rental properties? Knowing what deductions you might qualify for can help you save significant money every year if you have rental properties, provided you know which items can be deducted at tax time. Let’s take a look at some of the tax write-offs that you may not include – or even know you’re eligible for – when filing your annual return.


Did you have to advertise one or more of your rental properties last year? If so, you can deduct the full amount of it on your taxes. It can be pretty costly to put an ad for a vacant property into a number of newspapers for a month or two, so don’t forget to use the cost associated with it as a deduction. Advertising costs are directly relevant to your rental operations, so you can claim the full amount spent on your taxes.


No doubt you carry an insurance policy on your rental home, especially since it can protect you from anything that can happen – whether a natural disaster or tenant-caused damages. While your insurance premiums can cost thousands of dollars every year – or more, depending on the specific type of rental property you manage – it can be written off as an expense on your taxes. You may even be able to claim the full cost for your premiums if your rental property isn’t also your primary residence.

Property Taxes

Your property taxes are paid annually to your local municipality, and while these taxes can be a significant cost, they can be a significant write off. Whether you live at the property and rent a portion out or rent the full property, your property taxes can be at least partially deducted from your annual tax burden. For example, if you live in a duplex with 50 percent of the whole home a rental unit, you can write off 50 percent of the property taxes. If you rent the whole property, you can deduct property taxes in full. However, it’s important to check with your accountant about writing off property taxes since there are some other factors you may need to consider when filing.


A final potential deduction comes in the form of utility bills. Do you pay for heat, water, cable or other utilities for some or all of your properties? A portion or even the total expense for those utilities can usually be written off. Paying for utilities at a property can make a property more appealing to a potential renter, and with the deduction available, it can even benefit you at tax time. If you rent the full property, you can deduct the full utility expense, while partial rentals – such as an attic apartment or renting out a single room – means you can deduct a fractional portion of these costs.

Are you a landlord who is confused about what you can and can’t write off on your taxes? Janet E. Helm & Co. Inc. can assist property rental owners in filing their taxes, including a review of their income and expenses to help identify all the possible deductions this tax season. Call us at 604-502-7705 today and set up a time to sit down with us.

Staying on Time: Keeping Up on Financial Statements

Financial StatementsWith tax time right around the corner, it is essential that you have all of your company’s financial statements in order. Why do you need to keep up on your financial statements? Most importantly, it is the law. In addition, these records can help you to understand where your income streams are coming from. Plus, knowing your company inside and out can lead to better business decisions in the future and even help to identify fraud that may be occurring within your organization.

This file maintenance should not be a last-minute ordeal. It is important to get your financial statements in order ahead of time so you don’t feel stressed or face potential fines when tax time comes along.

What Is Required?

Several documents and records may be required by the Canada Revenue Agency. For instance, if you are managing a charitable organization, you will want to keep track of all of your bank accounts, any donations made, and tax receipts that you have in your possession.

Other records include anything documented on paper or electronically, which can also include any journals, ledgers, charts and books that contain valuable financial information. It is recommended that you hold on to these records for six years.

There are Consequences to Not Keeping Up on Your Financial Statements

The best benefit of having all of your financial statements organized before tax time is that you won’t be rushed when filing and possibly make mistakes. It is crucial that you have accurate financial information because the consequences of not doing so can be dire. You can face significant penalties if you don’t keep accurate records and have those records readily available at the CRAs request.

Consider Keeping Electronic Records

It can be a hassle keeping track of financial records in paper form, so consider keeping electronic records. Electronic documents can be recorded and saved via accounting software, point of sale systems, or with income tax preparation software. Electronic records can sometimes be as easy to lose as paper records if you don’t maintain proper data security, so it is essential that you backup your data regularly to ensure that you can deliver these files if needed.

If you require more advice on financial statement maintenance, or you are looking for a company who can handle the ins and outs of your tax preparation and accounting for you, look no further than Janet E. Helm & Co. Inc. We can assist with your GST, PST, T4 and T5 returns, as well as charity and not-for-profit returns, and our record-keeping systems are top notch. Leave nothing to chance – check out our range of accounting services today and call us at 604-502-7705 to schedule an initial consultation.


Elder Care and Estate Planning

As you grow into your senior years, you experience a chance to enjoy a fantastic portion of your life complete with amazing grandchildren, the free time to truly revel in your favorite hobbies, and spend more time with loved ones. It is also time to think about what lies ahead, and it all starts with proper setup of your elder care and estate planning needs.

Estate Planning and Advanced CareEstate Planning

Talking about a future without you in it is not the happiest of conversations, but it is necessary. If you don’t have these conversations early, your wishes for your belongings and final arrangements may not be sorted the way you wanted.

When estate planning, it is important to make many important decisions. You will want to prepare an inventory of your assets, for example. This will include your home, investments, retirement accounts and any vacation properties. You will also want to list all your debts. Leave nothing out of your plan.

As can be expected, the conversation with your family and friends about what will happen to these assets will be awkward, but it is absolutely necessary. Discuss everything you have, decide how it will be sorted out, and get your plans down in writing. It may be uncomfortable at times, but proper estate planning is essential to ensuring that there are no unexpected burdens or questions during an already difficult time.

Advanced Care and Health Care

Advanced care, or elder care, involves having an open conversation with your loved ones as you describe the health care treatment options that you will want to have implemented if certain health-related situations arise and you are unable to make these decisions on your own.

Essentially, this plan involves either stating your wishes in full or providing instructions for an individual who you assign to take over decision-making for you following your direction.

The process is quite simple, advises the British Columbia Advance Care Planning website. First, have a long and detailed conversation with your family members and friends regarding your thoughts and wishes. While you are speaking, discuss the health treatments you will and won’t accept. Set everything in stone. Finally, stay safe by placing your documented advanced care plan in a safe place where the people who need it can find it.

Plan for Your Future with Janet E. Helm & Co. Inc.

When you work with Janet E. Helm & Co. Inc., we will get you on the right path to proper estate and elder care planning. We offer the options you need and the guidance you require to get everything sorted out so you can get one more thing off your plate. We can also help you with financial planning to ensure that when you retire, you can do so comfortably and with enough saved to carry you well into your golden years.

To get started on your retirement, elder care and estate planning, call Janet E. Helm & Co. Inc. today at 604-502-7705.

Keep on Track with Our Bookkeeping Services

Bookkeeping  As a successful business owner, you know that there is nothing more important than having your financials in order. Whether you are a large, multinational corporation or a new mom-and-pop shop, if you don’t have your numbers under control, you may be as good as done.

What you need is a professional and trusted accounting service that will ensure that you have everything in order while also being your partner when it comes to your company’s payroll, financial statements and budgeting. Janet E. Helm & Co. Inc. can be that company for your business.

Careful Bookkeeping is Necessary for New Businesses

If you are either starting your business or you are a smaller company without the ability to hire dedicated bookkeeping staff, our services may be ideal for you. We pride ourselves on our quick action and knowledge of the needs of small and mid-sized businesses. Our new business services assist you in setting up your initial accounting software, ensuring that you have an adequate record-keeping system in place, and providing a review of your processes for any areas of improvement that may be costing you time and money.

After you are set up, we can continue to assist you by helping with your monthly or quarterly bookkeeping. We complete a lot of the clerical work to get you the information you need to  keep your business activity straight. We will also prepare reports relating to workers compensation, PST returns and GST returns. We can also prepare monthly payroll and year-end T4 return filings.

We Can Assist with Medium-Sized Companies Too

As a medium-sized business, you no doubt have an accounting department that handles a majority of your financial matters, but we can offer services that can fill the gaps. Our monthly bookkeeping services can help when your team is overloaded and can make recommendations about adjustments your business could make to remain financially stable. We also provide external controller services for companies who may not have the need for a full-time accountant on staff.  In addition we also offer as-needed assistance with budgeting and forecasting to help you meet your long-term goals, establishing operational procedures and policies or helping with any other accounting duties you may need.

No matter what your bookkeeping requirements may be, the folks at Janet E. Helm & Co. Inc. are here to help you along. To learn more about our bookkeeping services, call us at 604-502-7705 today.

Self-Employed? Trade Work? Let Us Manage Your Books

Bookkeeping In the midst of running your own business, how do you manage your books? As you continue reading, keep the items listed below in mind. Can you successfully cross each one of these items off your bookkeeping and accounting checklist? Is each item managed by a professional all year round?

  • Bookkeeping and Accounting
  • Fraud Risk Reduction
  • Tax Planning
  • Tax Preparation
  • Payroll and Employee Benefit Issues

Maintaining your business’s books is like maintaining your home’s plumbing fixtures – it’s a necessity. You wouldn’t try to tackle a serious plumbing need on your own – unless you’re a plumber, of course – so why not leave the responsibility of managing your business’s books and other accounting services in the hands of an experienced professional? Run your business more successfully with the help of a reputable accounting firm that can provide industry-specific expertise and knowledge of government agencies and requirements for insurance and tax filings.


It’s vital to ensure your business’ books are well maintained, not only for your success but also for any employees you may have. A professional accounting firm like Janet E. Helm & Co. Inc. CPA, can keep your books organized, allowing you to focus on your business’ growth and success, and the happiness of your clients and employees. We can also customize tax planning strategies, identify ways to improve your operational efficiency and so much more.

Health and Wellness Professionals

There’s always going to be a high demand for physicians, dentists, chiropractors, counselors and other health and wellness professionals. To keep your business running smoothly, though, you’ll need some help along the way. With large sums of money coming and going on a constant daily basis, it’s crucial to ensure your finances are taken care of. Whether it’s like payroll or taxes, accounts receivable or insurance payments, or any other influx or outflow or income, it’s easy to get off track with managing your books. That’s turning your bookkeeping over to a professional who can personalize a financial plan that keeps your business financially stable is not only a smart choice, it’s a savvy financial decision.

Tradesmen, Construction Workers and Independent Contractors

Many self-employed or independent workers have unique tax situations and financial circumstances. Have you filed estimated tax payments or properly accounted for work clothing, tools and equipment as work expenses? Have you withheld taxes appropriately for anyone working for you, or have you charged necessary taxes on your goods or services? With Janet E. Helm & Co. Inc. CPA, we can help you navigate through the requirements and allow you to set about what’s important to you – getting the job done. Accountants are like doctors but for business, so let us help you!

To learn more about our comprehensive accounting, bookkeeping and tax advisory services, call Janet E. Helm & Co. Inc. at 604-502-7705 and learn more about how we can help manage your books today.

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