Canadian Personal Tax Work

  • 22 September 2021
  • 5 replies

I was wondering if anyone has a best practice for setting up personal tax (Canadian T1) work for families. Do you have work setup for each tax return that is being prepared or one for a family? We find it easier to track them all if there’s one for each, but have always wondered if there’s a better way for a family. 



5 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +10

We prefer to set up a work item for each filing that is actually sent to the government agency.  We do this so that right before the deadline dates, we can run a balancing between work items in Karbon vs returns filed in our e-file system.  This has saved us every year from forgetting someone! 

We have even started tracking the state income tax returns we file in addition to the federal.  Just gives us more visibility and the full picture on what we are doing for each client, plus helps keeps things from falling through the cracks.  

Sometimes, even if we have a married couple that typically files a joint return, but for whatever reason has to file a separate return for the year, we will add in a new work item to track the filings for both spouses.  

Userlevel 7
Badge +19

I don’t know if this will help, but what we do is setup client groups for families. We then attach each person to the client group. If there is work at the family level, it gets attached to the client group. Work at the individual level gets attached to the individual.

We have many married couples, so each couple gets an individual contact and are attached to the client group:

  • Client Group: Mary and Joe Sanchez - Gets a joint return at the client group level
    • Mary Sanchez - no work
    • Joe Sanchez - no work
    • Frank Sanchez (son) - Individual income tax return for summer job income
    • Jane Sanchez (grandmother) Irrevocable Trust  - Trust Return

Does that help at all?

Userlevel 7
Badge +13

We also do client groups.  If you are looking at the group contact work tab, you can see all work items for the group members.  It will show you what member the work item is for and who it is assigned to within your organization.

We also create individual work items for minor children, but we will have it assigned to the parent’s contact in karbon.  We just modify the name of the work item.

1040 Individual Tax Return 2020

1040 Individual Tax Return 2020 Jacob-Son

Userlevel 6
Badge +10

I wanted to add further detail to my original post above.  This is how we have our contacts setup:

  • 1040 - Single Filer - Individual Contact Type - 1040 work assigned here - kids are also set up this way
  • 1040 - Joint Filer - Organization Contact Type with both names - 1040 work assigned here (we also have a different Individual Contact Type set up for both married individuals but no work assigned there)  We then associate their contact card in each profile to their joint organization contact
  • Group Contact Type - we use the Group to link family members and businesses together.  So for example - Carse Group would have 1040 - Joint organization and the individual contacts linked to it, along with the 1040-Single contacts for the kids, and the business organization contacts.  That way you can see all the individual people and companies associated with the group, then you can see all the work in the group, but the work is still assigned to the contact type that the tax return is actually filed for.  

I feel like this is clear as mud when typed out!! Lol.

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

I’m a Canadian user also. Welcome. I have found it best to create a separate work item for each T1 so the entire process of the return can be managed and tracked properly, right up to transmission. A separate work item for each return allows us to standardize the process best. From each work item we can send a delivery client task to each taxpayer along with a note of key points about their return (i.e. amount owing, reason for change from prior year, items that may not be expected by the customer). For any client tasks we think are redundant or not necessary to each family member, such as ‘pick up records’ or ‘delivery meeting’, we will mark them as complete before clicking send. You could delete a client task also but I have felt it hurts standardization and it not available on future work if circumstances change for that particular family member. 

We use groups to connect the Companies and individuals related to the business owner. We even add collaborators to this group, such as bankers, lawyers, bookkeepers.

Within the details tab of a contact person, you may go into ‘accounting details/family relationships’ and enter the spouses and dependants.

Ultimately, I find our tax preparation software gives us the best place to keep the spouse and depends connected.