Like Tony on The Sopranos, the CRA, too, Wants its Money
As a small business owner, watching TV can sometimes feel like a waste of productive time.
That’s especially so if you’ve ever been forced to watch an episode of Love Island or The Bachelor.
But amidst the visual cesspool that makes up much of modern reality TV, small business owners can find payroll tax tips from some of the most popular shows in recent history like Saturday Night Live, The Mandalorian, Schitt’s Creek, The Sopranos, and Suits – all from the comfort of their living room.
1. Saturday Night Live: (Cold) Open a Payroll Account
The infamous Saturday Night Live cold open is just about as famous as the show. From Alec Baldwin’s Emmy award-winning Donald Trump impressions to Melissa McCarthy’s epic satire of former U.S. press secretary Sean Spicer, SNL knows how to kick things off the right way.
Similarly, small business owners should get their payroll tax started the right way as well by opening a payroll account. If you have already registered for GST/HST program accounts with the CRA, you can just add payroll tax deductions to your existing program accounts.
But if you’re just getting started, you’ll need to get a business number using the Business Registration Online (BRO) Service, by calling the CRA, or mailing Form RC1 to your local tax office.
2. The Mandalorian: Make Sure You Collect
Like the Mandalorian bounty hunter collecting his payment in Disney’s new hit Star Wars TV series, as a small business owner you need to ensure you collect the right information from employees.
Upon hire, make sure you have the correct social insurance number (SIN) and full name exactly as they appear on an employee’s SIN card. Keep an eye out for SINs that start with 9 – that means they’re not a Canadian resident or permanent citizen and you can’t hire them
Once hired, you’ll also want to ensure employees fill out federal and provincial TD1 Forms.
3. Schitt’s Creek: Do Things by the Book
Okay, so getting defrauded out of their family’s video store empire wasn’t exactly their fault, but hey, the Roses ended up with nothing – Schitt’s Creek aside – because things weren’t done appropriately.
Don’t make the mistake of cutting corners and be sure to make the appropriate payroll deductions. As part of this, employers in Canada are typically required to pay income tax, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions, and Employment Insurance premiums.
While you can use the CRA’s online calculator to determine the federal/provincial income tax you need to pay, doing so manually can lead to errors, missed deadlines, and mistakes – something that can be easily prevented and rectified with an easy-to-use online payroll solution like PaymentEvolution.
Before you pay these deductions, make sure to add any taxable benefits to your employees’ pay, which need to be calculated each payroll before any payroll deductions are made. Information on how to do this can be found in the CRA’s Guide T4130.
4. The Sopranos: Give the CRA its Money
We know what happens on The Sopranos when Tony doesn’t get his money…
Now, don’t expect the Canada Revenue Agency to go breaking any legs over late payroll tax remittance, but, jokes aside, like Tony the CRA needs to get its money. To do so, small business owners can choose to remit electronically or through paper and receive statements by mail, but whatever you do the best strategy is to first check out the CRA’s information on remittance and how to correct remittance errors.
5. Suits: Take Care of the Paperwork
In Season 1, Episode 1 of Suits, Rachel – played by Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex – tells Mike that, “They’re trying to bury you in paperwork.” Taking care of the paperwork, the little details, throughout the show proves to be what keeps the top-gun closers ahead at every stage of the legal game.
Just like in Suits, taking care of the T4 paperwork around payroll tax is key for small business owners. T4 slips are required to be filled out and given to an employee by the end of February each year, which can be filled out electronically using the CRA’s web forms or through an online PDF.
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