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Paul S. Hewitt, CPA, CA

TAX │ ACCOUNTING │ ADVISORY

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Tax Preparation

 
I provide a full range of income tax preparation services for individuals, corporations and trusts.  I use state-of-the-art tax preparation software, to ensure accuracy, and all tax returns are carefully checked to ensure your return is complete, accurate and minimizes your tax liability.
 
Tax preparation includes general tax planning advice, free consultations throughout the year and a complete, digital copy of your return.
 
For clients who find it difficult to travel to my office, I offer a free pick-up and delivery service. 

For a no charge consultation to discuss your personal tax needs, contact me by email or by phone.
 
Use my Personal Income Tax Questionnaire to help you gather your tax documents. 
 
 
  
 
 
Tax Audit Representation

 
It is probably the most feared thing for any business person.  The dreaded tax audit.  Each year, the CRA selects a number of businesses and individuals for audit, usually for both income tax and HST.  Taxpayers should never "go it alone" when faced with a tax audit!  Few taxpayers have a sufficient understanding of the law, and tax auditors can easily take advantage of this, to get taxpayers to provide information that undermines their case. 

Without proper representation, auditors often fail to obtain all of the facts and form unreasonable assumptions about the taxpayer's business.  Once an auditor has taken a position, it can be very difficult (and costly) to refute it. 
Consequently, It is extremely important that the auditor arrive at favourable assumptions and accurate facts at the beginning of the audit. 

Professional tax audit representation involves thorough preparation and careful monitoring of all taxpayer-auditor communications, to ensure they are clearly conveyed and supportive of the taxpayer's position.
 
At the end of each audit, the auditor will provide a document outlining the proposed reassessment.  Usually, taxpayers have 30 days to provide additional information to rebut the auditor's proposal.  As an accountant with over 30 years' experience dealing with tax audits, I have the knowledge and experience to present credible evidencecompelling reasons and court case precedents to support taxpayer positions and have auditor proposals abandoned.
 
 
 
  
 
  
 
Tax Appeals

 
Tax authorities can and do make mistakes when processing taxpayer returns.  In many cases, these errors can be corrected informally, through adjustment requests.  However, many aspects of tax law are subject to interpretation, and tax authorities rarely interpret the law in the taxpayer's favour.  In such cases, it is necessary to formally appeal of assessments and reassessments, in the form of a Notice of Objection.  Typically, these appeals involve a review of court case precedents, together with the credible evidence, facts and reasons, to support the taxpayer's position.   Most appeals are resolved at the Objection stage, but if not, the taxpayer can appeal to the courts.  I work with several leading law firms, should it be necessary to take the appeal further.
 
 
 
 
  
  

 

Accounting

A strong accounting system is one that keeps data entry simple and error-free.  It should provide all of the information needed to make sound business decisions, and it should maintain an accurate record of all business transactions, necessary to support tax claims.  With a thorough understanding of most businesses, I help clients set up and maintain strong accounting systems that help them run their businesses.  I am a QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor, able to help any business set up their accounting system and provide appropriate training.

 
With the advent of low cost scanners and software, I help clients maintain paperless document systems that eliminate bulky storage of old documents and make it easier to retrieve documents when needed, especially during audits.
 
I've prepared a Corporate Year-end Checklist to help you gather the documents needed to prepare your year-end financial statements and tax returns.
  
 
  
 
  
Strategic Business Planning
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. 
 
Unfortunately, few businesses actually take the time to document their plans in a business plan!  Some prepare a basic plan when they are seeking financing, but successful businesses prepare a detailed business plan to guide their business decisions and keep updating it as conditions change.  Now, more than ever, conditions can change overnight, requiring businesses to adapt quickly.  A good business plan includes a proactive examination of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT Analysis), and devises strategies to take advantage of opportunities and strengths, to eliminate weaknesses, and to deal with threats when they arise.
 
No outside consultant can prepare a strategic business plan for you.  You know more about your business than anyone else.  So, you must be involved in developing your business plan.  I can help, by guiding you through the process and providing expert opinions, which will lead to a very practical plan that you will be able to use in your day-to-day operation of your business. 
 
In the Resources tab, you can find a great guide to creating a business plan and business plan templates to help you get started. 
 
  
 
 
 
 
Proactive Restaurant Tax Audit Check-up

 
Tax authorities have significantly increased the number of audits and the level of scrutiny, of restaurants and bars.  In addition to 30 years' experience as a chartered accountant, I also have 15 years' hands-on management and ownership of restaurants, which provides me with a thorough understanding of all aspects of restaurant and bar operations. 
 
Tax auditors don't trust restaurateurs to report all of their income and sales taxes.  So, they have developed indirect methods of verifying sales, by using the alcohol purchases and marking them up, based on menu prices.  This calculated figure is the revenue that the auditor expects the restaurant to have generated.  If this calculated figure is higher than the actual sales reported by the restaurant, the auditor considers the difference to be "unreported sales" and charges income and sales taxes on that amount, plus penalties and interest. 
 
Various assumptions are involved in this method.  Typically, auditors develop these assumptions using rough estimates and information obtained from the owner during the initial interview.  The Proactive Restaurant Tax Audit Check-up involves a review of the restaurant's entire operation, including policies and procedures that could result in a tax audit liability.  Detailed recommendations are presented to gather information that will be required as evidence during future audits and to ascertain the appropriate assumptions that the auditor should use.  This information is used to prepare for the initial interview and throughout the audit.