Catching up on past-due tax returns

Our personal tax services include catching up on tax returns from past years that haven’t been filed yet.

This is a big part of our business! We support our clients through-out the year by preparing past due tax returns. The CRA only requires taxpayers to catch up for the past ten years, but there are advantages to going back more than 10 years.

We see many situations:

  • Individuals who were unable to file their taxes due to medical issues
  • People scared about how much they might owe. In fact, most of our clients end up with refunds!
  • Taxpayers being hassled by the CRA to file delinquent taxes for one or many years
  • The CRA has arbitrarily assessed tax returns by estimating their taxable income and creating large tax liabilities with late filing penalties and accrued interest

The last two situations bother our clients, understandably.

There are multiple benefits to catching up on past due tax returns, including:

  1. People are really afraid of receiving a tax bill that they can’t afford to pay, but according to CRA, about 60% of people who filed a personal income tax return during the 2020 tax-filing season received a refund.  Furthermore, if you do end up owing this year, not only can you make payment arrangements and pay in instalments, you can take steps to avoid owing next year.
  2. You may need the filed tax returns to support an application for a loan or mortgage.
  3. To be eligible for certain rebates, benefits or programs (e.g. child tax credits and benefits, old age security, provincial medical premium assistance, GST/HST refunds, medication payment assistance, nursing home / community or rental living support, etc.) you need to file your income tax because these programs base your eligibility on your previous year’s reported income level. Filing late can also delay receiving your benefits.
  4. Even if you haven’t filed your taxes for a few years, or if you missed the deadline, CRA has programs to help you catch up because eventually, they will notice. A lot of refunds also go unclaimed each year because people didn’t file their income taxes. If you file your returns from previous years and realize that you owe money, it’s better to find that out sooner than later, before the fees, penalties and interest get worse. One program CRA has available is called the Voluntary Disclosure Program, and it is open to those who initiate the process on their own, however, eligibility criteria did change in 2018. The thing to remember is that if CRA contacts you first, things change quickly, not necessarily in your favour.

We can help by working with each client to understand their situation, to facilitate the gathering of tax documents and making suggestions for legitimate deductions to improve their tax situation

We can also file Notices of Objection, and applications under the Voluntary Disclosures Program or the Taxpayer Relief Program. To learn more, please see our Tax Advocacy web page

Professional, helpful, patient – always a pleasure to deal with. Thank you again Randy.

C Herceg

The team at Focused Bookkeeping is truly amazing! Randy is incredibly knowledgeable and can help you with just about anything tax or business related. I started my own business last year and needed a ton of help with setting everything up and Randy was helpful every step of the way! I would recommend Focused Bookkeeping to anyone looking for great personal and professional service.

Jessie R

I have been with Randy for several years now and can say that he makes dealing with taxes as stress-free as dealing with taxes can be.
From my experience, Randy takes a genuine interest in his clients and talks/walks them through what he is doing, at a pace that they can follow and in a kind and patient way. He is happy to answer querstions and his methodical approach let’s me know that I am in good hands. 5 stars across the board.

K Forde
Extremely patient and very professional. Knowing that Randy was looking after my local and foreign tax matters put me at ease as he’s overly competent at conducting his role as a tax agent. 💯 recommend!


K Kovch

I highly recommend Randy Larson for his expertise and for his patience! Thank you, Randy – yet again.

G Symons

I went to see these guys to do my personal taxes. Randy made this process very comfortable, quick, and pain free. He’s a super nice fella too! I would highly recommend them to anyone who is not comfortable doing their own tax prep. I will definitely see him again next year.

Steve H

Focused Tax Strategies were the best tax preparation firm I have ever worked with. They gave me peace of mind and were extremely knowledgeable. I had the privilege to have Randy Larson prepared my tax returns and his friendly manner and professional business etiquette made my experience calm and effortless. I will always do my taxes with Randy now and would tell anyone looking for tax services to go to FOCUSED TAX STRATEGIES…they’re the best!!!

John D

Huge thanks as always for giving us your time and expertise. You make tax time actually enjoyable!

Laura & Ken

You’re awesome! I actually don’t mind the tax season when it rolls around. And I tell my friends about you every year, so expect maybe 2 more recommendations next year!

Adam M, Your Content Goes Here

I love this guy!! Randy is just the warmest and most welcoming ever. We crushed 4 years of taxes in 30 mins, and he was so thorough and professional. He walked me through the whole entire process which I really appreciated. I have never had a better experience doing taxes, and would recommend Randy in a heartbeat.

Jody O

I went to Randy Larson on the recommendation of other yelpers and couldn’t have been more pleased. Randy is friendly and personable. He took the time to thoroughly explain my tax return and answer all of my questions. He took all the stress out of the process. I will definitely be a repeat customer and have already referred him to friends.

Kat D

I only ever had contacted one accountant, and I am glad I chose Focused Bookkeeping. Randy is very knowledgeable, non-judgemental (in terms of me not knowing a lot about what I came to him for help), very positive and on-point. Next time I need help with anything accounting-related, I know where I will go. Thank you!

Simple V

I just had a great experience with Randy! Other reviewers are absolutely right when they say he is extremely kind, friendly and professional. Taxes give me lots of anxiety and Randy’s approach put me at ease. He was very sympathetic with my less than stellar outcome (he double & triple checked the numbers were right!) and helped soften the blow. I will definitely be coming back to see Randy for all my future accounting needs.

Colleen G

This guy is great. He is very knowledgeable about small business and provided me with excellent advice.  He is very personable and patient and he is willing to explain things.. I am so glad I went with Focused Bookkeeping!

Sands D

Couldn’t be more pleased with my experience.  Fast, friendly and professional. Most importantly, I am provided with great peace of mind, knowing my books and tax return are accurate and up to date.

Anami V

Randy was very knowledgeable and extremely helpful with all my questions. I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to doing anything regarding numbers and Randy made the entire process very easy. The icing on the cake- Very personable and truly cares about his clients.

Jill Monohan

If you’re looking for a pain free tax filing experience go to Randy Larson. He’s a seasoned professional that will not only help you with your tax return, he’ll do it on the spot, in 9 minutes, with a kind smile, thoroughly,  and at the right price. I got the peace of mind my return was accurate and also some valuable tips. And he was genuinely “on my side”.

Martin V

The words tax return and wonderful don’t usually go together but in this case they do! Randy saw me without an appointment as he had a cancellation. Helped me file a return that was a little more complicated. Experienced, professional and funny! I can’t recommend highly enough. Thank you!

Lucy H

I had a particularly complicated tax year this year, with new investments, moving back to Canada from abroad, contract work and full-time T4 work. I was totally incapable of managing this on my own. Randy’s website offered quick online booking – no phone call required – and clear listings of what he’d charge me to prepare my taxes. It was a breeze to set up an appointment with him! When we had our first call, I was sure that my situation would take multiple sessions, to which Randy replied, with his charming, sweet demeanor “Nah, let’s just dive right in!” To my surprise, he finished my return in about an hour, and we had a wonderful chat along the way. This was easily some of the best money I’ve EVER spent – he saved me a ton of stress, walked me through the process clearly, and came back with a far better return than I’d expected – and all the while he was patient, friendly, and very sweet. I highly recommend Randy’s services and cannot wait to use him in the future and recommend friends.

Celeste H.