Technology is changing how everything gets done – from how we communicate, to how we shop, to how we drive. Technology is also transforming how business gets done – and the implication is clear: technology can be the key to help you power your prosperity.

But, the constant wave of new technologies can be overwhelming for small businesses to understand, let alone keep up with. In this three-part blog series, we discuss Intuit’s® approach to emerging and advanced technologies. In this third post, Laurie McCabe, co-founder at SMB Group, talks to Bharath Kadaba, senior vice president and chief innovation officer at Intuit, about blockchain and how small businesses could potentially benefit from it in the future.

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Oh yeah: We also have a fresh batch of QuickBooks® Online updates and improvements to add to your May jubilation. There’s a ton of goodies this month, so let’s get right to it!

New! Get paid faster with Progress Invoicing
In a nutshell: Waiting until the end of a long project to get paid stresses the mind — and the bank account. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce Progress Invoicing is here! You can now bill customers for ongoing projects and get paid incrementally as you complete stages of the job.

How it works: When you start a project, you establish an overall estimate, then schedule invoices to go out after completing portions of the work. Or you can also schedule invoices around custom project milestones.

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April 30, 2018 is the 2017 tax filing deadline for most Canadians. If you or your spouse (or partner) were self-employed in 2017, you actually have until June 15, 2018 to file but any taxes owing are still due by the end of this month. That’s why it’s wise for those who are self-employed to complete at least a draft of your return now, to see how much you may owe by April 30.

Here are some things to watch out for as you work through your 2017 return.

Hey, where are those credits?

If you’ve been scouring your 2017 tax return looking for the line in which you enter your kids’ soccer registration fees, you can stop. It’s not there.
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The interest expense when you borrow money, either through your margin account, an investment loan or a line of credit, and use it for the purpose of earning investment income is generally tax deductible.
This tax deduction is important since it can dramatically reduce your true, effective after-tax cost of borrowing. For example, if you live in Nova Scotia, and you pay tax at the top combined federal/provincial marginal tax rate of 54 per cent, your tax cost of borrowing $100,000 for investment purposes, using a secured line of credit at bank prime rate (currently around 3.45 per cent), is only $1,587 annually, assuming the interest is fully tax deductible.

But if you invest the loan proceeds in mutual funds, your tax calculations may become a bit more complicated depending on the type of distributions you receive and whether those distributions are reinvested.
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If you’re an employee and you use your car for work, you may be entitled to write off some of your automobile expenses on your tax return, but only if you meet four conditions.

The four conditions
The first condition for auto expense deductibility is that you are normally required to work away from your employer’s place of business or in different places. Secondly, under your contract of employment, you are required to pay your own automobile expenses. Note that the Canada Revenue Agency’s position is that you are not considered to have paid your own automobile expenses if your employer reimburses you (or you refuse a reimbursement or reasonable allowance from your employer.)

The third condition is that you don’t receive a non-taxable allowance for motor vehicle expenses. Generally, an allowance is non-taxable when it is based solely on a “reasonable per-kilometre rate.”

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