Charitable Sector Reform: CRA Lifts Suspension on Audits and Restriction on Political Activities

The nature of the charitable sector is changing in Canada. On March 7, 2019, the Minister of National Revenue issued four key recommendations for the administration of new rules relating to the political activities of charities. Some in the sector are rejoicing, but others are wondering about the long term impact of the changes. The big news: policy development and discussions relevant to their charitable activities can now can be pursued without limitation, as long as the charitable organization operates […]

Knowledge Bureau Poll: High Tax Refunds Spur Controversy

Is the tax refund a good thing? It’s a question that spurred a great debate in February’s Knowledge Bureau poll when we asked tax and financial professionals whether or not the withholding taxes that lead to a tax refund should be reduced to help taxpayers save or pay down debt. Did the no side or the yes side win? You’ll be surprised by the results. While the votes were split almost down the middle (58% no, 42% yes, from a […]

Flip with Care: Watch Out for Principal Residence Rules

There’s nothing like a good house flipping show to get you thinking about the cash potential in your own home. The house flipper approach is to buy homes, live in them short-term while fixing them up, and then sell them; often for big profits. It sounds simple, but it’s not a foolproof strategy, because it comes with tax risks. When done often, house flipping can raise eyebrows at the CRA. Learn how to flip with care, and understand the principal […]

Don’t Miss the RRSP Contribution Deadline: March 1.

The CRA officially began accepting electronically filed tax returns this week, but you may want to slow down and observe an important tax savings opportunity before you rush to file. Contributions to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) for the 2018 tax year ends on March 1, 2019. Besides reducing your tax bill, you could score even bigger returns: increased refundable and non-refundable tax credits. To contribute, you have to have contribution room, which you can calculate yourself. Earned income […]

Thought Leadership: Five Tips on Building Team Culture

For many organizations – especially those in the tax and financial services – now is the time to build team culture in advance of a busy season of client interaction. Success of the team depends on so many factors including the right skills, processes and evaluation. For leaders of the team, there are five essential steps to building team culture in good times and bad. So just how do you build a team culture that accomplishes maximum participation towards a […]

Changes Coming to Trust Filings

The CRA has been provided funding of $79 million over a five-year period, and $15 million on an ongoing basis, to support the development of an electronic platform for processing T3 returns. The goal: to address the government’s concerns about “significant gaps” in trust filing. By the year 2021, there will be new requirements for filing trust returns, and advisors in tax and financial services will need to come up to speed on this issue. Specifically, certain trusts (including some […]

Helping Seniors: 10% Fail to Receive GIS

According to Statistics Canada*in 2016, 4.9% or 289,000 of 4.9 million seniors in Canada were living in poverty. Yet, more than one in ten seniors who are eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) didn’t receive it in 2016-17. This is a big concern because, in fact, the number of seniors living in poverty is on the rise. So what’s the problem? The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) is designed to assist low-income seniors. Unfortunately, the government says many low-income seniors […]

Getting the New Climate Action Incentive Rebate Right

Canada now has anationwide standard for reducing carbonpollution, which means that starting in 2019, a federal “backstop” carbon pollution pricing system will apply to four provinces – Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick – that have not implemented their own systems. For taxpayers in these provinces, a new refundable tax rebate will be claimed on the 2018 tax return. But, like most tax provisions, it has its wrinkles. The majority of the charges collected from a fuel tax that begins […]

The Tax Refund: Friend or Foe to Wealth Management?

The Statistics Canada’s Individual Income Tax Report*released on January 8, highlighted just how much Canadians are being over-taxed by the CRA. With average tax refunds coming in at $1,757 for the 2018 filing season, many taxpayers are effectively providing the government with interest-free loans of approximately $150 per month for up to 16 months before they see their refund. Just how much is that really costing you? Consider this: $150 a month could help you take advantage of investment opportunities […]

What Else Is New in 2019? Auto Expense Deduction Changes

Did you check your odometer reading at the start of the year? Finance Canada confirmed its 2019 auto expense rates on December 27, but they don’t quite measure up to cover the carbon taxes that increase the cost of driving, including the increased gas prices as of January 1. Those who use passenger vehicles for business will be disappointed that their write-offs haven’t changed at all, unless a new vehicle was purchased after November 20, 2018. Here are the tax […]