First Quarter Tax Filing Milestones

It’s time to take note of the tax filing requirements and investment opportunities that arise in the first quarter of 2017: January, February and March. Investors making TFSA and RRSP contributions, as well as interest payments on inter-spousal loans are affected. So are taxpayers who are making quarterly instalment tax remittances. JANUARY – TFSAs: Additional TFSA Contribution Room. An additional $5,500 (indexed) in TFSA contribution room became available to Canadian adult residents on January 1, 2017, providing a total of […]

Worried About Tax Troubles? Apply for Relief

New Year’s resolutions often involve the purging of winter weight, weighty closets or weights on the mind, including the guilt of understating income or overstating expenses or credits on the tax return. Personal trainers or friends can help with the first two goals, but when it comes to CRA, your most important ally is a tax specialist – an investment that can save you large amounts of time and money. If you made an error or omission that the taxman […]

Taxing the Rich: Will the Desired Results Occur?

President-elect Donald Trump will soon celebrate his inauguration and with his ascent to power, he has promised to reduce marginal tax rates, cut taxes, and allow businesses to expense new investments rather than deducting interest costs. In Canada, meanwhile, we await a new federal budget. What happens in the U.S., however, is relevant and could shape future taxation policies in Canada. Top criticisms of the Trump plan: the top beneficiaries of the changes will be the 0.1% with incomes over […]

Tax Tip: Manage Net Income for 2016

Who pays higher marginal tax rates: the executive earning $250,000, or the family that makes do on $60,000? If you said the family, you would be correct. That’s because marginal tax rates are higher in income brackets that are impacted by the clawback of social benefits and tax credits. But when does that happen? For most families, clawbacks start when family net income is around the $30,000 mark. But just how do you determine if your income is too high […]

Moving Soon? Keep Receipts for a Lucrative Deduction

If December is moving month for you, three pieces of advice: tax a deep breath, treat yourself to some extra eggnog, and keep those moving expense receipts handy. They will be worth a lot of money when you file your tax return. To be eligible, the move to your new home must be at least 40 km closer to the new work location than the old home. Generally the move must be within Canada, although students may claim moving expenses […]

Year-End Planning: Reviewing Taxpayer Rights On Appeal

The Auditor General for Canada has recently issued a report on CRA’s appeal process, focusing on whether CRA has been efficient in managing income tax objections. It’s important, says the report, because taxpayers have the right to impartial and timely review of their tax returns in order to avoid significant costs in time and resources when they disagree with CRA. The overall findings were interesting: The report found that CRA took too long to process income tax objectives, contributing to a […]

Millions Suffer From Hearing Loss: Year-End Tax Planning Can Help

According to a recently released study by Statistics Canada, people who are socially isolated are more likely to experience a poor quality of life, morbidity and mortality. Loss of hearing has a big part to play in creating that feeling of isolation, particularly for women. Tax and financial advisors can directly help address the issues with some year-end tax planning. The StatsCan study, by Pamela L. Ramage-Morin, points to some surprising findings based on the 2012-13 year: About 4.5 million […]

Eight Short Snappers: Quick Year-End Tax Planning Tips

There is still plenty of time to look for year-end planning strategies to reduce taxes in 2016 and start 2017 out on a tax-efficient foot. Tax and financial advisors who make time for a planning discussion with families at this time of year may wish to use this checklist of money savers: 1. Investors: Donate Securities. Check non-registered portfolios for securities showing accrued but unrealized gains. Capital gains can be avoided entirely when qualifying securities are transferred to your clients’ […]

Donations of Flow-Through Shares

This is the time of year that high net worth clients are looking for one more tax saving opportunity before year end. Donations of flow-through shares, commonly available from corporations in the oil & gas, mining and renewable energy sectors, will still be allowed. However, many tax and financial advisors will want to brush up on their knowledge of the subject first. Recall that under these arrangements, eligible exploration, development and project start-up expenses may be renounced by the corporation […]

Shore Up Your Tax Knowledge on Offshore Asset Reporting

Year end is a great time to re-engage clients in conversation about financial decision-making, especially for clients with offshore assets who may need to report some of them on Form T1135 Foreign Income Verification. Who must file Form T1135? Canadian residents who own assets abroad must submit a newly enhanced Form T1135 Foreign Income Verification to CRA to disclose whether they had “specified foreign assets” held during the year. The form is required if the total cost of the properties […]