Should You Take Your CPP Early or Late?

Are you thinking about retiring soon? One important consideration in this process is whether you should start your Canada Pension Plan benefits early or late. Now that tax season is over for most people (proprietors have until June 15 to file their returns), this is a question tax specialists and their pre-retiring clients should be discussing sooner rather than later. In fact, anticipating the after-tax consequences of this decision can help spur on broader retirement planning activities. Planning tips to […]

Claim More for Your Child Care Expenses

Post-tax season blues? Not sure if you claimed all the deductions and credits you were entitled to? You’re probably not alone. Many people miss lucrative provisions when filing, but you can request an adjustment to your filed return. One of the most frequently missed deductions for families is the child care expense claim. Parents who claim child care expenses will be happy to know they can claim qualifying expenditures as a deduction. Also, those claims could, in fact, increase the […]

Universal Child Care Benefits Are Subject to Tax for The Last Time

There are a number of omissions that can occur in the rush at the end of tax season. One of them is missing the reporting of income benefits received by families in 2016. It’s important to remember that for the first six months of 2016 the UCCB (Universal Child Care Benefits) were received and they are taxable. That’s a double whammy for many upper-middle-income families who also lost the family income-splitting provisions. There are now no child tax supports at […]

Manitoba Budget Hints at Tax Reform

Manitobans were spared tax increases in the April 11, 2017, budget, but the breadth of change to its complicated and voluminous tax credit structure hints at more tax reforms to come. In a province where 134,000 top earners pay 58% of all personal income taxes, the best news was that the government did not introduce any high-income surtaxes and appeared to be on track to drop 1% of the sales tax by 2020. The worst news was handed to graduates […]

2017 Tax Convictions by CRA Reap Big Penalties and Jail for Some

CRA has been busy announcing new convictions at the start of 2017, a great deterrent for potential tax evaders at the start of tax season. It’s always best to come forward to declare shortfalls in income reporting or overstatements of tax deductions or credits to avoid expensive interest, penalties and potential jail time. Here’s what happened to those who didn’t. . . Here’s what happened to Canada’s most recent tax evaders, as per CRA’s news releases: Vancouver, BC, February 28, […]

CRA Starts Tracking Tax Cheats by Fingerprinting April 1, 2017

It’s no April Fool’s joke: fingerprints of convicted tax cheats will be recorded in the Canadian Police Information Database (CPID), and accessible by Canadian police and border guards as well as some foreign agencies including the US Homeland Security department starting April 1, 2017. The mandatory fingerprinting policy was first reported by the CBC, which uncovered the directives under the Access to Information Act, and Moneysense Magazine. Both reports refer to an internal CRA memo on the matter as well […]

Uber Drivers and Salespeople: Claiming Automobiles is Tricky

What do commissioned sales people and Uber drivers have in common? They each will want to know the difference between an automobile, a passenger vehicle and a motor vehicle, especially if they are keen on claiming all the deductions possible against their income this tax season. Especially when using a car for salaried work, commission sales or self-employment, it pays to file an audit-proof return, as these claims are often audited. An automobile for tax purposes can be either a […]

What Deductions Can Salaried Employees Claim?

Because employers are generally required to pay for the premises, assets and supplies used up by their employees in performing their duties, the employees themselves have few out-of-pocket costs to claim on the tax return. In some cases, the employee will have expenditures, but to claim them, very specific procedures must be followed. For example, the employer, must verify in writing on Form T2200, Declaration of Conditions of Employment, that no expense reimbursement was provided to the employee and that […]

Pre-Budget Analysis: Finance Canada Priorities

A Federal budget date is expected soon after Prime Minister Trudeau and Finance Minister Morneau return from this week’s meetings with the new U.S. administration. Two important reports have been issued recently to provide insight into some of the thinking about risks and responses in our financial world: Finance Canada’s 2016-2017 Report on Plans and Priorities and the Bank of Canada’s January 18, 2017 Monetary Policy Report. Taken together, they provide a good crystal ball on the economic matters that […]

Interest Deductibility Varies on Investment Activities

When can you claim the interest on investment loans? It’s a common question but the answer depends on the investment for which you are borrowing money. In order to claim the interest when you borrow money to invest, your loan must meet three criteria. First, the interest costs must be payable during the taxation year in question. Secondly, those costs must be reasonable. Finally, (and most importantly), the borrowed money must be invested to earn business income (considered to be […]