Retirees Need Help Understanding Public Pensions

People can retire at any age, but it is increasingly rare for people to simply go from earning income from employment or self-employment directly to withdrawing income from investments and other sources including pensions. After the financial crisis, and as a result of changing demographics, most people will continue to work well into their 60s and possibly 70s, if they can maintain their health. Close to five million Canadians are reporting Old Age Security (OAS) income today, and over six […]

When Are You In The Business Of Buying and Selling Land?

Lots of people like to dabble in real estate when markets are hot. But there could be an unintended tax issue which could significantly erode wealth. The issue is this: do you hold the property for personal use, or are you in fact in the business of buying and selling real estate? When real estate is held for investment purposes, any income it earns will be “income from property,” generally in the form of rent. Upon disposition of the property, […]

Be a Hero – Be a Tax Pro

If you have ever wanted to be a hero, consider the gratitude that comes from helping business owners understand how to steer clear of trouble on a tax audit or making sure seniors don’t overpay their September 15 or December 15 quarterly tax instalment. This is the happy role of a certified professional tax practitioner – one that features highly valued work that builds clients for life. The most successful tax practitioners are people who love helping people, love learning […]

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Tax Efficiency Boosts Self Sufficiency For Retirees

Tomorrow’s retirees may be well advised to seek help in planning for tax-efficiency in retirement, because their taxes on both income and capital could soon rise and this needs to be taken into account in wealth management. Two recent studies provide insight:  one by the OECD in May 2014,  (  found that there has been a spectacular rise in top income earners in the US and Canada, some of that resulting from favorable taxation policies. The study noted that lower […]

Evelyn Jacks: Back to Retirement Planning School

The fall “back to school” time provides a great opportunity enhance knowledge-based careers. It’s a time to start again, take on a new challenge, get out of your comfort zone, meet new people, reconnect with your best friends. Back to school time is about challenging your potential to add to your “knowledge kit” by setting new goals for achievement. In today’s financial world that’s important because “old” knowledge and skills may not cut it anymore. That could be scary for […]

Average Refund Up to $1655

The interest-free loans Canadians give to their governments keeps rising – it’s up from $1646 in the 2012 tax filing year to $1655 in 2013 – that’s $138 a month that could be going into TFSAs or RRSPs instead. Consider saving $1655 in a TFSA for 40 years at a 3% return: you’ll have close to $128,900 in your savings according to a nifty TFSA calculator from CIBC. Invest that refund into an RRSP first and tax savings of close […]

Ontario Budget: Tax Planning is Critical for High Earners

Retroactive tax hikes hurt family financial plans and make it difficult for them to responsibly plan for their financial futures. Yet, that’s exactly what’s at stake with Ontario’s significant tax hikes on high earners and small business, reintroduced in its budget this week. To preserve wealth in 2014 and offset higher taxation on income, planning to minimize personal tax during work life and at retirement must begin immediately for business owners, employees with higher incomes and, in particular, with executors […]

Business Owners Face CRA Scrutiny

CRA is acting to shore up compliance for small business owners – both tax practitioners and their clients will be engaged in a “Get it Right the First Time” initiative which includes office visits by CRA. Today there are millions of small businesses in Canada. They are led by small business owners of every type: retail store owners, consultants, professionals, commission salespersons, farmers, fishermen, and bed and breakfast owners, all of whom are working hard to make money for their […]

Warm Holiday Counts as Reasonable Medical Expenses?

Should taxpayers be able to deduct travel expenses to warmer climates as medical expense tax credits (METCs) to alleviate pain and suffering? Our legal researcher, Greer Jacks, found an interesting case, Tallon v. The Queen, which considered just that and in the process allowed the taxpayer a lucrative winter holiday bonus. Here’s what happened: The taxpayer suffered from chronic pain and was prescribed by her doctor to live in a warmer climate than Canada can offer in the winter. After […]