Death in the Family: Executors’ Obligations

Year-end can be a particularly difficult time for those who have lost a loved one during the year.  But it’s important to see a tax specialist when someone in the family dies, to file any tax returns that may be outstanding on time, adjust prior-filed returns, and to claim specific tax benefits that can help to pay for end-of-life costs. Filing deadlines. The final tax return, also known as the terminal return, must be received by CRA as follows: Death […]

Missed Prior Returns: 8 Reasons to File Before Year-End

Forget to file a tax return in a previous year? It can pay handsomely to catch up before year-end. Not only can you recover tax refunds CRA may still owe you (that’s the main reason for most), but here are 8 additional reasons to file those missed returns before year-end: To receive missed benefits and credits: The GST/HST Credit, the Canada Child Benefit, the Refundable Medical Expense Supplement, or available refundable provincial tax credits provide generous tax free income sources, […]

Tax Filing Delinquency: 8 Reasons to Catch Up Before Year-End

It pays to file outstanding tax returns before year end, not only to recover refunds that CRA may still owe you, but also to avoid paying penalties and interest that would be charged for gross negligence or in some cases, tax evasion. But also, when you don’t file on time, you miss out on important tax planning opportunities that may end for you on December 31. Here are 8 important reasons to review your return before year-end. To the first […]

Finance Canada Report Raises Eyebrows

Two important economic reports were released in Canada on October 19 and October 23. The former, by the Finance Department has raised eyebrows for its tax and spending increases. The second, from the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, has warned about the effect of negative trade actions on Canada’s GDP. Let’s start with the PBO’s assumptions and projections for the period 2018 to 2020: Investment Climate: The U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will not have a material impact […]

Year-End Tax Tip: Brush Up on Medical Expenses

Claiming medical expenses can be painful for most taxpayers: there are so many receipts and tiny numbers involved. But it can be worthwhile, especially if you schedule your dental and medical treatments in a tax-savvy manner before year-end. Most people know, for example, that they can claim medical expenses for their nuclear family: mom, dad and their minor children. But did you know you can also claim for others who are dependent on you if they are resident in Canada? That […]

Tax Specialization: Soft Skills are Equally Important

There is a very bright future for the tax preparer who makes a great decision to become the Tax Services Specialist of the future. But, to offer the best advice in that regard, tax specialists must have more than precise technical skills. To go beyond the filing of returns and move their offering to a specialized service model, advisors must be prepared to spend more time nurturing their relationships with a multi-stakeholder professional team; that is, with all the people […]

Coming or Going from Canada: Be Tax Compliant

With Canada’s complex tax system, tax and financial advisors who exercise additional diligence to ensure immigrants and emigrants remain tax compliant can offer valuable advice. What tax deductions, credits and filing requirements should you make sure they don’t miss? Part-year Residency. Taxpayers who immigrate to (or emigrate from) Canada are required to file a Canadian tax return to report their world income during the period of the tax year in which they were resident in Canada. This means that immigrants […]

Newcomers Need Advice: Can You Explain Our Complex Tax System?

Our nation’s system is complex even to tax-educated Canadians. Imagine how mind-boggling this must be for newcomers (immigrants and refugees) and returning residents to Canada. There’s opportunity for advisors to work with this vast niche market and become a trusted educator and advocate for these families. Doing so will bring a significant multi-generational wealth management opportunity with this demographic, and the numbers support this. According to Statistics Canada, 20.6 percent of Canada’s total population is foreign born, which represents the […]

Canada Caregiver Credit: The Missing Tax Link

The Canada Caregiver Credit (CCC), new in 2017, is still poorly understood and a complicated tax break to explain. For these reasons, many Canadians have missed claiming it. Tax and financial advisors who really want to help families under medical stress can make a big financial difference will add it to their year-end review and adjust 2017 tax returns for missed claims. The CCC replaced the Family Caregiver Tax Credit, the Caregiver Tax Credit, and the Credit for Infirm Dependants. […]

Worth the Claim: Disability Tax Credits

CRA audit activities extended to those who claim Disability Tax Credits (DTCs), especially diabetics and children with autism, has continued to raise the ire of taxpayers. The $1.3 Billion in tax relief has been inconsistently applied and retroactively disallowed. But if you qualify, you could go back and recover that lucrative tax credit – all the way back to 2008. It’s one of three important tax credits the vast majority of families often miss out on. It’s why I have […]