tax (21)

Tax Tails Dec 16 2021

It says 1 min read, it’s more like an afternoon. Very interesting, some good perspective. If you are interested in amassing wealth and paying less taxes , you might find some ideas that will work and some that will not . Enjoy

 

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-great-inheritors-how-three-families-shielded-their-fortunes-from-taxes-for-generations

Read more…

Tax Tips 2022

Time flys by so quickly, hard to belive 2022 will soon be with us. Here is some quick tips to help us going forward. ~ Tim

 

https://www.advisor.ca/tax/tax-news/essential-tax-numbers-updated-for-2022/

 

This article was updated on Dec. 8, 2021, to include 2022 numbers.

You have a lot to remember as an advisor, so we’ve assembled this reference list of tax numbers. We’ll update it as things change.

Working clients


Maximum RRSP contribution: The maximum contribution for 2022 is $29,210; for 2021, it’s $27,830. The 2023 limit is $30,780.


TFSA limit: In 2022, the annual limit is $6,000, for a total of $81,500 for someone who has never contributed and has been eligible for the TFSA since its introduction in 2009. The annual limit for 2021 is also $6,000, for a total of $75,500 in room available in 2021 for someone who has been eligible since 2009.


Maximum pensionable earnings: For 2022, the maximum pensionable earnings amount is $64,900 (up from $61,600 in 2021), and the basic exemption amount remains $3,500 for 2021 and 2022.


Maximum EI insurable earnings: The maximum annual insurable earnings (federal) for 2022 is $60,300, up from $56,300 in 2021.


Lifetime capital gains exemption: The lifetime capital gains exemption is $913,630 in 2022, up from $892,218 in 2021.


Low-interest loans: The current family loan rate is 1%.


Home buyers’ amount: Did your client buy a home? He or she may be able to claim up to $5,000 of the purchase cost, and get a non-refundable tax credit of up to $750.


Medical expenses threshold: For the 2022 tax year, the maximum is 3% of net income or $2,479, whichever is less. For 2021, the max is 3% or $2,421.


Basic personal amount: The basic personal amount for 2022 is $14,398 for taxpayers with net income of $155,625 or less. At income levels above $155,625, the basic personal amount is gradually clawed back until it reaches $12,719 for net income of $221,708. The basic personal amount for 2021 ranges from $12,421 to $13,808.


Older clients


Age amount: Clients can claim this amount if they were 65 years of age or older on Dec. 31 of the taxation year. The maximum amount they can claim in 2022 is $7,898, up from $7,713 in 2021.


OAS recovery threshold: If your client’s net world income exceeds $81,761 in 2022 or $79,845 in 2021, he or she may have to repay part of or the entire OAS pension.

Clients with children, dependants


Canada caregiver credit: If you have a dependant under the age of 18 who’s physically or mentally impaired, you may be able to claim up to an additional $2,350 in 2022 and $2,295 for 2021 in calculating certain non-refundable tax credits. For infirm dependants 18 or older, the amount for 2022 is $7,525 and the 2021 amount is $7,348.


Disability amount: The amount for 2022 is $8,870 (non-refundable credit; $8,662 in 2021), with a supplement up to $5,174 for those under 18 (the amount is reduced if child care expenses are claimed; $5,053 in 2021).


Child disability benefit: The child disability benefit is a tax-free benefit of up to $2,985 (2022) for families who care for a child under 18 with a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions. For 2021, the amount is $2,915.


Canada child benefit: In 2022, the maximum CCB benefit is $6,997 per child under six and up to $5,903 per child aged six through 17. In 2020, those amounts are $6,833 per child under six and up to $5,765 per child aged six through 17.

Read more…

Year Tax Notes from Cantax

Tax consequences of employer holiday gifts and bonuses (December 2021)
December 6, 2021

During the month of December, it’s customary for employers to provide something “extra” for their employees, by way of a holiday gift, a year-end bonus, or an employer-sponsored social event. Once again this year, as in 2020, there is unlikely to be an annual office holiday party; however, employees may still be able to look forward to something additional in the way of compensation during the last month of the year. In fact, given the current labour shortage and the difficulties employers are having attracting and retaining employees, there may be an added incentive for employers to show their appreciation to current employees by means of a holiday gift or bonus.

What such employers certainly don’t want to do is to create a tax liability for their employees. Unfortunately, it’s also the case that a failure to properly structure such gifts or other extras can result in unintended and unwelcome tax consequences to those employees.

Trying to formulate and administer the tax rules around holiday gifts is something of a no-win situation for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). On an individual or even a company level, the amounts involved are usually small, or even nominal, and the range of situations which must be addressed by the related tax rules are virtually limitless. As a result, the cost of drafting and administering those rules can outweigh the revenue generated by the enforcement of such rules, to say nothing of the potential ill will generated by imposing tax consequences on holiday gifts or parties. Notwithstanding, the potential exists for employers to provide what would otherwise be taxable remuneration in the guise of holiday gifts, and it’s the responsibility of the tax authorities to ensure that such situations don’t slip through the tax net.

There is, as a result, a detailed set of rules which outline the tax consequences of gifts and awards provided by the employer. The starting point for the rules is that any gift (cash or non-cash) received by an employee from his or her employer at any time of the year is considered to constitute a taxable benefit, to be included in the employee’s income for that year. On its website, the CRA indicates that the following types of gifts/bonuses/reimbursements will result in a taxable benefit to the employee:

cash or near-cash gifts and awards such as Christmas or holiday bonuses or near-cash gifts and awards such as gift certificates;
points that can be redeemed for air travel or other rewards; or an internal points system where an employee earns points and can redeem them for items from a catalogue;
reimbursements from an employer to an employee for a gift or an award that the employee selected, paid for, and then provided a receipt to the employer for reimbursement; and
hospitality rewards such as employer-provided team building lunches and rewards in the nature of a thank you for doing a good job.
While the above listing may seem comprehensive, the CRA does make an administrative concession in this area, allowing non-cash gifts (within a specified dollar limit) to be received tax-free by employees, as long as such gifts are given on religious holidays such as Christmas or Hanukkah, or on the occasion of a significant life event, like a birthday, marriage, or the birth of a child.

In sum, the CRA’s administrative policy is simply that non-cash gifts to an arm’s length employee, regardless of the number of such gifts, will not be taxable if the total fair market value of all such gifts (including goods and services tax or harmonized sales tax) to that employee is $500 or less annually. The total value over $500 annually will be a taxable benefit to the employee, and must be included on the employee’s T4 for the year, and on which income tax must be paid.

It’s important to remember the “non-cash” criterion imposed by the CRA, as the $500 per year administrative concession does not apply to what the CRA terms “cash or near-cash” gifts and all such gifts are considered to be a taxable benefit and included in income for tax purposes, regardless of amount. For this purpose, the CRA considers anything which could be easily converted to cash as a “near-cash” gift. Even a gift or award which cannot be converted to cash will be considered to be a near-cash gift if, in the CRA’s words, it “functions in the same way as cash”. So, a gift card or gift certificate which can be used by the employee to purchase his or her choice of merchandise or services would be considered a near-cash gift, and taxable as such. It’s not hard to see that drawing a firm line between cash and non-cash gifts can be difficult. The CRA provides the following information and examples to help clarify that difference.

Example of a near-cash gift or award
You give your employee a $100 gift card of gift certificate to a department store. The employee can use this to purchase whatever merchandise or service the store offers. We consider the gift card or gift certificate to be an additional remuneration that is a taxable benefit for the employee because it functions in the same way as cash.

Example of non-cash gifts or awards
You give your employee a voucher (which may be a ticket or certificate) that entitles the employee to receive an item for a set value at a store. For example, you may give your employees a voucher for a turkey valued up to $30 as a Christmas gift, and for convenience, you arrange for your employees to go to a particular grocery store and exchange the voucher for a turkey. The employees can only use the voucher to receive a turkey valued up to $30 (no substitutes).

It may seem nearly impossible to plan for employee holiday gifts and other benefits without running afoul of one or more of the detailed rules and administrative policies surrounding the taxation of such gifts and benefits. However, designing a tax-effective plan is possible, if the following rules are kept in mind.

Any cash or near-cash gifts should be avoided, as they will, no matter what the amount, create a taxable benefit to the employee. Although gift certificates or pre-paid credit cards are a popular choice, they aren’t a tax-effective one, as they will invariably be considered by the CRA to create a taxable benefit to the employee.

Where non-cash holiday gifts are provided to employees, gifts with a value of up to $500 can be received free of tax. The employer must be mindful of the fact that the $500 limit is a per-year and not a per-occasion limit. Where the employee receives non-cash gifts with a total value of more than $500 in any one taxation year, the portion over $500 is a taxable benefit to the employee.

While the rules around employer gifts aren’t complex, they are detailed, and it’s necessary to consider carefully the kinds of gifts which are given and to be mindful of the annual $500 per employee limit on non-cash gifts. At the end of the day, a gift which results in unintended and unwanted tax consequences is unlikely to engender much holiday spirit or goodwill on the part of the employee who receives it.

The information presented is only of a general nature, may omit many details and special rules, is current only as of its published date, and accordingly cannot be regarded as legal or tax advice. Please contact our office for more information on this subject and how it pertains to your specific tax or financial situation.

 

The tax year is ending - some planning steps to take before December 31 (December 2021)
December 6, 2021

For individual Canadian taxpayers, the tax year ends at the same time as the calendar year. What that means for individual Canadians is that any steps taken to reduce their tax payable for 2021 must be completed by December 31, 2021. (For individual taxpayers, the only significant exception to that rule is registered retirement savings plan contributions; with some exceptions, such contributions can be made any time up to and including March 1, 2022, and claimed on the return for 2021.)

While the remaining time frame in which tax planning strategies for 2021 can be implemented is only a few weeks, the good news is that the most readily available of those strategies don’t involve a lot of planning or complicated financial structures — in many cases, it’s just a question of considering the timing of steps which would have been taken in any event. What follows is a listing of some of the steps which should be considered by most Canadian taxpayers as the year end approaches.

Charitable donations
The federal government and all of the provincial and territorial governments provide a tax credit for donations made to registered charities during the year. In all cases, to claim a credit for a donation in a particular tax year, that donation must be made by the end of that calendar year — there are no exceptions.

There is, however, another reason to ensure donations are made by December 31. The credit provided by each of the federal, provincial, and territorial governments is a two-level credit, in which the percentage credit claimable increases with the amount of donation made. For federal tax purposes, the first $200 in donations is eligible for a non-refundable tax credit equal to 15% of the donation. The credit for donations made during the year which exceed the $200 threshold is, however, calculated as 29% of the excess. For the minority of taxpayers who have taxable income (for 2021) over $216,511, charitable donations above the $200 threshold can receive a federal tax credit of 33%.

As a result of the two-level credit structure, the best tax result is obtained when donations made during a single calendar year are maximized. For instance, a qualifying charitable donation of $400 made in December 2021 will receive a federal credit of $88 ($200 × 15% + $200 × 29%). If the same amount is donated, but the donation is split equally between December 2021 and January 2022, the total credit claimable is only $60 ($200 × 15% + $200 × 15%), and the 2022 donation can’t be claimed until the 2022 return is filed in April 2023. And, of course, the larger the donation in any one calendar year, the greater the proportion of that donation which will receive credit at the 29% level rather than the 15% level.

It’s also possible to carry forward, for up to 5 years, donations which were made in a particular tax year. So, if donations made in 2021 don’t reach the $200 level, it’s usually worth holding off on claiming the donation and carrying forward to the next year in which total donations, including carryforwards, are over that threshold. Of course, this also means that donations made but not claimed in any of the 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, or 2020 tax years can be carried forward and added to the total donations made in 2021, and the aggregate then claimed on the 2021 tax return.

When claiming charitable donations, it’s possible to combine donations made by oneself and one’s spouse and claim them on a single return. Generally, and especially in provinces and territories which impose a high-income surtax — currently, Ontario and Prince Edward Island — it makes sense for the higher income spouse to make the claim for the total of charitable donations made by both spouses. Doing so will reduce the tax payable by that spouse and thereby minimize (or avoid) liability for the provincial high-income surtax.

Claiming home office expenses
As pandemic restrictions have eased and lockdowns ended, some employees have begun to return to the office on at least a part-time basis. However, there’s no question that millions of employees have spent at least a part of the 2021 tax year working from home. There are a lot of benefits to a work from home arrangement, and one of them is the ability to claim a tax deduction on the 2021 tax return for household costs that would have been incurred in any event.

In order to claim a deduction for costs related to a work from home space, employees must meet at least one of the following conditions:

the home work space is where the individual mainly (more than 50% of the time) does their work; or
the individual uses the workspace only to earn his or her employment income—he or she must also use it on a regular and continuous basis for meeting clients, customers, or other people in the course of his or her employment duties.
To establish that the required circumstances exist, and that the employee is not receiving an allowance or a reimbursement for home office expenses from the employer, it’s necessary to have a particular form completed and signed by that employer. That form, the T2200, can be found on the CRA website at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/forms/t2200.html.

Once the requisite criteria are met, and certified by the employer on the T2200, a broad range of costs become deductible by the employee. Specifically, a salaried employee can claim and deduct the part of specified costs that relate to his or her work space, such as the cost of electricity, heating, home maintenance, and home internet access (but not internet connection) fees.

Where an individual who qualifies under either of the criteria outlined above is a commission employee, an even broader range of costs become deductible. In addition to costs for electricity, heating, home maintenance, and home internet access fees, a commission employee can also deduct a proportionate share of costs incurred for property taxes and home insurance.

There is no specific formula provided for determining the proportion of eligible costs which can be deducted for qualifying home office expenses. The employee can determine that percentage based on the square footage of the workspace as a percentage of the overall square footage of the home, or he or she can make that calculation based on the number of rooms in the house or apartment relative to the number of rooms used for work-related purposes. Whichever method is chosen, the most important consideration is that the approach taken (and the expenses claimed) be reasonable. In all cases, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) can ask the taxpayer to provide documentation and support for claims made.

In order to determine the amount of any deduction for eligible home office expenses which can be claimed on the return for 2021, it’s necessary to gather together bills and receipts for the various expense categories (utilities bills, property tax notices, etc.). It’s a tedious and sometimes time-consuming task, but necessary both in order to determine the amount of any available deduction and to have the required documentation for that deduction available should the CRA ask to see it. The T2200 signed by the employer does not have to be filed with the return but should also be kept as part of that documentation.

It should be noted that, for the 2020 tax year, the CRA permitted employees working from home to claim a home office deduction without the need to obtain a T2200 from the employer, or to calculate and document specific expenses as outlined above. However, when that administrative concession was announced, the CRA indicated that it was to be made available for the 2020 taxation year only. There has been no indication to date that such concession will be provided for 2021; consequently, employees should assume that, in order to claim a deduction for home office expenses for 2021, it will be necessary to follow the detailed steps outlined above.

Reviewing tax instalments for 2021
Millions of Canadian taxpayers (particularly the self-employed and retired Canadians) pay income taxes by quarterly instalments, with the amount of those instalments representing an estimate of the taxpayer’s total liability for the year.

The final quarterly instalment for this year will be due on Wednesday December 15, 2021. By that time, almost everyone will have a reasonably good idea of what his or her income and deductions will be for 2021 and so will be in a position to estimate what the final tax bill for the year will be, taking into account any tax planning strategies already put in place, as well as any RRSP contributions which will be made before March 1, 2022. While the tax return forms to be used for the 2021 year haven’t yet been released by the CRA, it’s possible to arrive at an estimate by using the 2020 form. Increases in tax credit amounts and tax brackets from 2020 to 2021 will mean that using the 2020 form will likely result in a slight overestimate of tax liability for 2021.

Once one’s tax bill for 2021 has been calculated, that figure should be compared to the total of tax instalments already made during 2021 (that figure can be obtained by checking one’s online tax account on the CRA website, or by calling the CRA’s Individual Income Tax Enquiries line at 1-800-959-8281). Depending on the result, it may then be possible to reduce the amount of the tax instalment to be paid on December 15 — and thereby free up some additional funds for the inevitable holiday spending!

The information presented is only of a general nature, may omit many details and special rules, is current only as of its published date, and accordingly cannot be regarded as legal or tax advice. Please contact our office for more information on this subject and how it pertains to your specific tax or financial situation.

 

Canada Revenue Agency announces individual tax brackets and credit amounts for 2022

November 22, 2021

 

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has released the indexing factor which will apply for purposes of determining individual income tax brackets and non-refundable tax credits for 2022.

That indexing factor, which is based on increases to the Consumer Price Index, has be set at 2.4% for 2022. The comparable figure for 2021 was 1%.

 A full listing of individual income tax brackets and non-refundable credit amounts for 2022 can be found on the CRA website at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/frequently-asked-questions-individuals/adjustment-personal-income-tax-benefit-amounts.html.

 

 

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Bookkeeping

The one word that is critical to staying organized with your business and frankly if you were in tune with this in your personal life, you would be better off as well 

Will get a few resources and future considerations in here and comments to help you tackle this critical word 

Your not alone 

It's more than just numbers  - TLR


https://www.xero.com/ca/resources/one-step/

 

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Efile Association of Canada

We have been a member of the association over the years, I served as a director for a few years, was a great experience. 

 

 

EFILE CHANGES FOR 2021/22

  • * Full roll out of Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) system with optional Passcode Grid;
  • * Ability to electronically file previous year returns is expanding, now current year plus previous four years (up from previous three years);
  • * Years available for Auto Fill My Return is expanding;
  • * Change to T1 and T2 default method of correspondence;
  • * EFiling of T3 Trust returns begins;
  • * Use of Electronic Signatures for T183 continues for 2022;
  • Confirm my Representative system rollout;
  • * EFile opens Feb 21, 2022

https://efile.ca/home/

Read more…

Tax Planner Thoughts for 2022

http://www.canadian-accountant.com/content/practice/tax-topics-we-re-thinking-about-this-fall

 

"The Liberals have indicated they would continue to move forward with plans to allow Canadian controlled private corporations to immediately deduct up to $1.5 million of "growth investments" announced in their 2021 budget (see here for a budget commentary).

The Conservatives propose providing a 5% investment tax credit for any capital investment made in 2022 and 2023, with the first $25,000 to be refundable for small businesses and a 25% tax credit on amounts of up to $100,000 that Canadians personally invest in a small business over the next two years.

Both the Liberals and Conservatives also propose additional tax credits/incentive to encourage investment in green technology and businesses.

As a result, 2022 may be a good year for businesses to consider making significant capital investments, especially "green" ones. Businesses may be able to take advantage of this by planning their own capital expenditures or by selling their products and services to clients who are making capital expenditures."

 

Are Business Owners' Affairs In Order?

As indicated above, the Liberals certainly, but also even the Conservatives, are talking about increasing CRA scrutiny, especially of the "wealthy." As detailed here, starting this year there are increased reporting requirements for trusts, and as detailed here, there is a general trend towards additional corporate disclosure requirements. All this suggests scrutiny of businesses and their owners at a higher level than ever before.

Tax legislation has also changed significantly over the last decade and the last two years have been chaotic, resulting in many business and personal changes.

Given all of the above, we suspect that many corporate structures and estate plans may now be dated and due for a review.

Read more…

Possible Tax Changes After 2021 Election

https://www.advisor.ca/news/economic/what-another-liberal-minority-means-for-clients/

Notes from Article

On the tax side, the Liberals may move on a promise from the 2019 election campaign: the luxury tax. Just before the election call in August, the Department of Finance announced consultations on the design of the new tax that would apply on the sale of new luxury cars and aircraft with a retail sale price of more than $100,000, and new boats that cost more than $250,000.

They also pledged to increase Canada Revenue Agency resources by up to $1 billion per year to combat “aggressive tax planning and tax avoidance” and close the tax gap. Top earners would face a 15% minimum tax that would remove their “ability to artificially pay no tax through excessive use of deductions and credits,” the Liberal platform said. The tax is projected to raise $1.7 billion over five years.

For clients with disabilities, look for the Liberals to move on a Canada disability benefit, a direct monthly payment for low-income Canadians with disabilities aged 18 to 64. The Liberals tabled legislation for the new benefit the day before Parliament rose in June, and it would need to be reintroduced in a new Parliament.

The Liberals also said they would review the Disability Tax Credit and other federal benefits and programs to make sure they’re accessible to those experiencing mental health challenges.

On housing, prospective buyers may soon be able to access a new tax-sheltered savings account. The Liberals’ proposed First Home Savings Account would combine features of an RRSP and a TFSA to help Canadians under 40 build a down payment of up to $40,000 faster.

The party also said it would double the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit; introduce an “anti-flipping tax” on the speculation of residential homes, requiring property to be held for at least 12 months; ban new foreign ownership of Canadian houses for the next two years; and implement a 1% annual tax on vacant housing owned by non-resident non-Canadians (Finance launched consultations on the measure, proposed in the 2021 budget, just before the election).

Real estate investments could also face greater scrutiny. The Liberals campaigned to review the tax treatment of large corporate owners of residential properties like REITs and implement policies to “curb excessive profits.”

Another minority government

Because the Liberals failed to win their coveted majority, they will again have to rely on support from other parties to govern. When it came to spending, the Liberals had no trouble passing pandemic measures, and the Conservatives campaigned on similar deficits. A report released last week from Rebekah Young, director of fiscal and provincial economics with Scotiabank Economics, noted policy convergence in the campaign with “a bias towards more spending” and “largely non-existent” fiscal anchors.

The Liberals may need support in Parliament from the NDP, which campaigned on higher corporate taxes — including a temporary 15% “excess profit tax” related to pandemic gains — as well as a wealth tax and a capital gains inclusion rate of 75%.

Here are other Liberal pledges that may interest clients should they come to pass:

  • A “career extension tax credit” for working seniors. Canadians over 65 who earn at least $5,000 at their jobs will be able to eliminate tax payable on a portion of their income and receive a tax credit of up to $1,650. (Quebec has a credit like this for people over 60.)
  • An extension of the home expense deduction for those working from home, with the deductible amount increased to $500 without receipts.
  • A new national agency to investigate financial crimes that brings together the RCMP, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre and the CRA.
  • A modernized general anti-avoidance rule regime to prevent banks and insurance companies from using “tiered structures as a form of corporate tax planning that flows Canadian-derived profit through entities in low-tax jurisdictions in order to reduce taxes back in Canada.”
  • The elimination of flow-through shares for oil, gas, and coal projects to promote the transition to a net-zero economy.
  • A one-time tax deduction for health-care professionals in first three years of practice of up to $15,000.
  • An expanded Canada Caregiver Credit which would become a refundable, tax-free benefit.
  • Increase the guaranteed income supplement by $500 for single seniors and $750 for couples starting at age 65.
  • Double the Home Accessibility Tax Credit to $20,000.
  • Establish a single, independent ombudsperson with the authority to impose binding arbitration to handle consumer complaints involving banks.
  • Enhance the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s powers to review the prices charged by banks, and implement changes if they’re excessive.
Read more…

CRA Help Is Just A Call Away

Maybe it will work, we often find it takes 3-6 hours to get through to CRA for questions regarding a clients tax returns. Nice the government is making the effort to redirect resources to the highest priorities, those that probably do not need the help. Looking at the list, it's a big list of help.  Have fun :)  

 

Date issued: Feb 22, 2021

 Let us help you with your taxes!

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is offering a free service called File my Return that lets you file your 2020 income tax and benefit return quickly and securely over the phone. We sent you this letter as we believe you are eligible for the service.

All you need to do is confirm the information we have in our records below and provide some additional information over the phone to make sure you get all the deductions and credits to which you are entitled. During the call you will be asked questions. In most cases, you will need to press 1 for yes and 2 for no. At the end of the call you will be asked to confirm. This will allow the CRA to accept your answers and process your tax return. This call will take from 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

We hope you find this service helpful.

In order to use the File my Return service, you need to take the following steps.

Step 1 - Determine if you qualify:

Confirm that the following information is correct.

Part A - Identification:

- Your marital status did not change in 2020
- Your province/territory of residence did not change in 2020
- Your address has not changed
- You did not own foreign property worth more than $100,000 in Canadian funds
- You did not sell your principal residence in 2020

Part B - 2020 Income:

You only have income from one or more of the following sources:

Benefits
- Old Age Security - T4A(OAS)
- Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) / Net Federal Supplements - T4A(OAS)
- Canada or Quebec Pension Plan benefits (including disability benefits) - T4A(P)

Employment and related income supports
- Statement of Remuneration Paid - T4
- Employment Insurance Benefits - T4E
- Workers' Compensation Benefits - T5007
- Social Assistance Payments - T5007
- Canada Emergency Benefits declared on the Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income - T4A

Investment income
- Statement of Investment Income, Interest Income only - T5 (box 13)

If you have income from any source other than those listed above, please do not use File my Return.

Note: You also cannot use File my Return if you:
- want to stop contributing to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
- want to cancel a previous contribution to the CPP
- have tax exempt income
- are claiming an RRSP deduction, carrying charges and interest expenses, other employment expenses, or a clergy residence deduction

If all of the information in Parts A and B is correct, you are eligible to use the File my Return service and will continue to Step 2.

If anything in Parts A or B is not correct, you are not eligible to use File my Return this year, but you may:

- File online using certified tax-filing software, some of which are free. Learn more at canada.ca/netfile.
- Get help to file your return through our Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. For more information about the program, go to canada.ca/taxes-help.

Step 2 - Get your information ready:

Before you call us, you will need:

1. your social insurance number
2. your date of birth
3. the information you need to apply for benefits and credits, as applicable (You will find an asterisk (*) next to the information that you will need to provide over the phone.)
4. your spouse's net income, if married or common-law

Note: All references to spouse refer to your spouse or common-law partner, whichever applies. The spousal net income amount is used in the calculation of the Canada child benefit, the goods and services tax / harmonized sales tax credit, the social benefits repayment, and certain federal and provincial credits. Report this amount, even if it is zero.

Step 3 - File my Return call:

This service opens on Monday, February 22, 2021, at 12 pm, Eastern Time. When you are ready, call us at 1-800-959-1110. You will be prompted to provide information from Step 2.

You can hang up at any time during the call. If you do that, your information will be not be saved and your return will not be filed.

For individuals who are residents of Québec, the service only completes the federal portion of the income tax and benefit return. The Québec provincial tax return is handled separately by Revenu Québec, and will need to be filed separately.

If you have any questions about the File my Return service, you can call our individual enquiries line at 1-800-959-8281 or go to canada.ca/file-my-return.

Thank you for using File my Return. All you need to do now is wait a few days for your notice of assessment!

Information we need to calculate your benefits and credits

During your call you will be prompted to answer questions to claim the benefits and credits listed below. Review the questions carefully to ensure they apply to you and ensure you have this information with you when you call. You will find an asterisk (*) next to the information you will need to provide over the phone.

Ontario trillium benefit

You may be eligible for the Ontario trillium benefit (OTB), which includes the following credits:

- Ontario sales tax credit
- Ontario energy and property tax credit
- Northern Ontario energy credit

You must be eligible for at least one of these credits to receive the OTB.

The 2021 OTB payments will be issued monthly, from July 2021 to June 2022. However, you can choose to wait until June 2022 to get your 2021 OTB in one payment, instead of receiving it monthly.

During the call you will be asked if you want to receive your OTB benefit in one payment at the end of the benefit year, in June of next year, instead of receiving it monthly. To choose one payment, press 1 for yes or 0 for no. If your 2021 OTB is $360 or less, we will issue one payment in July 2021.

Ontario senior homeowners' property tax grant

You may also be eligible for the Ontario senior homeowners' property tax grant (OSHPTG) for 2021 if, on December 31, 2020, you met both of the following conditions:

- you were at least 64 years of age or older
- you owned and occupied a principal residence in Ontario that you, or someone on your behalf, paid property tax on for 2020

Information required to claim these benefits

If you are married or common law, only one of you can claim these benefits. However, if you and your spouse or common-law partner occupied separate principal residences for medical reasons on
December 31, 2020 you can apply individually or as a couple.

If you are claiming the OTB and/or the OSHPTG, gather the information below about your principal residence before you call:

* Enter the total rent paid (including amounts paid to a private long-term care home)

* Enter the total property tax paid

* Enter the total energy costs paid, if you lived on a reserve

* Enter the total accommodation costs paid to a public, or non-profit, long-term care home

Ontario seniors' public transit tax credit

You may be eligible to claim the refundable Ontario seniors' public transit tax credit, if you met all of the following conditions:

- you were 65 years or older on December 31, 2019
- you were a resident of Ontario at the end of the year
- you paid for eligible public transit services that you used in 2020

An eligible public transit service is one that is operated by the Government of Ontario or one of its municipalities, that is:

- a short-haul service an individual typically uses for a single return trip
- offered to the general public
- operated by bus, subway, train or tram

Specialized transit services that are designed to transport people with disabilities are also eligible even if they do not meet the criteria for eligible public transit services.

You can claim the Ontario seniors' public transit tax credit for qualifying payments you made for the use of eligible public transit services in 2020. A qualifying payment is an amount paid for:

- a public transit pass for a set number of rides in at least one day
- a public transit pass for an unlimited number of rides
- an electronic payment card
- a single-use ticket or token if a receipt was issued
- cash fare for specialized transportation services offered to people with disabilities if a receipt was issued

Did you take public transit in 2020? If yes, you will need to gather the information below before you call:

* Enter the total transit costs (the amount you paid in 2020 to use Ontario public transit services)

Climate action incentive

The climate action incentive (CAI) is a refundable amount that can be claimed when filing your return. The CAI can only be claimed for your family by you, your spouse or common-law partner, but not both of you.

You can claim the CAI for you and your family if you were a resident of Ontario on December 31, 2020, and you met any of the following conditions:

- you were 18 years of age or older
- you had a spouse or a common-law partner
- you were a parent who lived with your child

You can also claim the CAI for a qualified dependant who was under 18 years of age and resided with you on December 31, 2020Qualified dependants include:

- your child or your spouse's or common-law partner's child or
- a person who was dependent on either one of you for support

A person is not a qualified dependant if they were:

- married or living common-law
- a parent who lived with their child on December 31, 2020

In a shared custody situation, only one claim can be made for each child. You cannot split the amount for a qualified dependant with another person.

You cannot claim the CAI if you meet any of the conditions below. In addition, you cannot claim the CAI for your spouse, common-law partner, or a dependant if they meet any of these conditions:

- were non-residents of Canada at any time in 2020
- were confined to a prison or a similar institution for a period of at least 90 days during 2020
- do not have to pay tax in Canada at any time in 2020 because either of you were an officer or a servant of the government of another country, such as a diplomat, or a family member who resided with such a person, or an employee of such a person
- were a person for whom a children's special allowance was payable at any time in 2020
- passed away before April 1, 2021

Depending on your situation, you may be prompted to answer up to 5 questions, entering Yes or No or entering a number. Based on your answers, you could get:

$300 for yourself
$150 for your eligible spouse or common-law partner
$150 if you are a single parent and have a qualified dependant
$ 75 for each qualified dependant

If you resided anywhere in Ontario that is outside of the Barrie, Belleville, Brantford, Greater Sudbury,Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, London, Oshawa, the Ontario part of Ottawa-Gatineau, Peterborough, St. Catharines-Niagara, Thunder Bay, Toronto or Windsor census metropolitan area as defined by Statistics Canada, your climate action incentive will include a 10% supplement.

For more information or to determine if you qualify, contact us at 1-800-959-8281.

Canada workers benefit

The Canada workers benefit (CWB) is a refundable tax credit that provides tax relief for eligible low-income individuals and families who are in the workforce. The CWB includes a disability supplement for individuals who have an approved Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, on file with the CRA.

You may be eligible to claim the CWB, if you met all of the following conditions in 2020:

- you were a resident of Canada throughout the year
- you earned income from employment
- at the end of the year, you were 19 years of age or older, or you resided with your spouse or common-law partner, or your child

You cannot claim the CWB for 2020 if any of the following applies to you:

- you were enrolled as a full-time student at a designated educational institution for a total of more than 13 weeks in the year, unless you had an eligible dependant at the end of the year
- you were confined to a prison or similar institution for a period of 90 days or more during 2020
- you do not have to pay tax in Canada because you were an officer or a servant of the government of another country, such as a diplomat, or a family member or an employee of such a person

Note: If you had an eligible spouse, only one of you can claim the basic CWB. The person who received the CWB advance payments for 2020 is the person who must claim the basic CWB for the year. If you had an eligible dependant, only one person can claim the basic CWB for that eligible dependant.

An eligible spouse is a person who meets all the following conditions:

- was your cohabiting spouse or common-law partner on December 31, 2020
- was a resident of Canada throughout 2020
- was not considered ineligible due to any of the conditions in the "You cannot claim" section above

An eligible dependant is a person who meets all the following conditions:

- was your or your spouse's or common-law partner's child
- was under 19 years of age and lived with you on December 31, 2020
- was not eligible for the CWB for 2020

You can claim the basic CWB if your working income or the total of your and your eligible spouses' working income is more than $3,000.

If you had an eligible spouse and one of you is eligible for the disability tax credit, that person should claim both the basic CWB and the CWB disability supplement. If you had an eligible spouse and both of you are eligible for the disability tax credit, only one of you can claim the basic CWB. To be eligible for the CWB disability supplement, your working income must be more than $1,150.

The maximum payment you can expect to receive from the CWB is dependent on the province you live in.

If you are eligible for the CWB disability supplement, it will be automatically included for you if you qualify. Depending on your situation, you may be prompted to answer up to three questions, entering yes or no. If you are claiming an eligible spouse, you will need the following information before you call:

* Enter your spouse's employment income.

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FAQ 2021

https://www.ratehub.ca/investing/rrsp-rules

There is a maximum age for RRSPs. When Canadians reach the age of 71 they must close down their RRSPs at the end of the calendar year. Those who have RRSPs have three options when they reach 71. They can:

  • Collapse the RRSP entirely. In practice, this means withdrawing all the money in the account
  • Use the money in the RRSP to purchase what’s known as an annuity
  • Convert the RRSP into a RRIF

 

You can not invest directly into a RIF, it has to flow through an RSP. So if your older than 71, you can not contribute to a RSP and so you can not shelter money into a RIF either. 

 

One can invest into a TFSA at these ages though. 

 

 For some tax tips for 2020

https://improvingfutures.ning.com/blog/tax-reminders-for-2020-taxes

 

When Can taxes be filed this year ?

The EFILE program is now closed for the electronic filing of your clients’ initial and amended T1 personal income tax and benefit returns.
EFILE and ReFILE services will re-open on Monday, February 22, 2021.

 

NEW CLIENT ONBOARDING FOR TAXES

  1. Once we get T1013 processed with CRA we can continue
  2. Next will send them an engagement letter once cra authorization is in place
  3. Then we can down load prior yr to start comparisons so we do not miss anything
  4. Review prior year physical tax returns for familiarity of file
  5. Get 2020 info as available from client or cra
  6. Finalize tax returns, review any items of concern with client
  7. Get T183 signed
  8. Process tax return with CRA
  9. Check assessment once processed, compare with submission
  10. Documents along with tax return and assessment to be given to client, copy may be scanned if business, rental, or emailing to client or high probability of return to e required in future for third party, ie mortgage renewals, etc.

 

 

Read more…

Year End Payroll 2020

 

Year end reporting is way more complicated this yr, this is a helpful article, and some links to CRA site built in ~ TLR

http://www.canadian-accountant.com/content/partner-posts/understanding-wage-subsidies-at-year-end

 

Rachel Fisch of Wagepoint on TWS & CEWS compliance in time for 2020 year-end

 Author: Rachel Fisch
Rachel Fisch
Rachel Fisch is a strategic advisor at Wagepoint. Join Rachel  and Juliet Aurora, co-founder of AIS Solutions & Kninja Knetwork, on December 16, 2020, for a webinar on reporting wage subsidies for 2020 year-end.

Year-end reporting is complicated in a normal year — in 2020, it’s “rocket surgery.” 

This year saw the federal government introduce two different wage subsidies to support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic: the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers (TWS) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). Both subsidies are considered income for the small businesses who took advantage of them and, as such, they each have specific reporting requirements. 

If you and your small business clients are feeling overwhelmed, you’re certainly not alone. This overview will walk you through the ABCs of the wage subsidies, and if you’re still confused about closing your clients’ books, you can join our December 16th webinar to go over it all in detail. I will be hosting this webinar with Juliet Aurora, co-founder of AIS Solutions & Kninja Knetwork. 

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Updates to CERS, CEWS & CEBA

PEAK Disclosure - Click to Learn

"While the Government of Canada has focused its resources on creating and implementing relief programs to support Canadian businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is inevitable that the government will soon shift its focus to ensuring that applicants were eligible for the relief that they claimed and received. Presently, the CRA is working on creating a post-payment tax audit program that will focus on CEWS applications made between March 15th, 2020 and July 4th, 2020. The purpose of the post-payment tax audit program is for the CRA to identify the various measures of non-compliance with the CEWS legislation.

Given the ongoing concerns associated with the CEWS program, Canadian businesses and organizations should bear in mind that any CRA tax audit, including an audit into a CEWS application, can result in the CRA requesting access to details, including corporate and financial records, that may not be relevant to the CEWS claim as part of a broader tax audit. As such, businesses applying for any of the above-mentioned relief programs should review the relevant eligibility criteria, posted on CRA's website, prior to submitting their claim. Further, businesses and organizations that notice an error in their relief application or in any payment received (as a result of a claim made to any of the above-mentioned benefits) should contact the CRA immediately to address the error and to confirm their benefit eligibility."

http://www.canadian-accountant.com/content/practice/updates-to-cers-cews-ceba

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Lets Build a Tax Refund By Giving

Peak Disclosure - Click Here Please

We make a living by what we get, but make a life by what we give.

-Winston Churchill

 

I came across this quote while reading my Habitat for Humanity newsletter yesterday.

 

Great organization, I have many fond memories of the people there, the history that I have shared with many, I remember Valerie Kines, Second Cup, Rotary times with her , climbing with David & Becky raising funds with them ( 15,000 + for our Everest Base Camp adventure which ended by earthquake)  with Dreams Mountain Foundations Alumni, at the events we held , Kim Rice and her husband promoting the local events for us, Gerry and his wife, and all the little trips and finds at the store,  good stuff to warm my heart.   https://dreammountains.com/dreamteam/

Since 2009, the Dream Mountains Foundation and its climbers have raised:  $1,287,723


SOS Children’s Villages: $204,680
Ride For Dad: $144,891
ONFE / Ottawa School Breakfast Program: $189,423
CARE Canada: $146,107
Dreams Take Flight: $182,494
Habitat For Humanity: $186,507
Ottawa Senators Foundation: $113,732
   
WaterCan Foundation: $31,967
Canadian Aid for Chernobyl: $50,392
Colon Cancer Canada: $37,530

 

So doing a little gleaning from the email, here are some highlights

HABITAT TIDBIT
 

Former President Jimmy Carter, who has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for 35 years, will be turning 95 on October 1st.
The former President and his wife Rosalynn Carter are continuing this commitment to Habitat by joining future homeowners and volunteers this fall to build 21 new homes in the Park Preserve neighborhood of Nashville. This is an amazing feat not only for someone of the former presidents age, but also for the fact that he had to undergo hip surgery this past spring after falling in his home.  The Carter's not only support Habitat at home but also abroad. In 2017 they came to Canada to help build homes for the Jimmy & Rosalynn work project.

getting closer to starting our build in Cardinal. In the next few weeks we should be posting on our website at www.habitat1000islands.org the details of when our ground breaking ceremony will take place!

World Habitat Day is on October 7 -   this is a United Nations awareness day designed to bring attention to the state of our towns and cities, and the right to adequate shelter for all. It's election time, so it's a perfect opportunity for us  to ask our candidates how they will help make safe and affordable housing a priority.

Waste Reduction Week in Canada is recognized from October 21 to 27.  Why not do your part by donating to our ReStores your gently used household, or renovation items that are still in great shape? You'll not only help support Habitat, but also save re-usable items from the landfill. Visit our website for a list of items we accept. We even take your old appliances, working or not!

 

TAX TIP !!!!!   when you donate something of some value it often can be appraised and a charitable tax receipt will be given, it's a great tax break, doesn't take alot of time to do and I love adding those onto a tax return. ~ Tim

 

Example, let's say my friend Mark decides to donate his prized load of tiles that he over bought when building his rental ( and he didn't keep his receipt, if you knew Mark you would understand) and they are worth say $1000 if he could sell them full retail ( they are in good shape)  and if HFH decides that they can sell them for say 50% less, so $500, he would get a tax receipt for the now Fair Market Value of $500 and on his taxes he would get an extra refund of $232 with that one decision. That would almost pay many peoples tax bill from me for a couple years, basically taxes are done for free with a little thinking and generosity. Now if one of us could do this everyday for a year 232*365 = 84,680 in tax savings in our little group, one a day and the charity now has $182,500 in potential sales (to build a house for a young family) ,  $365,000 in goods at retail value, and if it was all tiles, now we are just getting crazy.  Neat Impact , think about that and do it   .... another example would be to donate your old car, get a $500 receipt, same principal, donate a beautiful kitchen table and chairs, you don't need it any more, or you inheritated from your aunts estate, or the kid doesn't need the whatever anymore as they are heading west and no room in the plane and you paid good money for it, bring it in.  

3630938899?profile=RESIZE_710x 

Timothy Ross, Family Advisor, CEO & Founder, Brock Shores Financial

Mutual Funds offered through PEAK Investment Services Inc.

 

Brock Shores Financial / Timothy Ross & Associates, Family Office Providing Omega Stewardship

4502 Airport Road – Tincap, GTA Professional Center, Elizabethtown, Ontario K6T 1A2

613-345-0016 Office   613-213-4625 Cell/Text    613-345-5231 Fax advisor@timothyross.com 

Executive Assistant: Heather Kiley assistant@timothyross.com

Office Manager: Megan Ross megan@timothyross.com

Mission - Vision – Core Values  “Serving our clients and community since 1988”

OMEGA STEWARDSHIP

* One Stop Process Driven Approach for Retirement & Income Planning

* Personalized Tax Management Solutions for Individuals & Business Owners

* Confidential Wealth Management Solutions

www.BrockShoresFinancial.ca  www.TimothyRoss.com

#ImprovingFutures   www.ImprovingFutures.ca

Helping Families Achieve ... Life's Major Goals

  1. Tax Smart Planning & Investing              
  2. Worry Free Retirement              
  3. Education of Our Children & Grandchildren              
  4. Quality Care for Our Parents              
  5. Meaningful Financial Help for Our Loved Ones              
  6. Meaningful Legacy

Member of Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada

Member of IFB, Independent Financial Brokers of Canada

Member of RIA, Responsible Investment Association

Member of the Rotary Club of 1000 Islands, Paul Harris Fellow

 

We value your business, please leave a review on our Bark profile

https://www.bark.com/en/company/brock-shores-financial/q2aev/?show_reviews=true

Have a Blessed Day!   "People influence People”

 3630941213?profile=RESIZE_710xKevin Preston took this picture of me the day we climbed Mount Washington, we decided to go climbing after we returned from Everest Base Camp adventure in April/May 2015, the earthquate in Nepal had prevented us from climbing and we wanted to get in some peaks, it was a great climb, miss you my friend, I was so looking forwrad to hearing your stories about the adventures you had undertaken since I seen you last. ~ Tim  " Got to love a little adventure on the top of a boulder overlooking the big ravine, my legs were starting to get shaky, a life adrenaline rush for sure"

 
 
Read more…

Real Estate Tips

https://www.realtor.com/videos/these-trends-will-shape-the-real-estate-market-in-2019/403a1091-3062-442b-beec-2faa666b3e19?playlist_id=ec2ed8e8-16a1-46f8-a91e-c6753b0417e0

 

came across this site today from one of my realtors in my network 

figure will store some real estate info on this posting as a resource 

Enjoy

Timothy Ross, Family Advisor ©  
Family Office providing Omega Stewardship ©  
613-345-0016 Office 
613-213-4625 Cell/Text  advisor@timothyross.com
 
Helping Families Achieve...Life’s Major Goals ©  
 
OMEGA STEWARDSHIP  ©  
* One Stop Process Driven Approach for Retirement & Income Planning
* Personalized Tax Management Solutions for Individuals & Business Owners
* Confidential Wealth Management Solutions
 
Mutual Funds through PEAK Investment Services Inc.
 
Brock Shores Financial  #ImprovingFutures
 
Learn, Engage, Develop, Goals, Enjoy, Responsible ... Join our new online community” ©  at www.ImprovingFutures.ca 
 
© Copyright 1988-2018 All Rights Reserved Timothy Ross & Brock Shores Financial Corporation

 

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Public Policy Dialogue for Charities

 

http://www.carters.ca/pub/bulletin/charity/2018/chylb434.pdf

 



Terrance S. Carter  B.A., LL.B., TEP, Trade-mark Agent and Ryan M. Prendergast  B.A., LL.B. 
On October 25, 2018, the Department of Finance Canada tabled in the House of Commons a Notice of Ways and Means Motion,  which contained a number of amendments to the Income Tax Act ("ITA")  and other legislation to implement certain provisions previously announced in Budget 2018 and other measures, including amendments to the ITA to modify the rules governing political activities (now referred to as "public policy dialogue and development activities") by charities in Canada. The proposed amendments were introduced as Bill C-86, Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2, ("Bill C-86"),  which received first reading on October 29, 2018, and is included as an appendix to this Charity & NFP Law Bulletin for ease of reference. Bill C-86 significantly improves upon the draft legislation released on September 14, 2018 by the Department of Finance Canada ("September Draft Legislation"),  discussed in last month's Charity & NFP Law Bulletin No. 428
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TD1 Looking Ahead to 2018

Looking ahead to 2018 (December 2017)

"Some tips from support at Cantax, be proactive this year and get your forms done up in advance and if your doing some extra tax stuff, use the T1213, Request to Reduce Tax Deductions at Source", links are noted below ~ TLR 

Planning for – or even thinking about – 2018 taxes when it’s not even mid-December 2017 may seem more than a little premature. However, most Canadians will start paying their taxes for 2018 with the first paycheque they receive in January, and it’s worth taking a bit of time to make sure that things start off – and stay – on the right foot.

For most Canadians, (certainly for the vast majority who earn their income from employment), income tax, along with other statutory deductions like Canada Pension Plan contributions and Employment Insurance premiums, are paid periodically throughout the year by means of deductions taken from each paycheque received, with those deductions then remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on the taxpayer’s behalf by his or her employer.

Quick Download for Federal Form TD1 & respective Provincial Forms

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/td1-personal-tax-credits-returns/td1-forms-pay-received-on-january-1-later.html

Of course, each taxpayer’s situation is unique and so the employer has to have some guidance as to how much to deduct and remit on behalf of each employee. That guidance is provided by the employee/taxpayer in the form of TD1 forms which are completed and signed by each employee, sometimes at the start of each year, but certainly at the time employment commences. Each employee must, in fact, complete two TD1 forms – one for federal tax purposes and the other for provincial tax imposed by the province in which the taxpayer lives. Federal and provincial TD1 forms for 2018 (which were recently posted on the CRA website at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/forms.html) list the most common statutory credits claimed by taxpayers, including the basic personal credit, the spousal credit amount, and the age amount. Adding amounts claimed on each form gives the Total Claim Amounts (one federal, one provincial) which the employer then uses to determine, based on tables issued by the CRA, the amount of income tax which should be deducted (or withheld) from each of the employee’s paycheques and remitted on his or her behalf to the federal government.

While the TD1 completed by the employee at the time his or her employment commenced will have accurately reflected the credits claimable by the employee at that time, everyone’s life circumstances change. Where a baby is born, or a son or daughter starts post-secondary education, a taxpayer turns 65 years of age, or an elderly parent comes to live with his or her children, the affected taxpayer will be become eligible to claim tax credits not previously available. And, since the employer can only calculate source deductions based on information provided to it by the employee, those new credit claims won’t be reflected in the amounts deducted at source from the employee’s paycheque.

Consequently, it’s a good idea for all employees to review the TD1 form prior to the start of each taxation year and to make any changes needed to ensure that a claim is made for any and all credit amounts currently available to him or her. Doing so will ensure that the correct amount of tax is deducted at source throughout the year.

Where the taxpayer has available deductions which cannot be recorded on the TD1, like RRSP contributions, deductible support payments or child care expenses, it makes things a little more complicated, but it’s still possible to have source deductions adjusted to accurately reflect the employee’s tax liability for 2018. The way to do so is to file Form T1213, Request to Reduce Tax Deductions at Source (available on the CRA website at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/forms/t1213.html) with the CRA. Once that form is filed with the CRA, the Agency will, after verifying that the claims made are accurate, provide the employer with a Letter of Authority authorizing that employer to reduce the amount of tax being withheld at source.

Of course, as with all things bureaucratic, having one’s source deductions reduced by filing a T1213 takes time. Consequently, the sooner a T1213 for 2018 is filed with the CRA, the sooner source deductions can be adjusted, effective for all paycheques subsequently issued in that year. Providing an employer with an updated TD1 for 2018 at the same time will ensure that source deductions made during 2018 will accurately reflect all of the employee’s current circumstances, and consequently his or her actual tax liability for the year.


The information presented is only of a general nature, may omit many details and special rules, is current only as of its published date, and accordingly cannot be regarded as legal or tax advice. Please contact our office for more information on this subject and how it pertains to your specific tax or financial situation.
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Dec Steps for Tax Planning

Year-end tax planning – some steps to take before December 31st (December 2017)

"Some great advice from my CCH partners" ~ TLR 

As the 2017 calendar year winds down, the window of opportunity to take steps to reduce one’s tax bill for the 2017 tax year is closing. As a general rule, tax planning or tax saving strategies must be undertaken and completed by December 31st, in order to make a difference to one’s tax liability for 2017. (For individual taxpayers, the only significant exception to that rule is registered retirement savings plan contributions. Such contributions can be made any time up to and including March 1, 2018, and claimed on the return for 2017.)

While the remaining time frame in which tax planning strategies for 2017 can be implemented is only a few weeks, the good news is that the most readily available of those strategies don’t involve a lot of planning or complicated financial structures – in many cases, it’s just a question of considering the timing of expenditures which would have been made in any case. Below is a list of the most common such opportunities available to individual Canadians.

Charitable donations

The federal government and all of the provincial and territorial governments provide a tax credit for donations made to registered charities during the year. In all cases, in order to claim a credit for a donation in a particular tax year, that donation must be made by the end of that calendar year – there are no exceptions.

There is, however, another reason to ensure donations are made by December 31st. The credit provided by each of the federal, provincial, and territorial governments is a two-level credit, in which the percentage credit claimable increases with the amount of donation made. For federal tax purposes, the first $200 in donations is eligible for a non-refundable tax credit equal to 15% of the donation. The credit for donations made during the year which exceed the $200 threshold is, however, calculated as 29% of the excess. Where the taxpayer making the donation has taxable income (for 2017) over $202,800, charitable donations above the $200 threshold can receive a federal tax credit of 33%.

As a result of the two-level credit structure, the best tax result is obtained when donations made during a single calendar year are maximized. For instance, a qualifying charitable donation of $400 made in December 2017 will receive a federal credit of $88  ($200 × 15% + $200 × 29%). If the same amount is donated, but the donation is split equally between December 2017 and January 2018, the total credit claimable is only $60 ($200 × 15% + $200 × 15%), and the 2018 donation can’t be claimed until the 2018 return is filed in April 2019. And, of course, the larger the donation in any one calendar year, the greater the proportion of that donation which will receive credit at the 29% level rather than the 15% level.

It’s also possible to carry forward, for up to 5 years, donations which were made in a particular tax year. So, if donations made in 2017 don’t reach the $200 level, it’s usually worth holding off on claiming the donation and carrying forward to the next year in which total donations, including carryforwards, are over that threshold. Of course, this also means that donations made but not claimed in any of the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, or 2016 tax years can be carried forward and added to the total donations made in 2017, and the aggregate then claimed on the 2017 tax return.

When claiming charitable donations, it’s possible to combine donations made by oneself and one’s spouse and claim them on a single return. Generally, and especially in provinces and territories which impose a high-income surtax – currently, Ontario and Prince Edward Island – it makes sense for the higher income spouse to make the claim for the total of charitable donations made by both spouses. Doing so will reduce the tax payable by that spouse and thereby minimize (or avoid) liability for the provincial high-income surtax.

This year, there is an additional last-chance incentive for Canadians who have not been in the habit of making charitable donations to make a cash donation to a registered charity. In the 2013 Budget, the federal government introduced a temporary charitable donations super-credit. That super-credit (which can be claimed only once) allows individuals who have not claimed a charitable donations tax credit in any tax year since 2007 to claim a super-credit on up to $1,000 in cash donations made during the year. The super-credit works by providing an additional 25% credit for cash donations. Consequently, when the super-credit is combined with the regular charitable donations tax credit, the total credit claimable is equal to 40% (15% + 25%) of donations under $200 and 54% (29% + 25%) of donations over the $200 threshold. This year (2017) is the last year for which the super-credit can be claimed, and only in respect of qualifying donations made before the end of the year.

Timing of medical expenses

There are an increasing number of medical expenses which are not covered by provincial health care plans, and an increasing number of Canadians who do not have private coverage for such costs through their employer. In those situations, Canadians have to pay for such unavoidable expenditures – including dental care, prescription drugs, ambulance trips, and many other para-medical services, like physiotherapy, on an  out-of-pocket basis. Fortunately, where such costs must be paid for partially or entirely by the taxpayer, the medical expense tax credit is available to help offset those costs. Unfortunately, the computation of such expenses and, in particular, the timing of making a claim for the credit, can be confusing. In addition, the determination of which expenses qualify for the credit and which expenses do not isn’t necessarily intuitive, nor is the determination of when it’s necessary to obtain prior authorization from a medical professional in order to ensure that the contemplated expenditure will qualify for the credit.

The basic rule is that qualifying medical expenses (a lengthy list of which can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/medical/#mdcl_xpns) over 3% of the taxpayer’s net income, or $2,268, whichever is less, can be claimed for purposes of the medical expense tax credit on the taxpayer’s return for 2017.

Put in more practical terms, the rule for 2017 is that any taxpayer whose net income is less than $75,500 will be entitled to claim medical expenses that are greater than 3% of his or her net income for the year. Those having income over $75,500 will be limited to claiming qualifying expenses which exceed the $2,268 threshold.

The other aspect of the medical expense tax credit which can cause some confusion is that it’s possible to claim medical expenses which were incurred prior to the current tax year, but weren’t claimed on the return for the year that the expenditure was made. The actual rule is that the taxpayer can claim qualifying medical expenses incurred during any 12-month period which ends in the current tax year, meaning that each taxpayer must determine which 12-month period ending in 2017 will produce the greatest amount eligible for the credit. That determination will obviously depend on when medical expenses were incurred so there is, unfortunately, no universal rule of thumb which can be used.

Medical expenses incurred by family members – the taxpayer, his or her spouse, dependent children who were born in 2000 or later, and certain other dependent relatives – can be added together and claimed by one member of the family. In most cases, it’s best, in order to maximize the amount claimable, to make that claim on the tax return of the lower income spouse, where that spouse has tax payable for the year.

As December 31st approaches, it’s a good idea to add up the medical expenses which have been incurred during 2017, as well as those paid during 2016 and not claimed on the 2016 return. Once those totals are known, it will be easier to determine whether to make a claim for 2017 or to wait and claim 2017 expenses on the return for 2018. And, if the decision is to make a claim for 2017, knowing what medical expenses were paid and when, will enable the taxpayer to determine the optimal 12-month waiting period for the claim.

Finally, it’s a good idea to look into the timing of medical expenses which will have to be paid early in 2018. Where those are significant expenses (for instance, a particularly costly medication which must be taken on an ongoing basis) it may make sense, where possible, to accelerate the payment of those expenses to December 2017, where that means they can be included in 2017 totals and claimed on the 2017 return.  

Reviewing tax instalments for 2017

Millions of Canadian taxpayers (particularly the self-employed and retired Canadians) pay income taxes by quarterly instalments, with the amount of those instalments representing an estimate of the taxpayer’s total liability for the year.

The final quarterly instalment for this year will be due on Friday December 15, 2017. By that time, almost everyone will have a reasonably good idea of what his or her income and deductions will be for 2017 and so will be in a position to estimate what the final tax bill for the year will be, taking into account any tax planning strategies already put in place, as well as any RRSP contributions which will be made before March 2, 2018. While the tax return forms to be used for the 2017 year haven’t yet been released by the CRA, it’s possible to arrive at an estimate by using the 2016 form. Increases in tax credit amounts and tax brackets from 2016 to 2017 will mean that using the 2016 form will likely result in a slight over-estimate of tax liability for 2017.

Once one’s tax bill for 2017 has been calculated, that figure should be compared to the total of tax instalments already made during 2017 (that figure can be obtained by calling the CRA’s Individual Income Tax Enquiries line at 1-800-959-8281). Depending on the result, it may then be possible to reduce the amount of the tax instalment to be paid on December 15 – and thereby free up some funds for the inevitable holiday spending!


The information presented is only of a general nature, may omit many details and special rules, is current only as of its published date, and accordingly cannot be regarded as legal or tax advice. Please contact our office for more information on this subject and how it pertains to your specific tax or financial situation.
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