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Start Fresh

https://www.youneedabudget.com/why-starting-fresh-isnt-giving-up/ Great article on budgeting, even greater concept, to start fresh vs starting over. Enjoy the article, I am looking at this budgeting tool and others. Any feedback from others is appreciated. TLR https://www.youneedabudget.com/why-starting-fresh-isnt-giving-up/ Quick word association quiz: What’s the difference between “starting over” and “starting fresh”? One of them feels pretty heavy, doesn’t it? A little bit like failure: “You mean, I have to start over?!” I’ve had this thought part way into countless projects renovating our “antique” home. It’s come up in one or two conversations with my kids about homework. But a fresh start? Almost liberating, right? “Today, I have a chance to start fresh.” Deep breath. Ever start a new job? Go off to college? Wake up to a new day after an argument the night before? Start writing this blog post for the second or third—OK. fine—fourth time? Each one a fresh start. In the last seven years, I’ve had five different budgets. The first time I started a new one, it felt like starting over. But I’ve since approached it differently—a fresh start—an opportunity to learn and improve every time. Read on the link for the rest of the story
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Another Seasons Promise

https://www.playwrightsguild.ca/play/another-seasons-promise

I was reading a story  in the Ontario Farmer this evening about Keith Roulson and his career and life events. I came across this part that spoke about the farm crisis in 1980 with the high interest rates and the impact that had on so many farmers and how they lost their farms because of this.  Interest rates peaked at 23% and it was crippling , it was a painful, too painful at times.  This kinda hit home as I was one of those farm kids that was effected by this. I don't know the full effect it actually had on my mental being, since I am reminded about it, I plan to reflect on this and let it touch me once again and grow and deal with any ill effects it had. In the mean time, I'm going to find out some more about this play and seek  some peace in my heart regarding that time of my life and my parents life and my siblings lives. As the paper said, peole cae to watch the play as " they needed to unload this" .

Some other words of wisdom gleaned from the article.

Keith learned that people were more likely to support something that was community owned than an enterprise owned by n individual. He raised money for a new paper by selling shares to community members, many of his sales where considered simple donations for their community than an investment. 

He understood what was good about rural life and he did what he could to protect it. 

He was driven to maintain small papers and a rural voice in the face of a hostile world. ( remind me of the small Amish newsletter my dad subscribes to ) 

After 50 years he has stepped away from managing the magazine "The Rural Voice"  , thinking I should check that one out, I do not currently get it. 

City life did not appal to him, he missed being surrounded by nature. 

A strong interest in farming and admiration for what farmers do.

www.northhuron.on.ca/rural-voice

www.northhuron.on.ca/subscriptions

https://books.google.ca/books?id=wIRI2PDEEyQC&pg=PA7&lpg=PA7&dq=another+seasons+promise&source=bl&ots=vjHgOPfSoF&sig=qy-I2IZLn1FYiitRKqiYwjsGMfE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjM4-brqKbYAhUE2oMKHWwQBhkQ6AEITTAH#v=onepage&q=another%20seasons%20promise&f=false

The Field Behind The Plow 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUM8mXJre1c&index=31&list=PLhhVyaUmOQuq-3ZjWsulDtaPt02fRFC0B

Stan Rogers – Field Behind The Plow Lyrics

Watch the field behind the plow turn to straight, dark rows
Feel the trickle in your clothes, blow the dust cake from your nose
Hear the tractor's steady roar, Oh you can't stop now
There's a quarter section more or less to go

And it figures that the rain keeps it's own sweet time
You can watch it come for miles, but you guess you've got a while
So ease the throttle out a hair, every rod's a gain
And there's victory in every quarter mile

Poor old Kuzyk down the road
The heartache, hail and hoppers brought him down
He gave it up and went to town

And Emmett Pierce the other day
Took a heart attack and died at forty two
You could see it coming on 'cause he worked as hard as you

In an hour, maybe more, you'll be wet clear through
The air is cooler now, pull you hat brim further down
And watch the field behind the plow turn to straight dark rows
Put another season's promise in the ground

And if the harvest's any good
The money just might cover all the loans
You've mortgaged all you own

Buy the kids a winter coat
Take the wife back east for Christmas if you can
All summer she hangs on when you're so tied to the land

For the good times come and go, but at least there's rain
So this won't be barren ground when September rolls around
So watch the field behind the plow turn to straight dark rows
Put another season's promise in the ground

Watch the field behind the plow turn to straight dark rows
Put another season's promise in the ground

 

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Kevin Advice

Kevin O'Leary love him or hate him, he has some great experiences and advice

Kids and Money thoughts

The dead bird under the tree is the one that never learned how to fly, so are you a dead bird or are you going to learn how to fly.

Thoughts on allowances, work for kids, learning lessons , equate the value of money to time worked , time and money are interlinked 

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/video/what-convinced-kevin-oleary-to-financially-cut-off-his-kids-after-college/vi-BBFyG38?refvid=BBEYZ3M&OCID=ems.display.welcomeexperience

I am reminded of my brother in law to be and what he has set up with his kids to earn money, it kinda neat and inspiring. 

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Register for Card from Loblaws

https://loblawcard.ca/

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/how-to-receive-a-25-loblaw-card-after-bread-price-fixing-arrangement/article37392332/

Loblaw discovered that Canadians were overcharged for the cost of some packaged bread products in their stores and other grocery stores across Canada. In response, they are offering eligible customers a $25 Loblaw Card, which can be used to purchase items sold in our grocery stores across Canada.

Registration for the Loblaw Card Program will open on January 8, 2018. Please check back then.

In the meantime, you can also provide your email address to receive a notice once registration has opened.

I have registered all our team for this, I encourage others to get registered and when the account opens up, Loblaws will send you the details. For our firm that works out to $150 in cards. 

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Living on A Knife's Edge

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wseM6wWd74&list=PLhhVyaUmOQupT95UiO_74c0-wATcRxceV&index=13

Interesting video on how our cells stay young. Some great lessons to learn here in biology from the research in Pond Scum.

Health Span vs Disease Span  ... 

Do you have control over the length of your telomeres ?  Chronic stress effects , seeing things in a new light, seeing into the lives of the real people, the effect on  people who get worn down, the patterns.

The longer in a tough situation and the more you perceive your under stress the shorter your telomeres and the quicker your untimely death will occur. Interestingly you can change that through thought perception, so there is hope.  Be resilient to stress, a day in, day out, challenge, so you can control how you age way down to your cell level by how you feel about it, good attitude results in better aging process. Improve attitude, it matters, negative thoughts creeps up cortisone and damages your telomeres , vs a challenge to tackle where the blood flows and it is good, bring it on and you do just fine. 

You have power to change what is happening to your own telomeres. Factors outside our own skin, social , as early a childhood, all impact your telomeres and have a  long term effect We are interconnected, we can impact our own and others. 

What legacy will be have , will we invest in the next generation and what will that impact have on maybe the whole world ?

Are you curious, how will you make a difference?

Now you can protect your telomeres and how will you make sure the world invests in curiosity for the sake of the generations that come after us?

Good questions, now what are we going to do? For me, I am going to nip those negative thoughts with positive solutions. ~ TLR 

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Sleepless Govenor

https://www.wealthprofessional.ca/market-talk/these-are-the-biggest-fears-for-the-canadian-economy-235530.aspx Things that keep the govenor awake at night One thing he said was that young people just starting need jobs and without those jobs they can get stuck right from the Get go. I had an idea, stewardship thought moment. The government should make a job for every young person for their first job, give them the experience of having a job, limit it to at least a year, and have a lot of young people with a good first job, launch them into the world with a good foundation, bring the age down for the permanent positions to make room for our young people and redeploy these people into industry and other services. Stabilize, Train, Encourage, Launch A little utopia idea , I think it could have merit and would increase the value for society as a whole - TLR
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Seeding Inovation

Great article from James Allan, enjoy and check out his other articles on his blog -TLR http://shmconsulting3.blogspot.com/ Sow the Seeds of Innovation During the Holidays The holiday season is a great time to sow the seeds of innovation. Your mind is able to wander with the days off. You can get out of the normal routine of work, rest, work, rest. You get to meet people from different industries when family and friends come over. They may share stories of their work life that have been very successful in their industry. If you have children and/or grandchildren, you can spend more time with them as school lets out for a few weeks. They have lots of crazy ideas and a different perspective on the world. You may be able to travel, and leave your day-to-day existence behind. Get caught up on reading or whatever other hobby you need to catch up on. All of these opportunities are available to help you imagine a different way of doing things, and perhaps disrupt your industry. In order to take advantage of these opportunities, there are several steps you should take: Let your mind wander. Take your mind off of work. While this may seem counter-intuitive to many, the best way to come up with new ways of doing things at work is to explore non-work activities. Be in the moment during the holiday season. Leave the office behind for as much of the day as you can. It will still be there after the holidays. Reflect for a few minutes a day. Think about what the day has included, and perhaps ponder some ways of improving things at work, whether it be new products, new services or new processes. Record your thoughts. As you are reflecting, and perhaps coming up with Maybe's and What If's, write them down. Type them in your laptop. Use an audio recorder. Do whatever it takes to capture what your imagination has come up with. Even recording a few day’s thoughts will leave you in a great position to hit the new year with innovative ideas to improve your company’s business position. Have a great Holiday season, and see you in the New Year! Book Available Right Now Visit www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, or your favourite location to order a copy of Infectious Innovation today! New Year Surprises While everyone has plans for the holidays, my plans include getting married! To celebrate, I plan to offer new things in the New Year. Watch for my next newsletter in the first week of January for full details. Contact Us Today Have some feedback? We love to hear what subscribers are thinking. Please reply to: james@shmconsulting.net
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Calculating Returns - Part 1

Calculating Returns

Calculating the rate of return of any investment or endeavor has many aspects to it. If we look at the financial there is a lot of moving parts. The deposits, the withdrawals, the purchases, the sales, the dividends, the interest earned, the expenses, the fund company, the dealer, the operating costs, the trustee fees, the HST, the GST, the broker fees, and the timing, it never all happens at the same time, every transaction weighted, balanced, accounted for over time, short times, long times, various times, changes in fund codes, fund companies, mergers of one with another ….. how do you calculate it all ? Well, here are the main methods that are standardized in our industry, the best practices, for real true returns. Have fun with the figuring. ~ TLR

”It is only when you watch the dense mass of thousands of ants, crowded together around the Hill, blackening the ground, that you begin to see the whole beast, and now you observe it thinking, planning, calculating. It is an intelligence, a kind of live computer, with crawling bits for its wits.” ~  Lewis Thomas

# 1  GAIN/LOSS CALCULATION EXPLAINED

The gain/loss RoR calculation is a simple formula and is not time weighted.

GAIN/LOSS SINCE INCEPTION (NET INVESTED)

Gain/Loss Dollars = MVE – (MVB + Net Invested)

Gain/Loss Percent = Gain/Loss Dollars

MVB + (Net Invested)

Where:

MVE = end market value

MVB = beginning market value

Net Invested = cash flow coming into an account – cash flow going out of an account

Note: This rate of return is being calculated since inception; therefore the market value at the beginning is going to be zero. Please see Gain/Loss Since… for entering a beginning date.

Assuming an account has the following values, the account rate of return would be calculated as follows:

Step One: MVB = $0

MVE = $12 514.97

Net invested = $10 000.00

MVE- MVB- Net Invested

= $12 514.97- ($0 + $10 000)

=$2 514.97

Step Two: Gain/Loss Dollars

MVB + (Net Invested)

= $2514.97

$10 000

= 25.150% (The Gain/Loss return is 25.150%)

GAIN/LOSS SINCE … (NET INVESTED):

This formula uses the same calculation as above, except rather than the market value at the beginning being 0, it would use the market value from whichever day you entered in the “Since” date field available in the report option screen. This would calculate a rate of return based on a time frame rather than “Since Inception” of the account.

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Rewire The Brain

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-growth/how-complaining-rewires-your-brain-for-negativity/article31893948/ A great article on the effects of negative thinking and talking. Interesting the bridges that are laid down for the bad or the good. Reminds me of some Jim Rohn says. Look for them in the comment sections going forward. A merry heart is the ticket to a good life. Have a blessed day! Tim
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Year-end planning for RRSPs and TFSAs

Year-end planning for RRSPs and TFSAs (December 2017)

"Wolters Kluwer's insider tips for year end planning, worth reviewing the little details that might apply to you" ~ TLR

For most Canadians, registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) don’t become top of mind until near the end of February, as the annual contribution deadline approaches. When it comes to tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), most Canadians are aware that there is no contribution deadline for such plans, so that contributions can be made at any time. Consequently, neither RRSPs nor TFSAs tend to be a priority when it comes to year-end tax planning.

Notwithstanding those facts, there are considerations which apply to both RRSPs and TFSAs in relation to the approach of the end of calendar year. Failing to take those considerations into account can mean the permanent loss of contribution room, a loss of flexibility when it comes to making withdrawals, or having to pay more tax than required when funds are withdrawn. Some of those considerations are outlined below.

When you need to make your RRSP contribution on or before December 31st

While most RRSP contributions, in order to be deducted on the return for 2017, can be made anytime up to and including March 1, 2018, there is one important exception to that rule.

Every Canadian who has an RRSP must collapse that plan by the end of the year in which he or she turns 71 years of age – usually by converting the RRSP into a registered retirement income fund (RRIF) or by purchasing an annuity. An individual who turns 71 during the year is still entitled to make a final RRSP contribution for that year, assuming that he or she has sufficient contribution room. However, in such cases, the 60-day window for contributions after December 31st is not available. Any RRSP contribution to be made by a person who turns 71 during the year must be made by December 31st of that year.

Make spousal RRSP contributions before December 31

Under Canadian tax rules, a taxpayer can make a contribution to a registered retirement savings plans (RRSP) in his or her spouse’s name and claim the deduction for the contribution on his or her own return. When the funds are withdrawn by the spouse, the amounts are taxed as the spouse’s income, at a (presumably) lower tax rate. However, the benefit of having withdrawals taxed in the hands of the spouse is available only where the withdrawal takes place no sooner than the end of the second calendar year following the year in which the contribution is made. Therefore, where a contribution to a spousal RRSP is made in December of 2017, the contributor can claim a deduction for that contribution on his or her return for 2017. The spouse can then withdraw that amount as early as January 1, 2020 and have it taxed in his or her own hands. If the contribution isn’t made until January or February of 2018, the contributor can still claim a deduction for it on the 2017 tax return, but the amount won’t be eligible to be taxed in the spouse’s hands on withdrawal until January 1, 2021. It’s an especially important consideration for couples who are approaching retirement who may plan on withdrawing funds in the relatively new future. Even where that’s not the situation, making the contribution before the end of the calendar year will ensure maximum flexibility should an unanticipated withdrawal become necessary.

Accelerate any planned TFSA withdrawals into 2017

Each Canadian aged 18 and over can make an annual contribution to a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) – the maximum contribution for 2017 is $5,500. As well, where an amount previously contributed to a TFSA is withdrawn from the plan, that withdrawn amount can be re-contributed, but not until the year following the year of withdrawal.

Consequently, it makes sense, where a TFSA withdrawal is planned within the next few months, perhaps to pay for a winter vacation or to make an RRSP contribution, to make that withdrawal before the end of the calendar year. A taxpayer who withdraws funds from his or her TFSA before December 31st, 2017 will have the amount withdrawn added to his or her TFSA contribution limit for 2018, which means it can be re-contributed as early as January 1, 2018. If the same taxpayer waits until January of 2018 to make the withdrawal, he or she won’t be eligible to replace the funds withdrawn until 2019.


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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Let's Help Improve Your Memory

http://www.visualcapitalist.com/7-techniques-to-improve-memory/

Smartphones and the internet have changed just about everything, including our brains.

With limitless information at our fingertips, it’s no surprise that our ability to store and recall information has begun to atrophy. This mental reliance on technology is often referred to as the Google Effect.

A recent report suggested that 50% of people make no effort to recall information or seek answers from those around them before searching online. Also, two-thirds of consumers say that by letting their devices do the mental legwork, it enables them to achieve more.

How to Remember Anything

Loci

Acronyms

Rhyming

Linking

Chunking

PQRST Preview, Question, Read, State and Test

Write it Down

I probably use write it down the most, I also say to myself when I think I have forgotten a person's name, "that is funny, it is not like me to forget a person's name, I'll recall it later brain" . Another good way, is to invest money with us, we seldom forget those people's name.  

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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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Social Media Awareness

https://www.wikihow.com/Reveal-a-Fake-Facebook-Account A good article on what to notice for Fake Accounts. Just today I got a messenger conversation that lead down a slippery slope , out of the blue, how are you doing, soon it was producing a link to a scam to get big refund from the government. Blocked them as soon as I seen the directions. So as soon as someone gets a little too wrapped up in a story flip those spidy senses on and be ready to stop and Block TLR
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