February 21, 2018

Preparing for 2017 Income Tax

To prepare for Income Tax, there are basically three themes: Sources of Income. Sources of Deductions (money spent to earn income). Sources of Credits. Make three lists with those titles and you are ready to start! Some things change over time. The New Child Tax Benefit doesn’t pay out as much as the old system did, especially as family income increases. However, it is tax-free (one doesn’t add it to one’s income). Pension income splitting will likely be around for awhile. Family Income Splitting (income splitting when children are present) has been removed by the current government. It may be […]
February 17, 2018

Executor Duties (5 of 5)

25. Obtain clearance certificates from tax authorities. 26. Prepare accounts if they are to be passed by beneficiaries / courts 27. Determine if other duties / taxes are payable. 28. Follow instructions of will, send releases to beneficiaries for signature. 29. After estate settled, make payments to beneficiaries. Make income tax advisements, if any. 30. Close Estate bank account.
February 11, 2018

Executor Duties (4 of 5)

  19. Satisfy specific legacies through sales, auction, etc, of assets 20.Financial: Valuation of assets as basis for the following: probate fee, deemed disposition of capital properties, source of funds for taxable income, cash flow needs, accounting records (if accounting passed), executor’s compensation. 21. Set aside funds or estimated debts, taxes (including capital gains taxes) and executor’s compensation. 22. Arrange for payments of other debts, legacies, etc. These may wait for estate liquidation. 23. Income tax: prepare and file final returns to date of death. Use prior returns as templates. File any missing years. Consider special returns for year of […]
January 30, 2018

Executor Duties (3 of 5)

  13. Take steps to protect property if necessary. 14. Bank: Notify bank of death. Update statements then transfer to trust account. Invest excess cash after estimating immediate cash requirements 15.Receivables: Make lists of outstanding wages, vacation pay, death benefits from employment. Apply for any death or survivor benefits from elsewhere. File life insurance claim. Collect mortgage principal and/or interest. Make list of investment income (interest, dividends). 16.Investments: Collect records of stocks, bonds, etc and inventory. By reference to market value, determine if they should be sold. Change name to that of executor prior to disposition. If estate is ongoing, […]
January 21, 2018

Executor Duties (2 of 5)

  7. Have a preliminary discussion with a lawyer; does the will require probate 8.Determine whether an accountant is required. 9.Estimate immediate cash requirements: specific legacies, family living needs, funeral expenses. In general, there should be no disbursements or payouts to beneficiaries until the estate is settled, but there are special expenditures such as the needs of surviving family members. 10. Attend reading of the will by family members. 11. Obtain a list of assets and liabilities. Keep a list of income. 12. Review contents of safety deposit box.  
January 11, 2018

Executor Duties (1 of 5)

There are many possible duties of an Executor. For example, advertising for creditors on a website such as The following is the first part of a list of possible Executor Duties. 1. Make necessary funeral arrangements including payment. It is unlikely that funeral expenses are tax-deductible. 2. Advertise for creditors. Use to replace or supplement newspaper ads. 3.Change mailing address, cancel subscriptions, credit cards, disconnect utilities. Pay bills, credit cards, mortgage, etc. 4.Locate and examine last will and testament. 5.Determine names, addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, and government ID numbers of beneficiaries / next of kin. Notify them. […]
December 12, 2017

Year-End Tax Planning

Tax planning for year-end may save you money. Recognize capital losses by selling stock in companies whose stock price has decreased.  A bad stock pick can be sold, and the capital loss reported. It can offset any capital gains. The loss may be carried back three years (i.e. used to reduce taxes on capital gains in those years) or carried forward for twenty. While capital gains are taxed on only 50% of the gain, this capital loss ‘tax-loss selling’ helps even more. Remember the settlement date is the official sale for tax purposes, so initiate your sale by close Dec27. […]
March 11, 2017

Changes to the Principal Residence Exemption (Part 2 of 2)

In my previous blog, I introduced the Principal Residence Exemption, or PRE. There is a new reporting requirement on the sale of the principle residence. I’ll discuss it briefly here. As always, discuss complex tax issues with a tax accountant. Tax is often the biggest cash disbursement for most years, so proper planning may save you money. For a long time there has been Principal Residence Exemption. A couple buys a home, designates it as their principle residence, and sell it years later. There are no taxes on capital gains if the PRE is used. Until recently, the use of […]
March 9, 2017

Changes to the Principal Residence Exemption (Part 1 of 2)

There is a new reporting requirement for the Principal Residence Exemption (PRE). When you sell your principle residence and use the PRE, you have to report it.  First, I’ll discuss the PRE and in the next blog I’ll discuss the new report.  As tax is the largest payment one makes each year, it is a good idea to have your taxes reviewed by a tax accountant.   The Principal Residence Exemption is an opportunity to keep the capital gains tax-free on your principle residence that you have owed for longer than a year, and where you have lived for at […]
March 5, 2017

Taxable Benefits

Taxable Benefits are valuable services or access to items that one gets from work. In a nutshell, if you have access to something or some service because you work at a job, and your neighbour does not, that is a taxable benefit. Taxable benefits are a complex topic. Consider getting a tax accountant to help with personal income tax preparation. One example is a company car. There are two types of taxable benefits there: A standby charge and an operating charge. A standby charge is a taxable benefit just because you have access to the car 24/7. An operating charge […]