Tax Accountant

December 17, 2015

Year-End Tax Strategies

Year-End Tax Planning   There are a few things to optimize taxes for 2015. RRSPs, charitable donations, and tax-loss selling will be discussed here.   Registered Retirement Savings Programs (RRSPs) can be contributed to in 2015, and in the first sixty days of 2016 for the 2015 tax year. RRSPs are used to save for retirement. Contributions to your RRSP are tax-deductible (meaning it lowers your taxable income). It is limited to 18% of income, net of pension. More on RRSPs in a later blog.   Charitable donations are also good for year-end tax planning. There is a 15% tax […]
March 8, 2015

What is a Marginal Tax Rate?

A Marginal Tax Rate (MTR) is the tax rate (%) paid on each additional dollar earned. It is called ‘Marginal’ as it refers to the next incremental dollar earned. The tax rates change with higher income. The more income, the likely the tax rate is higher. Federally, there are currently (2014 tax year) four tax brackets: Pay 15% on the first $43,953. Pay 22% on every extra dollar between $43,953 and $87,907, and so on for two higher brackets. Provincially, there are many more tax brackets. This means a smaller increase in income is more likely to lead to an increase in […]
March 1, 2015

Taxable Dividends vs. Actual Dividends

If you look at a T5, one sees that taxable dividend amounts are greater than the actual dividend amounts. So, the government considers the actual dividends paid out to you less than what should be taxed. Why is that? The reason is that there should be only one level of taxes. In other words, you shouldn’t tax the same loonie multiple times. When a company makes money, it pays taxes on that income. Then, when it pays out a dividend with this after-tax income the shareholder has to pay taxes on it. That means two levels of taxation on the […]
February 8, 2015

What is on your T4?

Many items may be included on a T4. Employment income, taxable benefits, income eligible for EI and CPP, payroll deductions paid by the employer (i.e. EI and CPP), tax deducted, pensions, etc.   In most cases, T4s are prepared correctly. However, be careful and review them. Is there something you would expect but not there? Your tax preparer may not be able to catch T4 mistakes as the preparer may not have all the information concerning your employment. Some mistakes include missing CPP-eligible income, EI-eligible income, and missing car allowances.  
March 20, 2014

Income-Splitting for Pensioners

Income splitting for pensioners is an excellent means of lowering total family tax. It works when there are two people of different income levels. Pension income that may be split comprises employment pension and RRIF, but not OAS or CPP.  A key benefit is that the higher-income spouse whose pension income is split now pays tax at a lower marginal tax rate. Another benefit is that the overall family tax payable is reduced. There are some challenges. The lower-income spouse technically has to pay more tax in the individual sense, so a family plan to pay any outstanding taxes should […]
November 7, 2013

Moving Assets to Corporations

Transferring assets from a person to a corporation is complex but very important. If the transfer is done correctly, the value of the assets may be extracted tax-free (‘boot’). Or, the value of the assets become ‘Paid Up Capital’ (PUC) attached to shares which may be extracted tax-free from the corporation at a later date. As tax is your relationship with the government, the government is saying ‘you paid tax on your earnings, then invested it.  If you invest your earnings, then take the same amount out of your investment, we won’t tax you on it.’ Fair enough. However, there […]
October 2, 2013

Where to learn about tax

There are a few resources from whom you can learn about tax. If you are a member of a specialized business group, they may have some key resources. There may be incubators (like that offer free seminars on topics such as HST. Newspapers, especially national ones, have specialists writing particularly about personal tax matters. Blogs and the CRA websites may also help.   Books are great resources too. For a good introduction to taxes, I recommend Evelyn Jacks’ books. They provides knowledge in proper amounts so one doesn’t bite off more than they can chew. Still, the 6-cm thick […]
August 9, 2013

Time to Review Installments

By now, one should have the financial statements for the first two quarters of the year. Time to compare and contrast that with the installments registered with the CRA. If your business is doing better than expected, it may be time to increase your installments to avoid penalties and interest. If you business is easing down a bit (compared to your budgeted estimates), altering your installment registration with the CRA can reduce your taxes payable.
June 21, 2013

Complicated Income Tax Act

The Income Tax Act(ITA), as mentioned in previous posts, requires adding back amortization to calculate Net Income for tax purposes. After that, the capital assets are put into a special pool, and a unique form of amortization deductions called Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) is used to calculate amortization for tax purposes. Then it gets complicated. If one has a land and building, and one sells the two, it may lead to little capital gains on one and a great deal of (taxable!) capital gains on the other. Section 44(6) and 13(4) of the ITA help to spread proceeds from one […]
June 12, 2013

Business Income or Capital Gains?

A number of stories are coming out of people who sell an asset (condos for example), then sell and think they pay capital gains. Instead, the CRA challenges that, and states that the sale is business income. The stakes are high. Let’s say there is a profit of $50,000. If the person did not intend to buy and sell the condo for profit (i.e. bought the condo then got married and moved to a house), they should pay capital gains. The $50,000 profit is included in income at a 50% rate, or $25,000, and taxed at the highest marginal rate […]