Tax Planning

February 23, 2017

Big Changes for Small Business (Part 4 of 4)

On December 15th, 2016, Royal Assent was given to C-29, a budget implementation bill. C-29 means big changes for companies using the Small Business Deduction. Previously, I discussed the Small Business Deduction, who uses it, and what C-29 changed. Here,  I will briefly discuss the effects on small businesses. As always, consult a tax accountant to review your situation and for tax planning.   It used to be the biggest issue was Association: if two companies had 25% or more ownership in common, they were Associated, and had to share the $500,000 Small Business Deduction. Now, Specified Corporate Income goes […]
February 20, 2017

Big Changes for Small Business (Part 3 of 4)

As of December 2016, Bill C-29 is poised to make major changes to Small Business. In previous blogs, I discussed what the Small Business Deduction is, and what companies can use the Small Business Deduction. In this blog I’ll review the changes, and in the next blog I’ll discuss C-29’s impact. As always, talk to a tax accountant to review your particular situation and to get involved in tax planning. There is a new definition of Specified Corporate Income (new Section 125(7) of the Act). If two companies held by related owners do business with each other, that income won’t […]
February 18, 2016

Tax-Free Savings Accounts

Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) allows adult Canadian residents to earn investment income (interest, dividends, and capital gains) on a tax-free basis. Contributions may be made throughout the year. Starting in 2009, contribution room for taxpayers was $5,000 or above. TFSA contribution room builds up over time. You or your tax preparer may check your contribution room online. Be warned, however, that if you contribute to a TFSA, and then withdraw from the TFSA, the contribution room is lost until January 1 of the next year. So, if I took $100 out of my TFSA in September, I would have to […]
February 2, 2016

RRSPs

Registered Retirement Savings Programs (RRSPs) are an excellent way to save for retirement and save on taxes. The benefits are that one can save for retirement in a tax-efficient way, and get an immediate tax deduction. A drawback is that RRSP money becomes taxed as income when it is withdrawn. First, RRSPs offer a tax deduction. Looking at the 2015 federal tax rates, there are four marginal tax rates. Someone making between about $43,000 and $87,000 is most common. At the federal level, every extra dollar that person makes is taxed at 22% (more provincially). RRSPs, as a deduction, reduce […]
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 22, 2015

Family Tax Credit

The New Family Tax Credit is just as it is written: a credit for families. There are a few limitations on it, including a cap in the dollar amount. It works best when the couple make different amounts. It also requires that the couple have a child under 18 years of age. It gets a little more complicated in some situations, so contact your tax professional for more information. Update: This credit was removed by the new government, so is only good for some previous years.
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 4, 2015

RESPs: Great for children and taxes

RESPs are an excellent low-tax means of saving for a child’s education. Parents and grandparents may put money into an RESP. The money in an RESP grows tax-free. In addition, the government often puts funds into the RESP. Be careful from whom you purchase an RESP. This is an important business decision. What happens if your child decides not to pursue postsecondary education? Do you get the money back? What happens to the government’s contribution? These and other questions must be asked of the provider.
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.