Getting relief from the high cost of driving

As every Canadian driver knows, gas prices seem to rise every spring, seemingly in lockstep with the warmer weather. This year, that annual trend has been given an extra push by the implementation of federal and provincial carbon taxes. As of the end of April, gas prices ranged from $1.19 to $1.56 per litre, depending on the province, and most forecasts call for those prices to increase over the summer.

Read More »

Posted: Friday, May 24th, 2019 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


Fixing a mistake in your (already filed) tax return

For the majority of Canadians, the due date for filing of an individual tax return for the 2018 tax year was Tuesday April 30, 2019. (Self-employed Canadians and their spouses have until Monday June 17, 2019 to get their return filed.) 

Read More »

Posted: Friday, May 10th, 2019 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


What to do when you can’t pay your tax bill

Most taxpayers sit down to do their annual tax return, or wait to hear from their tax return preparer, with some degree of trepidation. In most cases taxpayers don’t know, until their return is completed, what the “bottom line” will be, and it’s usually a case of hoping for the best and fearing the worst.

Read More »

Posted: Thursday, April 25th, 2019 | Categories: Tax Alerts.



Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s message with Budget 2019 is that, thanks to the Federal Government’s investments over the past three years, things are going well — especially for the middle class: more Canadians have full-time jobs, unemployment is at historic lows, wages are growing, consumers and businesses are confident, economic growth is good, and our debt is manageable.

Further details are summarized here Federal Budget Commentary

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.
Posted: Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 | Categories: Uncategorized.


It’s tax filing – and tax scam – season (March 2019)

For many years now, there has been a persistent tax scam operating in Canada in which Canadians are contacted, usually by phone, by someone who falsely identifies himself or herself as being a representative of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). 

Read More »

Posted: Monday, March 18th, 2019 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


When and how to file this year’s tax return

Each year, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) publishes a statistical summary of the tax filing patterns of Canadians during the previous filing season. Those statistics for the 2018 show that the vast majority of Canadian individual income tax returns — nearly 87%, or almost 26 million returns — were filed online, using one or the other of the CRA’s web-based filing methods. 

Read More »

Posted: Monday, March 11th, 2019 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


What’s new on this year’s tax return?

While Canadian taxpayers must prepare and file the same form – the T1 Income Tax and Benefit Return – every spring, that return form is never the same from one year to the next. The one constant in tax is change, and every year taxpayers sit down to face a different tax return form than they dealt with the previous year.

Read More »

Posted: Monday, March 4th, 2019 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


Responding to a tax instalment reminder from the CRA

Sometime during the month of February, millions of Canadians will receive mail from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). That mail, a “Tax Instalment Reminder”, will set out the amount of instalment payments of income tax to be paid by the recipient taxpayer by March 15 and June 17 of this year.

Read More »

Posted: Monday, February 25th, 2019 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


RRSPs and TFSAs — making the annual contribution

For most taxpayers, the annual deadline for making an RRSP contribution comes at a very inconvenient time. At the end of February, many Canadians are still trying to pay off the bills from holiday spending, the first income tax instalment payment is due two weeks later on March 15 and the need to pay any tax balance for the year just ended comes just 6 weeks after that, on April 30. And, while the best advice on how to avoid such a cash flow crunch is to make RRSP contributions on a regular basis throughout the year, that’s more of a goal than a reality for the majority of Canadians.

Read More »

Posted: Monday, February 11th, 2019 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


Apprenticeship training tax credit eliminated

The province of Ontario provided employers who hired and trained eligible apprentices in designated construction, industrial and motive power, and certain service trades with a refundable tax credit, the Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit (ATTC). The maximum such credit was $5,000 per qualified apprentice per year for the first 36 months of an apprenticeship program.

Read More »

Posted: Sunday, January 20th, 2019 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


Tax deadlines and limits for the 2019 tax year

Each new tax year brings with it a listing of tax payment and filing deadlines, as well as some changes with respect to tax planning strategies. Some of the more significant dates and changes for individual taxpayers for 2019 are listed below.

Read More »

Posted: Friday, January 11th, 2019 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


The employee tax perks of working from home

The daily commute to and from work is, generally, everybody’s least favourite part of the work day. In recent years that commute has gotten longer and longer as many Canadians, especially those working in large urban centers, have moved further and further away from their workplaces in search of affordable family housing.

Read More »

Posted: Friday, October 26th, 2018 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


The tax scam that won’t go away

Tax scams have been around, probably, for about as long as Canada has had a tax system. They also have a tendency to proliferate at certain times of the year — often during tax return filing and assessment season, when it wouldn’t necessarily strike taxpayers as unusual to receive a communication purporting to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), with a message regarding that person’s taxes — whether in relation to a tax refund or an amount of tax owing.

Read More »

Posted: Friday, October 12th, 2018 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


Charities and political activities – new developments

The administrative policy of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) with respect to charities has been that no more than 10% of a registered charity’s resources can be allocated to non-partisan political activity. Where the CRA views a charity as having exceeded that threshold it may impose sanctions, up to and including revocation of a charity’s charitable registration status.

Read More »

Posted: Saturday, September 15th, 2018 | Categories: Businesses, Tax Alerts.


An end to restrictions on political activities of charities?

Achieving charitable registration status is a significant step, and a significant benefit, to any organization. The organization itself becomes exempt from income tax and, in addition, is able to issue tax receipts for donations made to it, which allow donors to claim a federal and provincial tax credit based on the amount of such donations. The ability to issue such tax receipts gives a charitable organization a measurable advantage when it comes to fundraising.

Read More »

Posted: Friday, August 31st, 2018 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


Changes to Canada Child Benefit payments for 2018-19

Millions of Canadians receive payments each month from the federal government and for younger Canadians, especially families with children, such payments will often include the monthly Canada Child Benefit (CCB).

Read More »

Posted: Friday, August 17th, 2018 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


When the taxman has a few questions …

Between February and July 2018, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) received and processed just over 28 million individual income tax returns filed for the 2017 tax year. The CRA’s self-imposed processing turnaround goal for each of those returns is to complete its assessment and to issue a Notice of Assessment within two to six weeks, depending on the filing method.

Read More »

Posted: Friday, August 3rd, 2018 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


Owner/Managers: Are You Ready for the Tax Changes?

Right around this time a year ago, we received the somewhat unexpected private company income tax proposals from our Federal Finance Department.  While they had hinted that these changes were coming, the form of these changes was a big surprise to many private company business owners and tax practitioners.  After significant public feed back was received, the new tax rules are now in place with the income splitting rules already in effect as of January 1, 2018.  The passive income rules will take effect for tax years that start after 2018.  The question is, now that we are at the midpoint of 2018 are you prepared for these changes? Read More »

Posted: Wednesday, July 18th, 2018 | Categories: Commentary.


When you are turning 71 – the big RRSP decision

For several generations, reaching one’s 65th birthday marked the transition from working life to full retirement, and, usually, receipt of a monthly employee pension, along with government-sponsored retirement benefits. That is no longer the reality. The age at which Canadians retire can now span a decade or more, and retirement is more likely to be a gradual transition than a single event.

Read More »

Posted: Thursday, June 28th, 2018 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


Deciphering your Notice of Assessment

By the middle of May 2018, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) had processed just over 26 million individual income tax returns filed for the 2017 tax year. 

Read More »

Posted: Friday, June 22nd, 2018 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


ON – Province to reduce small business tax rate in 2018

In the 2017 Economic and Fiscal Review issued on November 14, Ontario’s Minister of Finance announced that the provincial small business tax rate would be reduced, effective as of January 1, 2018, from 4.5% to 3.5%. That rate is paid by Ontario incorporated small businesses on their first $500,000 of active business income.

Read More »

Posted: Friday, June 8th, 2018 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


Fixing a mistake in your tax return

By the end of April 2018, more than 20 million individual income tax returns for the 2017 tax year will have been filed with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). And, inevitably, some of those returns will contain errors or omissions that must be corrected – last year the CRA received about 2 million requests for adjustment(s) to an already-filed return. Read More »

Posted: Wednesday, May 30th, 2018 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


Tax Planning – It Doesn’t Stop at 65: The RRSP/RRIF Withdrawal Trap for Seniors

The minute you enter the workforce there is always someone out there, a friend, a loved one, a work colleague telling you that you have to plan for your retirement.  You don’t have a workplace pension to fall back on, so you contact your financial advisor and then your accountant and you do some tax planning so that you can maximize your funds available for retirement.

So, you work and work and work and contribute to your RRSP along the way in accordance with the plan your advisors have designed for you and finally that magic day comes – retirement and you say to yourself, now I can retire in peace and not have to worry about tax planning ever again.  Read More »

Posted: Wednesday, May 16th, 2018 | Categories: Commentary.


Claiming a deduction for summer child care costs

The arrival of warmer weather signals both the start of spring and the approaching end of the school year. For many families, it also means the need to begin researching the availability of suitable child care or summer daytime or overnight camp arrangements for the summer months. 

Read More »

Posted: Tuesday, May 15th, 2018 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


Making a payment arrangement with the CRA

Virtually no one looks forward to dealing with the need to file a tax return each spring, and while some of that reluctance is undoubtedly due to the complexity of our tax system, there’s another factor at work. Read More »

Posted: Monday, April 30th, 2018 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


Reporting the sale of your principal residence

The reach of Canada’s system is broad – residents of Canada are taxed on their world-wide income, and the income or capital amounts that escape the Canadian tax net are few and far between. Read More »

Posted: Friday, April 20th, 2018 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


CPA Canada Federal Budget Commentary

The Federal Government’s 2018 Budget touts Canada’s strong economic growth over the past two years, including real GDP growth of 3.2 per cent since the second quarter of 2016, an unemployment rate of 5.9 per cent, and significant improvements in average weekly earnings, consumer confidence, and household consumption. The Finance Minister expects similar growth in the near-term. In addition, federal revenues increased by more than 11 per cent in 2017, largely from personal and corporate income taxes.

Further details are summarized here Federal Budget Commentary

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.

Posted: Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 | Categories: Businesses, Individuals.


Changes coming to the Voluntary Disclosure Program

Although it’s doubtful that anyone does so with any great degree of enthusiasm, each spring millions of Canadians sit down to complete their annual tax return for the previous calendar year or, more often, they pay someone else to do it for them. Although the rate of compliance among Canadian taxpayers is very high — for the last filing season, just under 30 million individual income tax returns were filed with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) — there are, inevitably, those who do not.

Read More »

Posted: Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 | Categories: Businesses, Individuals, Tax Alerts.


Tax Efficient Retirement Planning

Perhaps you have been diligently saving for your retirement in an RRSP. The benefit you receive now is a useful deduction from your income for tax purposes.  However, have you fully considered what happens from a tax perspective when you retire and start drawing from your retirement funds?  The tax effect of your retirement income should be a consideration so that you are not overpaying income taxes during your retirement years.  Read More »

Posted: Thursday, February 15th, 2018 | Categories: Commentary.


Pension income splitting — getting something for nothing (February 2018)

Any taxpayer hearing of a tax planning opportunity that offered the possibility of saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars in tax while at the same time increasing his or her eligibility for government benefits, while requiring no advance planning, no expenditure of funds, and almost no expenditure of time could be forgiven for thinking that what was being proposed was an illegal tax scam. 

Read More »

Posted: Wednesday, February 14th, 2018 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


RRSPs and TFSAs — making the annual choice

If there is one invariable “rule” of financial and retirement planning of which most Canadians are aware, it is the unquestioned wisdom of making regular contributions to a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP). And it is true that for several decades the RRSP was only tax-sheltered savings and investment vehicle available to most individual Canadians.

Read More »

Posted: Wednesday, February 7th, 2018 | Categories: Tax Alerts.


CRA Online Access

Did you know that the Canada Revenue Agency allows for online access to your personal or business accounts?  There is a wealth of information available on their site which is quite easy to access.  Personal information includes tracking refunds, viewing past returns, checking benefit payments and setting up direct deposits.  Business accounts are even more useful for business owners or employees who need access to information.  Read More »

Posted: Monday, January 15th, 2018 | Categories: Commentary.


Tax deadlines and limits for the 2018 tax year

Each new tax year brings with it a listing of tax payment and filing deadlines, as well as some changes with respect to tax planning strategies. Some of the more significant dates and changes for individual taxpayers for 2018 are listed below. Read More »

Posted: Friday, January 12th, 2018 | Categories: Individuals, Tax Alerts.


Year-end planning for RRSPs and TFSAs

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. Read More »

Posted: Tuesday, December 19th, 2017 | Categories: Individuals.


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

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.) Read More »

Posted: Tuesday, December 5th, 2017 | Categories: Businesses, Individuals.


Managing your tax affairs online

Just about any financial or investment transaction can now be carried out online, and many Canadians conduct most or all of their financial affairs in an online environment, whether through their financial institution’s web-based banking and investment services or by using mobile apps. The shift to managing one’s financial matters online has extended to dealing with income tax matters, and that’s a trend which has been both aided and encouraged by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Read More »

Posted: Friday, November 24th, 2017 | Categories: Businesses, Individuals.


Flying south for the winter

As the days shorten and temperatures drop into the single digits, the thoughts of many Canadians turn to the idea of spending at least some part of the upcoming Canadian winter somewhere much warmer — most often, in one of the southern US states. And, while the less than robust state of the Canadian dollar relative to US currency has required Canadians to downsize some of those plans, it is still the case that thousands of Canadian “snowbirds” fly south during the worst of the Canadian winter. Read More »

Posted: Friday, November 10th, 2017 | Categories: Individuals.


Deciding when to start receiving Old Age Security benefits

The baby boom generation, which is now in or near retirement, has always been able to factor receiving Old Age Security benefits, once they turn 65, into their retirement income plans. While receipt of such benefits can be still be assumed by the vast majority of Canadian retirees, the age at which such income will commence is no longer a fixed number. Rather, retirees are now faced with a choice about when they want those benefits to start. For the past four years, Canadians have had the option of deferring receipt of their Old Age Security benefits, for months or for years past the age of 65, and that election to defer continues to be available. The difficulty that can arise is how to determine, on an individual basis, whether it makes sense to defer receipt of OAS benefits and, if so, for how long. It’s a consequential choice and decision, since any election made to defer is irrevocable. Read More »

Posted: Tuesday, October 31st, 2017 | Categories: Individuals.


Legal fees — what’s deductible and when?

For most Canadians, having to pay for legal services is an infrequent occurrence, and most Canadians would like to keep it that way. In many instances, the need to seek out and obtain legal services (and to pay for them) is associated with life’s more unwelcome occurrences and experiences — a divorce, a dispute over a family estate, or a job loss. About the only thing that mitigates the pain of paying legal fees (apart, hopefully, from a successful resolution of the problem that created the need for legal advice) would be being able to claim a tax credit or deduction for the fees paid. Read More »

Posted: Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 | Categories: Businesses.


The Liberal Private Corporation Tax Proposals: An Update

Our previous article discussed the new tax proposals issued by Finance Minister Morneau on July 18, 2017. These tax proposals were hinted at during the Liberal party election platform as well as the 2017 Federal budget with the messages of tax fairness for the middle class and closing unfair tax loopholes often used by wealthy Canadians.  The tax proposals that were announced in respect of these main issues focused on three areas: income splitting using private corporations, passive investment income from holding investments in private corporations and the conversion of dividend income into capital gains to achieve a lower tax rate, known as capital gain stripping.  Read More »

Posted: Monday, October 16th, 2017 | Categories: Commentary.


Protecting your personal financial information – the Equifax cyberattack (October 2017)

News about another successful cyberattack, on government or on a private company, in a single country or worldwide, is now almost routine. What such events usually have in common is a desire by the hackers who perpetrate the attacks to profit by it — either by demanding payment from the entity whose systems have been compromised, or by obtaining confidential personal information (especially identifying or financial information) about individuals, which the hackers can then use fraudulently or sell to others who wish to do so. Read More »

Posted: Friday, October 6th, 2017 | Categories: Uncategorized.


When you owe money to the Canada Revenue Agency

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) doesn’t publish information or statistics on the number of individual taxpayers who owe it money in the form of back taxes, interest, or penalties. Nonetheless, it’s a safe assumption that some percentage of the 28 million or so Canadians who filed a tax return this past spring either couldn’t pay their 2016 taxes when due or still owe money from past years, or both. Being unable to pay one’s bills on time and as due obviously isn’t desirable, no matter who the creditor is. There are, however, a number of reasons why owing money to the tax authorities is a particularly bad idea.

Read More »

Posted: Friday, September 15th, 2017 | Categories: Individuals.


The CRA’s post-assessment review process

While Canadians typically think of taxes only in the spring when the annual return must be filed, taxes are a year-round business for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Read More »

Posted: Friday, August 25th, 2017 | Categories: Individuals.


Getting a mortgage now – what’s a “stress test”?

The Bank of Canada’s recent decision to raise interest rates generated a lot of media attention, for the most part because while the increase itself was only one quarter of a percentage point, it was the first move made by the Bank of Canada to increase rates in the past seven years. Read More »

Posted: Friday, August 11th, 2017 | Categories: Individuals.


Taking Aim at Taxing Private Corporations

If you thought that this was going to be a quiet summer, time to enjoy vacations and not worry about the business for at least a couple of weeks, think again. Our Liberal government has given us an unwelcome surprise as proposed tax changes which target private Canadian corporations and the so‑called ‘wealthy’ Canadians.  There were hints in the 2017 Federal Budget back in the spring that something was coming our way, so now we know.  It is a hard-hitting set of tax provision changes that are meant to target those who are apparently not paying their fair share of taxes.  Read More »

Posted: Saturday, July 15th, 2017 | Categories: Commentary.


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