Proposed Changes to the Taxation of Private Corporations

On July 18, 2017, the federal Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, announced extensive proposed changes to the taxation of private corporations in Canada.  These changes likely will impact you, and will likely result in you having to pay significantly more in taxes starting in 2018.  For more information, please visit the following links:

  1. www.cpacanada.ca/en/connecting-and-news/news/professional-news/2017/july/finance-canada-consultation
  2. www.taxpayer.com/commentaries/bill-morneau-s-attack-on-the-middle-class
  3.  www.fin.gc.ca/activty/consult/tppc-pfsp-eng.asp

These changes were proposed to ensure the wealthiest of Canadians pay their fair share of taxes.  Unfortunately, the proposed changes impact ALL private corporations, not just those that are owned by the wealthiest of Canadians.  In fact, the majority of private corporations in Canada are owned by “middle-class” Canadians, the very group of Canadians that the Government promised to protect. 

We do not believe that these proposals are fair, and are counter-productive to the Canadian economy as a whole for the following reasons:

  1. The proposals are based on the unsupportable argument that an employee and a private corporation owner should be taxed the same.  We believe that a private corporation owner carries significant additional risks and responsibilities that an employee does not, hence warrants the current tax regime;
  2. The proposals argue that spouses who are not directly involved in the business do not share in the risks and rewards of the corporation;
  3. The proposed changes casts a tax net at the wealthiest of Canadians that is so wide that it is going to catch hundreds of thousands of Canadians in the middle-class, resulting in the largest tax increase in decades to the middle-class;
  4. The proposed changes take away an important incentive for people to take risk and to innovate in Canada;
  5. The “trickle-down” effect on the economy will be far in excess of the tax revenues generated;
  6. A 75-day consultation window, in the middle of summer, is not properly consulting with the Canadians affected, especially given the changes proposed are changing tax law that has been in place for over 40 years;
  7. The proposed changes are overly complex, thus resulting in significant tax uncertainty for all impacted.

We think that you, as a private corporation owner, should be aware of these proposals and how they may affect your business, your family, and your future.  It is a very good time to contact your Member of Parliament (Pamela Goldsmith - Jones - [email protected] or 604.913.2660) to express your concerns before the consultation period ends on October 2, 2017.

Some of these proposals are scheduled to come into law on January 1, 2018, which will likely impact your 2017 tax planning decisions.  As there may be significant amendments to the proposed legislation (or hopefully abandoned altogether depending on the response from Canadians during the consultation period), we do not recommend any action with regard to your business structure at this time.  However, we will be in touch with you after the consultation period closes and once it becomes clear as to the extent of the final proposed changes.

Changes to the Child Tax Benefit

untitledDo you have children under 18 living at home? Changes to the Child Tax Benefit come into effect in July.

The federal government has simplified the calculation of the Canada Child Benefit; the Universal Child Care Benefit is now included and is no longer taxable. The new Canada Child Benefit will provide a maximum annual benefit of up to $6,400 per child under the age of 6 and up to $5,400 per child for those aged 6 through 17. Families with less than $30,000 in net income will receive the maximum benefit.

Check here to see how it might benefit you!

http://www.budget.gc.ca/2016/tool-outil/ccb-ace-en.html

Getting Organized

FACEBOOKAre you self-employed?  Do you have a home-based business and are you currently surrounded by mountains of paper?

Do you have the daunting task of trying to determine what information you need to file your taxes?  Are you looking for a bit of free advice?

Click on this link http://www.thecoastgroup.ca/documents/GettingOrganized-TheBasics.pdf   if you want some simple steps to follow to get your papers organized.  You will find some tips on how to get started, what your accountant would like to see, and more importantly, what CRA wants to see.

Click on this link http://www.thecoastgroup.ca/documents/GettingOrganized-ComputerizedInfo.pdf   if you are looking to organize your business information on a computerized system.

Make the most of your Tax Return

Filling in canadian individual tax form T1 for year 2013It’s that time of year again…tax time! But this doesn’t have to mean stress, or any last minute gathering of receipts. Don’t wait until April to take a look at what you will need for your tax return, early planning can make this year’s taxes simple and help you make the most out of your return.

This article takes an important perspective: “taxes are a year-round activity,” and provides some helpful tips on where to get started when looking at which credits and deductions will benefit you this year. Keep in mind family members and friends when reading this article as well, as they may appreciate the information.

Happy tax season!

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/caroline-battista/2015-tax-return_b_8707004.html

2015 RRSP Deadline

 

2015 RRSP deadline is February 29, 2016 – Here’s Some Tips and Considerations!

 

The Registered Retirement Savings Plan (“RRSP”) deadline is quickly approaching, being February 29, 2016 this year as it’s a leap year.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering your RRSP contribution:

  • What tax bracket will you be in for 2015 vs. 2016?  If your income is over $200K, then maybe you want to save your RRSP contributions for 2016 when the top personal tax rate will be higher than 2015.  If you’re in the “middle” tax bracket, then you may want to consider making a bigger contribution for 2015 as next year the middle tax bracket rate will be lower. 
  • Are you expecting your income to increase significantly in the future?  Then you may want to save your RRSP contributions for when your income is higher, as you’ll save tax at the higher tax rates.
  • How much can you contribute?  Check your Canada Revenue Agency notice of assessment very carefully, as you pay a penalty for over-contributing, as well you only have a short period of time to fix any over-contribution error without tax consequences.
  • Remember that contributions you make between January 1, 2016 and February 29, 2016 are claimable on your 2015 income tax return, so make sure you give your tax preparer the RRSP tax slips you receive for the first 60 days of 2016.
  • Even if you make an RRSP contribution now, you don’t have to necessarily claim it on your 2015 tax return, as you can choose to carry it forward to a future return.  This would be the case where maybe you expect to be in a higher tax bracket next year.  By making the contribution now you can take advantage of tax deferred growth of the investments within your RRSP.  In this case the CRA will show on your notice of assessment an amount called “undeducted RRSP contributions”.  Make sure to pick those up in the following year as many times people miss that.
  • How much is your RRSP worth?  Yes you can have an RRSP that is too big (good problem to have for sure)!  If your RRSP grows too big, when you turn 72 you have to start withdrawing the required minimum amount and for some people this amount puts them into an OAS clawback position, thus increasing their taxes owing in the future.  Now with TFSA’s you have alternatives for tax deferred investment growth.
  • What’s in your RRSP?  Do you understand what the investments are?  Do the investments fit with your risk profile?  Do you know how much your investment is returning you (or *gasp* losing) over the short term and longer term?  What are the fees you are paying on your RRSP account or hidden in your investment products?

Probably the biggest consideration is whether you need an RRSP at all?  Here are some questions to ponder:  What are your long term plan and retirement goals?  You have a plan, right?  Maybe a TFSA is the better way to go?  Maybe you don’t need tax-deferred growth at all at this stage of your life?  What would your retirement look like right now based on your current net worth, and what can you do to change that?  Unfortunately there are only two things that are in your direct control that will impact your retirement – how much you save, and how long you are going to work.  And the reality of today’s world is that there are A LOT of people working longer and longer in life, some by choice, more not.  We’re living longer so our retirement fund has to last longer.  Having a plan today will help you achieve your retirement goals whether that’s 5 or 25 years from now, so please visit your investment professional and/or your Chartered Professional Accountant to discuss your plan.