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Planning for – or even thinking about – 2020 taxes when it’s not even December 2019 may seem more than a little premature. However, most Canadians will start paying their taxes for 2020 with the first paycheque they receive in January, and it’s worth taking a bit of time to make sure that things start off – and stay – on the right foot.


The start of fall marks a lot of things, among them a number of runs, walks and other similar events held to raise money for a broad range of Canadian charities. And, within the next month, as the holiday season approaches, charities will launch their year-end marketing campaigns.


Most Canadians expend a considerable amount of time and effort in order to put money aside for retirement. Especially in an era in which the majority of workers can’t look forward to receiving an employer-sponsored pension plan, Canadians are well aware that the bulk of their income during retirement will have to come from government sources and from their own savings efforts.


To win elections, politicians need votes. And to run the election campaigns needed to garner those votes, those politicians need an organization, volunteers, and money — a lot of money. To wage the most recent federal election, the major political parties raised and spent millions of dollars, and their task of raising that money was undoubtedly made somewhat easier by the fact that Canadian taxpayers who donated money to political parties or candidate can obtain some tax relief from doing so.


Tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs) have been around for a full decade now, having been introduced in 2009, and for most Canadians, a TFSA (along with a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP)) is now a regular part of their financial and tax planning.


In most cases, 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.


As the baby boom generation ages, members of that generation must switch their focus from the accumulation of retirement savings to creating a structure which will ensure a steady flow of income throughout that retirement. Those individuals face a particular deadline when their 71st birthday arrives, as they must, by December 31st of that year, collapse their RRSP and convert it into a source of retirement income.


When parents separate and divorce, it is frequently the case that they are able to agree on an arrangement to share custody of their children. Such a shared-custody arrangement is often to the benefit of all concerned, especially the children of the marriage.


Canadians are fortunate to benefit from a publicly funded health care system, in which most costs of care ranging from routine visits to a family doctor to intensive care in a hospital setting are paid for by government-sponsored health insurance.


The Canadian tax system is a “self-assessing system” which relies heavily on the voluntary co-operation of taxpayers. Canadians are expected (in fact, in most cases, required), to complete and file a tax return each spring, reporting income from all sources, calculating the amount of tax owed, and remitting that amount to the federal government by a specified deadline.


By now, news of yet another data breach resulting in unauthorized access to personal information — especially financial information — has become so frequent as to seem almost commonplace. Notwithstanding, the recent data breach affecting Capital One was, in many ways, a singular event.


  • Third Party Disclosure of Income - CRA reassessed a taxpayer to include income based on the results of the audit of a company which listed the taxpayer as a Subcontractor.             
  • Rental Property: Receipt Retention - A taxpayer had disposed of a rental property and CRA reduced the Adjusted Cost Base claimed by the taxpayer.
  • U.S. Snowbird: New U.S. Visa!- Proposing to allow Canadians aged 55 and older to spend 240 days in the country without a Visa is on track to become law.
  • Dropbox.com - Dropbox.com is a popular serivce which enables users to synchronize, share and back-up files via computer, tablet or iphone.

Virtually all Canadian snowbirds know they must keep track of how many days they are in the US and outside of Canada. Given the importance of “day count,” why do so few travellers (relatively speaking) trigger an examination based on the amount of time they have spent in either country? prior to 2014 neither the US nor Canada knew how many days someone had been within its borders. That will change in 2014 as new rules go into effect. All snowbirds need to know how this change will affect them.

ROY A BERG JD, LLM
Moody gartner tax law
Published: Monday, November 25, 2013


Most retirees who make the annual pilgrimage to the sunshine states already know how long they're allowed to stay in the United States without making immigration officials testy: fewer than 183 days.  But that limit could change - maybe just not this year.

KIRA VERMOND
The Globe and Mail
Published: Friday, November 22, 2013


Could your corporation be classified as a Personal Service Business?  Read about the tax implications.

Automobile audits by the Canada Revenue Agency ("CRA") are very common. Accordingly, these cases should be of particular interest to business owners who use motor vehicles for work and to their tax advisors.


If you are a Canadian citizen who spends a considerable amount of time in the United States, you need to be understand the US tax rules applicable to non-US citizens.