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Tax implications of the 2016 budget

Tax implications of the 2016 budget

Tax implications of the 2016 budget

Tax implications of the 2016 budget

The 2016 federal budget included a number of measures that will impact Canadian taxpayers. Here are some of the tax aspects of the budget which will impact individuals and small business owners.

1. Reduction of middle-income tax bracket

The middle-class income tax bracket would be cut from 22% to 20.5%, starting this year. That means if your taxable income is between $45,282 and $90,563, you’ll pay less tax.

2. New High Net worth (HNW) tax bracket

The Liberals introduce a new 33% tax bracket for high net worth people who earn more than $200,000 each year.

3. Increasing the attention on tax evasion

The Liberals will invest $444.4 million over five years to help the Canada Revenue Agency ensure tax evasion is difficult. This money will go to hiring more tax auditors and specialists, developing robust business intelligence infrastructure, increasing verification activities and investigating criminal tax evaders.
The Liberals will also spend $351.6 million over the next five years to help the Canada Revenue Agency improve its ability to collect outstanding tax debts.

4. Closing tax loopholes for HNW

For those private corporation business owners, this Budget will close loopholes that allow them to use a life insurance policy to make distributions tax free.

5. Retirement age rolled-back to 65

The retirement age will stay at 65. This reverses the Conservatives’ decision to raise it to 67 beginning in 2023.

6. Low-income seniors get 10% more in GIS benefits

Starting in July 2016, low-income seniors who rely almost exclusively on Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) benefits can expect a 10% increase to their total maximum GIS benefits.

7. Introduction of the Canada Child Benefit

Starting in July, the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) and Canada Child Care Benefit (CCTB) will be replaced with one non-taxable Canada Child Benefit (CCB).
Under the current system, families with one child and with annual earnings of $30,000 would receive $4,852, after tax, if their child was under age 6, or $3,916 if their child is aged 6 to 17.
Under the new Canada Child Benefit, these low-income families could see $6,400 per child under age 6 and up to $5,400 per child per year for children aged 6 to 17. As a result, most Canadian families will see an average increase in child benefits of almost $2,300 starting this year.

8. Increased Child Disability Benefits

An additional amount of up to $2,730 for each child who is eligible for the Disability Tax Credit will be added to the existing Child Disability Benefit.

9. Elimination of income splitting for couples with kids

The prior Conservative government’s introduction of the Family Tax Cut allowed couples to income split and save up to $2,000 in taxes each year. This income splitting for couples with children under age 18 will be eliminated.

10. Elimination of fitness or arts tax credit for kids

Currently, families can get a tax credit of $150 and $75 per child through Children’s Fitness and Arts Tax Credits (up to $1,000 and $500 in eligible expenses, respectively).
There will be a 50% reduction of the maximum eligible expenses for the Children’s Fitness and Arts Tax Credits in 2016, and a complete elimination of both credits by 2017.

11. Elimination of education and textbook tax credit

This Budget eliminates the Education and Textbook tax credits, effective Jan. 1, 2017.

12. Introduction of School Supply Tax Credit

Budget 2016 has introduced a new credit for the cost of educational supplies. The credit is available to teachers and early childhood educators who incur the cost of supplies for the purpose of teaching or otherwise enhancing students’ learning in the classroom or learning environment. This new credit will allow an employee who is an “eligible educator” to claim a 15% refundable tax credit based on up to $1,000 in expenditures made by the employee for “eligible supplies.”

Teachers will qualify as eligible educators if they hold a teacher’s certificate that is valid in the province or territory in which they are employed. Similarly, early childhood educators must hold a certificate or diploma in early childhood education.

13. Elimination of capital gains tax exemption on donations

Budget 2015 included a proposal to provide an income tax exemption on capital gains of donated private corporation shares or real estate beginning in 2017. To qualify, the cash proceeds from the disposition would need to be donated to a registered charity or other qualified done within 30 days. This is now eliminated in 2016 Budget.


Budget 2016: How budget could affect Canadian communities


What the Liberal budget means for high-income Canadians

 

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) HST Audit

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) HST Audit

CRA HST Audit

CRA HST Audit

Canada Revenue Agency CRA HST Audit

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) frequently conducts HST audits and reviews to make sure Canadians are complying with the regulations. CRA HST Audits can also be referred to as GST Audits or GST/HST Audits. GST/HST audits focus on GST/HST filing errors and omissions. The CRA does have the right to examine records of the organization that are relevant to determining its tax liabilities.

What causes a CRA HST audit?

The CRA has a complex computer system that allows it to select returns to be audited by sorting them into various groups. There are four common ways the CRA selects files for audit:

  1. Computer-generated lists – In order to select specific returns for audit, the CRA often compares selected financial information for current and previous years of taxpayers engaged in similar businesses or occupations.
  2. Audit projects – The CRA often tests the compliance of a particular group of taxpayers, particularly if there is reason to believe that there is significant non-compliance within a group.
  3. Leads – Leads for audits often are the result of other audits or investigations, as well as information from outside sources.
  4. Secondary files – A business may be selected for audit if it is associated with another file that is being reviewed for audit, since the CRA often finds it convenient to look at all the records at the same time.

What is the CRA’s new approach?

The way the CRA conducts its audits has changed over the years. The CRA has switched from a combined audit approach to a detailed approach. In the past, most audits of smaller businesses have been done as combined audits – one audit covering both income tax and GST/HST. Combined audits have now been discontinued. Therefore, businesses are now subject to an income tax or GST/HST audit, leading the CRA to request more detailed information.

What can you do to prepare for a CRA HST audit?

Before you release any information to the CRA, make sure you seek professional advice. Once the information has been released the CRA can use it against you to assess penalties and interest. This requires you to be well prepared and know your rights as a business owner. In case of an audit remember the following:

  • Maintain good records: Organize the receipts and documentation to support your claims. You are required to keep your records and supporting documents and financial information for at least six years. Well-kept records will likely reduce the time required to complete the audit. some tips on good record keeping include:
    • Ensure you have copies of any GST/HST elections you have been relying on.
    • Ensure your documentation is neatly organized and in order. The CRA will likely request a copy of your electronic books and records.
    • If you have a combination of exempt and taxable supplies, ensure your ITC allocation methodology is documented and explained.
  • Be knowledgeable: Before the auditor begins the audit, confirm what taxation years are under review and what records he or she will require. This will ensure you have the required information ready for the auditor upon arrival.
  • Know your rights: Don’t give the auditor full accessibility to your files. Understand your rights as a taxpayer and exercise them when necessary.
  • Understand the information you are providing: Carefully review all information provided to the CRA and ensure that you are not providing more information than required.
  • Be courteous and professional: It is important to cooperate with the CRA and provide them with the information they request. However, always remember your rights as a business owner. Responding promptly and professionally to all correspondence received from the CRA may help complete the process faster and smoother.

A CRA audit can be time consuming and costly when you don’t have the right resources. For assistance, contact Cheema CPA Prof. Corp. and we will work with you through this process.

What are your rights GST/HST CRA audit?

Your rights are outlined in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which states the 16 rights that apply to all taxpayers and registrants. This video, will mention three of the 16 rights that we want to highlight for you as you go through the audit process.

 

  • Right number three says you have the right to privacy and confidentiality. Auditors must respect the confidentiality of tax information and are obliged to take safeguards to protect your information.
  • Right number five says you have the right to be treated professionally, courteously, and fairly. You should expect this treatment from an auditor.
  • And right number six says you have the right to complete, accurate, clear, and timely information. You should expect to be kept informed throughout the audit.

If you need to learn more about your rights as a taxpayer please refer to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. 

Who can help during a GST/HST CRA audit?

Having the right team of professionals handling your HST audit is the key to success. As a taxpayer and a business owner you have rights. Before you release any information to the CRA make sure you seek professional advice. Once the information has been released, the CRA can use it against you to assess penalties and interest. Our firm is specialized in CRA HST Audits and Reviews. We can help you achieve a favorable result. Our team of lawyers and tax accountants can professionally handle your CRA HST Audit or Review.

Reminder-Monday, June 15, 2015, is the Deadline for Self-Employed Individuals to File Their 2014 Income Tax Return

Deadline for Self-Employed Individuals to File Their 2014 Income Tax Return

Deadline for Self-Employed Individuals to File Their 2014 Income Tax Return

Reminder-Monday, June 15, 2015, is the Deadline for Self-Employed Individuals to File Their 2014 Income Tax Return

We would like to remind self-employed individuals and their spouses that this year’s filing deadline is midnight on Monday June 15, 2015.  If you had an outstanding balance for 2014, it would have had to be paid on or before April 30, 2015. However, due to a CRA glitch the deadline to pay 2014 outstanding taxes was extended to May 5, 2015 this year.

If you don’t file your return, your GST/HST credit (including any related provincial credit), Canada child tax benefit payments (including related provincial or territorial payments), and old age security benefit payments may be delayed.

Contact our office if you still need help completing your 2014 self-employed business tax returns.

Income Splitting Family Tax Cut

 

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How the Family Tax Cut actually work?

The Canadian tax system taxes individuals and families based on there marginal tax rate. The more money you make the more tax you pay. As a result, when one person in a family has all the income, they end-up paying more tax than if the income was split amongst the couple. As an example, if the husband has $100,000 taxable income and the wife has zero taxable income, they would end up paying more tax than if they each had $50,000 taxable income. This is where the Income Splitting Family Tax Cut comes in and transfers part of the income to the lower income spouse.

The Family Tax Cut allows a spouse to transfer up to $50,000 of taxable income to a spouse in a lower income tax bracket, providing tax relief up to a maximum of $2,000. To qualify for this tax credit the both partners have to complete their tax return at the same time. This credit is effective for the 2014 tax year and subsequent tax years after.

Who can apply for the income splitting Family Tax Cut in 2014? 

  • You are a resident of Canada on December 31, 2014
  • You have an eligible spouse or common-law partner for 2014 and they have not claimed the Family Tax Cut;
  • You have a child who is under 18 at the end of 2014, who ordinarily lives with you throughout the year
  • You were not confined to a prison or similar institution for a period of at least 90 days during the year;
  • Neither you nor your eligible spouse became bankrupt in the year;
  • Neither you nor your eligible spouse elected to split eligible pension income in the year; and
  • Both you and your eligible spouse file an income tax and benefit return for the year.

 Can the credit be split?

The Family Tax Cut can not be split and has to be claimed by one spouse.

 How to apply?

The credit can be claimed on your T1 personal income tax return on Schedule 1-A and enter the calculated amount on line 423 of the Schedule 1.

Cheema CPA Professional Corporation
Contact Cheema Chartered Professional Accountants for your 2014 personal & corporate tax needs. We optimize every tax return and will automatically consider your family for the income splitting family tax cut credit. Book an appointment now using our web-app:

Personal Income Tax Returns–> We have expertise in preparing taxes for:

Individuals Executives Pension Income-Splitting
Families Employee Expenses Late filed returns
Self Employed Investment Income Investment portfolios
Rental Properties Capital Gains/Losses Non-Resident

Corporate Tax Returns–> We have expertise in preparing taxes for:

Corporation Tax Returns Accounting and Bookkeeping Late Filed Returns
Corporation Tax Planning Financial Statements  Sales Tax Returns (HST/GST/QST/PST)
Notice To Reader Reports Payroll filings (T4, T5) CRA Audit & Appeals
Have a Question?
Ask your tax questions on our online questions forum.

Capital Losses vs Non-Capital Losses

Capital Losses vs Non-Capital Losses

Capital Losses vs Non-Capital Losses

 Capital Losses Vs. Non-Capital Losses

 Capital Loss

A capital loss arises when you sell a capital property you own for less than its adjusted cost base. A capital loss can be carried back three years and forward indefinitely. The inclusion rate for a capital loss is as follows:

Year Inclusion Percentage
Before 1988 50%
1988 and 1989 67%
1990 to 1999 75%
Jan 1 to Feb 27, 2000 75%
Feb 28 to Oct 16, 2000 67%
Oct 17 to Dec 31, 2000 50%
2001 to present 50%

Non-Capital Loss (Business loss)

A non-capital loss arises when you incur  any loss from employment, property or a business. The carry-forward periods are:

Year of Loss Carry Forward Period Carry Back Period
Taxation years ending March 22, 2004 7 Years 3 Years
Taxation years ending after March 22, 2004 10 Years 3 Years
Taxation years ending after 2005 20 Years 3 Years

Capital Losses vs. Business Losses 

A capital loss can only be applied to reduce a capital gain. However, a business loss has more flexibility and it can be applied to reduce a capital gain or other income. In the case of Mr. Prochuk vs. Queen he tried to argue his losses were business losses and could be used to reduce other income. Mr. Prochuk was not successful in arguing his claim because he did not meet the criteria for a business loss. Mr. Prochuk was an engineer turned investor, he should have considered the following seven factors to determine if his losses were capital or non-capital.

The factors to be considered for a investment transaction to determine the type of loss:

  1. The number of transactions
  2. The intention of the purchaser when buying the securities
  3. The length of time that the securities are held
  4. The quality of the securities
  5. The time devoted to stock market transactions
  6. The extent of borrowing
  7. The taxpayer’s expertise or special knowledge in the securities market

The court concluded that Mr. Prochuk had acquired his investment for a long-term and was a passive investor, therefore his losses would be capital losses not business losses.

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 Cheema & Associate CPA Professional Corporation is an accounting firm located in Brampton, Ontario. Serving the needs of Small Business Owners & Entrepreneurs. Contact us for Tax Help, Personal Tax, Corporate Tax, Year End Financials, Accounting & Estate Taxes.  

Tax Preparer

Tax Preparer

Tax Preparer

  Preparing Your Tax Return

Preparing your tax return can be a complicated process with all the different tax credits available to taxpayers. Tax laws continuously change and it has made it difficult for tax payers to keep up with these changes. At our firm we continuously attend CRA seminars and tax conferences to enhance our knowledge. This has allows our firm to deliver direct quality to our valued clients. We have licensed tax prepares who will professionally prepare your tax returns. Our accounting firm is located in Brampton, Ontario and services clients from Oakville, Mississauga, and Toronto. Contact our firm for all your tax preparation needs. We go the extra mile and optimize all tax returns to ensure you get the maximum refund possible.

Download our 2014/2015 Personal Tax Checklist:

 

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Helpful Resources:

  • If you have decided not to use a tax preparer this year for your taxes you should definitely visit all about your tax return to help you prepare  your return accurately
  • Students: are you moving to attend school? Buying textbooks? Paying tuition or student loan interest? Paying for child care? You could be eligible for a tax refund! Read about what you can include in your tax return if you are a student or recent graduate.
  • Canada Revenue Agency’s My Account connects you to your personal tax and benefits information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and allows you to check for your tax refund, check your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) limit, track your GST/HST payments and change your address.

  Visit our Tax Centre for more helpful resources: 

Our Office Location:

Cheema & Associate CPA Professional Corporation is an accounting firm located in Brampton, Ontario at the main intersection of Kennedy Rd S and Clarence St. Our office address is 143 Clarence st. Suite 5, Brampton ON L6W 1T2.

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