Author Archives: Allan

Tax Tip #5 – Claim those investment expenses

If you have investments, you may be able to claim related carrying costs and investment expenses. Carrying costs include fees such as a safety deposit box rental or fees paid to an investment advisor.  You can also claim interest expenses on the money that you borrow to for certain investments.

You can deduct interest and carrying charges incurred to earn income from securities, bonds and other investments, if they are earning investment income. The requirement of earning income generally means that the investments should be paying interest or dividends.

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Tax Tip #4 – What’s new?

The following are some new changes affecting your 2011 Personal Income Tax Return:

  • Children’s arts amount
  • Volunteer firefighters’ amount
  • Allowable amount of medical expenses for other dependants
  • Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB)
  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions
  • Students tuition credit
  • Investment tax credit
  • Exploration and development expenses
  • Split income of a child under 18

Please refer to the attached press release from the Canada Revenue Agency. http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/rtrn/cmpltng/whtsnw-eng.html

Please contact us to discuss how these changes will benefit you.

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Tax Tip #3 – Newcomers to Canada

Are you a new resident of Canada? If yes, then you will find these tax tips very interesting.

If you are a newcomer to Canada, you can be authorized to receive payments such as the Canadian Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) or the goods and the services/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit. To receive these credits, you must report your income from all the sources, including money earned worldwide and within Canada. Like all the Canadians, you have the right and the responsibility to file your income tax every year.

Source: Canada Revenue Agency  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html

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Tax Tip #2 – RRSP Contributions

A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) can help you save for retirement, an education or even buy your first home.  You have until February 29, 2012 to contribute to your RRSP so that you can reap the benefit of a tax deduction on your 2011 tax year.  To retrieve your RRSP deduction limit for 2011, please refer to your 2010 Notice of Assessment.  You can also use the new online service offered to you by the CRA named “My Account”.

My Account lets you obtain the information on your RRSP contribution limits, contribution requirements for the Home Buyers Plan and contribution requirements for the Lifelong Learning Plan.  You can also receive information on your Child Tax Benefits and your GST/HST payment information.

For more information on RRSP, visit http://www.cra.gc.ca/rrsp or log on to My Account at http://www.cra.gc.ca/myaccount.

Source: Canada Revenue Agency  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html

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Tax Tip #1 – File For Your Children

The income tax filing for your children can be very beneficial to them in the future. For the 2011 tax year, if your child has income of less than $10,527 there is no tax to pay.  However, by producing an income tax return for your child, he/she will reap the benefit of creating RRSP contribution room which can be used in the future.

Also if your child is above the age of 18, they can be entitled to the GST/HST credit.  The only way your child can profit from this is to produce an income tax return.

For more information on payment dates and how the GST/HST credit is calculated, visit http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/bnfts/gsthst/fq_pymnts-eng.html

Source: Canada Revenue Agency  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/menu-e.html

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29 Days of Tax Tips!

Whether you like it or not, tax season is fast approaching…

On a regular basis, we post Tax Tips and advice. We feel that it’s very important to keep all Canadians advised on their tax matters. Starting February 1, 2012 and continuing throughout the month of February, we will be posting one new tax tip daily!

Stay tuned and check back often!!!

 

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Tax Hikes Everywhere!

Happy New Year! The Government is imposing various tax increases for all Quebecers in 2012. An increase in the QST, increase in the QPP contribution rate, increase in the health contribution fund, increase in gas tax, etc…

Now, more than ever it’s extremely important to seek professional advice and take advantage of all possible tax deductions available to you.

For more information on the various tax increases, please watch this short video.

 

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Another Increase in the QST Sales Tax Rate

On January 1, 2012, the rate of the Québec sales tax will rise from 8.5% to 9.5%. The new rate will apply to taxable supplies for which the QST will be payable as of January 1, 2012.

The QST is compounded on top of the 5% GST. The new effective combined sales tax rate is 14.975%.

The rules for determining when the QST will apply at the rate of 9.5% depend on the nature of the good or service supplied and the type of supply made.

For more information on how this increase affects your business, please consult Revenu Quebec’s website link.

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When I Grow Up, I want to be a Tax Accountant!

It’s Friday so we decided to post something funny to lighten up the mood heading into the weekend. YES, all this is true and YES we love dealing with this stuff on a regular basis! Enjoy!!

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How Many Credit Cards Does a Person Require?

Having the right number of credit cards can really affect your credit score, but you may be wondering if you have too many or too few. The truth is that there is no perfect number of credit cards you should have or a mathematical function to help you figure out the right number for you. The most important thing to remember with credit cards is that it doesn’t matter how many you have. What will make a difference in your credit score is how you manage them.

Thanks to the recession, banks are now looking for many new cardholders, so it is much easier to be approved for a credit card now more than ever before. However, just because it may be easier to get a new credit card doesn’t mean you actually need to apply for one. You can have a great credit rating if you only have one credit card or even if you don’t have a card at all. The important factor here is how you use the credit you are given.

Those consumers who have decent credit scores usually follow three rules.

  • They fully pay all of their bills on time.
  • They keep a low balance on the credit cards they have.
  • They only take on new credit obligations when absolutely necessary.

Those who follow these guidelines can consistently build great credit over time and don’t have to worry about their number of credit cards.

One of the factors to remember when deciding how many credit cards you need is that your credit score could suffer if you don’t have enough credit information. If you don’t provide the credit bureau with enough information, they may not feel comfortable with your ability to make payments on time, which could cause them to lower your credit score. In this way, no credit can be just as troublesome as bad credit.

On the other hand, if you have too many credit cards, the credit bureau may think that you are a risk as well. People with more credit available to them are more likely to go into debt. Therefore, their credit score may suffer the consequences. Websites such as TransUnion Canada can help you keep track of your credit score as well as provide tips and advice on how to maintain good credit.

If you want to build a credit history, but you don’t want to have credit cards, there are other options for you. Paying a mortgage or student loan will show lenders that you are responsible and capable of handling other types of loans, and that good behavior will improve your credit rating.

Be very careful when you decide to open new lines of credit. Your credit score can fall for a period of time when you apply for new accounts. So if you want to apply for a loan or some other major credit obligation sometime soon, then you probably shouldn’t be applying for credit cards as well.

To answer the question “How many credit cards does one person need?” I have researched articles written by many experts, and they all seem to say the same thing. Three to five credit cards is generally acceptable because this number of accounts will give the credit bureau enough information for a proper analysis of your credit habits, and the card holder is still able to maintain a decent level of credit card manageability. If you don’t have three, you should probably open a few accounts as long as you can use them wisely. If you have more than five, however, closing the extra accounts isn’t the best idea. The credit bureau views older accounts as more reliable sources of information, and closing some of your accounts could lower your average credit card age. Therefore, the information from your remaining credit cards could be less valuable, and closing the accounts probably won’t help improve your credit score. Instead, stop applying for new accounts and keep all of your balances very low from month to month so you can show the credit bureau that you can be responsible, even with multiple cards.

Amy Young is an author working for a financial education company. Her articles relate to various topics including business, finance, and important credit card information for consumers.

 

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