As life becomes increasingly mobile, there is an uptick in the number of Canadians who start and manage small businesses without brick and mortar locations. No matter how mobile or field-based entrepreneurs earn their income, it's important to understand how these modern business endeavours impact your taxes. Here's an overview of what you need to know before you file.
As Canadians we like to take pride in our publicly funded healthcare system, but the truth is many of us -- especially those with or caring for someone with disabilities or chronic conditions -- pay out of pocket for a wide range of essential health services. Studies show Canadians pay as much as 30 per cent of our health needs privately.
For people expecting a refund, it may seem like a bonus payout from the government and feels great for a few moments until you realize it is money you overpaid the government in 2015. You are getting it back several months later with no interest. Once you understand this, tax refunds may not seem like a good idea after all.
From a northern perspective, Super Tuesday in the U.S. can be a spectacular political event. A candidate unexpectedly rises to the front or, in this case, continues their unexpected rise to the Presidential candidacy. And, like clockwork, a contingent of American voters suddenly proclaim that they're going to move to Canada. So what should people who are thinking of making the trek know about our tax system?
This desire to 'do good' without any financial reward might help explain why the number of Canadians taking advantage of charitable tax credits plummeted from 29.5 to 21.9 per cent from 1990 to 2013, and why under six million people claim the federal Charitable Donation Tax Credit each year despite the fact that about 24 million of us (about 85 per cent of Canadians) make an annual financial donation to charity.
The first major financial deadline of 2016 is February 29. This is the last day you can make a contribution to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and claim the contribution on your 2015 tax return. You still have the first 60 days to make contributions but with the leap year, the deadline is midnight at the end of the month.
For students, the month of April is quickly approaching and with it comes not only the stress of final exams but also the deadline for filing your tax return. Of course you need to make sure you're paying what the law requires, but you also want to take advantage of some of the ways that students can reduce their tax bills.
Road levy. Recreation and culture levy. Transportation for tomorrow tax. Dedicated road tax. Asset levy. Make no mistake: we want our cities to invest in infrastructure. Sewer, water, roads; these are core responsibilities of local government. But repackaging this spending with a new tax is a slap in the face.