Canada Taxes

RRSPs: Still Saving After All These Years

Cleo Hamel | Posted 03.22.2014 | Canada Business
Cleo Hamel

The Canadian government first created the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) in 1957, to promote savings for self-employed individuals and those without an employer-sponsored pension plan. It's now 2014, and that makes the RRSP 57 years old. The plan is obviously beneficial for many.

Will Canada's Government Continue the Tax Hike Into 2014?

Sean Speer | Posted 03.18.2014 | Canada Politics
Sean Speer

The trend of governments increasing taxes seems poised to continue in 2014. As of Jan. 1, the federal government increased taxes on certain dividend income, British Columbia raised its health care premiums yet again and introduced a new tax rate for those earning more than $150,000.

Learn About This Tax Shelter From the Storm

Cleo Hamel | Posted 03.08.2014 | Canada Business
Cleo Hamel

Tax shelters are few in Canada, so it's important to understand the ones that are available. The introduction of the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) in 2009 was met with positive feedback, but it seems Canadians are not always sure about its value.

2013's Top 10 Stories for B.C. Small Businesses

Mike Klassen | Posted 02.19.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Mike Klassen

According to our monthly Business Barometer survey, B.C. small business confidence grew substantially this year. In February, B.C. ranked in sixth place among Canada's 10 provinces -- but by the end of November, we were sitting solidly in second place. With the New Year almost upon us, it is worthwhile to take a moment to reflect upon 2013's high and low points for small business.

Who Exactly Wants CPP Hikes? Not Working Canadians

Dan Kelly | Posted 02.10.2014 | Canada Politics
Dan Kelly

While Canadians -- including small business owners -- support the CPP as it is, there are lots of good reasons why expanding it would be a bad idea, regardless of the timing. For example, while CPP appears to be well managed at the moment, it has been an unmitigated disaster in the past.

The Most Important Day for Your Tax Return Is Approaching

Cleo Hamel | Posted 02.09.2014 | Canada Business
Cleo Hamel

New Year's Eve. Champagne toasts and countdowns. Kisses at midnight and Auld Lang Syne. It's a time to look forward to the year ahead, and reflect on the one just past. Especially your taxes. Sorry to rip you out of the reverie, but taxes never sleep. And on December 31, Canada's tax laws set in stone a number of factors that influence your personal tax return.

Don't Call Me a 'Taxpayer' - I Am More Than Just My Wallet

Grant Gordon | Posted 02.05.2014 | Canada Politics
Grant Gordon

I don't like when tax dollars are wasted -- whether at the provincial level by relocating gas plants, or at City Hall by tearing up LRT contracts willy-nilly, or even by the federal government straight up losing $3.1 billion (whatever happened to that scandal, by the way?). And I get that times are tough. Saving pennies matters to a lot of people these days, and it should to our governments, too.

Close Tax Loopholes So the Rich Pay More

Dennis Howlett | Posted 01.26.2014 | Canada Business
Dennis Howlett

Top income earners with taxable income of over $135,000 are taxed at 29 per cent -- about average for an industrialized country. But because they have a lot more tax loopholes they can take advantage of, the average income tax rate paid by the richest 1 per cent was only 19.7 per cent. How is that fair?

Holiday Bonuses That Could End up on Your Tax Bill

Cleo Hamel | Posted 01.25.2014 | Canada Business
Cleo Hamel

We may be looking at something of a Dickensian, bah-humbug holiday season, according to a recent H&R Block survey of Canadian workers. The survey conducted by Leger showed only 44 per cent of Canadians are expecting an employer-hosted holiday party. But if, in fact, the season does put a scrap of gold or silver in your pocket, there's a chance it may come with tax implications, and many Canadians don't realize that.

The Conservative Proposal for Less Progressive Taxes Is a Bad Idea

Dennis Howlett | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Politics
Dennis Howlett

In the real world, much of the money the rich and corporations gained from tax cuts is being socked away, often in tax havens. The amount of Canadian money in tax havens is at an all-time high. One of the main reasons corporations are not investing is that demand for products and services is weak because of stagnant incomes of middle and lower income Canadians.

Why You Shouldn't Cheat the Taxman

Cleo Hamel | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Business
Cleo Hamel

We recently asked Leger to survey Canadians about cheating on taxes, and the results were a little surprising. Turns out that we don't seem to think tax cheats are all that bad. And if you are thinking about cheating on your taxes, the CRA does have several checks in place to make sure you are filing correctly.

Here's a Consumer Angle: Dump Triple-Digit Sales Taxes on Food

Mark Milke | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Politics
Mark Milke

In the recent throne speech, the federal government announced a variety of initiatives but the one that drew much attention was its ostensible consumer-friendly tack. To help consumers, especially those with the lowest incomes, the federal government doesn't need to micro-manage airline tickets. It could instead focus on the big picture.

Hate to Break it To You Walt - It's Pretty Bad in Canada Too

Bacchus Barua | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Living
Bacchus Barua

Healthcare in Canada is anything but free. The average Canadian family of two parents with two children (similar to Walt's family in the drama) pays approximately $11,320 in taxes for hospital and physician care through the country's tax system, in addition to the cost of private insurance for things like dental care and outpatient prescription drugs.

TransLink: A Rat's Nest Of Redundancy

Jordan Bateman | Posted 11.23.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

Giving TransLink more tax dollars is like giving a pyromaniac a fresh box of matches. Both will eventually run out and keep coming back for more -- unless they change their ways. TransLink's executive vice-president Bob Paddon, he of the $307,857 annual pay, claims his operation is an "efficient and well-run organization." The facts prove otherwise. TransLink is a rat's nest of redundancy and waste.

Why Does A Canadian Company Pay Its Taxes to Switzerland?

Dennis Howlett | Posted 11.20.2013 | Canada Politics
Dennis Howlett

Cameco is a multi-billion Canadian company that mines Canadian uranium, uses Canadian-developed technology, and relies on Canadian transportation system. Cameco employees use the Canadian education system, the Canadian health system, and they rely on the stability and legal protection that a Canadian democracy provides. So why does Cameco only pay taxes in Switzerland?

There's Nothing Impoverished About B.C. Cities' Budgets

Jordan Bateman | Posted 11.15.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

Don't hold your breath hoping mayors and councillors will come home from this month's Union of B.C. Municipalities conference with a stack of cost-saving ideas and strategies. In 2011, cities in B.C. combined to bring in $7.87 billion in revenue. Regional districts added another $1.6 billion. Throw in TransLink and its $1.3 billion and you have a combined annual budget of $10.77 billion to run everything from Abbotsford to Zeballos. To put that into perspective, if local government were a provincial government ministry, it would be bigger than anything except health, and more than double the size of education.

Japan Shows How to Stop Corporate Tax Evasion Using Tax Havens

Dennis Howlett | Posted 09.15.2013 | Canada
Dennis Howlett

There are ways that Canada could curb corporations from using tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. The Japanese government has shown ...

Tax Freedom Day Was Bittersweet

Charles Lammam | Posted 08.12.2013 | Canada Politics
Charles Lammam

In 2013, Canadians worked until June 10, which happens to be Tax Freedom Day, to pay all their taxes. Tax Freedom Day is an easy-to-understand measure of the total tax burden imposed on Canadian families by federal, provincial, and local governments. But the true tax burden doesn't end with the revenues that governments collect.

Why the Public Transit Debate Is Misguided

David R. Miller | Posted 08.11.2013 | Canada Politics
David R. Miller

On the editorial pages of Toronto's newspapers, there is a great debate about how to pay for the public transit expansion Toronto and the Toronto region desperately needs. The commentary is ernest, debating the merits of tolls, sales taxes, and other so-called revenue tools. But I think the debate is misguided.

Why Aren't Canadian MPs Paying Their Taxes?

Samuel Mosonyi | Posted 08.04.2013 | Canada Politics
Samuel Mosonyi

No politician or citizen stands above the law, and each citizen must pay income taxes. When the lawmakers fail to follow their own regulations, citizens should demand better. In order to take parliamentary suggestions and regulations on tax avoidance and evasion seriously, citizens should feel confident that their MPs, first and foremost, are following the rules.

Tough Times Ahead For The BC Liberals

Jason Clemens | Posted 07.15.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Jason Clemens

The BC Liberals and particularly Premier Christy Clark deserve the praise they're receiving for their surprise electoral victory. After all, the Liberals reversed a double-digit deficit in the polls and ended up securing a majority government. This moment of jubilation for the Liberals and their supporters will be short-lived however, as the reality of governing in difficult times takes hold. The litmus test for the success of this government, which they themselves established, is the success of the economy and in particular, jobs.

11 Musicians Who Got Caught Tax Evading

HuffPost Canada Music | Ken Kelley | Posted 07.09.2013 | Canada Music

Former Fugees vocalist Lauryn Hill is the latest in a long string of musicians who've had to face the music (no pun intended) from the taxman. Hill ha...

Why Tax Refunds Aren't a Good Thing

Cleo Hamel | Posted 07.07.2013 | Canada Business
Cleo Hamel

It is nice to receive a cheque from the government but a tax refund is not good, because you are only receiving your own money back. Your tax refund is money you have overpaid the government during the year. You want to pay the right amount of tax during the year, rather than give the government an interest-free loan.

How Much We Pay in Taxes: 1961 V.S. 2012

Charles Lammam | Posted 07.06.2013 | Canada Business
Charles Lammam

given the litany of taxes levied on us by the three levels of government, it is nearly impossible to get a sense of how much we truly pay. That's why in a recent report we calculate and track the total tax bill of the average Canadian family from 1961 to 2012.

Have Some Life-Long Debt, Son

Tim Paziuk | Posted 07.02.2013 | Canada Business
Tim Paziuk

Most people would agree that you shouldn't have to pay someone else's tax bill. Despite all of the myths surrounding tax filing, this one is actually in accordance with Canadian law. If a relative of yours were to die owing money, you have no obligation to pay their debts. It doesn't matter who they are, parents, siblings, aunts or uncles. If they have spent all their money, and die having nothing but debts, you're in the clear. However, unlike people whose debts die with them, a government's debt is carried forward forever (or until it's paid off). As we move through time, we're getting closer and closer to the point where it will be impossible to "clear our tab."