Canada Taxes

Three Important Tips for First-Time Tax Filers

Jeff Cates | Posted 06.07.2015 | Canada Business
Jeff Cates

You have a social insurance number, a job, and even a T4, but you have never filed your taxes. Everyone has been in the exact same position -- you have to start somewhere. Sure, it can be intimidating, but it doesn't need to be. Why? Because it has never been easier to file. Need a little guidance? Here are three tips to make your first time filing a breeze.

The Taxman Is Asking New Canadian Immigrants for Piles of Paperwork

Caroline Battista | Posted 06.06.2015 | Canada Business
Caroline Battista

The taxman has been asking some of our new Canadian clients for additional information while they review their tax returns. The CRA is well within their rights to ask for additional documentation but new Canadians are facing a rather long list of requirements.

3 Reasons You Should File Your Taxes Even if You Don't Make Much

Jeff Cates | Posted 05.25.2015 | Canada Business
Jeff Cates

I'm here to make the case for doing your taxes, whatever you earn. Every year, many Canadians living on low incomes choose not to file, stating little return -- no pun intended -- on the effort. Are you one of them? You may not realize that whatever bracket you fall in, filing has benefits tailored specifically to your situation. Below, you will find three reasons why filing is essential for those with low incomes.

Fixing Canada Without Raising Taxes on (Most) Canadians

Dennis Howlett | Posted 05.19.2015 | Canada Politics
Dennis Howlett

The Harper Conservatives have done a lot of damage to Canada. It has been the proverbial death by a thousand cuts: health transfers, aboriginal education and health, child care, social and co-op housing. The list goes on. It has increased stress on ordinary Canadians and created a huge social, economic and environmental deficit. And it has increased unemployment and harmed economic growth. The big question will be: Can damage be undone without raising taxes on 90 per cent of middle and lower income Canadians? The answer is yes.

The CRA Might Ask You to Prove Custody of Your Kids

Caroline Battista | Posted 05.19.2015 | Canada Business
Caroline Battista

Single parents with custody receive some substantial tax savings and the Canada Revenue Agency will sometimes ask for proof of custody. Even though your children obviously live with you, you need to prove it to the CRA if they ask. They may want a third-party confirmation so be prepared if they come asking.

Calling the Fraser Institute "Anti-Tax" Is Overly Simplistic

Mark Milke | Posted 05.19.2015 | Canada Business
Mark Milke

Taxes are indeed needed to fund important government services, critical both to a well-functioning economy and more generally, civilization. But there is a point when a larger, more interventionist government, combined with a heavier tax burden, can stunt economic growth and social outcomes, or achieve those outcomes only at great additional cost.

Canada's Wealthiest Don't Deserve More Leeway on Taxes

Dennis Howlett | Posted 05.13.2015 | Canada Business
Dennis Howlett

Tax compliance is a two way street. We trust that our friends, neighbours and business partners are honest and committed to paying their fair share. Instead, in the spirit of "penny-wise, pound-foolish," the government has cut the CRA more than any other department. The result is that the CRA now lacks the highly trained staff to handle complex cases. Wealthy Canadians know their chances of getting caught are small.

This Tax Season, Here Are Three Lessons You Should Teach Your Kids About Finances

Jeff Cates | Posted 05.11.2015 | Canada Business
Jeff Cates

Now that spring is nearly upon us, your children's thoughts have likely turned to the end of the school year, summer jobs, or perhaps their post-secondary futures. While you're likely preparing to file your tax return, they probably aren't thinking about finances or taxes. That's where you come in.

Know Your Status As a Couple Before Filing Taxes

Caroline Battista | Posted 04.28.2015 | Canada Business
Caroline Battista

Claiming marital status when filing taxes, especially common-law, can be clouded by a number of issues. Some people reason that if you keep your finances separate then you don't claim as common-law. Or they don't think they have lived together long enough. The CRA rules are very clear.

Easy Tips To Make Your Income Go the Distance

Cindy Crean | Posted 04.13.2015 | Canada Business
Cindy Crean

Another option for affluent families like Hugo and Milena is to consider setting up a family trust. It works best when families have a significant amount to settle into the trust or loan the trust. This may be considered for amounts over $1 million due to the costs to set up the trust and its ongoing administration.

It's Time To Rethink B.C.'s Medical Services Plan Tax

Andrew Weaver | Posted 04.01.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Andrew Weaver

Overhauling our current, regressive approach would be a positive step in addressing poverty and income inequality, and ensuring a sustainable health care system for now, and future generations.

Prentice is Wrong about Alberta's Single Tax

Mark Milke | Posted 03.29.2015 | Canada Alberta
Mark Milke

Earn $17,787 in Alberta and you'll pay nothing in provincial income tax. Earn $50,000 and 6.4 per cent of your income is tax ($50,000 minus the $17,787 exemption; the 10 per cent tax is paid on the remaining $32,213). Earn $100,000 and 8.2 per cent of your income is tax. There's a word for such sliding proportions of tax paid: progressive.

Do You Understand 'Employment Expenses' on Your Tax Return?

Caroline Battista | Posted 03.11.2015 | Canada Business
Caroline Battista

There are a wild variety of employment expense claims that tax-filers make. Dry cleaning and teeth-whitening for on-air performers? Doesn't fly. My favourite may be the repairman whose employer demanded a bi-weekly haircut. He took his case to Tax Court, and lost. But it definitely showed determination.

Breaking Down Calgary's Property Tax Increases

Mark Milke | Posted 02.09.2015 | Canada Alberta
Mark Milke

Once again, Calgary city council has raised property taxes beyond the rate of inflation. No surprise. Over the past seven years, only once, in 2007, has council approved a tax increase below Calgary's inflation rate. The latest hike, 4.5 per cent in residential property taxes for 2015, is triple the average annual Statistics Canada inflation rate for the 2010-2014 period in Calgary

What France Can Learn From Canada's Economy

Mark Milke | Posted 02.09.2015 | Canada Politics
Mark Milke

France's economy saw only a weak rebound after 2009 with real GDP growth rates of about two per cent in both 2010 and 2011 before slowing to a crawl with only 0.3 per cent growth in 2012. In comparison, Canada positively raced ahead, experiencing real GDP growth of 3.4, 3.0 and 1.9 per cent in 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively.

This Tax Tip Will Make You a Philanthropist and Stone-Cold Capitalist

Kevin O'Leary | Posted 04.17.2015 | Canada Business
Kevin O'Leary

A lot of people love to give to not-for-profits during the holidays, which is great. On the other hand, as a stone-cold capitalist, I'm morally obligated to make the most of every dollar I spend or donate...and lucky for you, Uncle Kevin's here to help you do the same.

Feds Hound Senior With Dementia, Parkinson's For $12K In Taxes

CBC | Posted 02.03.2015 | Canada British Columbia

The Canada Revenue Agency is demanding thousands of dollars from a B.C. senior, who suffers from dementia and Parkinson's disease, for failing to decl...

Prentice's Path: Getty or Klein?

Charles Lammam | Posted 02.02.2015 | Canada Alberta
Charles Lammam

The key question for the new premier is: will he follow the lead of former Premier Don Getty--and raise taxes as both the premier and finance minister are hinting--or Ralph Klein, who controlled spending and reduced taxes? The answer will affect the fortunes of all Albertans.

Salary vs. Benefits: How to Create a Tax-Smart Plan

Caroline Battista | Posted 01.04.2015 | Canada Business
Caroline Battista

Your work-life balance is a concern, but so is your taxable income. Perhaps your new salary puts you into a higher tax bracket, and 40 per cent of your raise will be going to the government. Is the promotion worth it?

Harper's Income Splitting Is a Missed Opportunity

Charles Lammam | Posted 01.02.2015 | Canada Business
Charles Lammam

By allowing households to move income from one spouse facing higher rates to the other spouse, income splitting is one way to help fix this distortion. Income splitting, however, does virtually nothing to improve economic incentives or Canada's competitiveness. Therein lies the missed opportunity.

There's Good Reason to Monitor Government Spending

Mark Milke | Posted 11.26.2014 | Canada Politics
Mark Milke

Too many use Orwellian language to propose something contrary to the public good. But, considering the reality of power, the term "taxpayer" helps people focus on the real cost of political decisions that favour a narrow interest, ones which can injure the good life for everyone else.

Charity Lesson From the Scottish Referendum

Blake Bromley | Posted 11.23.2014 | Canada Politics
Blake Bromley

The referendum in Scotland demonstrates the risks of England denying tax benefits to charities which promote indigenous Scottish values. Canada should have the self-confidence to respect the values and purposes which emanate from Quebec's people and legislature when granting tax benefits to registered charities.

Althia Raj

Harper And Tories May Cut Taxes Sooner Than Expected | Althia Raj | Posted 09.15.2014 | Canada Politics

OTTAWA — The Conservative government may announce personal tax cuts as early as this fall, Prime Minister Stephen Harper suggested in a speech Mond...

Nova Scotia Opts for High Taxes Rather Than Fracking

Mark Milke | Posted 11.09.2014 | Canada Politics
Mark Milke

From the fur trade to fisheries and forests, Canada was built on the toil and sweat of those who wanted to prosper. But these days, it's harder to create opportunity. And sometimes, government is to blame. The latest example comes from Nova Scotia.

Why I'm Willing to Pay More Taxes for Mental Health Services

Amanda Reaume | Posted 11.07.2014 | Canada Politics
Amanda Reaume

In Canada, I quickly realized, depression is one of the only life-threatening illnesses that you have to be rich to get proper treatment for. Since 1961, Canadians have taken care of our neighbours, our family, and our friends if they have illnesses like heart disease, or diabetes. But if they're suicidal or depressed? We've basically said tough luck -- deal with it yourself. This while more people are actually suffer from mental health issues each year then heart disease and diabetes combined.