Federal Budget 2017: Business

Finance Minister Bill Morneau delivered the government’s 2017 federal budget on March 22, 2017. The budget expects a deficit of $23 billion for fiscal 2016-2017 and forecasts a deficit of $28.5 billion for 2017-2018. Find out what this means for businesses.

Small Business

  • No changes to income tax rates
  • No changes to capital gains inclusion rate

Tax Planning using private companies

While no specific measures are mentioned, the government will review the use of tax planning strategies involving private corporations “that inappropriately reduce personal taxes of high-income earners.” including:

  • Income Splitting: Reducing taxes by income splitting with family members who are subject to lower personal tax rates.
  • Regular income to Capital Gains: Converting income to capital gains (instead of income being taxed as dividends)
  • Passive income inside Corporation: Since corporate income tax rates are generally lower than personal tax rates, this strategy can facilitate the accumulation of earnings by owners of private corporations.

For Professionals

The government eliminated a tax deferral opportunity for certain professionals. Accountants, dentists, lawyers, medical doctors, veterinarians and chiropractors will no longer be able to elect to exclude the value of work in progress in computing their income. This will be phased-in over two taxation years, starting with taxation years that begin after this budget.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Federal Budget 2017 Families

Finance Minister Bill Morneau delivered the government’s 2017 federal budget on March 22, 2017. The budget expects a deficit of $23 billion for fiscal 2016-2017 and forecasts a deficit of $28.5 billion for 2017-2018. Find out what this means for families.

Key points for families

  • Childcare: The funding could serve to create more affordable childcare spaces for low-income families
  • Parental leave: Extending parental leave and benefits to 18 months, Parents who choose to stay at home longer, however, will have to make do with a lower Employment Insurance (EI) benefit rate of 33 per cent of their average weekly earnings, instead of the current rate of 55 per cent
  • Caregiver benefit: Introduce a new caregiver benefit that’s meant to help families copy with illnesses and injuries.
  • Parents who go to school: Single, higher federal income threshold for part-time students to receive Canada Student Grants. Grants don’t have to be repaid.
  • Foreign Nannies: Waiving a $1,000 processing fee required to obtain a work permit.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Alberta Budget 2017

Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci delivered the province’s 2017 budget on March 16, 2017. The budget anticipates a deficit of $10.3 billion for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, $9.7 billion for 2018-2019 and $7.2 billion for 2019-2020.

Read more

New Tax for 2016 Tax Year


 
This tax-filing season, many important changes and improvements were made to services, benefits and credits for Canadians. Here’s what you need to know:

New and Improved Benefits and Credits

  • Canada Child Benefit: The Canada child benefit is a tax free monthly payment to help eligible families with the cost of raising children.

Other Changes

  • Income Splitting Tax Credit: The family tax cut has been eliminated for the 2016 year and future tax years.
  • Children’s Fitness Tax credit: For 2016, claim up to $500 eligible fees for your child’s prescribed program of physical activity.
  • Children’s Art Tax Credit: For 2016 claim up to $250 eligible fees for your child’s prescribed program of artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental activity.
  • Home Accessibility Tax Credit: For 2017 and subsequent tax years, you can claim a non-refundable tax credit for eligible expenses incurred for work performed for a qualifying renovation of eligible dwelling of a qualifying individual.
  • Reporting the Sale of Your Principal Residence: Starting 2016, you are required to report basic information on your tax return when you sell your principal residence to claim the full principal residence exemption.

If you have any questions, please contact us and we can connect you with a tax professional.

Family Tax Deductions to Notice


 
With the tax filing due April 30, we’ve included some tax deductions for families to notice for the 2016 taxation year.

  • Canada Child Benefit: The Canada child benefit is a tax free monthly payment to help eligible families with the cost of raising children.
  • Child Care Expenses: If your kids attend a daycare or a child care program, you or your spouse might be able to claim what you spent in 2016.
  • Child Disability Benefit: You can qualify for this tax-free benefit if you care for a child under age 18 who is eligible for the disability tax credit.
  • Children’s art tax credit: For 2016, claim up to $250 eligible fees for your child’s prescribed program of artistic, cultural, recreational or development activity.
  • Children’s fitness tax credit: For 2016, claim up to $500 eligible fees for your child’s prescribed program of physical activity.
  • GST/HST sales tax credit: Receive tax-free payments in January, April, July and October if you are eligible.

If you have any questions, please contact us and we can connect you with a tax professional.

 

Protecting Your Family

Let’s face it, raising a family today can be financially challenging.  The cost of living continues to increase, housing costs are rising along with education and extra-curricular activities for our children.  It is tough to make ends meet and still have something left over at the end of each month.

Most families today require both parents to work to afford the lifestyle they enjoy.  Losing one of those incomes through premature death, illness or a disability is a real risk that many families would have a difficult time facing emotionally and financially.

How do you protect your family?

  • Life insurance is designed to protect your family by providing the resource to replace income, pay off debt, and fund future education costs in the event that one of the parents dies.
  • Disability, or income replacement insurance, is designed to replace lost income if an individual is not able to work due to accident or sickness.
  • Critical Illness insurance will pay a lump sum benefit in the event of a diagnosis of many major illnesses.

If you and your spouse work for a company that provides employee benefits, you may already be insured for both life and disability insurance and in some cases critical illness.  Be aware that for the most part, employee benefit programs provide only a minimum amount of life insurance, usually based on one or two years of income.  If long term disability coverage is provided it may be enough for personal needs but that is not always the case.  Each situation is different, so it’s important that you and your spouse review your respective plan information to ensure that you have sufficient coverage in place. There are options to top up your coverage either through your group insurance or individually.

How much life insurance do you need?

If you or your spouse dies, the family will require a lump sum of capital to replace earned income.  You should aim to have enough cash for the following needs:

  • insurance to pay off any outstanding debts and mortgages
  • enough income from the invested capital to replace the lost income
  • an amount to cover future education costs

Think life insurance premiums are too expensive? 

Term insurance is an affordable solution for a growing family with a tight budget.  A 35-year-old non-smoking male can purchase $1,000,000 of ten-year renewable term insurance for less than $45.00 per month. A non-smoking female of the same age would pay approximately $30.00 per month for the same coverage. A relatively small cost to protect a family for $2,000,000 of tax free benefit in the event of an untimely death.

Let’s have a discussion about how we can build a program of protection specifically designed for your needs and circumstances.  Knowing what the needs are and what protection is in place goes a long way to providing peace of mind.