Trusted Tips and Resources

Trusted Tips & Resources

Trusted Saskatoon Financial Services tip on the 2014 YEAR-END TAX PLANNING CHECKLIST

 Saskatoon Directory in our Trusted Saskatoon Financial Services category

YEAR-END TAX PLANNING CHECKLIST:

Financial planning is time sensitive. While the following list is not exhaustive, here are some items that must be considered, incurred or paid prior to year-end in order to be included in your 2014 tax return.

Prior to December 24, 2014:

Put tax loss selling strategies to work by following these steps:

  1. Calculate the capital gains that you have realized for 2014.
  2. Identify and sell investments that are in a loss position. Trades entered by December 24th will settle funds in the account prior to December 31st.
  3. Net your capital losses against capital gains on your 2014 tax return. Note:

If your spouse has unrealized capital losses, extra steps can be taken to incorporate them in your tax planning. In all cases, you should be aware of the superficial loss rules when employing these strategies.

Prior to December 31, 2014:

  • Make charitable donations. Donating qualifying securities instead of cash can increase your tax savings.
  • Contribute to your child’s RESP/RDSP.
  • Withdraw funds from a TFSA, if needed. Any withdrawals will increase your contribution room in 2015.
  • Withdraw funds from your RRSP if you are in a low tax rate for the 2014 tax year.
  • If you are age 71 this year, you must convert your RRSP to a RRIF. Consider the following:
  • Use your younger spouse’s age for minimum payment calculations.
  • Make an advance contribution to your RRSP for earned income from this year.
  • Pay all tax deductible expenses.
  • If you are a trustee of a testamentary trust, consider triggering income (like capital gains) before the end of the year as income retained inside the trust will be taxed at the highest marginal tax rate starting in 2016.
  • Stock Option Rules – Special Relief: If your taxes are higher than the proceeds upon the sale of your shares following the exercise of your stock options, there is some relief if you sell the shares prior to 2015 and make a proper election prior to December 31st, 2014.

For Corporations:

  • If you are selling the assets of your corporation, be sure to complete the transaction by December 31st, 2014. the tax treatment on the sale of eligible capital property will be changing in 2015.
  • Consider paying an employee a non-cash gift or award of up to $500. This amount may be deductible to you and non-taxable to the employee. For January 2015: Remember to pay interest on prescribed rate loans (e.g. spousal loans) prior to January 30th. 

March 2015:

  • You have until March 2nd, 2015 to make your RRSP or a spousal RRSP contribution, and deduct the amount on your 2014 (subject to your RRSP contribution limits) tax return.

Ongoing reporting obligations:

  • If you hold foreign property with a cost base greater than $100,000, file the Foreign Income Verification Statement (CRA Form T1135). As of June 2014, new rules apply to disclosure of this information.
  • If you are a U.S. Person for tax purposes, understand your IRS reporting requirements. U.S. Persons (even those who are resident in Canada) have tax reporting requirements in the U.S. For example, U.S. persons are required to report any holdings in Passive Foreign Investment Companies (PFICs).

Note: Beginning in 2014, Canadian financial institutions are required to report certain information on U.S. persons as a result of the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

New tax measures:

Family Tax Cut – Income Splitting:

  • In the October 2014 Federal Tax Update a new non-refundable tax credit of up to $2,000 was introduced for eligible couples with minor children. The new credit will be effective for the 2014 and subsequent tax years.

Child Care Expenses and The Universal Child Care Benefit:

  • Effective 2015 there will be an increase in the Child Care deduction by $1,000. The Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) will also increase to $160 per month for children under the age of six, and $100 per month for those ages six to sixteen. As a result of the UCCB changes, the Child Amount Tax Credit is being repealed in 2015.

We recommend you discuss these strategies with your professional investment, tax and legal advisors prior to implementation to ensure they fit.

 

Trusted financial services tip on Insuring our Families

Saskatoon Directory in our Trusted Saskatoon Financial Services category.

 tip on Insuring our Families:

No one likes to talk about it because no one wants to entertain the thought. Parents dare not imagine for a single moment the possibility of one of their children receiving the diagnosis of a critical illness or passing away.

Yet, not talking and not thinking about the financial consequences of unfortunate events such as a critical illness or the death of one of our children, does not make the possibility of these situations less likely. Having sufficient and appropriate insurance coverage for parents and children is an integral part of family financial planning.

Besides providing funds to cover funeral expenses, insurance for children will provide a financial cushion in the event of a disaster. This will allow parents to take the additional time off work needed to cope with such an ordeal.

Acquiring insurance for minor children also provides several advantages:

· Low premiums when children are young and in good health

· Guaranteed future insurability

· Protection against possible health exclusions

· Additional savings for education, first home or other needs in the future

Of course, parents should ensure that their own insurance program is in place prior to considering insurance for their children. 

 

 

 

Trusted Saskatoon Financial Services partner tip on Renting your U.S. vacation property

 Saskatoon Directory in our Trusted Saskatoon Financial Services category.

tip on Renting your U.S. vacation property - Be sure you know the tax implications:

Like many Canadians, you may own a vacation property in the United States (U.S.). And, you may be considering renting it out for the purpose of earning income or to defray the ongoing maintenance expenses. Before you begin renting your U.S. vacation property, however, you should take into account both the U.S. and Canadian income tax consequences.

Is your property subject to U.S. income tax?
If you are a Canadian tax resident, you must pay U.S. income tax on the rent you receive from your U.S. vacation property whether you or your agent:

  • arranges the rental while in the U.S. or Canada,
  • receives rental payments while in the U.S. or Canada, or
  • rents the property to Canadians or others

If you are NOT a U.S. person1, you must pay U.S. income tax on the rent you receive in one of two ways:

1. withholding tax, or  

2. tax on net rental income.

If you ARE a U.S. person2, you declare the rent as income on your U.S. tax return and you may deduct your ordinary expenses and a depreciation charge from this income. You then pay tax on your net rental income according to U.S. tax rates.

Foreign tax credit helps avoid double taxation
As a Canadian resident, you pay tax on your worldwide income, including the rent you receive from your U.S. vacation property. However, you should receive a credit on your Canadian tax return for any tax you have paid in the U.S. on rental income. This is referred to as a“foreign tax credit” and by claiming the credit you avoid double taxation on the same rental income.    

                                                                                                                                                                                                               
 

Also, remember that you may need to report the cost of your U.S. vacation property and the net rental income you have received. This is required when the cost of your specified foreign property (your rented vacation property and other foreign investments) exceeds $100,000 at any time in the taxation year.

As with any tax planning, you should consult a tax advisor about your own unique circumstances.

Any discussion of U.S. tax matters in this communication (including any attachments) cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties.

1. You are a non-resident alien for U.S. Tax purposes.

2. You are a U.S. citizen or resident alien (green card holder), or have elected to file a U.S. income tax return.

Trusted Saskatoon Financial Services partner answers Saskatoon's questions

 Saskatoon Directory in our Trusted Saskatoon Financial Services category

TrustedSaskatoon.com Talk to the ExpertsTrusted Finance Sho

Q: M Liz Beisel:  Is it better to buy back pension years that one did not contribute to or buy RRSP's or TFSA's?

A: Pension buy back really applies to those individuals who are part of a defined benefit pension plan and who may have missed out on some years of contribution service. Some examples might include a maternity leave, sabbatical, leave of absence or war service. When it comes to the buyback dilemma, the numbers will be the biggest determining factor. That being said, there are many other issues that will affect your decision to buy back pension:

-     Length of tenure.The longer you work for the same employer under a defined benefit plan, the more likely it will be that buying back pensionable years will be the best investment you can make. Defined benefit plans reward longer-term employees.

-     Employer contributions.In most cases, buying back years of service also means that your employer will be making some contributions to your pension.

-    Can you afford the cost?Obviously, this is one of the biggest issues. Often employers will help by allowing you to buy back the pension over a period of time rather than being forced to come up with one lump sum. If you have money in your RRSPs, you can also transfer the RRSP into the pension to buy back years of service.

-    Estate planning.Pension plans will often provide some income to a spouse but the pension will not be passed on to your children. With RRSPs, there is an estate provided to beneficiaries other than your spouse.

-     Flexibility and liquidity.As much as pensions are the cornerstone of retirement income for those belonging to a defined benefit plan, you will have greater flexibility and liquidity with other types of retirement savings like RRSPs. Pension funds are more restrictive.

-    Time.Buying back pension later will result in a higher cost. The sooner you buy back pension, the less costly it will be. This is simply the time value of money.

-     Life expectancy.Remember that pension income will pay for as long as you live no matter how long you live for. Although no one knows when they are going to die, keep in mind that if you think longevity is on your side, anything to do with the pension will weigh in your favour.

There you have some important considerations to think about if you are faced with the decision to buy back your pension. Most employers have calculators to help you make this decision. Alternatively, look for a retirement expert to help you make the best decision for your circumstances.  When we have reviewed these types of arrangements in the past there has often been more advantage than disadvantage to buy back the years.

 

Q: Vanessa Froese: How would one invest money if they took a work severance package during lay offs? And, would one leave their RRSP contributions in the former work plan or take out and put in a mutual fund? 

A: It is important that when considering to invest a lump sum from something like a severance package there is a careful analysis of the individual investor’s objectives, risk tolerance, cash flow needs and tax situation.In the case of severance, typically we are dealing with an emotional time for the investor and if there is future job uncertainty it is even more important to use a cautious and systematic approach as cash flow needs may be quite different at this time. 

When we work with people in this situation we would always do an analysis on the former work plan to see what the investing options, performance and flexibility would be before we would make suggestions as leaving it in the former work plan or transferring into an individual account where the investor would have more control over how the account would be managed going forward.Once a person leaves employment of a firm it is often more cumbersome to try and manage the investments but it is totally dependent on the firm and the structure of the former plan.If you were take the assets out of the former plan and invest then generally there are more options available to the investor and the choices would be dependent on what the investor/advisor would like to use going forward ie. Mutual funds, stocks, bonds, etc.We have seen more people move them then keep them with the former employers plans. 

Our best advice is to see a qualified Financial Planner, as there are so many variables to look at depending on age, personal situation, dependents, your goals and more. 

Q: Sheila Benesocky: I'm two steps away from building a business I'm short on equity, how can I go about finding an investor in my project? I am a member of the Woman's Entrepreneur’s.

A: Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Inc. is an excellent organization and has the ability to provide a number of services that may assist you in building your business – Business Advising, Networking, Lending, Mentoring are all services that are accessible to members.  Depending on the scale of the new business and how much investment would be needed we quite often see these type of investments come from “Angel” investors. 

According to Wikepedia the definition of an angel investor: An angel Investor or angel (also known as a business angel or informal investor or angel funder) is an affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. A small but increasing number of angel investors organize themselves into angel groups or angel networks to share research and pool their investment capital, as well as to provide advice to their portfolio companies.[1]

There are a number of angel investor organizations that you may want to have a look at in the province:

            Saskatoon Capital Network: http://saskcapitalnetwork.com/

            Saskatchewan Angel Investor Network: http://www.saint.sk.ca/

 

Q: Kathleen Rose: At what age should you stop contributing to RRSP and begin to spend them without penalty? Is there a certain allowable percentage that won't result in paying a large amount of taxes per year?

A: The age at which investors should stop contribution to RRSP’s and begin withdrawing is unique to every investor depending on household cash flow needs, tax situation, employment situation, goals and objectives, etc.  These factors may change from year to year and should always be part of the annual planning review that you do with your advisor or if a do-it-yourself investor that you look at yourself.  You are required to start withdrawals in the year after you turn 71 but before that you can make that choice depending on your circumstances.   Ideally in years when incomes are highest you want to be making RSP contributions and you would want to wait for lower income years (if that was an option) to make withdrawals but every situation is unique.

In our office we start tax planning for this type of thing with our clients in October/November of every year and not only is it different with each individual, it can change every year!  While people are working we are often used to only one source of income from employment;  in retirement we can have over 6 different sources of income that now need to be managed for the best tax efficiency to meet your needs.  

Q: Mike Maille: Is it better to invest in RRSP's or mutual funds?

A: RRSP’s stand for Registered Retirement Savings Plan’s and this is a type of retirement account that can be setup for clients.  There are also Locked In Retirement accounts(LIRA), Tax Free Savings Accounts(TFSA) and Non Registered accounts.  Mutual funds are a type of investment that can be used inside the RRSP or other accounts.  Other types of investments that could also be used are individual stocks, Exchange traded funds(ETF’s), bonds, GIC’s, segregated funds.  Each type of investment has their strengths and weaknesses depending on the individual client situation. 

What you should be invested in should be determined based on your goals and objectives.  If using an investment advisor, they will assist and help you stay within your appropriate portfolio. If doing yourself, a lot of the direct investing websites have questionnaires to help you, but then you are responsible for watching and staying within your appropriate portfolio mix.

Q: Chris Mercereau: Am I better off buying more RRSP's every month or putting that money towards paying off my mortgage faster?

A: The pay down mortgage versus contribute to your RRSP is a common question that we get. Your best option depends on the following factors which are unique for each individual:

-          Mortgage rate

-          Remaining term on mortgage

-          Years to retirement

-          Future rate of investment return

-          Marginal tax rate 

 

What happens if you put the money in your RRSP?

 

You get tax-free compounding of your investments and a tax refund that you can re-invest in the

RRSP or could be used to make an additional mortgage payment. 

 

What happens if you pay down your mortgage?  


You get reduced mortgage payments and you could invest the monthly savings back into your RRSP. We will typically get all the information from the clients and then can use our planning software or an online calculator 
to put some numbers around the exercise which are individualized for the client.

Trusted Saskatoon Financial tip on Insured Annuities

 Saskatoon Directory in our Trusted Saskatoon Financial Services category.

 tip on Insured Annuity:

Reaching retirement goals with fixed income is more and more challenging. Why not consider an insured annuity?

The combination of a life annuity and a life insurance contract may bring much higher yield of return than other fixed income products.

Benefits

·         Guaranteed, tax efficient income for life

·         Guaranteed death benefit and estate preservation.

·         Potential to outperform the after tax rate of return of traditional fixed income investments

Who can benefit from this strategy?

An Insured Annuity can be a strategy to consider for someone over the age of 60, in good health, risk averse, who requires an income from their investments, and wants to leave a guaranteed death benefit to their heirs or favourite charity.

How does it work?

An Insured Annuity works by purchasing a prescribed life annuity contract and a permanent life insurance contract with a death benefit equal to the capital invested in the annuity. Generally, payments received from the annuity are used:

1.     to pay the life insurance premium

2.     to pay the tax on the annuity

3.     to supplement retirement income

At death, the annuity payments typically cease and the life insurance death benefit is paid to the estate or named beneficiary. Both components play an important role.

 

 

 

Categories

Previous Posts

ADDRESS

S & E Trusted Online Directories Inc
TrustedSaskatoon.com
434 20th Street West
Saskatoon, SK   S7M 0X4
Ph: 306.244.4150

GET THE APP

App Store Google Play
Follow us on Facebook Linked In Google+ YouTube RSS Feed
Abex
Stevies
Sabex
NEYA
Website hosting by Insight Hosting