Feb Update Arbutus Tax News

The tax season is now going with Efiling having commenced Feb 20th for the 2016 tax year right back to 2013.  For some reason they dropped Efiling for 2012 and that along with prior years now must be paper filed, which we can do, of course.

 

Thanks to all our clients for continuing to support Arbutus Tax Services, a local small business in Victoria.

 

With each tax year, there are changes to be aware of.

 

One of the changes is the new rules concerning sale of residence:  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/rtrn/cmpltng/rprtng-ncm/lns101-170/127/rsdnc/menu-eng.html  Check this link for more details.

 

For 2016 you must indicate on the tax return if you have sold or not.  “When you sell your home, you may realize a capital gain. If the property was your principal residence for every year you owned it, you do not have to report the sale on your income tax and benefit return.” But there are special situations such as having rented the property or used it for business income.

 

A change of address is possible when the current tax return is filed.  Make sure that everything is updated including change in marital status and dependents.

 

Yes, you may be able to do your own tax return.  There are software programs for this or you can still paper file. But it can be a challenge to keep up with the changes and also doing it only once a year can have some drawbacks. Knowing all the rules or most of them can be a challenge and sometimes meaningful friends can be helpful or not.  Smile 

 

I have seen quite a few errors being made and have helped with fixing these, but I am sure others have had no issues.  Missing something can be costly as you may be able to save with deductions or credits and have to pay more tax than necessary or face penalties for not reporting something.

 

CRA advises to be careful in not claiming things your are not entitled to, also continuous business losses can result in reassessment and disallowing those losses.   

 

You can also register online to check your details and manage your account with Canada Revenue Agency, CRA : http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/esrvc-srvce/tx/ndvdls/myccnt/menu-eng.html   There is much information to be had there.

 

For many of our clients having completed the form T1013, Authorizing or Cancelling a Representative, gives us access to your account at CRA.  This allows us to complete a return based upon the information on file at CRA.  It is also important to note, not all forms may have been registered yet at the CRA, such as T4s, T3s, T5s, T4RIFs, T4RSPs etc. Other things have to be done manually such as donations, medical expenses, employment expenses and if a small business T2125 must be completed.

 

Some forms are not out until the end of Feb or March.  Investments take longer T3s and if you have sold securities get a statement from you investment company which show sales and purchases, usually a Statement of Realized Gains or Losses.  I am finding more of the T5008 forms being reported by the financial institutions and the client not being aware.  If in doubt ask your financial adviser or institution.  This is very important for accurate reporting to avoid missing reporting this and getting penalties and interest.  For losses you can carry them forward or back. This applies to securities held outside RRSP or TFSA.   

 

For existing clients, we can have most of your return ahead of time also to save time to complete the return and saving you from running back and forth. 

 

Some family credits to be aware of are here: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/txtps/2017/tt170214-eng.html

 

First time home buyers may take advantage of t $5000 credit and we assist with this.  Just let us know and we will check this out.

 

It is important to file on time and we suggest doing this as early as possible to avoid the rush and to avoid penalties and interest. 

 

If you want to have the CRA email you for notices and assessments that can be done by providing your email address before Efiling.  However this means signing up at MyAccount on the CRA website and you will need a password.   Register above at the MyAccount link. 

NOTE: By doing so you will NOT receive paper notices and must check your account online for future notices.

 

Keep all receipts and slips for at least 6 years.  For medical receipts if you have many, ask your pharmacy for a printout of the receipt totals for the year.  That will save time and money. 

 

Pension splitting is sometimes missed by seniors filling out their own forms so make sure this gets claimed.  We will do this automatically for the optimized amount.  This can save thousands of dollars.

 

If you have questions please give us a call at 250-999-8585. Also email us, see our contact link on the main page.  It is sometimes quicker by email rather than playing telephone tab.  Smile

 

Okay that is it for now.  I have not covered everything for sure.

 

Cheers

 

Eugene Veinotte

Arbutus Tax Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Income Tax Changes That May Affect You Now and in the Future

Taxpayers with children will notice that the family tax cut is gone for 2016.  Enhanced child care tax free benefits (CCB) have been introduced along with increases in UCCB. The family tax cut or split elimination does not affect the pension tax split enjoyed by many seniors. That is still in effect. If you missed the pension split adjustments can be made back 3 years. 

Principal Residence Exemption (PRE)

Home ownership and taxes has just become much more complicated.  Sale of your house or cottage, change in usage such as converting your house to a rental property or from rental property to personal use will result in having to report this on your tax return.  Failure to report this can be costly if you have not done so and adjustments to your previous tax returns would be needed.  Even if your home was used strictly as your principal residence for all the years you have owned it, if you sell or change the usage of it in 2016 and going forward, this has to be reported on Schedule 3 of the tax return.

 

Tax Free Savings Accounts TFSA

For 2016 the contribution amount is $5,500. If you do not use it or the previous amount you may not have contributed you do not lose that and can make up for it in future years. While you do not get a tax deduction for TFSA all gains within the TFSA are tax free and that includes withdrawals. Pay attention to your limit and do not exceed that or you will face penalties and interest. The tax of 1% per month will continue to apply for each month that the excess amount remains in the TFSA. 

 

Child Fitness Amount and Children’s Art Tax Credit

Effective for the 2016 taxation year, the maximum eligible amount per child will be reduced to $500 from $1,000 for the children’s fitness tax credit (which will remain refundable for 2016) and to $250 from $500 for the children’s arts tax credit. The supplemental amounts for children eligible for the disability tax credit will remain at $500 for both credits for 2016. 

Effective for the 2017 and subsequent taxation years, both credits will be eliminated.

 

Child-care expenses

The amount parents can claim for child-care expenses has increased by $1,000 annually, per child, to $8,000 for a child under six and $5,000 for a child aged between seven and 16 years old.

 

Canada Apprentice Loan

Students in a designated Red Seal trade program can now claim interest on their government student loans.

 

My Account For Individuals

Log in or register above to check your account at the CRA for assessments, limits, carry forwards and other information.   

 

This is for information only and subject to change at any time.  Canada Revenue Agency, CRA, has this and other tax information posted on their website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income Tax Changes Child Care Benefits, UCCB and Notes

TAX CHANGES

Significant changes have been made to the child benefits.  The $2000+ tax credit per child has been eliminated. As well the Universal Child Benefit (UCCB) amount has changed. UCCB bonus plus enhanced UCCB payments may result in paying more tax as a result of these changes.  For those with children you may need to complete a new TD1 with your employer.  Complicating matters some of the new changes came in the middle of the tax year.

Changes for UCCB for children under 6 to $160 per month per child, plus UCCB for children ages 6 to 17 in the amount of $60 per month per child. For prior years the amount of UCCB was $100 per month for children under the age of 6 from 2006 onward.

Child Care Benefits, CCB. Under the new CCB, families with children under the age of six will receive as much as $6,400 per child per year. Families with kids between six and 17 will receive a maximum of $5,400 annually under the new plan.  Families with net income below $30,000 per year will receive the maximum and families earning more than $200,000 per year will see their payments eliminated. The CCB is not taxable so this is tax free income. 

 

If you missed claiming benefits in prior years or to discuss your situation give them a call. Phone: 1-800-387-1193. For general enquiries call the CRA at 1-800-959-8281

Additional Information can be found here. 

Child and family benefits

In most cases once you are in the system and receiving benefits they should continue if you make sure your taxes are filed each year.  Failure to file a tax return usually results in your benefits being cut off until you do file. Then you should get catch-up payment.  But do not wait too long.  Each year you will need to update your dependant information on your tax return.

If you receive a call from anyone at CRA I suggest you note the phone number and call the general enquiry number before giving out any information to avoid any of the scams going around.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missing Income Tax Information Very Important

NOTE:  Missing Tax Information Very Important

Every year there are changes at the CRA and potential tax filings.  This year there is a great deal more information being reported on the CRA website. I imagine this is going to lead to a crack down on things that have not been reported in the past as the CRA endeavours to collect more tax revenue.  They can go back and reassess files for previous years.

Please ensure you have all your slips (T4s, T4A, RRSP, T3s, T5s and such tax information.  If you signed a T1013 with me I can access most of your information that has been reported to CRA. But not all information is shown or not the complete information. So everything still must be checked.  Even with the new auto-download feature, not all information is showing up.

Securities Disposed of:

This year I am finding a lot of this with many clients not being aware of any securities being disposed of. There appears to be some communication issue but ultimately you are responsible to provide the information for securities disposed of.  Securities include stocks, bonds, mutual funds etc. If you have a managed account with a broker or financial institution this may apply to you even if you are not aware of it. They may be trading securities in your account. That can result in capital gains or losses.

If you deal with anyone who provides advice or manages your finances there is a good chance that this may apply to you.  Please talk with your financial advisor.  Some financial institutions provide better information than others.  If you do your own trading you will need to come up with the information yourself.

Banks and financial institutions must report to the CRA any securities disposed of shown as a form T5008.  If they only show the amounts sold you will pay 100% tax on that amount.  You may need to get a Statement of Realized Gains or Losses sometimes called Securities Disposed of or find all the slips when the securities were bought for the cost/book value, that could go back years. Sometimes it will show on an annual statement.  They may give you a song and dance about the form number or name but they do know what this means and that you need to disclose it to Canada Revenue Agency. If they do not know, then you are likely dealing with a novice and perhaps you should consider asking to speak with someone senior who does know. 


These firms make a great deal of money and must notify the CRA for anything sold.  But for some reason they do not have to provide the cost or book value details.  They should at least do the same for you including a providing a statement showing the cost or book value.

Failure to report this can result in fines and interest costs being levied by the CRA.  This must be part of their mission statement these days.  Crying face

2015 Tax Year Progress Report

​I will repost an update recently sent to clients.  Check the Arbutus Tax website to see some areas that may be helpful, Small Business, Rentals, Tax slips, filing deadlines etc.

 

It is important to keep information up to date and have all the relative slips on hand to provide the most accurate tax filing.  Some forms do arrive late and others ahead of time.  So we do the best we can with what we have.  

 

Hi folks! 

I wanted to send a quick and brief update to let you know that Arbutus Tax is in the same location again this year, for the 4th tax year,  2A-603 Superior St. Victoria, BC V8V 1V1.  This is a year round location and I do attend to matters throughout the year.
If you do not wish to receive these emails, and I usually only send one once or twice a year, just let me know!  Thanks. 

Office hours are 9AM to 5:30PM Monday through Friday and likely to be extended especially in April.  (Saturdays).  During busy times I am here well past 5:30PM. 


Efiling began on Feb 15th and has been going well.  Each year year there are changes and we do the best to keep on top of all of them. 

Some information has been posted on the ArbutusTax.Com website. 

Thanks for your past patronage and I hope to see you again this year, if not already.  I welcome any questions you may have.  I wish to express my appreciation for bringing your tax business this way.  

If you are dropping off and picking up your info, best time is in the morning, you can also leave it in an envelope in the mailbox (2A) to the right hand side of the door. 

Also make a note if there are any changes, such as address, email address (the preferred one), marital status (and date it changed), if you wish the CRA to email you instead of sending paper for Notices of Assessment etc.

 

Please bring in your last Notice of Assessment especially if it has any carry forwards to note such as Education credits, RRSP limits and carry forward information. 

With that in mind the RRSP deadline for the 2015 tax year is Feb 29th.  2016 being a leap year. 

Most T4s and T5s will be out by end of Feb and T3s by end of March.  Best to wait or check with the employer or investment company to see when they will come.  Some T4s will be on file with the CRA already depending upon the employer.  The CRA also is providing more information online but also this depends on if they receive the information from the respective companies.  I can check this for you if I have your authorization. The system at the CRA has been updated this year with much more information but it is also quite time consuming to check for all the relative slips.

 

Register online at My Account of the CRA website to follow up on what information they have on you. 

Okay for the briefness.  🙂   No way I can cover everything. 

​Cheers and best wishes! ​

 

Eugene Veinotte

Arbutus Tax Services

2A 603 Superior Street

Victoria, BC V8V 1V1

250-999-8585

 

Note: Reference made here to CRA is Canada Revenue Agency and Arbutus Tax Services is not associated with nor an agent of the CRA but is authorized to efile income tax returns on behalf of clients. 

 

Additional Income Tax News for 2014 and 2015, Direct Deposit, Email Correspondence From CRA

Information can be found here on the new Family Tax Cut.   That will apply to a few people, not all taxpayers.  There is also the Seniors income splitting which has been around for quite a few years now.  If you missed it, we can make the adjustments for you.   Other adjustments for anything that was missed can also be done.

You can register at the My Account section on the CRA website.  This will give you access to much of the data that they have on you.  Not all of course, they like to have some secrets!

Phone numbers and other information follows below. HINT: When you reach a recording press * which will usually get you to a real person within 2 minutes, they say. 

Direct deposit cannot be submitted with your tax return.  I have no idea why they stopped that as it will inconvenience many and delay returns perhaps.  I suggest you call them if you need to change or add Direct Deposit.   This are various numbers to call depending upon which service you may require.

Another new feature is the news that the CRA will now email your notices to you,  you can add your email address before we file the 2014 tax return.  Just ask us before we file the return.

 

DIRECT DEPOSIT

By April 2016 the Government of Canada is switching from cheques to direct deposit for their various programs including Income Tax Refunds, Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, etc.

Call 1-800-959-8281 press * to get to a person, or visit the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website and search the term direct deposit.

You can also register for “My Account” on the CRA website.

Service Canada

  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
  • Old Age Security (OAS)

1‑800‑277‑9914

  • Employment Insurance (EI)

1‑800‑206‑7218

  • Canadian Government Annuities

1‑800‑561‑7922

  • Apprenticeship Grants

1‑866‑724‑3644

Government of Canada Pension Centre

  • Federal public service pension plan

1‑800‑561‑7930
(collect calls accepted)