One-Time Top-Up to The Canada Housing Benefit: Additional Support

A one-time tax-free payment of $500, announced in September 2022, is now available to low-income renters. The payment does not reduce other federal income-tested benefits. Eligible individuals must: be 15 years of age or older on December 1, 2022; be resident in Canada for tax purposes in 2022; have filed their 2021 tax return with adjusted net income below $35,000 for families or $20,000 for individuals. If the individual has a spouse or common-law partner,…

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Employee Gifts and Parking: Updated CRA Policies

CRA updated several administrative policies in respect of employment benefits, effective January 1, 2022. Two of the key changes relate to employee gifts and parking. These updates were released in late 2022. Gifts, awards and long-service awards Under CRA’s existing gifts and awards administrative policy, the first $500 of annual gifts and awards provided to arm’s length employees is non-taxable. This policy does not apply to cash or near-cash gifts. Historically, CRA had considered all…

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Covid Benefits: Review / Audit Activity

Covid Benefits: Review/Audit Activity On December 6, 2022, the Auditor General of Canada released its report on COVID benefit compliance enforcement. The report reviewed a total of $210.7 billion in payments with the following breakdown among programs. Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB) – $0.9 billion Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) – $100.7 billion Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) – $1.5 billion Canada Recovery Childcare Benefit (CRCB) – $4.4 billion Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) – $28.4 billion Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and related EI program – $74.8 billion…

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Tips Collected Electronically: Withholding Requirements

Where tips are “paid” by an employer, they are pensionable and insurable. In such cases, the employer must also withhold income tax and report the amounts on the employee’s T4. CRA’s current administrative policy is that if the tip is controlled by the employer (controlled tips) and then transferred to the employee, it is considered to be paid by the employer. In contrast, direct tips are considered to have been paid directly by the customer…

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Executor: Whether to Accept This Role

Individuals may be asked to take on various roles in respect of loved ones, friends, clients or others. One role that is particularly riddled with challenges is that of an estate executor. While an individual may carry out their duties in an appropriate manner, it is important to consider the risks of unhappy beneficiaries and any other undesirable outcomes, including litigation and/or strained relationships. A March 4, 2022 Tax Court of Canada case reviewed whether…

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Director Liability: Is Asking About Source Deductions Enough?
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Director Liability: Is Asking About Source Deductions Enough?

Directors can be personally liable for payroll source deductions (CPP, EI and income tax withholdings) and GST/HST unless they exercise due diligence to prevent the corporation from failing to remit these amounts on a timely basis. An August 31, 2022 Tax Court of Canada case found that the director was not duly diligent and therefore was personally liable for the corporation’s unremitted payroll deductions, interest and penalties of $78,121 from January 2011 to April 2012.…

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Trusts: New and Expanded Disclosure Requirements

Legislation has been proposed for trusts (including estates) with years ending on December 31, 2022 and onwards that would significantly expand the reporting rules. More trusts would be required to file tax returns, and more information would be required to be disclosed in these returns. In addition, sizable penalties would be introduced for non-compliance. More trusts and estates required to file: Under the existing rules, trusts are exempt from filing a T3 tax return if…

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Crowdfunding: Taxable or Not?

A June 2, 2022 Technical Interpretation discussed the taxability of funds received through crowdfunding campaigns. CRA first noted that amounts received through a crowdfunding arrangement could represent loans, capital contributions, gifts, income or a combination of two or more of these. This means that the funds received could be taxable (such as business income) or not (such as a windfall, gift or voluntary payment). As the terms and conditions for each campaign vary greatly, the…

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Principal Residence Exemption: Land in Excess of One-half Hectare

The definition of a principal residence limits the amount of land that qualifies for the principal residence exemption to half a hectare unless the taxpayer establishes that the excess land was necessary for the use and enjoyment of the housing unit as a residence. In referencing Folio S1-F3-C2, Principal Residence, CRA stated that using excess land in connection with a particular recreation or lifestyle (such as keeping pets or country living) does not mean the…

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Required Travel: Between Home and Work

A June 21, 2022 Tax Court of Canada case considered whether motor vehicle costs of $1,642 associated with a construction foreman’s travel between home and various job sites were deductible against employment income. The taxpayer worked on many of his employer’s 50 projects, located at numerous construction sites. The taxpayer was responsible for ensuring that the workers were in place each morning and were ready to work with properly functioning tools, materials and equipment. This…

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