Principal Residence Exemption: CRA Project

In early 2022, CRA began to send out education letters in respect of individuals claiming the principal residence exemption (PRE) in the British Columbia region. Often, regional projects such as this are used as pilots for subsequent national projects. As CRA has indicated that they have a larger overall focus on real estate transactions, similar or extended versions of the project may be coming. The letters advised that the taxpayer or their representative review the…

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Enhancing the Value of Owner-Managed Business: Starting the Transition Early

Many owner-managers are shocked at both the difficulties in finding a buyer for their business and the low prices an owner-managed business often commands. A recent Intelligent Work article (How Does 10x-ing Value Work in an Owner-Managed Business?, John Mill) discussed guidance provided to Harvard MBA students regarding investing in owner-managed businesses. That guidance included the reality that these businesses with earnings between $750,000 and $2 million tend to be priced at 3x to 5x…

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Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): Repayments

Self-employed individuals whose net self-employment income was less than $5,000 will not be required to repay CERB, as long as their gross self-employment income was at least $5,000 (in 2019 or the previous 12 months preceding the application) and they met all other eligibility criteria. On May 12, 2021, a remission order that would allow this relief was released. For the debt to be remitted, individuals will need to file their 2019 and 2020 tax…

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Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS): More Clarification

CERS provides support to businesses by covering a portion of rent and property ownership costs of qualifying property. The government has recently extended access to this program until October 23, 2021. The CERS program has the following two components: The base CERS subsidizes eligible expenses based on the applicant’s revenue decline compared to pre-pandemic earnings; and, The lockdown support component, which provides an additional subsidy for eligible applicants subject to a lockdown under a public…

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Employees Working From Home During COVID-19: Personal Tax Deductions

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees worked from home during a portion of 2020. On December 15, 2020, CRA released guidance on two new options available for employees claiming expenses related to working from home on their personal tax return.  While this will clearly impact an employee’s personal tax filing, it should also be considered by employers. A key question employers need to answer is whether they should provide an employer certification in respect…

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Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy: More COVID-19 Support

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) provides a federal subsidization of expenses associated with both commercial rental payments and property ownership. The program commenced on September 27, 2020 and is scheduled to continue until June 2021. The CERS program parallels the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program in that it is largely based on the same revenue decline calculations and related elections. Also, the periods covered by each CERS application are four-weeks in length, and…

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Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: Public Listing of Applicants

On December 21, 2020, CRA launched the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Employer Search, which allows users to search a listing of 340,000 CEWS applicants. The results, which are updated daily, display the legal name, operating/trade name, or business number of corporations (other types of entities are not listed) that have been approved for the CEWS. It does not include the amount received or the periods for which CEWS was received. The search database can…

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OAS Deferral: Undoing and Application

Photo by Tristan Le from Pexels As of July 1, 2013, where receipt of Old Age Security (OAS) is delayed, the monthly pension is increased by a factor of 0.6% for each month deferred, to a maximum increase of 36% (60 months, commencing receipt at age 70). In a March 25, 2020 Federal Court case, the Court reviewed Service Canada’s decision to deny relief to an individual who applied to cancel his OAS pension slightly more than one…

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Working from Home: Reimbursing Employees for Technology Costs

In an April 14, 2020 French Technical Interpretation, CRA was asked whether amounts paid to an employee for costs of equipment for working remotely would be a taxable benefit. Generally, a reimbursement for a personal purchase of equipment used for working remotely would be a taxable benefit. However, CRA noted that in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has required many employees to work remotely, acquisition of computer equipment may be primarily for the…

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Working From Home During Covid-19

In order for home office expenses to be deductible against employment income, the employee must be required by contract to incur such expenses, and one of the following has to be met: The home is where the employee principally (more than 50% of the time) does their work.The employee uses the space exclusively to earn employment income, and it is used on a regular and ongoing basis for meeting clients, customers or other people in…

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