First Home Savings Account (FHSA): A New Investment Tool

The tax-free FHSA was introduced in 2023 to help first-time home buyers save up to $40,000 for a home purchase. Individuals eligible to open an FHSA must be at least 18 years of age and resident in Canada. The individual must also have not lived in a home that they or their spouse owned jointly or otherwise at any time in the year or the preceding four calendar years. Contributions to an FHSA are deductible…

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Unreported Capital Trades Included on a T5008: CRA Policy

Traders or dealers in securities must report to CRA the disposition of securities, such as publicly traded shares, mutual fund units, bonds and T-bills, of their clients on a T5008. A November 4, 2022 French Federal Court case summarized CRA’s administrative policy where a taxpayer has not filed a tax return, but a T5008 was issued, reporting the disposition of property that does not include the cost of the property disposed. In this case, CRA…

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TFSA: Carrying on a Business Within It

Earnings in a TFSA are typically not taxable. However, earnings in a TFSA become taxable when they are earned from carrying on a securities trading business. In a February 6, 2023 Tax Court of Canada case, CRA had assessed the TFSA on the basis that it was carrying on a business and was therefore taxable on its income for the 2009 through 2012 taxation years. The TFSA holder was a professional investment advisor who had…

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Budget 2023: Top Five Items for Owner-Managers

Budget 2023 (A Made-in-Canada Plan: Strong Middle Class, Affordable Economy, Healthy Future) was introduced in the House of Commons on March 28, 2023. The top five changes that may impact individuals and owner-managed businesses are as follows: Dental plan – The Canadian Dental Care Plan would be introduced to provide coverage for all uninsured Canadians with an annual family income of less than $90,000 (the previous Canada Dental Benefit only provided benefits for children under…

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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?
CRA National Headquarters in Ottawa, ON

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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