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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Loans for Value: Income Splitting Tool

Special attribution rules prevent the shifting of income between certain related people (including a spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, uncle or aunt). Consider the situation where high-earning Spouse A gives investments to low-earning Spouse B so that investment income can be taxed at Spouse B's lower tax rate. The attribution rules prevent this by requiring the earnings to be taxed in the hands of the transferor, Spouse A. However, these rules do not apply where the…

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  • Post category:Tax Planning

Real Estate Projects: Watch Out!

General CRA activity Over the last few years, CRA has focused on purchases and sales within the real estate sector. They are reviewing transactions for several items, such as: property flips on account of income;ineligible principal residence claims;commissions on sales;pre-sale condo assignments; andeligibility for the GST/HST new housing and rental rebates. One method for reviewing such transactions is by requiring taxpayers to respond to a detailed questionnaire. The questionnaire covers items such as: date and…

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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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Real Estate Sales: Taxable or Not?

In general, gains are fully taxable where the taxpayer buys a property with the intention to sell for a profit (sold on “account of income"). In other cases, half the gain is taxable (sold on “account of capital”). When a sale on “account of capital” involves the sale of a principal residence, the tax may be reduced or eliminated by using the principal residence exemption. In a December 13, 2019 French Tax Court of Canada…

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Reporting Tips for Service Workers
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Reporting Tips for Service Workers

Tips received by servers and other individuals in the service industry are taxable. However, since tips do not show up on T4 slips, some taxpayers are under the false understanding that they are either not taxable, or only partially taxable. In a February 3, 2020 Federal Court of Appeal case, the Court upheld the Tax Court decision that tips received by the taxpayer from his employment as a slot attendant at a casino were properly…

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