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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  • Post category:Tax Planning

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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Contributions of Goods or Services to a Non-Profit Organization: Tax Implications

In a January 6, 2020 Technical Interpretation, CRA considered whether a deduction was available to suppliers who contributed in-kind goods or services to an NPO withthe expectation that they would benefit from word of mouth advertising and promotion. Where the supplier is providing goods or services to an NPO in exchange for advertising and/or promotional services, a barter transaction may have occurred. As such, the typical rules for barter transactions would apply. In arm's length…

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Home Accessibility Renovation Credit: Increase in Home Value?

When applying for the home accessibility tax credit (HATC), valued at 15% of up to $10,000 in expenditures per year, does it matter if the renovation increases the value of my home? Yes, and No. In a December 12, 2019 Tax Court of Canada case, at issue was whether the taxpayer was eligible for a HATC claim for $10,000 of qualifying renovations for the 2016 year, the first year of this credit. The taxpayer’s spouse…

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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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Starting a Business and Not Getting Paid: Can I Collect EI?

In a January 10, 2020 Federal Court of Appeal case, the Court conducted a judicial review of the denial of the taxpayer’s EI benefits. While receiving benefits in 2010 and 2011, the taxpayer had incorporated a corporation and engaged in preliminary work to set up its business. In early 2015, the Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC) was advised by CRA that the taxpayer had applied for a business registration number while collecting EI. A taxpayer can operate a business while collecting EI benefits where his business activity is to such a minor extent that a person would not normally rely on…

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