• Budget expands access to Home Buyers’ Plan

    Both changes in the job market and increases in real estate prices over at least the past decade have made the goal of home ownership an elusive or even impossible one for many Canadians, especially younger Canadians. There is no single solution for the multiple factors which prevent many Canadians from getting that first toehold […]
    Read more
  • What to do when you can’t pay your tax bill

    Most taxpayers sit down to do their annual tax return, or wait to hear from their tax return preparer, with some degree of trepidation. In most cases taxpayers don’t know, until their return is completed, what the “bottom line” will be, and it’s usually a case of hoping for the best and fearing the worst. […]
    Read more
  • Paying the taxman – how and when

    Our tax system is, for the most part, a mystery to individual Canadians. The rules surrounding income tax are complicated and it can seem that for every rule there is an equal number of exceptions or qualifications. There is, however, one rule which applies to every individual taxpayer in Canada, regardless of location, income, or […]
    Read more
  • Some last-minute tax filing strategies – the timing of medical and charitable tax credit claims

    By the time most Canadians sit down to organize their various tax slips and receipts and undertake to complete their tax return for 2018, the most significant opportunities to minimize the tax bill for the year are no longer available. Most such tax planning or saving strategies, in order to be effective for 2018, must […]
    Read more
  • Deciding when to start receiving Old Age Security benefits

    The Old Age Security program is the only aspect of Canada’s retirement income system which does not require a direct contribution from recipients of program benefits. Rather, the OAS program is funded through general tax revenues, and eligibility to receive OAS is based solely on Canadian residency. Anyone who is 65 years of age or […]
    Read more
  • When and how to file this year’s tax return

    Each year, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) publishes a statistical summary of the tax filing patterns of Canadians during the previous filing season. Those statistics for the 2018 show that the vast majority of Canadian individual income tax returns — nearly 87%, or almost 26 million returns — were filed online, using one or the […]
    Read more
  • It’s tax filing – and tax scam – season

    For many years now, there has been a persistent tax scam operating in Canada in which Canadians are contacted, usually by phone, by someone who falsely identifies himself or herself as being a representative of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The taxpayer is told that money — sometimes a substantial amount of money — is […]
    Read more
  • What’s new on this year’s tax return?

    While Canadian taxpayers must prepare and file the same form – the T1 Income Tax and Benefit Return – every spring, that return form is never the same from one year to the next. The one constant in tax is change, and every year taxpayers sit down to face a different tax return form than […]
    Read more
  • More debt … and more interest

    The fact that debt levels of Canadian households have been increasing over the past decade and a half can’t really be called news anymore. In particular, the ratio of debt-to-household-income, which stood at 93% in 2005, has risen steadily since then and, as of the third quarter of 2018, reached (another) new record of 177.5%. […]
    Read more
  • Responding to a tax instalment reminder from the CRA

    Sometime during the month of February, millions of Canadians will receive mail from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). That mail, a “Tax Instalment Reminder”, will set out the amount of instalment payments of income tax to be paid by the recipient taxpayer by March 15 and June 17 of this year. Receiving an “Instalment Reminder” […]
    Read more