• Charities and political activities – new developments

    The administrative policy of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) with respect to charities has been that no more than 10% of a registered charity’s resources can be allocated to non-partisan political activity. Where the CRA views a charity as having exceeded that threshold it may impose sanctions, up to and including revocation of a charity’s […]
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  • Getting tax assistance for education costs

    The month of September marks both the end of summer and the beginning of the new school year for millions of Canadian children, teenagers, and young adults. And, whatever the age of the student or the grade level to which he or she is returning, there will inevitably be costs which must be incurred in […]
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  • Current rules on getting mortgage financing

    For all but a very fortunate few, buying a home means having to obtain financing for the portion of the purchase price not covered by a down payment. For most buyers, especially first-time buyers, that means taking out a conventional mortgage from a financial institution. The rules governing eligibility or such home financing have been […]
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  • Whether (and when) to stop contributing to the Canada Pension Plan

    When the Canada Pension Plan was put in place on January 1,1966, it was a relatively simple retirement savings model. Working Canadians started making contributions to the CPP when they turned 18 years of age and continued making those contributions throughout their working life. Those who had contributed could start receiving CPP on retirement, usually […]
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  • When the taxman has a few questions …

    Between February and July 2018, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) received and processed just over 28 million individual income tax returns filed for the 2017 tax year. The CRA’s self-imposed processing turnaround goal for each of those returns is to complete its assessment and to issue a Notice of Assessment within two to six weeks, […]
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  • Receiving a first instalment reminder from the Canada Revenue Agency

    Sometime around the middle of August, millions of Canadians will receive unexpected mail from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and that mail will contain unfamiliar and unwelcome news. Specifically, the enclosed form will advise the recipient that, in the view of the CRA, he or she should make instalment payments of income tax on September […]
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  • An end to restrictions on political activities of charities?

    Achieving charitable registration status is a significant step, and a significant benefit, to any organization. The organization itself becomes exempt from income tax and, in addition, is able to issue tax receipts for donations made to it, which allow donors to claim a federal and provincial tax credit based on the amount of such donations. […]
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  • Changes to Canada Child Benefit payments for 2018-19

    Millions of Canadians receive payments each month from the federal government and for younger Canadians, especially families with children, such payments will often include the monthly Canada Child Benefit (CCB). The current (2018-19) benefit year for the CCB runs from July to June and so the first payment of the that benefit year, was received […]
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  • Tax changes for the remainder of 2018

    The start of the calendar year also marks the beginning of the tax year for individuals and consequently most tax changes are scheduled to take effect as of January 1 of each year. However, the federal and provincial budgets are brought down in the late winter and spring, and those budgets can include announcements of […]
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  • Do your taxes need a mid-year course correction?

    Most Canadians, understandably, think about taxes only when such thoughts can’t be avoided — once or twice a year. The first such time is, of course, when the annual return must be filed at the end of April (or mid-June for the self-employed). And some, but not all, taxpayers turn their minds to taxes when […]
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