Category Archives: In The News

Changes to the Income Tax Act that may affect your 2016 personal tax return

As the Income Tax Act is ever evolving here are the top five changes you should be aware of:

  1. Sale of Principle Residencenew – Individuals who have sold their home on or after January 1, 2016 and claim the principle residence exemption because it was their primary residence for all of the years the home was owned now need to report this transaction on schedule 3. For more information on this new reporting requirement please visit CRA’s website on this topic.
  1. Teachers and Early Childhood Educator School Supply Tax Credit – new –This new tax credit allows teachers and early childhood educators to claim a 15% tax credit on up to $1,000 of eligible teaching supplies. For more information on this new reporting requirement please visit CRA’s website on this topic.
  1. Back-to-School Amount – new – Residents of British Columbia may claim a $250 tax credit for each child, who is at least 4 years of age and under 17 years of age, attending school. No receipts are required to claim this tax credit.
  1. Children Fitness and Art Tax Credit – change – The maximum amounts that can be claimed for the Children’s Fitness and Art Tax Credit has been reduced to $500 and $250 respectively.
  1. Family Tax Cut Credit – eliminated – This non-refundable tax credit that was available in the 2014 and 2015 taxation years has now been eliminated.

Canadian Industry Statistics: How do I Compare?

The Government of Canada provides analysis and detailed information on economic indicators using the most recent data from Statistics Canada on the website, www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/sis-sic.nsf/eng/home.  This website can help small to medium sized businesses understand the dynamics of their industries.  Users can focus on a single industry over time or compare one industry against another.

Data is segregated based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code.  Within each specific NAICS code is detailed financial performance data.  Such data includes, for example, average gross margins, detailed breakdowns of expenses (e.g. repairs and maintenance, labour, professional and business fees) as a percentage of revenues, and certain financial ratios (e.g. current ratio, return on total assets).

Consider using this site to compare your costs as a percentage of revenues to other Canadian companies in your industry.

*** As published in the 2016 Fourth Quarter edition of Tax, Tips & Traps***

Disruption of Vancity banking services

Vancity business and personal account holders will experience significant service disruptions beginning 5pm on November 9, 2016 and continuing until mid-day on November 14, 2016.
It appears that you will not be able to:
– use online, mobile or telephone banking services,
– do any in branch transactions including sending or receiving wire transfers,
– make bill payments including CRA remittances,
– transfer funds using interac etransfers.
Business accounts linked with QuickBooks Online will need to be relinked with the software as all accounts will have new account numbers.  Please edit the sign in information in QuickBooks Online with the new account number when it has been assigned.
Vancity has or will be mailing a “banking system upgrade business guidebook” to its business clients.  This guidebook provides more information on the services effected.  For more information please visit Vancity’s website or your local branch.

Children Fitness Tax Credit – 2015 Changes

In October 2014 the Conservative government announced the following changes to the federal Children Fitness Tax Credit (CFTC) program commencing in 2015:

  • the maximum that can be claimed under this program is $1,000 (previously $500).
  • the tax credit is now refundable

Therefore parents may receive a refund of 15% of the amount claimed under the program up to a maximum of $150.

For more information on the CFTC program please visit the Canada Revenue Agency’s website.

Canada Revenue Agency Business Tax Reminders mobile app

Yup, CRA has launched its own app!

“The Business Tax Reminders mobile app is recommended for small and medium-sized businesses with annual revenue of $20 million or less and fewer than 500 employees. The app was created based on consultations with small and medium-sized businesses, and allows business users to:

  • create custom reminders for key CRA due dates related to instalment payments, returns, and remittances.
  • customize and tailor the reminder system for their personal business deadlines with either calendar or pop-up messages.”

mobile app