Protecting Key Talent using Group Benefits

Building a Sustainable Future Together

As specialists in group benefits, the primary goal is to cultivate a sustainable future by collaborating closely with clients. The belief is that an informed and engaged workforce is pivotal for the success of any organization. A key component of this vision is the protection of the organization’s essential talent. This article delves into how group benefits can be instrumental in safeguarding an organization’s most treasured resource: its people.

The Importance of Essential Talent

Essential talent encompasses those employees who bring critical skills, expertise, and knowledge that propel an organization’s growth and success. These individuals form the core of any organization, ensuring its prosperity in the competitive market. Retaining such invaluable members is crucial as their absence can significantly affect business operations, productivity, and overall morale.

Challenges in Retaining Essential Talent

In the ever-evolving job market, holding onto essential talent can be a daunting task. Numerous factors, including enticing offers from rivals, opportunities for personal growth, work-life equilibrium, and employee well-being, can influence retention. For employers, recognizing and addressing these challenges is vital to safeguard top performers and sustain a competitive advantage.

The Significance of Group Benefits

Group benefits serve as a potent strategy in attracting and retaining essential talent. By presenting comprehensive and tailored benefits packages, organizations showcase their dedication to the well-being, security, and future of their employees. Here are some pivotal aspects of group benefits that aid in retaining essential talent:

  1. Health and Wellness Coverage: Offering comprehensive health and wellness benefits, such as medical, dental, and vision plans, not only fosters a healthy workforce but also signifies an organization’s commitment to overall employee well-being. Employees who feel this support are more inclined to stay loyal.
  2. Income Protection: Many group benefits packages encompass disability insurance, offering financial security for employees facing injuries or illnesses that hinder their work. Such provisions alleviate financial concerns during tough times, fostering a sense of stability and encouraging talent to remain with the organization.
  3. Retirement Planning: A meticulously crafted retirement plan appeals to essential talent. It signifies an organization’s concern for their future and dedication to ensuring their financial comfort during retirement. Contributing to such plans also strengthens the bond between employers and employees.
  4. Support for Work-Life Balance: Benefits that champion work-life balance, like flexible work schedules, paid leaves, and family leaves, reflect an organization’s understanding of the significance of a balanced life. Employees who sense this flexibility are more likely to remain devoted.
  5. Career Advancement: Benefits can also encompass professional development and training opportunities. Investing in employee growth not only sharpens their skills but also underlines an organization’s commitment to their long-term achievements.

Educational Approach and Teamwork

The role of group benefits specialists is to offer educational support and foster collaboration with clients. Through open dialogues about an organization’s aspirations and needs, it’s possible to design group benefits packages that resonate with specific demands. The collective goal is to nurture and protect essential talent, ensuring a sustainable future.

Protecting essential talent through group benefits is more than a strategic move; it embodies a dedication to employee welfare. By investing in the well-being, security, and future of employees, organizations not only boost loyalty and retention but also lay the foundation for a robust and sustainable future. The journey ahead is one of partnership, aiming for a flourishing and vibrant workforce.

Empowering Your Family’s Financial Future: A Comprehensive Guide to Budgeting

Taking charge of your family’s financial well-being through effective budgeting is a crucial step in securing a brighter future. We’ll explore the significance of budgeting and provide practical tips to help you manage your money wisely while ensuring the best possible support for your loved ones, including those with disabilities and their Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).

Why Budgeting Matters for Families

Budgeting is a powerful financial tool that holds importance for all families:

  1. Financial Clarity: It offers a clear overview of your family’s income and expenses, helping you make informed decisions about allocating funds.
  2. Goal Achievement: Budgeting helps you allocate funds not only for your loved one’s RDSP but also for other family financial goals, such as saving for education or a home.
  3. Expense Control: It identifies areas where you can cut back on expenses, freeing up money for your family’s financial priorities.
  4. Debt Reduction: By tracking spending, you can allocate extra funds to pay down debt faster, ensuring your family’s financial stability.
  5. Emergency Preparedness: A budget provides a financial safety net for unexpected expenses, which can be especially critical for families with additional financial responsibilities.

Steps to Effective Budgeting for Families

  1. Calculate Income: Determine your total monthly income, including salaries, government benefits, and any disability-related support for your loved one.
  2. List Expenses: Categorize expenses into fixed (e.g., housing, utilities) and variable (e.g., groceries, entertainment).
  3. Set Financial Goals: Define short-term and long-term financial goals for your family, ensuring that your loved one’s RDSP contributions are part of the plan.
  4. Create a Budget: Use budgeting tools or apps to allocate income to expenses, savings, and financial goals without exceeding your income.
  5. Monitor and Adjust: Regularly track spending against your budget, making necessary adjustments to ensure your family’s financial health.

Tips for Successful Budgeting

  1. Be Realistic: Set achievable goals and create a budget that accommodates your family’s unique needs, including the financial responsibilities associated with the RDSP.
  2. Prioritize Savings: Ensure that contributing to your loved one’s RDSP is a top financial priority, but don’t forget to save for other family goals too.
  3. Emergency Fund: Maintain an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses, which can benefit all family members.
  4. Review and Cut Expenses: Periodically review expenses to find areas where you can save and allocate more funds to your family’s financial priorities.
  5. Pay Yourself First: Treat savings, including RDSP contributions, as non-negotiable expenses, just like other essential bills.
  6. Seek Professional Advice: Consult a financial advisor who specializes in disability-related financial planning for tailored guidance.

Budgeting is your family’s pathway to financial security and ensuring a brighter financial future. By budgeting wisely and prioritizing your loved one’s financial well-being, you can control your family’s finances, reduce stress, and work towards a future filled with financial peace of mind. Remember, financial success for families means making informed choices that align with your values and aspirations. Start budgeting today to achieve financial wellness for your entire family, balancing the needs of all family members, including those who rely on the support of the RDSP.

Stay Ahead in 2024: A Comprehensive Checklist for Federal Tax Updates

With the upcoming 2024 Canadian tax rule changes, it’s important to review your financial strategies. We’ve identified the key changes that we expect to influence financial decisions for investors, business owners, incorporated professionals, retirees, and individuals with high income or net worth.


Capital Gains Inclusion Rate

Starting on June 25, 2024, the tax on capital gains is changing. Until now, you would only have to include half of your capital gains in your income for tax purposes. But after that date, you’ll have to include two-thirds of any capital gains over $250,000 on your tax return. This is also the case for employee stock options. 

Consequently, for corporations and trusts, they will have to include two-thirds of all their capital gains, no matter the amount. This is a significant change. 


Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption (LCGE)

The budget proposes increasing the LCGE for qualified capital gains from $1,016,836 to $1.25 million, effective for sales made after June 24, 2024. This change increases tax benefits for individuals selling certain types of property, such as small business shares or farming and fishing assets.


Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
The 2023 budget included updates to the AMT, suggesting revising the charitable donation tax credit for AMT calculations, increasing the claimable amount from 50% to 80%.


Employee Ownership Trust (EOT)

The budget proposes a tax exemption on up to $10 million in capital gains for individuals selling their businesses to an EOT if certain criteria are met. 


Canadian Entrepreneurs’ Incentive

This new tax measure offers a reduced inclusion rate of 1/3 for up to $2 million in capital gains during an individual’s lifetime, with this limit being phased in over 10 years. However, it’s important to know that not all businesses qualify—this doesn’t apply to businesses in professional services, finance, real estate, hospitality, arts, entertainment, or personal care.

Below is a checklist to help you navigate the tax adjustments and ensure your financial plans are updated and aligned with the new rules.


Investors

  • Investments: Evaluate portfolios to identify where capital gains can be realized under the current lower inclusion rate.

  • Investment Property: Consider advancing the sale of such properties to benefit from the existing capital gains rate.

  • Estate Planning: Revise plans to address potential increases in capital gains taxes, ensuring estates are structured for tax efficiency.

  • Employee Stock Options: Adjust the timing of exercising stock options to align with the upcoming changes in inclusion rates.


Business Owners:

  • Corporate Investments: Assess the impact of increased inclusion rates on corporately held assets, exploring the timing of gains realization. Review trust-held investments. 

  • Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption: Maximize the benefits of the increased LCGE for qualifying business assets.

  • Employee Ownership Trust: Consider the advantages of transferring business ownership via an EOT.

  • Succession Planning: Update your succession plans to consider the potential impact of capital gains tax changes.

  • Entrepreneurs Incentive: Check if you are eligible to reduce capital gains taxes. 


Incorporated Professionals:

  • Investments: Assess both personal and corporate investments for the new inclusion rate. Determine the most tax-effective structure for holding and realizing gains from investments.

  • Succession Planning: Time the potential sale of your professional corporation to capitalize on the current LCGE.


Retirees:

  • Estate Planning: Update estate plans considering the impending increase in capital gains rates.

  • Life Insurance Coverage: Ensure life insurance is adequate to cover increased capital gains tax liabilities upon death.

  • Non-Registered Investments and Retirement Income: Review your strategy for non-registered investments to manage taxes on gains and adjust your retirement income plans to accommodate the upcoming changes in capital gains rates.


Individuals with High Income or Net Worth: 

  • Investments: Evaluate portfolios to identify where capital gains can be realized under the current lower inclusion rate. Review trust-held investments. 

  • Investment Property: Consider advancing the sale of such properties to benefit from the existing capital gains rate.

  • Estate Planning: Revise plans to address potential increases in capital gains taxes, ensuring estates are structured for tax efficiency.

  • Charitable Contributions: Align your charitable giving strategies with the new tax benefits and AMT considerations.

Please reach out to us to review your financial strategy together and ensure it aligns with the upcoming changes. 

2024 Federal Budget Highlights

On April 16, 2024, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, presented the federal budget.

While there are no changes to federal personal or corporate tax rates, the budget introduces:

  • An increase in the portion of capital gains subject to tax, rising from 50% to 66.67%, starting June 25, 2024. However, individual gains up to $250,000 annually will retain the 50% rate.

  • The lifetime exemption limit for capital gains has been raised to $1.25 million. Additionally, a new one-third inclusion rate is set for up to $2 million in capital gains for entrepreneurs.

  • The budget confirms the alternative minimum tax changes planned for January 1, 2024 but lessens their impact on charitable contributions.

  • This year’s budget emphasizes making housing more affordable. It provides incentives for building rental properties specifically designed for long-term tenants.

  • Introduces new support measures to aid people buying their first homes.

  • Costs for specific patents and tech equipment and software can now be written off immediately.

  • Canada carbon rebate for small business.

Capital Gains Inclusion Rate

The budget suggests raising the inclusion rate on capital gains after June 24, 2024:

  • Corporations and trusts, from 50% to 66.67%.

  • Individuals, on capital gains over $250,000 annually, also from 50% to 66.67%.

For individuals, the $250,000 annual threshold that applies to net capital gains—the amount remaining after offsetting any capital losses. This includes gains acquired directly by an individual or indirectly through entities such as partnerships or trusts. Essentially, this threshold acts as a deductible, considering various factors to determine the net gains eligible for the increased capital gains tax rate.

Individuals in the highest income bracket, who earn above the top marginal tax rate threshold, will face a higher tax rate on capital gains exceeding $250,000 due to these changes. Furthermore, the budget modifies the tax deduction for employee stock options to align with the updated capital gains taxation rates yet maintains the initial 50% deduction for the first $250,000 in gains. Regarding previously incurred financial losses, the budget plans to adjust the value of these net capital losses from past years so that they are consistent with the current gains, upholding the uniformity with the new inclusion rate.

The budget outlines transitional rules for the upcoming tax year that straddles the implementation date of the new capital gains rates. If the tax year begins before June 25, 2024, but ends afterward, capital gains realized before June 25 will be taxed at the existing rate of 50%. However, gains accrued after June 24, 2024, will be subject to the increased rate of 66.67%. It’s important to note that the new $250,000 threshold for higher tax rates will only apply to gains made after June 24.

Consequently, for individuals earning capital gains beyond the $250,000 threshold and who fall into the highest income tax bracket, new rates will be effective as outlined in the table below. Specifically, this pertains to individuals with taxable incomes exceeding $355,845 in Alberta, $252,752 in British Columbia, $1,103,478 in Newfoundland and Labrador, $500,000 in the Yukon, and $246,752 in all other regions.

Further details and guidance on these new rules are expected to be provided in future announcements.

Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption

The budget proposes raising the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption (LCGE) for qualified capital gains from $1,016,836 to $1.25 million, effective for sales made after June 24, 2024. Additionally, the exemption will once again be adjusted for inflation starting in 2026. This change aims to increase the tax benefits for individuals selling certain types of property, such as small business shares or farming and fishing assets.

Canadian Entrepreneurs’ Incentive

The Canadian Entrepreneurs’ Incentive is a new tax measure which provides a reduced inclusion rate on capital gains from the disposition of qualifying small business shares.

Qualifications for the incentive include:

  • Shares must be of a small business corporation directly owned by an individual.

  • For 24 months before selling, over half the corporation’s assets must be actively used in a Canadian business or be certain connected assets.

  • The seller needs to be a founding investor who held the shares for at least five years.

  • The seller must have been actively involved in the business continuously for five years.

  • The seller must have owned a significant voting share throughout the subscription period.

  • The incentive does not apply to shares linked to professional services, financial, real estate, hospitality, arts, entertainment, or personal care services sectors.

  • The shares must have been acquired at their fair market value.

  • The incentive allows for a reduced inclusion rate of 1/3 for up to $2 million in capital gains during an individual’s lifetime, with this limit being phased in over 10 years.

This measure will apply to dispositions after December 31, 2024.

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

The 2023 budget included updates to the AMT, with proposed changes outlined in the summer of 2023. The budget suggests revising the charitable donation tax credit for AMT calculations, increasing the claimable amount from 50% to 80%.

Further proposed changes to the AMT include:

  • Permitting deductions for the Guaranteed Income Supplement, social assistance, and workers’ compensation benefits.

  • Exempting employee ownership trusts (EOTs) entirely from AMT.

  • Allowing certain tax credits, like federal political contributions, investment tax credits (ITCs), and labour-sponsored funds tax credit, to be carried forward if disallowed under the AMT.

These changes would take effect for tax years beginning after December 31, 2023. Additionally, the budget proposes technical amendments that would exempt specific trusts benefiting Indigenous groups from the AMT.

Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) Tax Exemption

The budget proposes a tax exemption on up to $10 million in capital gains for individuals selling their businesses to an EOT if certain criteria are met:

  • Sale of shares must be from a non-professional corporation.

  • The seller, or their spouse or common-law partner, must have been actively involved in the business for at least two years prior to the sale.

  • The business shares must have been solely owned by the seller or a related person or partnership for two years before the sale, and mainly used in active business.

  • At least 90% of the EOT’s beneficiaries must be Canadian residents after the sale.

  • If multiple sellers are involved, they must jointly decide how to divide the $10 million exemption

  • If the EOT doesn’t maintain its status or if the business assets used in active business drop below 50% at any point within 36 months after the sale, the tax exemption may be revoked.

  • For Alternative Minimum Tax purposes, the exempted gains will face a 30% inclusion rate.

  • The normal reassessment period for the exemption is extended by three years.

  • The measure now also covers the sale of shares to a worker cooperative corporation.

This exemption is valid for sales occurring from January 1, 2024, to December 31, 2026.

Home Buyers Plan (HBP)

The budget proposes enhancements to the HBP for 2024 and beyond, effective for withdrawals after April 16, 2024. These include:

  • Raising the RRSP withdrawal limit from $35,000 to $60,000 to support first-time homebuyers and purchases for those with disabilities.

  • Extending the grace period before repayment starts from two to five years for withdrawals made between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2025, deferring the start of the repayment period and thereby providing new homeowners additional time before they need to commence repayments

Interest Deductions and Purpose-Built Rental Housing

The budget proposes a selective exemption from the Excessive Interest and Financing Expenses Limitation (EIFEL) rules for certain interest and financing expenses related to arm’s length financing. This exemption is for the construction or purchase of eligible purpose-built rental housing in Canada and applies to expenses incurred before January 1, 2036. To qualify, the housing must be a residential complex with either at least four private apartment units, each with its own kitchen, bathroom, and living areas, or 10 private rooms or suites. Additionally, at least 90% of the units must be designated for long-term rental. This exemption will be effective for tax years starting on or after October 1, 2023, in line with the broader EIFEL regulations.

Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) – Purpose built rental housing

The budget introduces an accelerated CCA of 10% for new rental projects that start construction between April 16, 2024, and December 31, 2030, and are completed by December 31, 2035. This accelerated depreciation applies to projects that convert commercial properties into residential complexes or expand existing residential buildings that meet specific criteria under the EIFEL rules. However, it does not cover renovations to existing residential complexes.

Additionally, these investments will benefit from the Accelerated Investment Incentive, which allows for immediate depreciation deductions for properties put into use before 2028. Starting in 2028, the regular depreciation rules, including the half-year rule, will apply.

Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance (CCA)- Productivity-enhancing assets

The budget introduces immediate expensing for newly acquired properties that become operational between April 16, 2024, and December 31, 2026. This applies to specific categories such as:

  • Class 44- Patents and rights to patented information

  • Class 46- Data network infrastructure and related software

  • Class 50- General electronic data-processing equipment and software

Properties that are put into use between 2027 and 2028 will continue to benefit from the Accelerated Investment Incentive.

To qualify for this accelerated depreciation, the property must not have been previously owned by the taxpayer or someone closely connected to them, and it must not have been received as part of a tax-deferred deal. Also, if a tax year is shorter, the depreciation will be adjusted accordingly and will not carry over to the next year.

Canada Carbon Rebate for Small Businesses

The budget introduces a Canada Carbon Rebate for small businesses, offering a new refundable tax credit automatically. To be eligible, a Canadian-controlled private corporation must:

  • File a tax return for its 2023 tax year by July 15, 2024, for the fuel charge years from 2019-20 to 2023-24. For subsequent fuel charge years, it must file a tax return for the tax year that ends within that fuel charge year.

  • Employ 499 or fewer people across Canada during the year that corresponds with the fuel charge year.

The amount of the tax credit for each eligible business will depend on:

  • The province where the company had employees during the fuel charge year.

  • The number of employees in that province multiplied by a rate set by the Minister of Finance for that year.

  • The CRA will automatically calculate and issue the tax credit to qualifying businesses.

We can help!

Wondering how this year’s budget will impact your finances or your business? We can help – give us a call today!

Tax tips to know before filing your 2023 income tax

This year’s tax deadline is April 30, 2024. It’s important to make sure you’re claiming all the credits and deductions you’re eligible for. We’ve separated this article into 2 sections: 

  • What’s new for 2023

  • Individuals and Families

What’s New for 2023

Advanced Canada Workers Benefit (ACWB)

Automatic advance payments of the Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) are now seamlessly distributed through the ACWB program to individuals who received the benefit in the last tax year. However, it’s important to note that not everyone who received the CWB in the previous tax year will automatically receive the ACWB payments. Only individuals who filed their 2022 tax return before November 1, 2023, are eligible for the ACWB payments.

Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning that the ACWB program eliminates the need to file Form RC201. Recipients are no longer required to fill out this form. Instead, starting in 2023, individuals should report the amounts from their RC210 slip on Schedule 6, Canada Workers Benefit, of their tax return. Additionally, for eligible spouses, the option to claim the basic amount for the CWB is available regardless of who received the RC210 slip.

Deduction for Tools (Tradespersons and Apprentice Mechanics)

Starting in 2023, the maximum employment deduction for eligible tools of tradespersons has risen from $500 to $1,000. Consequently, the threshold for expenses eligible for the apprentice mechanics tools deduction has also been adjusted. 

Temporary Flat Rate Method for Home Office Expenses

For the year 2023, the temporary flat rate method for claiming home office expenses is not applicable. Consequently, taxpayers seeking to claim such expenses for 2023 must utilize the detailed method and obtain a completed Form T2200, Declaration of Conditions of Employment, from their employer.

Federal, Provincial, and Territorial COVID-19 repayments

Repayments of COVID-19 benefits at the federal, provincial, and territorial levels, made after December 31, 2022, can be deducted and claimed.

First Home Savings Account (FHSA)

The FHSA is a registered plan designed to aid individuals in saving for their first home. Starting April 1, 2023, contributions made to an FHSA are typically deductible, and eligible withdrawals made from an FHSA for purchasing a qualifying home are tax-free. 

Property Flipping

Starting January 1, 2023, any profit generated from the sale of a housing unit (including rental properties) situated in Canada, or a right to acquire a housing unit in Canada, that you owned or held for less than 365 consecutive days prior to its sale is considered business income rather than a capital gain. This is applicable unless the property was already classified as inventory or the sale occurred due to, or in anticipation of specific life events. 

Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit (MHRTC)

The MHRTC is a refundable tax credit designed to enable eligible individuals to seek reimbursement for specific renovation expenses incurred in establishing a secondary unit within an eligible dwelling. This enables a qualifying individual to live with their qualifying relative. If eligible, you can claim up to $50,000 in qualifying expenditures for each renovation project completed, with a maximum credit of $7,500 for each eligible claim. 

Fuel Charge Proceeds Return to Farmers Tax Credit

The Fuel Charge Proceeds Return to Farmers Tax Credit is now accessible to self-employed farmers and individuals involved in a partnership operating a farming business with one or more permanent establishments located in Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, or Saskatchewan. If eligible, you may be entitled to a refund of a portion of your fuel charge proceeds. 

For Individuals and Families

Canada Training Credit (CTC)

The CTC is a refundable tax credit available to help Canadians with the cost of eligible training fees.

To qualify for the CTC, you need to fill out Schedule 11 for the following:

  1. Tuition fees and other applicable fees paid to an eligible educational institution in Canada for courses taken in 2023.

  2. Fees paid to specific organizations for occupational, trade, or professional examinations undertaken in 2023.

To be eligible for the CTC, you must meet all these conditions:

  • You resided in Canada for the entire year of 2023.

  • You were at least 26 years old but less than 66 years old at the end of the year.

  • Your most recent notice of assessment or reassessment for 2022 shows a Canada Training Credit Limit for 2023.

Canada Caregiver Credit (CCC)

The CCC is a non-refundable tax credit aimed at assisting individuals who provide support to a spouse, common-law partner, or dependent with a physical or mental impairment, as outlined by the CRA.

You might be eligible for the CCC if you aid:

  • Your spouse or common-law partner dealing with a physical or mental impairment.

  • Dependents such as children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, uncles, aunts, nieces, or nephews residing in Canada, who rely on you for consistent provision of basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing.

The amount you can claim varies depending on your relationship to the individual, your circumstances, their net income, and whether other credits are claimed for them.

Child Care Expenses

Child care expenses encompass payments made by you or someone else to arrange care for an eligible child. This care allows you to participate in income-earning activities, pursue education, or conduct research funded by a grant.

If you qualify, you can claim certain childcare expenses as deductions when you file your personal income tax return.

Disability Tax Credit (DTC)

The DTC is a non-refundable tax credit designed to support individuals with disabilities, or their family members who provide support, by reducing their income tax responsibilities.

To be eligible for this credit, individuals must have a significant and enduring impairment. Once approved, they can apply the credit when filing their taxes.

The DTC aims to ease some of the extra costs linked with the disability by lessening the individual’s income tax burden.

Moving

You can claim moving expenses you paid during the year if you meet these conditions

  • You moved to a new residence for work reasons, to start a business in a different area, or to attend a post-secondary program as a full-time student at a university, college, or other educational institution.

  • Your new residence must be at least 40 kilometres closer, determined by the shortest public route, to your new work location or educational institution.

Interest Paid on Student Loans

You might qualify to claim an amount for the interest paid on your student loan for post-secondary education if it was obtained under the following acts:

  • Canada Student Loans Act

  • Canada Student Financial Assistance Act

  • Apprentice Loans Act

  • Provincial or territorial government laws that are similar to the aforementioned acts.

Only you, or a person related to you, can claim the interest paid on the loan within the tax year 2023 or the preceding 5 years.

Donations and Gifts

When you or your spouse/common-law partner donate to eligible institutions, you might be eligible for federal and provincial/territorial non-refundable tax credits when you file your income tax and benefit return.

Normally, you can claim a portion or the full eligible donation amount, capped at 75% of your net income for the tax year.

Seeking guidance?

Wondering if you qualify for valuable tax credits or deductions? Reach out to us – as your financial advisor, we’re here to assist you in optimizing your finances and maximizing your savings.

Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/whats-new.html

Canada Training Credit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/line-45350-canada-training-credit.html

Canada Caregiver Credit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/canada-caregiver-amount.html

Child Care Expense: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/line-21400-child-care-expenses.html

Disability Tax Credit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/segments/tax-credits-deductions-persons-disabilities/disability-tax-credit.html

Moving: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/line-21900-moving-expenses.html

Interest Paid on Student Loans: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/line-31900-interest-paid-on-your-student-loans.html

Donations and Gifts: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/line-34900-donations-gifts.html

Saskatchewan’s 2024 Budget Highlights

On March 20, 2024, the Saskatchewan’s Minister of Finance announced the province’s 2024 budget. This article highlights the most important things you need to know about this budget, broken into 2 sections:

  • Business Tax 

  • Personal Tax

Personal tax changes

There are no changes to the province’s personal tax rates in Budget 2024. 

As a result, the Saskatchewan’s personal income tax rate remains as follows: 

1 The top marginal tax rate on non-eligible dividends is scheduled to decrease to 40.37% for 2025 (assuming no further rate or dividend tax credit changes.)

Business tax changes

The budget delays a planned increase in the 1% small business income tax rate until July 1, 2025. This means that instead of going up on July 1, 2024, the small business tax rate will only increase to 2% on July 1, 2025. This change also affects Saskatchewan’s corporate income tax rates, which are set to be as follows:

1 On first $600,000 of active business income. 

2 Saskatchewan’s small business tax rate is scheduled to increase to 2% on July 1, 2025.

Also, the total Saskatchewan and federal corporate income tax rates are set to be:

1 Assuming no further changes to federal or Saskatchewan tax rates.

2 Saskatchewan’s small business tax rate is scheduled to increase to 2% on July 1, 2025.

Saskatchewan Technology Start-up Incentive

The budget improves the Saskatchewan Technology Start-up Incentive. This program gives a non-refundable 45% tax credit to specific accredited investors who invest in certain start-up businesses. Now, the budget makes more start-ups eligible for this incentive, especially those working on new technologies in clean energy. Plus, the program will last longer, until March 31, 2027, instead of March 31, 2026. Also, there will be more money available for funding these start-ups.

Saskatchewan Commercial Innovation Incentive

The budget gives more time for businesses to apply for the Saskatchewan Commercial Innovation Incentive, also known as the “patent box.” Now, businesses can apply until June 30, 2025, instead of June 30, 2024. This incentive typically lowers the provincial corporate income tax rate to 6% for ten years for businesses that sell their new ideas in Saskatchewan. Also, the government plans to check how well this program is working in 2024 and will listen to what businesses have to say about it.

Critical Minerals Innovation Incentive

The budget brings in the Saskatchewan Critical Minerals Innovation Incentive, a new program. It’s for certain pilot and growing projects that get transferable Crown royalty and freehold production tax credits. These credits are worth 25% of the costs of the program that qualifies. The budget mentions that this incentive is for projects that use new technologies to improve how minerals are recovered, reduce environmental effects, add value during processing, or sell extra or waste products.

Critical Minerals Processing Investment Incentive

The budget brings in the Critical Minerals Processing Investment Incentive. This program gives transferable Crown royalty and freehold production tax credits. These credits amount to 15% of eligible costs for certain projects. The incentive is for new or expanded projects that add value to minerals in Saskatchewan. It includes opportunities to sell extra products made at current mines and processing plants.

Saskatchewan Petroleum Innovation Incentive

The budget gives more time to apply for the Saskatchewan Petroleum Innovation Incentive, now until March 31, 2029, instead of March 31, 2024. This incentive gives transferable tax credits for certain projects that turn innovative ideas into business reality. The credits amount to 25% of the costs of the project that qualifies. The budget also stops helium and lithium projects from being eligible for this incentive because they can now qualify under the new Saskatchewan Critical Minerals Innovation Incentive.

Oil and Gas Processing Investment Incentive

The budget gives more time for the Oil and Gas Processing Investment Incentive until March 31, 2029, instead of March 31, 2024. Also, there’s more funding available. This incentive offers transferable tax credits for certain projects that add value to the oil and gas industry, whether they’re new projects or improving existing ones. The credits amount to 15% of the costs of the project that qualifies. The budget also stops helium and lithium projects from being eligible for this incentive because they can now qualify under the new Critical Minerals Processing Investment Incentive.

Multi-lateral Well Program

The budget starts the Multi-lateral Well Program, which gives drilling incentives for certain new oil wells. The incentives depend on whether the well is shallow, deep, or for exploring. This program is for new wells drilled from April 1, 2024, to March 31, 2028.

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Alberta’s 2024 Budget Highlights

On February 29, 2024, the Alberta Minister of Finance announced the province’s 2024 budget. This article highlights the most important things you need to know about this budget, broken into 2 sections:

  • Personal Tax Changes

  • Business Tax Changes

Personal tax changes

There are no changes to the province’s personal tax rates in Budget 2024. 

As a result, Alberta’s personal income tax rate remains as follows: 

The budget outlines Alberta’s commitment to fulfill its election promise of introducing a new personal income tax bracket of 8% on the first $60,000 of income. This implementation is projected to occur gradually over the years 2026 and 2027. However, it is contingent upon the province maintaining sufficient fiscal capacity and achieving a balanced budget.

Alberta is Calling Attraction Bonus:

The budget unveils the Alberta is Calling Attraction Bonus, a one-time $5,000 refundable tax credit designed for individuals relocating to Alberta and working in specific occupations after the program’s launch in April 2024. To qualify for the credit, individuals must be employed full-time in one of the designated occupations, file their 2024 taxes in Alberta, and reside in the province for a minimum of 12 months, among other criteria. Alberta plans to release further details regarding the application procedure and additional eligibility requirements in the coming days.

Electric vehicles tax:

The budget unveils a new measure, imposing a $200 yearly tax on electric vehicles, slated to take effect on January 1, 2025. Alberta specifies that this levy, exempting hybrid vehicles, will be collected during vehicle registration and will supplement the current registration fee. Further information regarding this tax will be disclosed by Alberta upon the introduction of legislation to enact this measure in fall 2024.

Education Property Tax:

Education property tax rates remain unchanged in the budget, with mill rates frozen at the following levels:

  • Residential/farmland: $2.56 per $1,000 of equalized assessment

  • Non-residential: $3.76 per $1,000 of equalized assessment

Business tax changes

There are no changes to the province’s personal or corporate tax rates in Budget 2024. 

As a result, Alberta’s Corporate income tax rate remains as follows: 

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Wondering how this year’s budget will impact your finances or your business? We can help – give us a call today!  

Source: https://www.alberta.ca/budget

British Columbia’s 2024 Budget Highlights

On February 22, 2024, the B.C. Minister of Finance announced the province’s 2024 budget. This article highlights the most important things you need to know about this budget, broken into 3 sections:

  • Real Estate

  • Personal Tax Changes

  • Business Tax Changes

Real Estate

Home Flipping Tax Introduced

Effective January 1, 2025, the home flipping tax applies to properties sold within a short holding period of 365 days. Sellers who dispose of residential properties within this timeframe will incur a 20% tax on the income generated from the sale. The tax rate gradually decreases to 0% for properties held between 366 and 730 days. It’s important to note that this tax applies globally, affecting both British Columbia residents and non-residents selling properties within the province. 

The tax encompasses various types of residential properties, including those with housing units and properties zoned for residential use. Additionally, income generated from contract assignments is also subject to this tax. However, the tax does not apply to land or portions of land used for non-residential purposes.

Property Transfer Tax Exemption Thresholds Increased:

Effective April 1, 2024, first-time home buyers can benefit from an increased threshold of $835,000, with properties valued under $500,000 being fully exempt from the tax. Furthermore, purchasers of qualifying newly built homes see an increase in the exemption threshold to $1.1 million for principal residences. This measure aims to alleviate the financial burden on first-time buyers and encourage investment in new housing developments.

Speculation and Vacancy Tax – Registered Occupier:

Starting January 1, 2024, individuals holding residential properties under a registered lease will be considered the registered occupiers of these properties for taxation purposes. This means that leaseholders will be required to declare the use of the property annually, with declarations for activities occurring in 2024 commencing in 2025. This measure aims to ensure that registered leaseholders accurately report their property usage.

Personal tax changes

There are no changes to the province’s personal tax rates in Budget 2024. 

As a result, the B.C.’s personal income tax rate remains as follows: 

BC Family Benefit Bonus:

Effective July 1, 2024, the annual benefit amounts and income thresholds used to determine eligibility for the B.C. Family Benefit are increased by 25%. However, these adjustments are temporary and will revert to previous levels at the end of the 12-month benefit period. This enhancement aims to provide additional financial assistance to families facing economic challenges during the specified period.

Provincial Sales Tax Changes:

Several amendments to the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) rules are introduced to streamline tax administration and ensure fairness in taxation:

  • Reduction in PST refunds for goods intended for export but resold within British Columbia aims to prevent abuse of export-related tax benefits.

  • Broadening of the “software” definition for PST purposes, retroactive to April 1, 2013, addresses ambiguities and aligns with the evolving landscape of digital products and services.

  • Clarification on PST refunds for self-assessed goods returned to non-PST collecting sellers aims to simplify tax refund processes and reduce administrative burdens.

  • Inclusion of clean energy production machinery in PST exemptions aims to incentivize investment in renewable energy infrastructure and support climate action initiatives.

  • Clarification on taxable services provided with leased goods ensures consistency and clarity in tax treatment, reducing potential disputes and improving compliance.

  • Expansion of administrative penalties’ application aims to deter non-compliance and ensure adherence to tax laws, thereby safeguarding revenue integrity.

Climate Action Tax Credit Payment Increase: 

Effective July 1, 2024, adult recipients will see an increase to $504, spouses or common-law partners to $252, and children to $126. Furthermore, income thresholds for credit phase-outs are adjusted upwards, allowing more individuals and families to benefit from the tax credit. These adjustments aim to alleviate financial burdens associated with climate action initiatives and promote environmental sustainability

2024 Financial Calendar

2024 Financial Calendar

Welcome to our 2024 financial calendar! This calendar is designed to help you keep track of important financial dates and deadlines, such as tax filing and government benefit distribution. You can bookmark this page for easy reference or add these dates to your personal calendar to ensure you don’t miss any important financial obligations.

If you need help with your taxes, tax packages will be available starting February 2024. Don’t wait until the last minute to get started on your tax return – make an appointment with your accountant to ensure you’re ready to go when tax season arrives.

Important 2024 Dates to Know

On January 1, 2024 the contribution room for your Tax Free Savings Account opens again. The maximum contribution for 2024 is $7,000.

If you qualify, on January 1, 2024 the contribution room for your First Home Savings Account opens. The maximum contribution for 2024 is $8,000. 

For your Registered Retirement Savings Plan contributions to be eligible for the 2023 tax year, you must make them by February 29, 2024.

GST/HST credit payments will be issued on:  

  • January 5

  • April 5

  • July 5

  • October 4

Canada Child Benefit payments will be issued on the following dates: 

  • January 19

  • February 20

  • March 20

  • April 19

  • May 17

  • June 20

  • July 19

  • August 20

  • September 20

  • October 18

  • November 20

  • December 13

The government will issue Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security payments on the following dates: 

  • January 29

  • February 27

  • March 26

  • April 26

  • May 29

  • June 26

  • July 29

  • August 28

  • September 25

  • October 29

  • November 27

  • December 20

The Bank of Canada will make interest rate announcements on:

  • January 24

  • March 6

  • April 10

  • June 5

  • July 24

  • September 4

  • October 23

  • December 11

April 30, 2024 is the last day to file your personal income taxes, and tax payments are due by this date. This is also the filing deadline for final returns if death occurred between January 1 and October 31, 2023.

May 1 to June 30, 2024 would be the filing deadline for final tax returns if death occurred between November 1 and December 31, 2023. The due date for the final return is six months after the date of death.

The tax deadline for all self-employment returns is June 17, 2024. Payments are due April 30, 2024. 

The final Tax-Free Savings Account, First Home Savings Account, Registered Education Savings Plan and Registered Disability Savings Plan contributions deadline is December 31.

December 31 is also the deadline for 2024 charitable contributions.

December 31 is also the deadline for individuals who turned 71 in 2024 to finish contributing to their RRSPs and convert them into RRIFs.

Please reach out if you have any questions.