In this issue:
The Change Issue
The month of September is synonymous with “back to school” and March is synonymous with “back to your accountant”. We will start “Tax Season” on Monday, March 14th. Read the back page for preparation tips.
We enclose complimentary dining coupons from our neighbor, Salmon House on the Hill. We still have 2016 pocket calendars.
The new government is re-arranging the family benefits system, starting this July. A new “child benefit” payment will be made in place of the collection of the universal child care benefit, the previous child tax benefit and the national supplement. Also, the new Family Tax Cut (family income spitting) had a short life and will be cancelled after the 2015 tax year.
For corporate PHSP health plans, CRA recently softened its stance on compliance. Previously, if an audit revealed that any such reimbursements were not made against allowable medical outlays, this transgression would result in forfeiture of the whole Plan for the company. Starting in 2015, they cut some slack by only requiring that substantially all (90%) such payments are for allowable medical costs.
2016 AUTO RATES
With falling oil prices, the rates for auto mileage reimbursement dropped for this year by one cent—to 54c on the first 5,000 kms and 48c after that. The taxable operating rate also dropped by one cent to 26c.
Free seminar for clients and guests
Saturday, April 2nd 10am –1 pm
We will be presenting a seminar entitled “Estate Planning Primer: The Highs and Lows of Inter-generational Wealth Transfer” at a location in West Vancouver. This is the fourth course in our series addressing a healthy and successful approach to the custodianship of money across Family generations.
Call or email us by March 25th to reserve a seat and receive more details.
Tax Season 2016
We commence tax season this year on March 14th. Remember that the critical filing deadlines are March 31st for trust returns, April 15th for US returns and May 2nd for Canadian returns. We will be requesting an interim payment of $75 per return, which will be credited on your final bill in early May. This checklist will help you get organized to have your returns done accurately and economically.
- all copies of your slips: don’t separate the duplicate copies
- all medical and donation receipts, including travel medical premiums
- medical receipts which relate to discretionary appearance enhancements are not deductible
- the backing sheet which came with the T5s from your broker
- the confidentiality authorization from your broker (if not already on file)
- the final instalment notice for the year from the tax department
- the purchase cost information of any stocks or bonds sold outside your RRSP/RRIF
- annual mutual fund statements for funds held outside your RRSP/RRIF
- receipts for qualified commuter, arts and child fitness expenses
- annual trading summary and brokerage statements for the entire year for non-RRSP accounts
- a list of any foreign assets which may require reporting under the yet-again–revised (in December 2015) Foreign Asset verification rules (see below)
- watch for T3 slips from trust units/mutual funds which may arrive throughout March and April
- phone us immediately if something arrives late
- make your March 15 tax installment
- doing a draft return usually doesn’t help us and takes extra time to reconcile
- file for reimbursement of medical costs under Pharmacare or your extended health plan
- if you are a Trivest client, we are able to download directly all of your brokerage slips
We remind you that we accept electronic payment via Interac E-Transfer. Also, we will be asking many of you to sign on to our secure Portal site technology to facilitate secure document and data transfers between us.
GET A HEAD START
The RRSP room for 2016 will be $25,370, requiring 2015 earned income of at least $140,944. The 2017 limit is already announced – $26,010 on a 2016 earned income of $144,500. Your new TFSA room for 2016 is $5,500. Start thinking about whether you wish to defer your 2016 property taxes this year.
FOREIGN INCOME T1135 REDUX
For 2015 and beyond, the latest version of this dreadful form takes another kick at simplification. If the cost of your specified foreign property is above the base line of $100,000 but (now) less than $250,000, you can use the Part A short version. This requires four responses:
- tick the kinds of foreign property you have
- identify the top three countries where these properties are held
- enter the total foreign income from such properties
- enter the total gains or losses on such properties