Another Tax Season came and went. The end of that season on April 30th each year is what we refer to as “Accountants’ New Years Eve”. The inevitable “New Year’s resolutions” happen in May for accountants, and often lead to change. And so we announce two departures this year. Marilou Libaste has left after 8 years with us to take up full time employment from home, saving the commute to the North Shore. Hunter LeBlanc has left after two years to follow his wife, with her recent PhD, to her Post-Doc research posting at Queens University in Kingston. Both staff members contributed to our endeavours in Nilson&Co and Trivest.
Our two firms held our annual Strategic Planning Retreat at Harrison in June. The results of that planning session will be shared later this Fall.
Gary has been busy over the last quarter, attending a Black Rock Investment Summit in Toronto, as well as Vanguard, Spyder and Wisdom Tree symposiums locally.
Don recently spearheaded the nomination of a professional colleague for the highest national award recognition in the field of financial planning.
We undertake rotating quadrennial surveys of our clients across our business units, in order to determine how well we are serving them and what we can do to improve. This year, the survey focused on our investment management division. Below is a summary of this year’s results.
|TRIVEST SURVEY RESULTS||Excellent||Good||Combined|
|Frequency of our communication||64%||36%||100%|
|Usefulness of Annual Report||47%||42%||89%|
|Fit between portfolio strategy and personal goals||68%||32%||100%|
|Adherence to the portfolio strategy||68%||32%||100%|
|Investment management approach||55%||45%||100%|
|Overall value as investment managers||82%||18%||100%|
April 30th is Accountants’ New Year’s Eve– the end of the financial year when everyone’s taxes are filed. With another tax year now behind us, it is a good time to make “New Year’s” financial resolutions.
- If you qualify for Guaranteed Income Supplement, BC Medical premium assistance or property tax deferral for the first time, make sure that you have attended to the application process
- Property taxes are due in July and, if you qualify as a senior (over age 55) or a parent raising children (under age 18), you may wish to check out the property tax deferral options available. Visit our website at http://www.nilsonco.com/PastIssues/bc_property_tax_deferment.htm for more information. Low income seniors whose property values preclude the Seniors Grant instead may qualify instead for the “low income grant supplement” from the Province of BC. Visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/annual-property-tax/reduce/home-owner-grant/senior/low-income
- If you qualify for GST credits or Canada Child Tax benefits, these are recalculated starting July each year, based upon your family income as reported in the most recent tax year
- Pensioners’ entitlement to Old Age Security income is similarly recalibrated each July. If you had a one-off high income year last year, you may find yourself a victim of the clawback this summer, so watch carefully for your July receipt. You may consider submitting a T1213 OAS application to waive/mitigate the resulting reduced OAS income
- RRSP contributors can start this year with a fresh resolve to make their RRSP contributions for 2017 before the deadline of next February– your 2017 contribution limit appears on our April cover letter to you. Get the jump on your TFSA and kids’ RESP contributions as well
- You may need to review your 2017 tax instalment strategy with us
- If you are reaching trigger ages of 60, 65 or 71 this year, address financial planning issues related to CPP, OAS and RRIFs
- You no longer need to forward to us your Tax Assessment Notice. We review all of our clients’ Notices on line, and follow up any issues that we identify
- Review your estate planning elections in your RRSPs, RRIFs and TFSAs to ensure they are current, represent your intent and will mitigate probate fees upon your demise. Trivest reviews all of these elections in the Fall every year on behalf of its clients
- Be sure to read our cover letter to you which accompanied your 2016 personal tax return(s). We may have brought specific action points to your attention therein
- If you sell your home during 2017, remember the new reporting rule that came into law last year
- The 2015 Federal Budget introduced an interesting new law which became effective after 2016, and requires extreme proactivity. If you enjoy a capital gain on the sale of real estate or shares in a private corporation, the related capital gains tax can be mitigated if you make a charitable cash donation within 30 days of the disposition. This very tight deadline requires getting your accountant involved in the transaction…likely even before it executes…so that proper tax planning can be done. Waiting until the following April tax preparation season will be too late! You also need to be prescient of your favourite charity!