With sadness, we share the news of the passing of Don’s wife, Alison, on November 2nd, after a 1 1/2 year battle with ALS. Alison had a very large presence behind the scenes in our practice. Through our many client events and Trivest Travels jaunts, she touched the lives of many of our clients. Her Celebration of Life on December 4th was attended by approx. 300 friends and family. Don prepared a tribute to her which you can view at: http://www.nilsonco.com/life-travels-with-lal/
In lieu of flowers or donations, Alison asks that you spend time reflecting on life and on the loved ones who thrive upon your caring. When you have done this, mark the moment by giving a flower stem to some unsuspecting soul.
As we anticipated, the labour market for Professionals is very tight here in Vancouver. As a result, we have been unable to satisfactorily fill the vacancy from Jacqueline’s departure last summer. We will endeavor to get through the first quarter of 2017 with a band-aid solution, that includes a larger contribution from senior staff member, and semi-retired, Joan.
Gary was in Toronto in the Fall for the annual NBCN conference. Hunter has been working on his CIM designation, as well as some new coding & database computer skills. Errin has been working on her CFP designation.
The 2017 pocket calendars are in stock. Drop by to pick one up or call if you would like one mailed to you.
We wish you a happy and restive Holiday Season. On our annual Christmas card, Alison invites you for a last walk together in the winter snow.
Our Christmas book suggestion this year is Risk Savvy: How to Make Good Decisions, by Gerd Gigerenzer.
Some of us are math-phobic and most of us are statistics-phobic. The author underscores the importance of being stats-numerate, and does a good job of gently leading us to greater appreciation with clear examples.
The EI rate will drop for 2017 from 1.88% to 1.63%. The maximum insurable amount will rise by $500 to $51,300. Thus the maximum EI amount will drop from $955.04 to $836.19, with the employer matching remaining at 1.4.
- Make your last personal tax instalment by December 15th
- Complete your donation plans by December 31st, and consider contributing in-kind, for a greater tax break
- Make sure your RRIF withdrawal requirements have been met by December 31st
- If you turned 71 this year, you are obliged to convert your RRSP to a RRIF by Dec 31st
- Business owners should consider making use of the tax-free gift laws for staff Xmas bonuses (see details on our website)
- Contemplate the wisdom of triggering taxable amounts, eg by RRSP deregistrations, if your income is low
- Trigger the full $2,000 of tax-preferred pension income by December 31st if you haven’t already
- Keep your transit pass receipts for the whole family, and buy monthly passes
- Beat the February rush and make your 2016 RRSP contribution now
- Get the jump on your 2017 TFSA $5,500 contribution in early January
- Review your unrealized capital gains/losses strategy by mid-December
- If you are an entrepreneur, review your payroll remittance balance for the year to be sure it is adequate when the 2016 T4 filing is prepared in February
- As the New Year rolls around, you might want to think about whether you wish to defer your property taxes for 2017. If you are making monthly instalments, you may wish to stop them if you plan to defer. The interest rates are .7 of 1% for seniors and 2.7% for parents
- Make your 2016 RESP contribution, and make your 2016 withdrawal for kids in school this Winter semester
- The $1,200 BC RESP top up is available for children born in 2006 or later. The 1st day of eligibility is your child’s 6th birthday. Check with your financial institution for application forms
As taxpayers or tax preparers, many of us roll our eyes at the time delays in dealing with bureaucrats. We have one such matter currently in its seventh month. CRA apparently has a well-hidden service standard policy, which includes:
- First contact response to a request within 30 days
- Failing this satisfaction, a taxpayer can engage the Problem Resolution Program-”Acknowledge Receipt” through your Member of Parliament (MP) or a CRA enquiries official
- This should lead to an acknowledgement within 2 business days
- Then, the Problem Resolution Program-”Resolution” promises a resolution within 15 business days through an MP or CRA enquiries official
- There is a separate parallel program to lodge service complaints against CRA staffers
- This Service Complaint Program has a mailing address or can be reached via fax at 1-866-388-7371