US Citizens: Risks of Tax Non-Compliance

Commencing January 1, 2016, the US State Department was able to deny or revoke passports to US citizens having a “seriously delinquent tax debt” or no Social Security Number associated with their passport. A “seriously delinquent tax debt” is one where the taxpayer owed more than $51,000, after January 1, 2018 (indexed going forward), in tax, interest and penalties. An Alert on the IRS website recently noted that commencing January 2018 the IRS will begin…

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Reasonable Vehicle Allowances: GST/HST Claim

A travel allowance paid to an employee for the use of their personal vehicle for business purposes will be non-taxable if it is reasonable. Where such reasonable allowances are paid, an input tax credit (ITC) may be claimed by the employer. The ITC is computed as the imputed GST/HST in the allowance, without adjustment for the fact that some costs likely did not attract GST/HST. In non-harmonized provinces/territories (such as Alberta and BC), the ITC would be 5/105 of the allowance. The ITC in a harmonized province is different.…

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Corporate Passive Investment Income: Proposed Changes

A new passive investment tax regime for Canadian Controlled Private Corporations (CCPCs) is proposed to apply to taxation years commencing after 2018. Passive income may include interest, rental, royalties, dividends from portfolio investments and taxable capital gains. Two significant changes are proposed. First, a limit to the small business deduction for CCPCs generating significant income from passive assets, and second, a new regime to stream the recovery of refundable tax to the payment of specific…

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Family Members: Can I Pay Them a Salary?

For a small business, whether operated as a corporation, proprietorship or partnership, it is quite possible that relatives of the owners or partners may be engaged as employees. Due to the closer familial relationship between employer and employee, CRA pays particular attention to ensure that the salary is truly an eligible deduction to the business. According to CRA, salaries to children and spouses are deductible as long as all of these conditions are met: the…

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Digital Currency: Basics And Tax Implications

Digital Currency (DC) is essentially electronic money. It’s not available as bills or coins. Cryptocurrency is a type of DC created using computer algorithms with the most popular being bitcoin. No single organization, such as a central bank, creates DC. DC is based on a decentralized, peer-to-peer network. The “peers” in this network are the people that take part in DC transactions, and their computers make up the network. DC can be used to buy…

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Commission Paid to a Corporation: Any Issues?

Consider the successful real estate or insurance agent, the financial product vendor, the area sales representative, or any other person earning commission income. One day they are asked, if they ever considered running their activities through a corporation as opposed to providing the services personally. There are definitely some valuable possibilities, but there are dangers too. CRA Technical Interpretation In a July 11, 2017 Technical Interpretation, CRA opined that whether a corporation is actually carrying…

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Loans to a Relative’s Business: What Happens When it Goes Bad?

You’ve loaned money to a family member’s corporation. Perhaps it was an investment, maybe it was a favor, or both. Or, perhaps, it was made for a completely separate reason. Regardless, sometimes the loan may go bad and you are not able to collect on the debt. What happens from a tax perspective when this occurs? If the loan was made to earn income and other conditions are met, you may be able to write-off…

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Checking Up On Suppliers Regarding GST/HST?

INPUT TAX CREDITS: Checking Up On Suppliers Do I have to check up on a supplier when paying them GST/HST? Yes! In a January 29, 2016 Tax Court of Canada case it was noted that CRA had denied over $500,000 of input tax credits (ITCs), and assessed penalties and interest, in respect of GST and QST paid to twelve suppliers. Unknown to the taxpayer, the suppliers did not remit the tax. The taxpayer, a scrap…

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Income-Splitting: Where are We Now?

On December 13, 2017, the Department of Finance released a number of updates relating to the income sprinkling proposals (originally announced on July 18, 2017). Below is a summary of the proposals as they are currently drafted. Individuals that receive certain types of income derived from a "related business" will be subject to Tax on Split Income (TOSI) unless an exclusion applies. TOSI is subject to the highest personal tax rate with no benefit of…

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Support of Refugees: Tax and Filing Requirements

Two Technical Interpretations (May 26 and March 3, 2017) considered whether support provided to a refugee would be required to be reported on a Form T5007, Statement of Benefits. Essentially, the CRA considered whether the support would constitute “social assistance” which would require a T5007. If the amount is not considered “social assistance”, no T5007 would be required. CRA opined that amounts would be considered “social assistance” if provided by a government or government agency,…

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