Home Buyers Need to Check Residency of Home Sellers If They Suspect the Seller Is Not Canadian

When Canadians purchase a home, they are required to withhold part of the purchase price should the seller be a non-resident of Canada. A recent Tax Court of Canada decision (Kau v. the Queen [2018 TCC 156]) should serve as a warning to clients and professionals alike, to watch for any red flags that might suggest the seller is not a resident of Canada. As a result of this recent court decision, the home buyer…

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Personal Use of Business Aircraft: How Big of a Taxable Benefit Is It?

A CRA communication dated March 7, 2018 provided updated commentary on taxable benefits arising from the personal use of a business aircraft. CRA categorized the types of flights into three groups, as follows: Mixed-use flights – If a shareholder or employee takes a flight which has a clear business purpose, they would not generally be subject to a taxable benefit. An individual’s purpose is a question of fact. If others take the same flight (such…

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Construction Activities: Reporting Obligations for Subcontractors

A July 17, 2017 Technical Interpretation examined the conditions which would require the filing of a T5018, Statement of Contract Payments. Where a person or partnership primarily derives their business income from construction activities for a reporting period, a T5018 should be filed for any subcontractor payment or credit made relating to goods or services received in the course of construction activities. The reporting period may be a calendar or fiscal year but cannot be…

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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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