Français

Newsletters

Tax Alerts

With the holiday season approaching, income tax issues for the current year are unlikely to be top-of-mind for most Canadians — and planning for taxes for the upcoming 2022 tax year may seem too remote to even be considered. However, most Canadians will start paying their taxes for 2022 with the first paycheque they receive in January of 2022, little more than a month from now. It’s worth taking a bit of time now to make sure that things start off — and stay — on the right foot.


During the month of December, it’s customary for employers to provide something “extra” for their employees, by way of a holiday gift, a year-end bonus, or an employer-sponsored social event. Once again this year, as in 2020, there is unlikely to be an annual office holiday party; however, employees may still be able to look forward to something additional in the way of compensation during the last month of the year. In fact, given the current labour shortage and the difficulties employers are having attracting and retaining employees, there may be an added incentive for employers to show their appreciation to current employees by means of a holiday gift or bonus.


For individual Canadian taxpayers, the tax year ends at the same time as the calendar year. What that means for individual Canadians is that any steps taken to reduce their tax payable for 2021 must be completed by December 31, 2021. (For individual taxpayers, the only significant exception to that rule is registered retirement savings plan contributions; with some exceptions, such contributions can be made any time up to and including March 1, 2022, and claimed on the return for 2021.)


In October, the federal government outlined the next stage of its pandemic recovery benefit programs, which focused on provided support to businesses in the economic sectors hit hardest by the pandemic. Among the programs introduced was the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (the “Program”), and details of the eligibility requirements for that Program, and the kinds of assistance to be provided, have now been announced.


Canadians are fortunate to have a publicly funded health care system, in which most major medical expenses are covered by provincial health care plans. Such plans are not, however, comprehensive, and there is consequently a large (and growing) number of medical and para-medical costs — including dental care, prescription drugs, physiotherapy, ambulance trips, and many others — which must be paid for on an out-of-pocket basis by the individual. In some cases, such costs are covered by private insurance, usually provided by an employer, but not everyone benefits from such coverage. Self-employed individuals, those working on contract, or those whose income comes from several part-time jobs do not usually have access to such private insurance coverage. Fortunately for those individuals, our tax system acts to help cushion the blow by providing a medical expense tax credit to help offset out-of-pocket medical and para-medical costs which must be incurred.


Working from home — and certainly work from home arrangements on the scale experienced over the past 19 months — would not be practically possible without the use of technology. And of all the available technology, cell phones and internet service are the two essentials without which work-from-home arrangements almost literally can’t function.


Throughout the pandemic, the federal government has provided businesses with a number of support programs, some of which operated to subsidize the wage and rental costs of those businesses. Some of those programs were scheduled to expire on November 20, 2021; however, in its most recent announcement made October 21, 2021, the federal government indicated that one program — the Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) — would be extended, possibly until July 2, 2022. In addition, two new programs will be implemented to address the needs of businesses in sectors particularly hard hit by the pandemic. The affected programs are as follows.


Since the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) replaced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) just over a year ago, more than 2 million individual Canadians have applied for the CRB, a benefit which paid $900 (pre-tax) per week until July 17 of this year, and $600 (pre-tax) per week thereafter. For the most recent benefit period for which figures are available (September 12-25, 2021), 821,560 Canadians received the CRB. In total, just over $27 billion in CRB amounts have been issued by the federal government since October 2020.


Two quarterly newsletters have been added—one dealing with personal issues, and one dealing with corporate issues.


The ongoing pandemic has, as one of its many effects, created a boom in the home renovation industry, as Canadians find themselves needing to adapt their homes to more and more varied uses.


In most cases, the need to seek out and obtain legal services (and to pay for them) is associated with life’s more unwelcome occurrences and experiences — a divorce, a dispute over a family estate, or a job loss. About the only thing that mitigates the pain of paying legal fees (apart, hopefully, from a successful resolution of the problem that created the need for legal advice) would be the ability to claim a tax credit or deduction for the fees paid.


Since March of 2020, tens of millions of Canadians have received pandemic benefits. In some cases, those benefits have been received directly by individuals — typically, through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and, later, the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). In other cases, benefits have been provided to businesses, in some cases to assist them with rent payments or, in others, to subsidize employee wages.


Most Canadians know that the deadline for making contributions to one’s registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) comes 60 days after the end of the calendar year, around the end of February. There are, however, some circumstances in which an RRSP contribution must be (or should be) made by December 31, in order to achieve the desired tax result.


Accounting: Assurance: Taxation: Business Advisory