Management – Protecting your future

by admin in Advisory

MANAGEMENT Protecting Your Future Simple precautions will protect your personal and corporate information if natural disaster strikes. The fires in Alberta show how quickly natural catastrophes can totally disrupt personal and business life. Technology is now available to protect you from losing important information when disaster strikes. On a Personal Level Financial institutions need tangible evidence of your existence. Even if the originals of documents are destroyed, you can reassert your identity with photographs. Take pictures of the front and back of all credit cards, debit cards, health cards, social insurance cards, driver’s licences, vehicle insurance cards, etc. Keep all original birth certificates, passports, change-of-name documents, adoption papers, copies of power of attorney, living wills or other caregiver instructions as well as appraisals of jewellery, artwork, collectible or other valuable insured items in a fireproof safe or safety deposit box. Scan and add to the safe all documents that record RRSPs, RRIFs, investment and your Notices of Reassessment for the last six years to establish your income tax history. Take pictures of all household furnishings. Not only will these be beneficial for insurance purposes, but they will also provide you with images to use when rebuilding your new home. Use […]

Management – Face to Face

by admin in Advisory

MANAGEMENT Face to Face Social media have their place, but do not forget to talk to each other face to face. Social media are reducing the number of face-to-face conversations. “In person” encounters allow a person to speak while another responds spontaneously without resorting to the more formal structure of the written word. Why do we seem to prefer Facebook/Twitter or emails rather than meeting with someone to discuss issues? The most obvious answer is that electronic media is more effective and saves us time. Psychologists tell us we find interacting with others through the computer is easier because a computer does not require us to become emotionally involved.   When to Meet Face to Face Certainly there are situations when communicating via social media is effective, such as when sending a quick inquiry to a colleague. But when owner-managers need to announce decisions that will have an emotional impact and bring employee reaction, face-to-face meetings are a must for the following reasons: Face-to-face communication has incredible advantages since you receive an immediate response. If, on the other hand, you text someone and they do not respond, uncertainty prevails. One-on-one proximity allows you to “read” the respondent’s reaction to the […]

Taxation – Corporate Year End

by admin in Advisory

TAXATION Corporate Year End Before choosing a date for your year end, think about the date that works best for your kind of business. When entrepreneurs incorporate their businesses under their respective provincial articles of incorporation, often, little thought is given to the date for the fiscal year end. Many company founders unconsciously identify the company’s fiscal year end with the calendar year end of December 31, and therefore automatically select this date. After the articles of incorporation have been issued, the business may choose any date as year end provided the number of days of the fiscal year do not exceed 371. Conventional wisdom suggests, however, that the last day of the chosen month is the most practical date since most businesses and financial institutions process client data on a month-end basis. Setting the year end date at the end of your chosen month permits an easier cut-off and reconciliation process. Factors to Consider Inventory If, for example, you are a retail business, physically counting inventory during your busiest sales period (i.e., Christmas) would disrupt business, so January 31 would be a good date for your year end. Inventory, as well as the level of in-store activity, will be […]

Taxation – For the Record

by admin in Advisory

TAXATION For the Record Complete, accurate and readable records will make a CRA audit less onerous. Regardless of whether your business is a proprietorship, a partnership or an incorporated company, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requires the business to maintain financial books and records. Here are a few of the CRA’s record-keeping requirements you should know. Only in Canada, eh? The CRA requires that records must be kept in Canada, either at your place of business or your residence. If your head office is in Canada and your books and records are stored electronically outside the country and accessed by your Canadian-based operation, these records are not considered to be maintained at your head office. Thus, if you are currently running cloud-based accounting software that is storing data in a foreign jurisdiction, your business is in violation of CRA requirements. If you wish to keep records in a jurisdiction other than Canada, you must seek written permission from CRA to keep them elsewhere. Your Responsibility Your business must assure the books and records are protected and available for inspection even if a third party is processing or storing the information. The third party must have adequate security and backup to […]

Management – Motivation

by admin in Advisory

MANAGEMENT Motivation Being motivated and inspiring motivation are the keys to success. Motivation, according to Business dictionary.com is the “Internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continuously interested and committed to a job, role or subject or to make an effort to achieve a goal. Motivation results from the interaction of both conscious and unconscious factors such as the: intensity of desire or need incentive or reward value of the goal expectations of the individual and of his or her peers.” Keeping yourself motivated and keeping staff motivated is difficult, especially for owner-managers constantly sidetracked by issues that pull them away from their course of action. Know Yourself — Know Your Reasons to Be Motivated One of the first steps to maintaining motivation is to determine the reason to pursue a project. Determine whether your motivation is perhaps sparked by a deeply rooted need to emulate your parents, a desire to reach a million dollars in sales, or to meet the needs of others by providing a high-quality service or product. Whatever your reasons, the following are some tips to maintain the drive to reach your goals. Treat your life as a project and yourself as […]

Technology – Road Warriors

by admin in Advisory

TECHNOLOGY Road Warriors Consider taking a few extra accessories when working offsite. Working while on the road, whether at nearby job sites or when travelling to distant locations, usually means taking a smartphone, laptop or tablet. The ability to work almost anywhere in the world is marvellous; however, when we are working at a hotel, jobsite, vendor or client location, or even at the cottage, we often wish we had the same conveniences we have at home. Before taking your next trip, you may wish to consider adding a few of these travel essentials to ensure that, if your makeshift workstation is more like your home office, you will be less fraught with concern about your ability to complete the project.   Productivity For many, typing on the touch screens or keyboards provided on smartphones or laptops is inefficient and tiresome. Why not invest in a rechargeable portable keyboard that can be folded and placed into your briefcase? (Cost: approximately $20) If you find your laptop’s built-in touchpad or pointing stick frustrating to use, try a miniature (travel-sized) wireless or USB mouse to make dragging and dropping a lot easier. (Cost: approximately $10) If you frequently need to enter numbers […]

Income Tax Filing Alert: Important Changes

by admin in Taxation

Basic Personal Amount The Federal Basic Personal Amount will increase to $11,474 for 2016, up from $11,327 in 2015. For 2017, the amount will be $11,635. Marginal rates remain the same in 2017. Marginal Rates There have been no changes in the overall federal marginal tax rates; however, the thresholds for taxable income have been changed as indicated in the comparison table below. Keep in mind that these rates do not include the provincial rate nor do they include the various credits and deductions that may reduce the overall income tax for which you may be liable.   2017 Taxable Income Percentage Rate 2016 Taxable Income On the first                $  45,916                      15.0 % On the first                $   45,282 $45,917 up to                91,831                      20.5 $45,283 up to                90,563 $91,832 up to              142,353                      26.0 90,564 up to                140,388 $142,354 up to            202,800                      29.0 140,389 up to              200,000 Other Changes The 15% children’s fitness and arts tax credit, as well as the education and textbook tax credit, will be eliminated effective January 1, 2017. For 2016, the maximum Children’s Fitness and Arts tax credit will be 50% of the previous allowable amounts. Unused textbook and education tax credits from […]

INCOME TAX ALERT: Sold your home? Significant tax rule changes for 2016 taxes.

by admin in Uncategorized

Principal Residence There has been a significant change in the CRA’s policies regarding principal residency that must be followed by all taxpayers. Prior to 2016, there was a requirement to fill out form T2091 to designate your home as a principal residence. The form required you to designate the years in which the home was your principal residence. Although this form was required to be filed in the year of disposition, most individuals never filed the form because the resulting capital gain was often fully eliminated by claiming the principal residence exemption. Administratively, the CRA had waived this requirement to file if the exemption eliminated the gain. Significant Rule Changes For the taxation years that end on or after October 3, 2016 (e.g., the 2016 calendar year), if you sell your principal residence, you are required to report the sale and the resulting capital gain or loss on Schedule 3 of your T1. You are also required to file the form T2091 if you are claiming the principal residence exemption. These requirements are imposed regardless of whether or not the gain is fully exempt as a result of the designation. A failure to file and disclose the information will have […]

Tax Planning for 2016 – Huron Partners LLP, Chartered Professional Accountants

by admin in Uncategorized

The election of a new government in Ottawa is often accompanied by changes to the way income is taxed. The last federal election was no exception. The changes announced in the March 2016 budget that will impact many taxpayers are as follows: Education Post-secondary Individuals attending post-secondary educational institutions could previously claim tuition fees plus an education and textbook amount based upon the number of part-time or full-time months of attendance at a qualified institution. For 2016, the federal education and textbook amounts will be eliminated. The tuition fee amount will remain intact. Teacher tax benefit There are teachers and early childhood educators who may spend their own money on classroom supplies. To offset these out-of-pocket expenses, a new Teacher and Early Childhood Educator School Supply Tax Benefit will be introduced. A licensed and certified teacher can now purchase up to $1,000 worth of school supplies each year and receive a tax credit of 15% that should provide a tax savings of up to $150 each year. Tax Free Savings Account The tax free savings account will be reduced from $10,000 per annum to $5,500 for the 2016 tax year. In that the 2015 tax budget increased the former limit […]

What you should know about Old Age Security Pension

by admin in Uncategorized

Canada’s retirement system has a number of benefits attached to it. One of those benefits is the Old Age Security pension (OAS). The OAS is an important part of Canada’s retirement income system.  Most working Canadians also qualify for Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits in retirement.  CPP benefits are beyond the scope of this article, however, it will be discussed under a separate cover at a later time. Old Age Security payments are generally available to any Canadian citizen or legal resident of Canada that is over the age of 65 and has lived in Canada for at least 10 years after the age of 18.  In addition, there are certain restrictions around newcomers to Canada and individuals who left Canada and are non-residents.  There are strict eligibility criteria that must be met.  Please consult with a professional to further determine your eligibility. By no means is the OAS pension designed to be an income replacement.  You’re still expected to fund your retirement mostly on your own, with the help of registered and non-registered accounts.  That’s not to say that the OAS is not helpful.  On the contrary, the income from the government as a result of OAS, can still […]

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