Tax Audit from Hell? – Part 2

bookkeeper NewmarketA couple of weeks ago I thought this would be part two of a three part series, even though it was originally planned for two. But thankfully it appears we’re on the final leg of this very long and stressful journey. Let me take you back as to why this has been the tax audit from Hell.

In my previous blog, I finished with the auditor’s request for a 2011 personal breakdown of expenses and income. And, the income wasn’t just related to T4s and Child Tax Benefits. It related to every deposit made to all of their bank and investments accounts along with that of their children for all of 2011. The auditor wanted closing balances of all their accounts at 2010 and opening balances for 2012 which included but wasn’t limited to: Read more

Reducing Canadian Payroll Taxes with a Tax Waiver

reducing taxesIt makes a world of difference to all business owners in surrounding themselves with intelligent and professional associates. Carolyn Bogseth is one of my associates that I certainly respect for her intelligence and genuine desire to help those she meets. Whether they are her clients or someone that would like a general investment question answered she will take the time to assist those who contact her. Below is an excerpt from her recent newsletter outlining how reducing payroll taxes can help you. Read more

QuickBooks Check-up Service – Are You Audit Proof?

financial auditAre you doing your own bookkeeping or currently paying someone to do it on your behalf? Have your ever questioned whether everything is done correctly and whether you could survive a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) audit?  And if it is being done correctly, have you ever wondered if there are possible additional deductions or expenses being missed that could help you reduce your tax liability, whether corporate, personal or HST taxes? Then maybe this is the time to book your QuickBooks Check-up Service.

With more than 25 years combined experience using various QuickBooks versions and editions, plus more than 25 years of preparing personal tax returns, we feel confident that our QuickBooks Check-up Service will help you.  Just like your car maintenance and dental appointments it’s better to do preventative maintenance than emergency service. You can then spend time doing what you do best in your business, and move forward with confidence and peace of mind.

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2 Ways Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Can Help You!

CRA HelpLast week I spent two intensive days learning about all the 2013 tax updates.  As to be expected, a lot of the information dealt with the changes implemented by the Federal and Provincial governments for the 2013 tax season and proposed changes for 2014.  But instead of dwelling on the tax dollars we all need to pay, I thought I would share 2 ways the CRA might be able to help you when something has gone off the correct path.

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5 Interesting Items I learned at the 2013 IPBC Conference

Image credit: pressmaster / 123RF Stock PhotoI’ve just spent 5 days at the 2013 IPBC Conference in Mississauga, Ontario.  IPBC stands for the Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada. The first two days were an intense learning symposium with Ron Baker and Ed Kless, both with Verasage.  Verasage is a think tank for professional-knowledge firms and our symposium was titled “Bookkeeper of the Future”. There were also more than 45 educational presentations to choose from, covering legal and government issues as well as software training and coaching.  Needless to say after the 5 days, I came away exhausted and well informed.  Now it’s just a matter of finding the time to implement and share everything I learned.  So let’s start here with 5 interesting items I learned at the conference.

1.  Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) – NPOs do not have to register federally or provincially to acquire its tax-exempt status. But if it receives taxable dividends, interest, rentals or royalties totaling more than $10,000 in the fiscal year, it has to file a T1044.  A T1044 is also required if the total assets of the organization were more than $200,000 at the end of the immediately preceding fiscal period. Once a T1044 is filed for the NPO, it must be filed for every subsequent year, even if the financial situation changes from the requirements above.

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Look For the Wagemark Label

wagemarkI recently read an article by Carol Goar in the Toronto Star about the Wagemark label.  This was introduced in Toronto July 17th of this year by founding director Peter McLeod. On July 24, 2013 it was mentioned on a New Zealand post.

The concept of it is “to create a common standard for wage-responsible businesses”. To display the Wagemark insignia a company must pay its chief executive no more than eight times the amount its lowest paid worker earns. The article also went on to say that currently the chief executives of Canada’s top 100 corporations, make 235 times the average worker’s pay. Wagemark certified organizations commit to capping top compensation at eight times the wage of their lowest paid decile (definition of decile – I had to look it up)  of employees.

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Power of the Family Responsibility Office (FRO)

15403967_sThe Family Responsibility Office (FRO) enforces child and domestic support orders and collects support payments for families. They help nearly 400,000 people every year in the Province of Ontario.

I have clients that ensure their payments are made in full and on time through pre-authorized debits from their bank account and directed to FRO. A problem we have on an annual basis is the CRA not recognizing the deduction for spousal support on personal tax returns.  For the past 8 years one of my clients gets a Notice of Reassessment stating “We have disallowed your deduction for support payments to a spouse or common-law partner.  You can deduct only support amounts paid under a written agreement or court order that are more than the child support payable for current and prior years”.  Each year we have to send exactly the same written agreement to the CRA and they then reverse their assessment. No conversations take place, no explanation of why it has to be sent year after year, it just does. And it is very stressful to those that receive the first Notice of Reassessment. When initially they thought they were getting a refund of $4,000, the CRA is asking them to pay $3,000!

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WSIB – The Laws Have Changed – Be Ready Be Registered

WSIB Laws Have Changed

click image to enlarge

I just went online and e-registered http://www.beregisteredbeready.ca/ for WSIB on behalf of one of my clients.  He is a sole proprietor, doesn’t have employees and sometimes hires sub-contractors.  Because of the new rules that become effective January 1, 2013, he no longer has an option of paying WSIB for himself. It will be mandatory.  In the past he’s always paid the WSIB for the sub-contractors he hired. In the New Year he is no longer allowed to do that.  All construction workers must be registered and pay for their own WSIB coverage.  Without coverage and the clearance certificates required at construction and other sites, they will not be able to work.

If you register now there is no payment required in 2012.

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Business Continuity Planning – Are You Prepared?

Earlier today I was at a half day seminar titled Business Continuity for Small Business. It was offered by the York Small Business Enterprise Centre and York Region.  The speaker was Ann Wgyanowski MBCP, MBCI, CBRM from BCP Help.  She offered a comprehensive approach to what we all need to consider for business continuity planning and emergency management.

The two key aspects to this are:

  1. Emergency Procedures and Crisis Communications and,
  2. Business Continuity – what you do next to keep business running.

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Bill 33 Adds Gender Identity & Expression to Ontario Human Rights Code

Whether you’re an employer, or an employee, recent enhancements to the Human Rights Code may impact your workplace environment. I’ve asked Rick Brown of Insight Consulting, a Human Resource Consultant to small & medium size businesses, to provide some perspective to this recent change.

Most, if not all businesses operating in Ontario are aware of the Ontario Human Rights Code (“the Code”) and their obligations with respect to ensuring  an environment that is free of discrimination, harassment and reprisals on the grounds of: race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status or disability.  Added to the list of prohibitions, with the passing of Bill 33 in June, 2012, is gender identity and gender expression.

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