Goal Setting – 3 Intention Words for 2016

Maureen Burleson

I was recently consulting with an associate and asked her if she made New Year’s resolutions. Her response was no that she didn’t actually make resolutions but usually came up with 2 or 3 keys words that spoke to her about how she wanted the next year to unfold. During that conversation I thought about my own challenges of keeping New Year’s resolutions and wondered if it was time for a different approach. Once I let go of my pre-conceived thoughts on “resolutions” I easily came up with 3 key intention words which I hope will guide me towards achieving my goals in 2016. Here they are: Read more

CRA Announces First Time Donor Super Credit (FDSC) for Individuals

[xyz-ihs snippet=”Call”]Maureen Burleson - Certified Professional BookkeeperIn 2013 the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recognized the need for additional support for charities by introducing the First-Time Donor’s Super Credit (FDSC) in the budget.  This non-refundable FDSC will help supplement the Charitable Donation Tax Credit (CDTC) for individuals.

I am sure you have noticed the Grand Prize Lotteries advertised on TV, fundraisers seeking donations outside high traffic stores and the general mailing and social media requests – ‘Tis the season for giving.  And while some of the giving is in hopes of winning a new home or a flashy car, others purchase and donate with the intention of the good cause they believe in or have been affected by.  The general concept is giving to help support the community or international not-for-profit charitable organizations.  With cut-backs on all fronts donations is helping keep some of the doors open for the smaller organizations. And it is in response to this that the CRA made this allotment.

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5 Tips to Completing an Award Nomination Form Without Bragging

bigstock-Half-length-portrait-of-busine-52161499I was recently nominated for a business award. It took me almost five days to determine if I was going to accept the nomination by way of completing the multi-question form and submitting it by the deadline.   My challenge in completing the responses in paragraph form had nothing to do with what services my business offers. The challenge was in ‘bragging’ about me and my business because that’s what a number of the questions really boiled down to.  In addition, it was a challenge to remember dates, history of community involvement and awards. This was an interesting walk through time.

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Newly Retired? 5 Considerations for Your Ontario Tax Return

bigstock-Mature-couple-looking-at-bills-48318440This tax season I’ve spoken to a number of my clients that retired last year.  Some think that since I’ve done their returns for so many years that there’s nothing out of the ordinary that they need to give me.  After a general conversation that goes something like “how have you been this past year?”, and “how’s business?” other specific issues like health and elderly parents come up in the bantering. Retirement is a major lifestyle change and it’s important that you take the time to discuss with your tax preparer anything they or you should be made aware of. Here are 5 considerations.

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Canadians – How to Get Your Vegas Casino Tax Refund

What Happens in Vegas doesn’t have to stay in Vegas!

bigstock-Gambler-placing-a-bet-at-the-r-41521993Are you a Canadian who won in Vegas but the US Casino held back 30% percent of your winnings as tax? Have you asked yourself “how do I go about getting back my refund on those taxes?”

Casinos and other gambling establishments in the US typically withhold 30% of Canadian visitor winnings as per IRS requirements with some exceptions.

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Get a Handle on Family Spending and Budgeting

18518543_sI recently met with a couple that came to me with a request for Family Budgeting.  After an interesting discussion and them baring their spending habits, it became clear that what they really needed was to get a handle on where there money was being spent before a budget could be considered.

The working couple has a combined gross income of over $300,000.  They felt they were spending almost $1,500 more monthly than they were bringing home. They’ve tried on numerous occasions to monitor their income and expenses, but like most of us, life gets in the way and recording money spent is not at the top of their priority list.  With two young active children and a few pets, the wallet and purse always seem open.  So putting the budget concept aside for now we came up with a plan to track where the money is being spent.

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7 Tips Regarding Supplying Daycare in Your Home

19783570_sWith ever increasing living costs and higher unemployment, some families have decided the best way to make ends meet is by supplying daycare in their homes. Below are 7 tips regarding supplying daycare in your home.

Some of the benefits to those families are;

  • Not having to pay for daycare for their own children
  • Costs for a vehicle
  • Reduced Clothing costs (as opposed to a traditional job environment, these are greatly reduced).
  • Expensing some of their household bills that they need to pay anyway.

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9 Items to Consider When a Death Occurs

4564819_sA client, the mother of a friend of mine, passed away quite recently.  Needless to say, she is still overcome by grief but there is also the overwhelming emotion of “what needs to be done now and where do I start?” In this post, we’ll discuss an initial list of 9 items to consider when a death occurs. These will have to be addressed immediately if you are responsible for settling an estate.

1.     Make sure you have a copy of the Last Will and Testament prior to the death.

2.     Has the deceased said they want organs or tissue donated?

3.     A copy of the birth certificate is required by the funeral home to prepare the Certificate of Death.

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Personal Taxes and Expenses in Greece

Santorini Island

I do not have strong political views. I seem to go with the flow.  But when I travel, I am curious about the economy and how others live in their own country. What do they earn, how much do cars and houses cost are questions I ask any locals who will understand, and speak to me.  The quest for information pertaining to Personal Taxes and Expenses in Greece caught my interest while I was there recently.  And with all the media attention concerning Greece and its finances, I thought this would be a timely overview.

An individual whose only income is from wages, is not required to file a personal tax return.  The employer deducts the taxes and remits them to the tax authority each month.  From the tax remittance aspect, it is handled the same as our system. All employees are paid once a month and minimum wage is 600 Euros.

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6 Smart Credit Card Tips

bigstock-Staying-Afloat-7762488Everywhere you turn, credit cards are being offered to you.  Offers in the mail, entering a store or on check out with a promised discount are tempting.  But you need to be smart when using a credit card.  Here are 6 Smart Credit Card Tips that you need to consider so your debt doesn’t get out of control.

1. Continue to live within your means and budget.  Having a credit card doesn’t increase the amount of money you have available to spend.

2. Read the terms and conditions carefully.  You need to know and understand what your responsibilities are since it is a legally binding contract.

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