As we prepare for the avalanche of paperwork and questions regarding 2013 Personal Tax Returns, educating the customer is one of our primary goals. As the trend to living gluten free continues, it is a lifestyle choice for some and a necessity of life for others. So how do living gluten free and your Canadian tax dollars possibly affect you or someone you know?
According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), persons who suffer from Celiac Disease (gluten intolerance), are entitled to claim the incremental costs associated with the purchase of gluten-free (GF) products as a medical expense.
So what does incremental cost mean? It is the difference between the costs of a GF product compared to a similar non-GF product. An example would be the purchase of a loaf of bread. If the price of a GF loaf of bread is $6.79 and a non-GF loaf is $3.59 the incremental cost would be $3.20. ($6.79 – $3.59).
Are 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 youcould 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.
As payroll calculations and T4 preparation become more specialized each year, clients frequently ask the question; should we do payroll in-house or should we subscribe to a service provider? As owners and bookkeepers try to make sense of the ever changing rules regarding taxable benefits and T4 reporting, there are a number of considerations.
If you want to keep the payroll in-house you can use the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) payroll deductions online calculator, subscribe to desktop payroll software like QuickBooks or Sage, or use one of the cloud based payroll systems.
QuickBooks has changed the payroll automatic updates cut-off at the calendar year end, December 31st, if your QuickBooks version is not the same year as the new calendar year. So, for example, if you subscribe to the monthly updates, including payroll, and you’re working in QuickBooks 2013, the payroll expiry date no longer extends to June 2014.
You will now either need to download or install QuickBooks 2014 or manually download the 2014 Canada Revenue Agency payroll updates from the QuickBooks website. Either way, the update is effective to June 30, 2014.
You want to reward your employees for their hard work and loyalty during 2013. Here are ideas and tax issues you need to be aware of when giving gifts to employees and the CRA way of accounting for those gifts.
1) Gift – Award or Reward
A gift has to be for a special occasion such as a religious holiday, a birthday, a wedding, or the birth of a child.
An award has to be for an employment-related accomplishment such as outstanding service, employees’ suggestions, or meeting or exceeding safety standards. It is recognition of an employee’s overall contribution to the workplace, not recognition of job performance.
Last 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.
In 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.
I recently wrote and passed a two hour bookkeeping exam. It’s not that I felt the need to test my knowledge after all these years. The purpose was to get my CPB designation (Certified Professional Bookkeeper). The designation was one of many requirements I needed to meet in applying for a mentoring program being offered in partnership with IPBC and Ron Baker of Verasage, sponsored by Sage. And, while answering the exam questions, I started thinking about the clients we do QuickBooks training with. Whether the accounting software indicates it’s simple to learn or you’ll pick it up quickly, there’s a certain amount of bookkeeping knowledge required to be competent. If you’ve started working on an accounting software package and you’re struggling, you could have been tricked into thinking all you needed to know was how to operate a mouse! So, I thought it might be helpful to provide 9 bookkeeping questions to test your understanding of your bookkeeping software; to help you determine if it’s the software causing you the challenges or that you possibly need a little more guidance in the fine art of bookkeeping. (The answers are at the end of the last question).
I’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.
Near the end of February this year, I took on the responsibility of a co-op student from the York Region District School Board. As a co-op placement, their time was at no cost to me. I was very hesitant initially since there were as many bad experiences I’d heard from other employers as there we good experiences. I told the high school counselor that was looking for placements that the student would be treated the same as any adult looking for a full-time position. That meant a full interview after I reviewed the resume, and a police criminal check was required. This was not going to be a body that filled a chair 4 afternoons a week. I needed a fully committed worker with an aptitude for numbers and willingness to learn and work. The learning part included QuickBooks, an introduction to Personal Tax Returns and dealing with clients in person and on the phone. As we were going into tax season, there was no time available for someone who wasn’t committed to their success and that of the business. What I didn’t anticipate were all the things The Montana Group would learn from our co-op student, itemized below in 6 points.