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Canada’s Business Voice since 1907. The Financial Post delivers all the news and analysis you need to operate in today's competitive business environment.

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financialpost@financialpost.com
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284 Posts
Gig workers, beware: Hiding your side hustles from the CRA is asking for trouble
28 per cent of Canadians have picked up side hustles such as grocery delivery to pad their incomes. Inflation grew faster than wages last year, so the impulse to pick up extra work is clear. Half of Canadians plan to continue hustling well into their 60s, working a part-time side gig instead of retiring, H&R Block reported last week. 50 per cent plan to hide some or all of their side earnings from the tax man. There probably are better ways to offset inflation. Not declaring income is better than running afoul... more
Gig workers, beware: Hiding your side hustles from the CRA is asking for trouble
B.C. couple has plenty of money, but even the wealthy need a coherent financial plan
British Columbia-based entrepreneur and angel investor Jack* is 57 years old, married and has three adult daughters. He sold his interest in a professional services firm for $20 million, netting $16 million after tax. The family’s investments include $1.3 million in registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs), $220,000 in tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs) and £1.15 million in bonds. The couple plan to use the Proceeds to pay the remainder of their mortgage. The bonds will mature when the mortgage is up for... more
B.C. couple has plenty of money, but even the wealthy need a coherent financial plan
FP Answers: Should we use the money in our TFSAs to pay off our mortgage?
Should we use the money in them to pay off our $170,000 mortgage? The current rise in interest rates is a motivating factor for me to get the mortgage paid off, but I'm not 100 per cent sure it's my best financial move. The mortgage is my only debt and between my TFSA and savings, we could pay off the mortgage on renewal. As you approach your mortgage renewal date, you should be proud that you have put yourself in a position where you have the choice to pay your mortgage down at renewal. The new reality of higher... more
FP Answers: Should we use the money in our TFSAs to pay off our mortgage?
Backing up expense claims on your taxes could save you from CRA trouble
A Vancouver taxpayer recently found out when trying to claim employment expenses on her 2016 and 2017 returns. The CRA disallowed $59,800 of advertising expenses in 2016, and $58,000 in 2017, taking the view that they were either not made or incurred by the taxpayer. All expenses you plan to deduct on your tax return must be reasonable. In other words, the expenses must be'reasonable' and the expenses you plans to deduct in the tax return.
Backing up expense claims on your taxes could save you from CRA trouble
Grieving is hard enough already; banks shouldn’t make it harder
We had prepared several items: a power of attorney, a representation agreement, a do-not-resuscitate order, a bare trust and a will; everything I tell my clients to do, I had prepared for our mom. Not only did they prepare me for confirming my mom's body, but they also included notifying the Canada Revenue Agency of my mom's passing in their service offering. The agent walked me through how to upload all the required documents and to register as my mom's estate representative. Then came my meeting with the bank... more
Grieving is hard enough already; banks shouldn’t make it harder
Ottawa is offering a 25-year, high-interest GIC: It's called the Canada Pension Plan
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement pension is a monthly pension paid to Canadians over the age of 60 who contributed from their employment or self-employment earnings during their working years. Retirees who think about CPP as an income stream rather than an investment account may apply for it early to avoid drawing down their other savings or investments. The average pension is only $811 per month. For a 65-year-old. An average 65-years-old woman has a 50 per cent chance of living to age 90.
Ottawa is offering a 25-year, high-interest GIC: It's called the Canada Pension Plan
Dealing with a debt collector? You might not have to pay, at least not on their terms
What if a debt was incurred so long ago that you wondered if you were still responsible for paying it? Maybe you're one of countless Canadians each year who receive a letter demanding payment on a debt you've long forgotten about or, worse, didn't even know about. Written proof of a debt should include details of the account from the original creditor, the name and contact information of the agent/agency now trying to collect on the debt, and the "Date of last activity" for the debt. The clock starts ticking... more
Dealing with a debt collector? You might not have to pay, at least not on their terms
How to take advantage of the new tax-free first home savings account
The FHSA can remain open for up to 15 years or until the end of the year you turn 71. Just like RRSP contributions, you don't have to claim the FHSA deduction in the year you make the contribution. The rules permit you to transfer funds from an existing RRSP to an FHSA on a tax-free basis, subject to the FHSA annual and lifetime contribution limits. You can transfer funds from an existing RRSP to an FHSA on a tax-free basis, subject to the FHSA annual and lifetime contribution limits. What if you don't buy a... more
How to take advantage of the new tax-free first home savings account
Ottawa couple aiming for simple retirement worry inflation will derail their plans
The programming analyst has built his career with the federal government over the past 33 years and plans to retire at the end of this year. "I'm 62 years old and I'm done with work, but I worry that inflation will eat away at my pension until it's only enough for groceries." John currently earns about $90,000 a year before tax. His government defined-benefit pension plan is indexed to inflation and will pay $62,000 a year before tax if he retires as planned this year. Her employer converted their once defined-benefit... more
Ottawa couple aiming for simple retirement worry inflation will derail their plans
Couple's move to Ontario puts millions in play in high-stakes divorce case
Following a 29-year marriage that started in Quebec and ended in Ontario, a wife sought a court order to set aside the marriage contracts into which she and her husband entered while residing in Quebec. Despite the wife's discontent with her in-laws' interference, the couple signed a contract called "Modification of Matrimonial Property Regime." The contract provided the couple was to be "Separate as to property." Owing to subsequent changes to the legislation in Quebec governing matrimonial property, the couple... more
Couple's move to Ontario puts millions in play in high-stakes divorce case
Budget's changes to 3 registered savings plans could affect how you invest this year and beyond
Registered education savings plans RESPs are tax-assisted vehicles designed to help families save money for their kids' post-secondary education. Registered disability savings plans If you or someone in your family is living with a disability, then the RDSP can be an excellent way to save, tax deferred, for the future as well as potentially collect valuable government grants and bonds. Launched in 2008, the RDSP is a tax-deferred registered savings plan open to Canadians eligible for the disability tax credit... more
Budget's changes to 3 registered savings plans could affect how you invest this year and beyond
What the federal budget means to your pocketbook

Jamie Golombek, managing director for tax and estate planning with CIBC, runs through the tax and tax credit measures in the federal budget that directly affect Canadians’ wallets.

What the federal budget means to your pocketbook
Alternative minimum tax changes will make it harder for high-income earners to avoid paying taxes

The federal government has followed through on its promise in last year’s budget to update the alternative minimum tax (AMT), which is a parallel tax calculation that allows fewer deductions, exemptions and tax credits than under the ordinary income tax rules.

The current AMT system applies a flat 15-per-cent tax rate with a standard $40,000 exemption amount instead of the usual progressive tax rates. An individual pays the AMT or regular tax, whichever is higher. Additional

... more
Alternative minimum tax changes will make it harder for high-income earners to avoid paying taxes
Most Canadians are financially vulnerable, index finds
Eloise Duncan, chief executive of Financial Resilience Institute, talks with the Financial Post's Larysa Harapyn about the financial health of Canadians. Listen to Down to Business for in-depth discussions and insights into the latest in Canadian business, available wherever you get your podcasts.
Most Canadians are financially vulnerable, index finds
Single seniors being pushed into poverty appeal for tax breaks
Jane Robertson, founder of Single Seniors For Tax Fairness, talks with the Financial Post's Larysa Harapyn about why single seniors need tax breaks. She says the rising cost of renting, coupled with high taxes, are pushing middle-class seniors into poverty.
Single seniors being pushed into poverty appeal for tax breaks
FP Answers: What are the next steps for saving and investing after paying off student debt?

By Julie Cazzin with Janet Gray

Q: I’m a 29-year-old graphic artist earning $6,000 a month after tax. This year, I paid off my $30,000 student loan debt. I have $20,000 in my tax-free savings account (TFSA), but I’m not sure what to do with it. I’m doing some long-term planning, and 10 years from now I would like to work only two days a week so I can pursue my hobbies. I recently started reading about investing, but don’t know where to

... more
FP Answers: What are the next steps for saving and investing after paying off student debt?
3 reasons why it’s worth filing your tax return even if you don't owe any money
Often, their financial information isn't organized and they don't know where to find the income tax documents they need. Regardless of which camp you're in, here are three reasons why you should bother to file your income tax return. Create options for your future financial wellbeing Filing your income tax return, by default, causes us to think about the past year. What many forget is that filing your tax return also creates options for your future. By filing, even if you have little income, you create registered... more
3 reasons why it’s worth filing your tax return even if you don't owe any money
Taxpayer takes CRA to court after it dings him for RRSP overcontribution tax due to a bank error

As first-time homebuyers prepare for the launch of the tax-free first home savings account (FHSA) later this year, let’s not forget it may be used in conjunction with the existing Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) to assist with the purchase of a first home.

Indeed, for many first-time homebuyers, especially those who plan to buy their first home within the next few years, having the ability to tap into existing registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) via the HBP

... more
Taxpayer takes CRA to court after it dings him for RRSP overcontribution tax due to a bank error
Getting divorced? Here's how to prepare your finances and protect your assets
More than 40 per cent of marriages in Canada end in divorce, which can be an emotionally charged life transition since your lifestyle, housing and financial goals can all be upended, making the process of separating finances onerous and exacerbating. Separating emotions from critical financial decisions can be difficult at the best of times, but is especially complicated when working through a divorce. Although prenups cannot cover everything, they can help simplify the divorce process and alleviate some of... more
Getting divorced? Here's how to prepare your finances and protect your assets
FP Answers: I'm 73 and newly widowed so how should I best organize my finances and investments?
By Julie Cazzin and Allan Norman
FP Answers: I'm 73 and newly widowed so how should I best organize my finances and investments?
This retired Ontario man has been living on cash savings — but that's a mistake, experts say
Bill* was 58 and had worked for Bell Canada for 32 years, or more than half his life. His original plan was to retire at 60 — his current age — or possibly 61. He plans to leave his pension with Bell, which has low management fees, and then convert it into a locked-in retirement account and withdraw funds as needed. In total, he spends about $3,200 each month. He has no debt. His biggest cost is rent. He also plans to take a two-week trip to Paris. He wants to leave money for his children. He says he wants... more
This retired Ontario man has been living on cash savings — but that's a mistake, experts say
Capital gains tax and more changes that could target higher-income Canadians in the next federal budget
The top federal tax rate of 33 per cent currently kicks in at an income of more than $235,675 for 2023. A similar proposal to bump up the top rate for the highest income earners was recently included in the United States President Joe Biden’s budget announcement earlier this month. The primary reasons why some high-income Canadians pay low effective rates of tax has nothing to do with nefarious tax planning.
Capital gains tax and more changes that could target higher-income Canadians in the next federal budget
How the magic of a three-paycheque month can give you a financial head start
Do we spend the extra cash on a splurge, pay a bill off entirely, save for an expense that comes up once a year, or just leave it in our bank account in case we need it? There's no right or wrong answer, but depending on your goals and financial situation, some ideas for the extra cash will work out better for you in the long run than others. If you're managing all your bills and expenses well, consider using the extra paycheque to pay one bill off completely. Credit card fees If you're struggling and having... more
How the magic of a three-paycheque month can give you a financial head start
High interest rates mean you don't want to be late if you pay income tax by instalments
The upcoming instalment date is when the first of four payments for the 2023 tax year is due. Under the Income Tax Act, quarterly tax instalments are required for this tax year if your balance due for 2023 will be more than $3,000 ($1,800 for Quebec tax filers) in either 2022 or 2021. Taxpayers are free to choose the option. But if you choose to pay less than the no-calculation option.
High interest rates mean you don't want to be late if you pay income tax by instalments
4 keys to having money conversations that can help keep your marriage healthy
As the love you have for your partner is likely top of mind during this exciting time, the financial decisions you'll be making once you're married can often be overlooked. Wealth advisers can ease your discomfort by analyzing your financial situation in an objective, non-judgmental way, setting you - and partner - up for financial success, but here are four keys to making any money conversations with your partner a success. Moving in together can be just as much of a financial commitment as marriage, so it's... more
4 keys to having money conversations that can help keep your marriage healthy
Fewer Canadians have emergency savings on hand, driving down economic sentiment: poll
Maru Household Outlook Index dropped to 85 last month, matching the lowest reading since global research firm Maru Group started keeping track in 2021. The index pretty much has been on a downward slide since July 2021, when it printed its most optimistic result of 107. The baseline for the index is 100. A score below 100 indicates negative sentiment, while a score above 100 is considered positive. Some 62 per cent of respondents said they thought they had enough money on hand.
Fewer Canadians have emergency savings on hand, driving down economic sentiment: poll
Borrowing against life insurance can be a unique source of cash — if you can do it
Many Canadians own life insurance, the most common of which is term life insurance. There is no way to borrow against term life insurance in Canada, but it is possible using permanent life insurance with cash values, usually whole life and universal life, which is meant to cover some things beyond just risk management. A large benefit of life insurance is the ability to use the cash value and even borrow against it. If you have life insurance, but little or no cash surrender value, then there is nothing to be... more
Borrowing against life insurance can be a unique source of cash — if you can do it
Women are taking more control of their family's finances and that's a good thing
A study of 2,800 investors by Warwick Business School in the United Kingdom found women outperformed men by 1.8 per cent during the three-year study period. Women took a long-term view toward investing, they conducted more research and they traded on average four times less than their male counterparts. For this International Women's Day, let’s celebrate women for being excellent financial Stewards and encourage more of them to play a more proactive role in making financial decisions. Most people don’t want... more
Women are taking more control of their family's finances and that's a good thing
This couple wants to retire early, but are their government pensions enough?
Married Ottawa couple Joel and Natalie* are on the hunt for a condo in Florida. They want to rent it out via Airbnb - something they’re already doing with a cottage in Upstate New York. Joel, 46, works for a Crown corporation and earns about $120,000 a year. He wants to retire in 2035, at age 59. Natalie, 34, will be eligible for his full indexed pension of $101,000. The couple have two young children. They also have a home in Ottawa. They have a house with a resale value of about $900,000 and a mortgage of... more
This couple wants to retire early, but are their government pensions enough?
Business insolvencies up 55% in January compared to 2022
Business insolvencies in January were 55.4 per cent higher than last year, according to new data by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. The total number of bankruptcies in Canada, including bankruptcies and proposals, was 13.5% higher in January. The report said bankruptcies were up 8.3 per cent, while proposals were up 15.2 per cent. Ontario had the most insolvency in January. Quebec had the highest number of insolvenies. Ontario has the most insolvencies. Quebec is close with 2,356 insolvencies... more
Business insolvencies up 55% in January compared to 2022
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