Announcements

 

Get caught up with Andrews & Co.

Whether it's tax season or welcoming new team members, we have a lot going on at our firm. We'll keep you connected by sharing our ongoing news.

  • TAX… some quick points to consider..
    Posted
    • The amount of income an individual can earn without paying tax (basic personal amount) will begin increasing in 2020. In the first year, it will rise to $13,229 (from $12,069 in 2019), and will reach $15,000 in 2023. The benefit will begin to be phased out when an individual has earnings of approximately $150,000.
    • The purchase of a zero-emission vehicle, if associated with an income earning purpose (e.g. used in a business), may be eligible for a 100% immediate write-off as long as the federal government purchase incentive was not obtained.
    • TFSAs – As of 2017, the average number of contributions per individual was 49, the average fair market value of each account was $19,633, and the average unused space was $30,947.
    • There are 21 million corporations in Canada (according to 2016 statistics that were recently released). Total tax payable for 2016 was $72.21 Billion.
    • The amount of income an individual can earn without paying tax (basic personal amount) will begin increasing in 2020. In the first year, it will rise to $13,229 (from $12,069 in 2019), and will reach $15,000 in 2023. The benefit will begin to be phased out when an individual has earnings of approximately $150,000.
    • The purchase of a zero-emission vehicle, if associated with an income earning purpose (e.g. used in a business), may be eligible for a 100% immediate write-off as long as the federal government purchase incentive was not obtained.
    • TFSAs – As of 2017, the average number of contributions per individual was 49, the average fair market value of each account was $19,633, and the average unused space was $30,947.
    • There are 21 million corporations in Canada (according to 2016 statistics that were recently released). Total tax payable for 2016 was $72.21 Billion.
    Read More
  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Changes: Costs and Benefits are Increasing
    Posted

    Starting January 1, 2019, the CPP will be enhanced. This means that both employees and employers will be required to contribute more, but, retirement, survivor, and disability pensions will also increase. The changes will be gradually phased in over 7 years: Phase 1 will take place from 2019 to 2023; and Phase 2 will take place in 2024 and 2025.

    Phase 1 – The prior 4.95% base employer/employee contribution rate will increase annually to 2023, as follows, 5.10%, 5.25%, 5.45%, 5.70%, 5.95%.

    Phase 2 – In 2024, an additional 4% contribution will be required on earnings in excess of the Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE), up to 107% of the YMPE. For example, if the YMPE is $70,100, the additional limit will be approximately $75,000 ($70,100 x 107%). The 4% rate will be applied to the difference between the two numbers: $4,900 ($75,000 – $70,100). For 2025 and later, the 107% multiplier will be increased to 114%.

    Eligibility for CPP benefits will not be affected, however, some benefits will increase. In 2019, the CPP retirement benefits will begin to grow, eventually covering 1/3 of average earnings up to the maximum amount (which will also be increasing by 14%). One’s benefits will depend on how much and how long they contributed to the enhanced CPP. Post-retirement benefits will also be increased. Disability benefits will be increased depending on one’s contributions, and the survivor’s benefit will also be increased based on the deceased spouse or common-law partner’s contribution.

     

    ACTION ITEM: Employers should budget for higher CPP costs on continual increases over the coming seven years.

     

     

     

    Starting January 1, 2019, the CPP will be enhanced. This means that both employees and employers will be required to contribute more, but, retirement, survivor, and disability pensions will also increase. The changes will be gradually phased in over 7 years: Phase 1 will take place from 2019 to 2023; and Phase 2 will take place in 2024 and 2025.

    Phase 1 – The prior 4.95% base employer/employee contribution rate will increase annually to 2023, as follows, 5.10%, 5.25%, 5.45%, 5.70%, 5.95%.

    Phase 2 – In 2024, an additional 4% contribution will be required on earnings in excess of the Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE), up to 107% of the YMPE. For example, if the YMPE is $70,100, the additional limit will be approximately $75,000 ($70,100 x 107%). The 4% rate will be applied to the difference between the two numbers: $4,900 ($75,000 – $70,100). For 2025 and later, the 107% multiplier will be increased to 114%.

    Eligibility for CPP benefits will not be affected, however, some benefits will increase. In 2019, the CPP retirement benefits will begin to grow, eventually covering 1/3 of average earnings up to the maximum amount (which will also be increasing by 14%). One’s benefits will depend on how much and how long they contributed to the enhanced CPP. Post-retirement benefits will also be increased. Disability benefits will be increased depending on one’s contributions, and the survivor’s benefit will also be increased based on the deceased spouse or common-law partner’s contribution.

     

    ACTION ITEM: Employers should budget for higher CPP costs on continual increases over the coming seven years.

     

     

     

    Read More
  • Federal Carbon Tax: Costs and Rebates
    Posted

    On October 23, 2018, draft amendments to the Federal Fuel Charge Regulations and the Greenhouse Gas Pricing Act were released. As of April 1, 2019, a federal carbon tax is scheduled to be imposed in respect of Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. The federal backstop legislation will be partially used in Prince Edward Island, Yukon, and Nunavut. The other provinces and territory are not subject to this regime as they have, or are, instituting their own custom carbon pricing structures.

    In the first year, the federal tax will, for example, subject gasoline purchases to a 4.42 cents/L tax while 3.91 cents/cubic meter will be assessed on marketable natural gas. The rates will be increased annually until 2024.

    According to a Government Backgrounder entitled Ensuring Transparency the direct proceeds from the federal carbon tax will be returned to the territory or province of origin. For the provinces subject to the federal carbon tax, approximately 90% of funds will be returned directly to individuals and families through a Climate Action Incentive (CAI) payment. The remainder will be returned through electricity generation support in remote communities; support for small and medium enterprises; and support for municipalities, universities, schools, colleges, hospitals, non-profit-organizations, and indigenous communities.

    The following are sample published payout amounts and estimated costs for 2019.

    Province Climate Action Incentive Payments ($) Carbon Tax Cost ($)
    Family of 4 Avg.

    House-hold

    1st

    Adult

    2nd Adult Each Child Avg. House-hold
    Ontario 307 300 154 77 38 244
    Manitoba 339 336 170 85 42 232
    Saskatchewan 609 598 305 152 76 403
    New Brunswick 256 248 128 64 32 202

     

    Also note that a 10% top-up will apply for those residing in rural areas.

    The legislation does not set out the amounts of the payments. Rather, it provides that the amounts for each year may be specified by the Minister of Finance. Absent amounts specified for any specific province, the amounts are nil. It is not clear whether the amounts included in the above release are estimates, or are the amounts specified in accordance with this provision. Payments are expected to increase annually to reflect increases in the federal carbon tax, until at least 2022.

    The Government of Canada website (https://www.canada.ca/en/

    environment-climate-change/services/climate-change/pricing-

    pollution-how-it-will-work.html) provides additional information specific to each jurisdiction.

    The other provinces which are not subject to the federal program generally have similar systems in place which include the collection of levies, and a partial refund to individuals, with the remainder being used to fund the programs or other credits and direct expenditures. For example, in Alberta, the carbon levy is applied at a rate of $30/ton in 2019 to diesel, gasoline, natural gas and propane at the gas station and on heating bills. It does not apply to electricity. A carbon rebate valued at $300 for the first taxpayer, $150 for the spouse, and $45 for each child will be available with the payments beginning to be phased out at an income of $47,500 for individuals ($95,000 for families).

    ACTION ITEM: Review the above website to review exposure and potential rebates in your particular jurisdiction. Businesses may want to budget for increased costs to operate.

    On October 23, 2018, draft amendments to the Federal Fuel Charge Regulations and the Greenhouse Gas Pricing Act were released. As of April 1, 2019, a federal carbon tax is scheduled to be imposed in respect of Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. The federal backstop legislation will be partially used in Prince Edward Island, Yukon, and Nunavut. The other provinces and territory are not subject to this regime as they have, or are, instituting their own custom carbon pricing structures.

    In the first year, the federal tax will, for example, subject gasoline purchases to a 4.42 cents/L tax while 3.91 cents/cubic meter will be assessed on marketable natural gas. The rates will be increased annually until 2024.

    According to a Government Backgrounder entitled Ensuring Transparency the direct proceeds from the federal carbon tax will be returned to the territory or province of origin. For the provinces subject to the federal carbon tax, approximately 90% of funds will be returned directly to individuals and families through a Climate Action Incentive (CAI) payment. The remainder will be returned through electricity generation support in remote communities; support for small and medium enterprises; and support for municipalities, universities, schools, colleges, hospitals, non-profit-organizations, and indigenous communities.

    The following are sample published payout amounts and estimated costs for 2019.

    Province Climate Action Incentive Payments ($) Carbon Tax Cost ($)
    Family of 4 Avg.

    House-hold

    1st

    Adult

    2nd Adult Each Child Avg. House-hold
    Ontario 307 300 154 77 38 244
    Manitoba 339 336 170 85 42 232
    Saskatchewan 609 598 305 152 76 403
    New Brunswick 256 248 128 64 32 202

     

    Also note that a 10% top-up will apply for those residing in rural areas.

    The legislation does not set out the amounts of the payments. Rather, it provides that the amounts for each year may be specified by the Minister of Finance. Absent amounts specified for any specific province, the amounts are nil. It is not clear whether the amounts included in the above release are estimates, or are the amounts specified in accordance with this provision. Payments are expected to increase annually to reflect increases in the federal carbon tax, until at least 2022.

    The Government of Canada website (https://www.canada.ca/en/

    environment-climate-change/services/climate-change/pricing-

    pollution-how-it-will-work.html) provides additional information specific to each jurisdiction.

    The other provinces which are not subject to the federal program generally have similar systems in place which include the collection of levies, and a partial refund to individuals, with the remainder being used to fund the programs or other credits and direct expenditures. For example, in Alberta, the carbon levy is applied at a rate of $30/ton in 2019 to diesel, gasoline, natural gas and propane at the gas station and on heating bills. It does not apply to electricity. A carbon rebate valued at $300 for the first taxpayer, $150 for the spouse, and $45 for each child will be available with the payments beginning to be phased out at an income of $47,500 for individuals ($95,000 for families).

    ACTION ITEM: Review the above website to review exposure and potential rebates in your particular jurisdiction. Businesses may want to budget for increased costs to operate.

    Read More
  • ACCELERATED DEPRECIATION: Federal Fall Economic Update Changes
    Posted

    In response to U.S. tax changes and cuts, the Federal Government released its Fall Economic Update on November 21, 2018 which primarily focused on changes to the first year of depreciation on most capital assets. The changes include immediate full depreciation in respect of manufacturing & processing assets, along with clean energy generation and storage assets. Also, an enhanced first year depreciation claim is now available for most other depreciable assets.

    Manufacturing and Processing Machinery and Equipment

    Machinery and equipment used in manufacturing and processing acquired and made available for use from November 21, 2018 to December 31, 2023 will be eligible for a full capital cost allowance (CCA) deduction in the year of acquisition (the full deduction will then be phased out incrementally). Specifically, the asset must be used directly or indirectly by the taxpayer in Canada primarily for the manufacturing or processing of goods for sale or lease, or leased by certain corporations to a lessee who can reasonably be expected to use the property in this manner.

    In broad terms, the manufacture of goods normally involves the creation of something (e.g. making or assembling machines, clothing or soup) or the shaping, stamping or forming of an object of something (e.g. making steel rails, wire nails, rubber balls, or wood moulding).

    Processing of goods usually refers to a uniform process, system, technique, or method of preparation, handling or other activity designed to effect a physical or chemical change in an article or substance (e.g. galvanizing iron, creosoting fence posts, dyeing cloth, dehydrating foods, or homogenizing and pasteurizing dairy products), other than natural growth. Jurisprudence has determined that a taxpayer would be engaged in processing if the following two tests are met: there is a change in the form, appearance, or other characteristics of the goods subject to the operation; and the product becomes more marketable.

    Property “used directly or indirectly” in eligible activities may qualify for this enhanced deduction.

    Some assets commonly used in smaller operations, such as restaurants, bars or bakeries, may qualify. For example, an oven which converts ingredients into a meal for sale may be considered used in manufacturing or processing.

    Clean Energy Assets

    Clean energy assets (Classes 43.1 and 43.2) will qualify for the same first year depreciation claims as manufacturing and processing equipment (100% up to December 31, 2023, declining thereafter). Eligible assets for these classes include certain types of energy and heat production and storage equipment related to hydro, wind, solar, bio fuel, eligible waste fuels, hydrogen fuel cells, kinetic wave/tidal, ground source heat pump systems and heat recovery equipment.

    Most Other Capital Assets – Accelerated Investment Incentive

    CCA also will be enhanced for acquisitions of depreciable assets in most other classes from November 21, 2018 to December 31, 2027.

    Prior to the rule change, the half-year rule essentially only allowed half a year of depreciation in the year of acquisition (applicable to most CCA classes), regardless of how early or late in the fiscal year the asset was acquired. Now, for most assets, the usual half year of CCA available in the year of acquisition will be tripled for acquisitions to December 31, 2023 (the enhancement will decline thereafter, returning to the typical half-year rule in 2028).

    For example, a Class 10 vehicle which is normally subject to a 15% depreciation claim in the first year would now be allowed a 45% claim.

    Planning and Purchases

    Claiming depreciation is optional. In essence, one has the option of claiming depreciation up to the maximum level available in respect of its class for any given year (other less common limits may also apply). The accelerated depreciation rules operate as the name implies: they accelerate when a tax deduction for depreciation can be claimed, but they do not increase the overall lifetime amounts that can be claimed. In other words, more can be claimed up front, but less will be available in the future. Note that an accelerated CCA claim in the year of acquisition is only available in that year – one must “use it or lose it”. Reducing the claim in the year of acquisition does not allow an accelerated deduction in a future year.

    When determining whether, and to what extent a claim should be made, considerations vary depending on factors such as:

    • whether the asset is owned personally or in a corporation;
    • the current income levels, and the expected income in the future;
    • future corporate tax rates (for example, whether the corporation may be subject to small business deduction restrictions as too much passive income is being earned); and
    • whether the asset is generating passive or active income.

    Accelerated depreciation is available even if purchased just before year’s end, as long as it is also made available for use by that point as well.

     

    ACTION ITEM: Review whether capital purchases should be accelerated, and whether the accelerated deduction should be claimed given your particular situation.

    In response to U.S. tax changes and cuts, the Federal Government released its Fall Economic Update on November 21, 2018 which primarily focused on changes to the first year of depreciation on most capital assets. The changes include immediate full depreciation in respect of manufacturing & processing assets, along with clean energy generation and storage assets. Also, an enhanced first year depreciation claim is now available for most other depreciable assets.

    Manufacturing and Processing Machinery and Equipment

    Machinery and equipment used in manufacturing and processing acquired and made available for use from November 21, 2018 to December 31, 2023 will be eligible for a full capital cost allowance (CCA) deduction in the year of acquisition (the full deduction will then be phased out incrementally). Specifically, the asset must be used directly or indirectly by the taxpayer in Canada primarily for the manufacturing or processing of goods for sale or lease, or leased by certain corporations to a lessee who can reasonably be expected to use the property in this manner.

    In broad terms, the manufacture of goods normally involves the creation of something (e.g. making or assembling machines, clothing or soup) or the shaping, stamping or forming of an object of something (e.g. making steel rails, wire nails, rubber balls, or wood moulding).

    Processing of goods usually refers to a uniform process, system, technique, or method of preparation, handling or other activity designed to effect a physical or chemical change in an article or substance (e.g. galvanizing iron, creosoting fence posts, dyeing cloth, dehydrating foods, or homogenizing and pasteurizing dairy products), other than natural growth. Jurisprudence has determined that a taxpayer would be engaged in processing if the following two tests are met: there is a change in the form, appearance, or other characteristics of the goods subject to the operation; and the product becomes more marketable.

    Property “used directly or indirectly” in eligible activities may qualify for this enhanced deduction.

    Some assets commonly used in smaller operations, such as restaurants, bars or bakeries, may qualify. For example, an oven which converts ingredients into a meal for sale may be considered used in manufacturing or processing.

    Clean Energy Assets

    Clean energy assets (Classes 43.1 and 43.2) will qualify for the same first year depreciation claims as manufacturing and processing equipment (100% up to December 31, 2023, declining thereafter). Eligible assets for these classes include certain types of energy and heat production and storage equipment related to hydro, wind, solar, bio fuel, eligible waste fuels, hydrogen fuel cells, kinetic wave/tidal, ground source heat pump systems and heat recovery equipment.

    Most Other Capital Assets – Accelerated Investment Incentive

    CCA also will be enhanced for acquisitions of depreciable assets in most other classes from November 21, 2018 to December 31, 2027.

    Prior to the rule change, the half-year rule essentially only allowed half a year of depreciation in the year of acquisition (applicable to most CCA classes), regardless of how early or late in the fiscal year the asset was acquired. Now, for most assets, the usual half year of CCA available in the year of acquisition will be tripled for acquisitions to December 31, 2023 (the enhancement will decline thereafter, returning to the typical half-year rule in 2028).

    For example, a Class 10 vehicle which is normally subject to a 15% depreciation claim in the first year would now be allowed a 45% claim.

    Planning and Purchases

    Claiming depreciation is optional. In essence, one has the option of claiming depreciation up to the maximum level available in respect of its class for any given year (other less common limits may also apply). The accelerated depreciation rules operate as the name implies: they accelerate when a tax deduction for depreciation can be claimed, but they do not increase the overall lifetime amounts that can be claimed. In other words, more can be claimed up front, but less will be available in the future. Note that an accelerated CCA claim in the year of acquisition is only available in that year – one must “use it or lose it”. Reducing the claim in the year of acquisition does not allow an accelerated deduction in a future year.

    When determining whether, and to what extent a claim should be made, considerations vary depending on factors such as:

    • whether the asset is owned personally or in a corporation;
    • the current income levels, and the expected income in the future;
    • future corporate tax rates (for example, whether the corporation may be subject to small business deduction restrictions as too much passive income is being earned); and
    • whether the asset is generating passive or active income.

    Accelerated depreciation is available even if purchased just before year’s end, as long as it is also made available for use by that point as well.

     

    ACTION ITEM: Review whether capital purchases should be accelerated, and whether the accelerated deduction should be claimed given your particular situation.

    Read More
  • Travel Expenses: Home to Work Site
    Posted

    Travel from home to a regular place of employment is usually a personal expenditure, the costs of which cannot be claimed as an employment expense. However, if the taxpayer is required to travel away from the employer’s place of business, amounts may be deductible by the employee.

    A June 29, 2018 Tax Court of Canada case examined this issue. The taxpayer travelled from home to three different construction sites to carry on employment duties. Specifically, the taxpayer’s work for a Toronto construction corporation required frequent travel to sites requiring round trips of 167 km (Hamilton) and 92 km (Aurora), and infrequently to a site requiring a 94 km round trip (Whitby).

    CRA argued that each was a regular place of employment, such that no deduction was available. The Court, however, concluded that this was travel “away from the employer’s place of business or in different places”, as required by the Income Tax Act. As such, the costs of this travel could qualify as deductible employment expenses.

    While the taxpayer was not ultimately successful in his claim due to his receipt of an allowance from his employer, the case may provide a basis for business travel from home to a construction site.

    As implied above, there are other conditions that must be met in order to deduct amounts against employment income. For example, the employee must not receive a non-taxable allowance in respect of the travel, and an appropriately completed T2200 from their employer must have been issued.

     

    CAUTION ITEM: Although it may be possible deduct travel amounts against employment income, such amounts are often challenged by CRA.

    Travel from home to a regular place of employment is usually a personal expenditure, the costs of which cannot be claimed as an employment expense. However, if the taxpayer is required to travel away from the employer’s place of business, amounts may be deductible by the employee.

    A June 29, 2018 Tax Court of Canada case examined this issue. The taxpayer travelled from home to three different construction sites to carry on employment duties. Specifically, the taxpayer’s work for a Toronto construction corporation required frequent travel to sites requiring round trips of 167 km (Hamilton) and 92 km (Aurora), and infrequently to a site requiring a 94 km round trip (Whitby).

    CRA argued that each was a regular place of employment, such that no deduction was available. The Court, however, concluded that this was travel “away from the employer’s place of business or in different places”, as required by the Income Tax Act. As such, the costs of this travel could qualify as deductible employment expenses.

    While the taxpayer was not ultimately successful in his claim due to his receipt of an allowance from his employer, the case may provide a basis for business travel from home to a construction site.

    As implied above, there are other conditions that must be met in order to deduct amounts against employment income. For example, the employee must not receive a non-taxable allowance in respect of the travel, and an appropriately completed T2200 from their employer must have been issued.

     

    CAUTION ITEM: Although it may be possible deduct travel amounts against employment income, such amounts are often challenged by CRA.

    Read More
  • TAX DEADLINE REMINDER
    Posted

    This is a friendly reminder that the deadline to file your 2018 personal income tax return is tomorrow – Tuesday, April 30th 2019. 

    This is a friendly reminder that the deadline to file your 2018 personal income tax return is tomorrow – Tuesday, April 30th 2019. 

    Read More
  • 2019 TAX SCAMS
    Posted

    The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has released some valuable information in regards to how to protect yourself against fraud. It is important that taxpayers are very attentive when they receive information by telephone, mail, text message or email requesting personal information such as: social insurance number, credit card number, bank account number or passport number.

    These scams are usually sent with the intention that taxpayers can’t receive a refund or benefit payment unless they send the required information. Other communications ask taxpayers to visit a fake CRA website where they need to enter personal information. These are all scams, and should never be responded to.

    The CRA has come up with the following information to identify legitimate communications (please be aware of these guidelines and understand what to expect when the CRA contacts you):

     

    The CRA may:

    • Verify your identify by asking for personal information such as: full name, date of birth, address or social insurance number
    • Ask for details about your account, in the case of a business enquiry
    • Call you to begin an audit process

    The CRA will never:

    • Ask for information about your passport, health card, drivers license
    • Ask for payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards
    • Use aggressive languor or threaten you (or leave voicemails threatening you)

     

    To find out more information of what the CRA may do, or will never do by mail, email and text messages please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/corporate/security/protect-yourself-against-fraud.html?wbdisable=true

     

     

    The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has released some valuable information in regards to how to protect yourself against fraud. It is important that taxpayers are very attentive when they receive information by telephone, mail, text message or email requesting personal information such as: social insurance number, credit card number, bank account number or passport number.

    These scams are usually sent with the intention that taxpayers can’t receive a refund or benefit payment unless they send the required information. Other communications ask taxpayers to visit a fake CRA website where they need to enter personal information. These are all scams, and should never be responded to.

    The CRA has come up with the following information to identify legitimate communications (please be aware of these guidelines and understand what to expect when the CRA contacts you):

     

    The CRA may:

    • Verify your identify by asking for personal information such as: full name, date of birth, address or social insurance number
    • Ask for details about your account, in the case of a business enquiry
    • Call you to begin an audit process

    The CRA will never:

    • Ask for information about your passport, health card, drivers license
    • Ask for payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards
    • Use aggressive languor or threaten you (or leave voicemails threatening you)

     

    To find out more information of what the CRA may do, or will never do by mail, email and text messages please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/corporate/security/protect-yourself-against-fraud.html?wbdisable=true

     

     

    Read More
  • The 2019 Federal Budget
    Posted

    The 2019 Federal Budget has now officially been released.

    To find out everything you need to know about this year’s budget, visit our resources tab to download your own copy.

     

    The 2019 Federal Budget has now officially been released.

    To find out everything you need to know about this year’s budget, visit our resources tab to download your own copy.

     

    Read More
  • Personal Tax Return Checklist
    Posted

    Our 2018 Personal Income Tax Return Checklist is now available to download.

    • Visit our resources tab for more information

    Our 2018 Personal Income Tax Return Checklist is now available to download.

    • Visit our resources tab for more information
    Read More
  • Quarterly installment & EHT annual return deadlines
    Posted

    A friendly reminder that the following due dates and deadlines are fast approaching:

    The first quarterly personal tax installment is due on Friday, March 15th.

    The Employer Health Tax annual return deadline is Friday, March 15th.

    A friendly reminder that the following due dates and deadlines are fast approaching:

    The first quarterly personal tax installment is due on Friday, March 15th.

    The Employer Health Tax annual return deadline is Friday, March 15th.

    Read More