Time for year-end tax planning: start with CRA My Account

Robin Taub

Here’s my latest blog for the Financial Post, titled Here’s how to find all your tax info in one place.

It features chartered accountant Robin Taub (pictured), who is also a spokesperson for Turbo Tax.

I know that filing personal tax returns seems impossibly far away, considering that winter has yet to begin in earnest. But as Taub points out, there are only three weeks left in 2015 and if you want to minimize tax owing for this calendar year, waiting until 2016 may be too late for certain actions: notably making charitable contributions or making a contribution to an RESP in order to qualify for the accompanying grant.

December 31 is the deadline for those but there’s an earlier practical deadline of December 24th for those who want to engage in a last-minute bout of tax-loss selling or booking offsetting gains. That’s because it takes three days for trades to settle and there aren’t a lot of working days left to trade between Christmas and New Year’s.

But Taub’s number-one tip is that the easiest way to get organized early for the next tax-filing season is to sign up for the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Account for Individuals. The FP blog goes into some detail on that.

TFSA rollbacks will hurt the needy

Also in the FP today is an article by public policy consultant Neil Mohindra entitled TFSA rollbacks will hurt the needy. He notes that while many have debated the extent to which the middle class or “rich” benefit from the higher $10,000 annual TFSA contribution amount, “a rollback will disproportionately affect middle and lower income Canadians with limited work histories in this country …”

The Hub has of course looked at this issue repeatedly, most recently on Tuesday here.

A reminder that the new Save our TFSA petition can be found here. It’s labelled e-3 (Tax System). Even if you signed the original Working Canadians petition, if you feel strongly about the issue you may want to sign the new one: it takes only a minute and while there you can also ask for an RSS feed to  get updates on the progress of the petition. Last time I checked, the numbers were rising by roughly 100 per hour. It only went up last Friday. Not surprisingly, about half are from Ontario, followed by Alberta and British Columbia.

Oh, and as before, don’t be content just to sign the petition yourself. See if you can persuade five or six friends or colleagues to follow suit, so the multiplier can kick in, and use social media to further spread the word. More than 5.5 million TFSA owners have told pollsters they would prefer to keep the $10,000 annual limit, so there’s plenty of room to grow.


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