Special Work Site Allowance

In a January 29, 2019 Technical Interpretation, CRA discussed the criteria for tax-exempt allowances for board and lodging received for periods an employee was working at a special work site. To be a special work site, the following criteria must be met: the work performed at the location must have been of a temporary nature;… Read more »

Shared Custody of a Child

Certain tax benefits, such as the Canada child benefit, the GST/HST rebate, and the recently implemented federal carbon tax incentive (where applicable) are normally paid entirely to the parent with whom the child primarily resides. Where the child resides with the parents on an equal or near equal basis, each parent is entitled to half… Read more »

Leaving a Video Legacy

When conducting our estate plans, we are often focused on the distribution of assets (such as homes, bank accounts, investments, and interest in private corporations), providing for dependents, and ensuring overall family harmony. However, softer issues may be overlooked. For example, some suggest that it may be useful to leave a video legacy for surviving… Read more »

Home Buyers’ Plan

The HBP allows first-time home buyers (special rules apply for those with a disability) to withdraw amounts from their RRSP to buy or build a home. Budget 2019 proposed to increase the HBP withdrawal limit to $35,000 from $25,000. As the HBP is avilable to each individual, a couple could access up to $70,000 to… Read more »

First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

Budget 2019 proposed the new Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) first-time home buyer incentive, which is a shared equity mortgage that would give eligible first-time home buyers the ability to lower their borrowing costs by sharing the cost of buying a home with CMHC. Funding of 5% of the home purchase price would be… Read more »

Meeting Conditions of the GST/HST New Housing Rebate

In a December 18, 2018 Tax Court of Canada case, the Court considered whether the new housing rebate was available where the taxpayer sold a newly developed property shortly after taking possession. The taxpayer entered into an agreement to purchase the land in 2012, took possession of it two years later when the building was… Read more »

Claiming Sauna Installation as a Medical Expense

In a December 4, 2018 Technical Interpretation, CRA was asked whether the costs of installing a steam shower (sauna) and hydrotherapy pool could be eligible for the medical expense tax credit (METC). The use of these devices was recommended as treatment to maintain strength and mobility. CRA noted that, for renovations to be eligible, they… Read more »

Old Age Security Deferral

As of July 1, 2013, where receipt of OAS is delayed, the monthly pension is increased by a factor of 0.6% for each month deferred, to a maximum of 36% (60 months, commencing receipt at age 70). This option may be especially desirable for those whose OAS would be entirely clawed back due to high… Read more »

Federal Carbon Tax Costs and Rebates

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,… Read more »

Canadian Pension Plan Changes

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… Read more »