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This New Year’s long weekend is the perfect time to review your tax minimization strategies for the year ahead. Here are five things to consider as we head into 2018.

Tax-smart portfolio rebalancing

If you’ve got global equities in your non-registered portfolio, chances are you fared quite well in 2017 with some financial markets hitting all-time record levels. What a great opportunity to rebalance your non-registered portfolio and defer the capital gains tax hit by up to sixteen months.
For example, let’s say your target portfolio allocation is 70 per cent equities and 30 per cent bonds or fixed income. This weekend, you go online and see that your portfolio, due to the success of your U.S. equity position, at the close of business on Friday Dec. 29 is actually skewed 80 per cent equities and 20 per cent fixed income. To rebalance back to your target 70/30 mix, you may wish to sell some equities and replace them with fixed income. The good news is that if you put in your sell order on Tuesday Jan. 2, 2018, once financial markets re-open for the new year, the taxes owing on that capital gain won’t be due until April 30, 2019.

Read more from Financial Post

 

On the same day that the Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, clarified the federal government's proposals to limit "income sprinkling" as a way for high-income owners of private companies to reduce their taxes, the Senate Finance Committee released its report recommending that all the tax changes should be scrapped. Instead, the Senate Committee recommended the government of Canada undertake an independent and comprehensive review of the tax system with the purpose of "reducing complexity, ensuring economic competitiveness and enhancing overall fairness."

The last time Canada had such a comprehensive review was the Carter Royal Commission on Taxation, which reported in 1966, with many but not all of its recommendations finally implemented in legislation in 1972. This process took a decade from the start of the Royal Commission. The Senate Committee's proposal, if taken seriously, looks very much like the proverbial "kicking the can down the road" – a massive delaying tactic.

Read more from Globe and Mail

 

Intuit® is taking the next step in making the QuickBooks® platform the smarter way to do business by signing an agreement to acquire TSheets, a leading platform that small and medium businesses, self-employed professionals, and accountants use to automate time tracking and scheduling for them and their workers.

Intuit QuickBooks leverages the world’s largest small business and self-employed ecosystem to simplify and automate key business tasks, such as payroll, invoicing and payments. With more than 12,000 customers already using and loving QuickBooks and TSheets side-by-side today, bringing them together for millions of small businesses will make manual time tracking a thing of the past. Businesses will have a single, seamless solution to track time, streamline invoicing and simplify paying their workers with complete confidence.

Read more from Intuit

 

Canada Pension Plan during their meeting this week. Here are five things to know.

1) A new mechanism will be introduced so Canadians who take time out of the workforce to raise children or due to disability don’t see a drop in their retirement benefits. The new portion of CPP will have “drop-in” provisions that will assign a higher income for those years and use that to calculate retirement benefits. The Finance Department defends the use of drop-in provisions because the “enhanced” CPP, as it is known, is based on a fixed, 40-year benefit accrual period making it easier to drop in amounts rather than dropping out years as is the case in the base CPP.

Read more from Financial Post

 

 Innovation is a necessary part of any industry, but some sectors are slower than others when it comes to embracing technological change. In recent decades, accounting has become one of the worst laggards.

The blame does not rest entirely on the shoulders of accountants either, but it does represent a systemic issue – accounting departments aren't typically viewed as a strategic pillar of the business.

According to a 2017 survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, nearly three-fourths (74 per cent) of CPAs say finance and accounting should play an important role in an organization's innovation efforts. However, just 30 per cent of respondents said finance and accounting actually contribute to innovation.

Read more from Globe and Mail