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So you finally agreed to meet the tax accountant that everyone has been talking about. “He reduced my tax bill by thousands of dollars,” your neighbour says. “And it’s all perfectly legal.”

You live in the province of Quebec, and are married with two children, ages 19 and 22, both attending university. You are self-employed and earn $150,000 a year. Your husband works for a larger company, and has an annual salary of $50,000. Last year, you and your husband paid combined federal-provincial taxes of about $66,400, including Quebec Pension Plan and health-care levies.
You sit down with the tax adviser. “The amount of tax that you’re paying is ridiculous,” he says. Then he shows you … “The Plan.”

First, you set up a private corporation (Taxco). From now on, Taxco — not you — will carry on your business. Taxco will have four classes of shares: A, B, C and D. You will get one class A share, and your husband one class B. Each child gets one share as well, one gets a class C and the other gets a class D. Now here’s the trick. The directors can declare dividends on any single class of shares, to the exclusion of the other three classes. In other words, each share is entitled to discretionary dividends in whatever amounts you choose.

Read more from Financial Post

 

Whether you choose to crank up the A/C or pitch a tent in the frozen food aisle of your local supermarket (hey, we’re not judging), August is a month where keeping cool is key. Grab a spot in the shade and check out this quick recap of the latest enhancements and updates in QuickBooks Online.

Pay bills electronically within QuickBooks Online

Powered by Bill.com, the new Bill Pay feature allows users to pay bills electronically directly within QuickBooks Online. Pay vendors and contractors via ACH or paper check without ever leaving QuickBooks, and upload invoices into QuickBooks Online to convert them into a bill or vendor credit. Your accounting is done for you—bill payments are automatically recorded and linked to bills.

Read more from Intuit

 

Small business owners across the land are still reeling from last month’s announcement by Finance Minister Bill Morneau targeting private corporations and fundamentally changing the way businesses and incorporated professionals are taxed. The tax strategies being challenged can be categorized into three main areas: income sprinkling, earning passive investment income in a corporation, and converting a corporation’s ordinary income into tax-preferred capital gains.
In a previous column, I’ve discussed the proposed income sprinkling rules that would effectively eliminate opportunities for business owners to sprinkle dividends and capital gains among adult relatives, unless they contribute “reasonable” labour or capital to the business.
Read more from Financial Post

 

The Justin Trudeau government in July announced a number of tax changes that will have a big impact on business owners, sparking a lot of anger and frustration about the changes among advisers, but not a lot of practical strategies yet.
It is still early days, and not every plan announced or hinted at will be fully rolled out. But if we assume that they are, then here are some ideas on how to handle them.
To start, let’s review the changes on a high level:
1. Business owners who “sprinkle” dividends to family members in order to draw funds out of a corporation at a low tax rate — may no longer be able to do so. This will also likely eliminate the ability of multiple adult family members to take advantage of the lifetime capital gains exemption on a business sale. This usually took place if various family members owned shares of a holding company or the shares were held in a Family Trust.

Read more from Financial Post

 

If you’ve ever considered making a significant financial gift to your children, you’re not alone. A recent CIBC poll of 3,021 randomly selected Canadian adults found that the majority (76 per cent) of Canadian parents with a child 18 years or older would give their kids a financial boost to help them move out, get married, or move in with a partner.

Once you decide to give, however, the next question is how much should you give, what form should your gift take and what are the tax, and in some cases, family law considerations and opportunities associated with making a gift.

Read more from Financial Post