Beware of CRA scams that have increased since COVID

COVID-19 as a virus has commanded our attention since early March but, in effect, we are discovering most governments, including Canada’s front-line medical watchdogs, saw the signals sooner. But there is another unexpected viral consequence of the pandemic and that is fraud and various scams targeting Canadians, most of them seniors. Canada Revenue Agency recently […] Read more

Strategies to help you plan your way around taxes

In our last few articles we’ve highlighted elevated government spending programs and the inevitable increase in the accumulated debt to alleviate the worst economic impacts brought on by the COVID pandemic. Both current and former senior civil servants, economists and at least one former prime minister are all predicting that while these spending programs have […] Read more

Who’s going to pay the piper after COVID-19 spending?

Former governor of the Bank of Canada David Dodge, writing on behalf of the C.D. Howe Institute while referring to the government’s financial response to COVID-19, said the right decisions were probably made at the time. However, the report also stated that the government must implement a plan to “restore fiscal maneuvering room” as soon […] Read more


COVID aid paperwork must be in order as audits loom

I have previously mentioned that Canada’s accumulated deficit with all the COVID-19 related emergency spending programs will now most likely top a trillion dollars for fiscal year 2020-21, up from $685.5 billion last year, according to government estimates. Many of those programs were, and if still available, continue to be extremely useful in providing a […] Read more

Death will result in tax implications for RRSPs, RRIFs

Unfortunately, this COVID-19 year has caused many of us to think about our own mortality, but it also gives us a lesson in taxes. The federal deficit for 2019 was $26.7 billion but is estimated to balloon to $184 billion and quite likely more next year with COVID-related additional program spending. Federal debt (accumulated deficit) […] Read more


Feds urged to waive mandatory RRIF withdrawal rules

Can my Registered Retirement Income Fund catch the COVID-19 virus? Unfortunately, in a way, it has already. Although the impact of COVID-19 on health and mortality is the most critical issue, it has rendered the Canadian and world economies sick as well. The government has acknowledged this by placing in motion several programs to buffer […] Read more

Add to your CPP payout with a post retirement benefit

If understanding the Canadian tax code can be mind-numbing. Getting the gist of the Canada Pension Plan’s Post Retirement Benefit program can be equally confusing. At one time, the rules were relatively simple. If you decided to receive CPP (whether it was early at age 60, or 65 or 69), you stopped making contributions to […] Read more

The February dash to top up an RRSP is not the best investment strategy.  |  Getty Images

Is the late rush to top up an RRSP account worth the trouble?

Every year many (even most) eligible Canadians wait until the deadline to contribute to their Registered Retirement Savings Plans. This year, that deadline is March 2 to make your 2019 contribution to benefit from the resulting tax deduction for the past year. The deduction limit for 2019 is the lesser of 18 percent of your […] Read more


Taxing near-cash or non-cash benefits to employees

We previously discussed the benefits and limitations of paying a spouse or children for work on the farm. Usually, for record-keeping purposes it is most effective to issue cash amounts by cheque to meet the conditions set out by the Canada Revenue Agency. There are other means of employee compensation, however, that are referred to […] Read more

Use caution when paying family members for farm work

Farming in Canada has always been a family intensive business, even on larger incorporated farm enterprises. Spouses in many cases are full partners in the process and chief bookkeepers for the business. Part of normal childhood education on the farm is an ongoing list of farm chores, which can include everything from field preparation, planting, […] Read more