Canada struggles to decide whether to ratify NAFTA 2.0

Last May, we wrote about the difficulties in arriving at a new North American Free Trade Agreement. Part of the negotiating strategy of the United States was to apply dubious hammers of tariffs on steel and aluminum while President Donald Trump launched rude comments about his NAFTA trading partners — Canada and Mexico. An unusual […] Read more

Taxing energy to curb climate change may hurt economy

New in 2019 are tax increases that will impact homes and businesses for gasoline, natural gas and propane. For the four provinces objecting to the federal government’s imposition of mandatory carbon taxes, fuel at the pump will be subject to a 4.42 cent per litre bump, a 3.91 cent per cubic metre increase for natural […] Read more

New taxes will affect farmers and business owners

The federal government is launching several changes to the taxation system this year that are not that easy to swallow for farmers, small business owners and individual taxpayers. Government has the right to impose and raise taxes, but its explanations for tax changes sometimes are weak at best and other times imply that they think […] Read more


Income deferral tricky prospect for livestock producers

Is farm income deferral an effective tax management strategy? That depends on whether your farm business is based on grain or mostly on the hoof. There is a bit of an inequity in the tax system that allows more flexibility in deferring income from grain sales than from livestock sales. For example, when listed grains […] Read more

Leasing land to farm corporation comes with tax implications

A pattern is starting to take shape in how the federal government treats the family farm corporation for taxation purposes. The manner in which income is taken and expenses claimed is much tighter and the potential for audit greater if the regulations aren’t precisely followed. We mentioned in a previous column that the federal finance […] Read more


Feds keep eye on how farms manage leasing expenses

The federal finance department has already indicated that it is taking aim at family farm businesses structured as corporations and the way income removed from the corporations is treated for tax purposes. Payouts to family members are usually most heavily taxed as straight income but to a lesser degree as dividends. The intent of the […] Read more

Watch alternative minimum tax trap when selling farm

Government is a strange beast when it comes to taxes. It provides preferential rates on income from dividends, capital gains or even a qualified farm property lifetime capital gains exemption but if you take advantage of these routes to calculating your taxes, government reserves the right to charge you more taxes just because it can. […] Read more

What category temporary migrant farm workers find themselves in will determine how their income is treated by the Canada Revenue Agency.  |  Michael Raine photo

Work on a Canadian farm, meet the CRA

Eighty percent of seasonal agriculture workers in Canada are Canadian residents, but there is still a demand for additional workers, many of whom come from Mexico and the Caribbean. In 2014, for instance, more than 45,000 visas were issued for such workers, although only 40,000 took advantage of the access to work in Canada. Of […] Read more


NAFTA isn’t the only game in town; CPTPP also important

Although the North American Free Trade Agreement is all over the news and the somewhat rocky nature of our relationship with our largest trading partner receives much attention, Canada’s relationship with Pacific Rim countries has opened new doors for the Canadian agriculture sector. With the somewhat awkward title of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for […] Read more

Tax deferral program helps when drought forces herd sale

Farming is frequently exposed to unpredictable acts of nature, which will often affect your financial income in the current year and future ones. Drought and flooding are two such conditions that might force you to sell part of your breeding herd, sometimes at less-than-ideal prices. To help mitigate those losses, the federal government offers a […] Read more