Tax Season is Here!

tax season | MiAccounting

Our expertly curated guide is designed to navigate you through the latest changes, strategic deductions, and credits, ensuring you leverage every opportunity to optimize your tax return.

Dive into our detailed insights and embrace a streamlined tax filing process with ease.

2023 Tax Season Highlights: Navigate Changes with Confidence

Enhanced Deductions for Tradespersons and Apprentices

The CRA has now increased the tools deduction from $500 to $1,000. Tradespersons and apprentices, it's time to maximize this benefit! Ensure to keep all purchase receipts as proof for the CRA.

First Home Savings Account (FHSA): A New Path to Homeownership

Embrace the FHSA, akin to an RRSP, but with the golden twist of tax-free withdrawals for first-time homebuyers. Dive into the specifics and eligibility criteria to make an informed investment.

Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit (MHRTC)

With a $7,500 tax credit for eligible renovations, supporting a senior or a person with disabilities to live with you has never been more rewarding. Understand the fine print to ensure your renovation qualifies.

Maximize Your Tax Benefits: A Detailed Checklist of Deductions and Credits

Unlock the full potential of your tax return with our comprehensive checklist:

  • Tools Deduction: Tradespersons can now claim up to $1,000 for work-related tools.
  • RRSP Contributions: Maximize your contributions before the deadline to reduce taxable income.
  • Medical Expenses: Consolidate and claim medical expenses for family members living in the same household for enhanced benefits.
  • Charitable Donations: Pool charitable contributions for a higher deduction and choose the most advantageous return to claim them.
  • Investment Expenses: Deductible management fees on investments like RRSPs and TFSAs can lower your taxable income.
  • Educator School Supply Tax Credit: Teachers, claim up to $1,000 for out-of-pocket classroom supplies.
  • Child Care Expenses: Significant for parents, claim child care expenses to reduce taxable income.
  • Moving Expenses: If you've moved for work or education, these expenses can be deductible.
  • Student Loan Interest: Don't overlook the deduction for interest paid on student loans.
  • Disability Tax Credit (DTC): A crucial credit for those eligible, providing substantial tax relief.
  • Home Office Expenses: With remote work on the rise, understand what you can claim to maximize deductions.
  • Digital News Subscription Tax Credit: A unique credit for subscribing to Canadian digital news.

What is CRA focusing on in 2023?

Passive Income in Corporations & Dividends from CCPCs

Why It Matters: For owners of Canadian Controlled Private Corporations (CCPCs), managing passive income and dividends distribution has become increasingly scrutinized. The integration of tax rates aims to ensure that income earned and distributed by a corporation is taxed in a manner comparable to income earned directly by an individual. However, the specifics can get complex, especially with the tax implications of passive income investments and dividend payouts.

Expert Strategies:

  • Optimize Salary vs. Dividends: Balancing the mix of salary and dividends you withdraw from your corporation can optimize your overall tax burden, considering personal tax rates, corporate tax rates, and the potential impact on passive income thresholds.
  • Passive Income Management: Be strategic about your corporation's investments. Excessive passive income can limit access to the small business deduction's lower tax rate on active business income. Consider investing in active business operations or extracting excess funds in tax-efficient ways.
  • Integration and Tax Planning: Regularly review your corporate structure and tax planning strategies with a tax professional to ensure they align with current legislation and are optimized for tax efficiency.

Foreign Income Reporting (T1135)

Why It Matters: Canadian residents are required to report their foreign property if the total cost exceeds $100,000 CAD at any point in the year. The Foreign Income Verification Statement (Form T1135) encompasses a wide range of assets, including funds in foreign bank accounts, shares in foreign companies, and real estate held outside Canada. Failure to accurately report these assets can result in significant penalties.

Expert Strategies:

  • Comprehensive Asset Review: Annually review all foreign-held assets to ensure nothing is overlooked. This includes revisiting the definitions of foreign property to confirm if reporting is necessary.
  • Accurate Valuation and Reporting: Ensure accurate valuation of foreign assets, taking into account exchange rates and changes in asset value. Utilize professional valuation services if needed.
  • Timely and Accurate Filing: File Form T1135 by the tax return deadline to avoid penalties. Consider leveraging electronic filing options for accuracy and convenience.

Trust Reporting Enhancements

Why It Matters: The CRA has introduced enhanced reporting requirements for trusts to improve transparency and compliance. These changes affect express trusts, including family trusts, and require detailed disclosures of all trustees, beneficiaries, settlors, and protectors. The aim is to prevent tax evasion and avoidance through trusts.

Expert Strategies:

  • Understand Reporting Obligations: Familiarize yourself with the new reporting requirements to ensure your trust is compliant. This includes understanding which types of trusts are exempt from these requirements.
  • Maintain Detailed Records: Keep comprehensive records of the trust’s establishment, all related parties, and transactions. This will facilitate accurate reporting and compliance with the CRA’s requirements.
  • Seek Professional Guidance: Given the complexities of trust law and taxation, consulting with a tax professional or trust expert is crucial. They can provide guidance tailored to your trust's specific circumstances, ensuring compliance and strategic planning.

Property Flipping Rules Overhaul

The Canadian real estate market has witnessed a substantial increase in property flipping activities, prompting the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to implement significant changes to how profits from such transactions are taxed. As of the 2023 tax year, any income generated from property flipping within a 365-day period will be classified as business income rather than capital gains. This adjustment aims to curb speculative real estate transactions and ensure that profits from quick property sales are taxed appropriately.

Why It Matters:

This shift in tax treatment matters greatly to real estate investors for several reasons:

  • Tax Rate Impact: Business income is taxed at your marginal tax rate, which is typically higher than the capital gains tax rate (where only 50% of the gain is taxable). This change can significantly increase the tax liability on profits from flipped properties.
  • Loss of Tax Advantages: Unlike capital gains, business income does not benefit from the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption (LCGE) and cannot be offset with the capital losses from other investments.
  • Reporting Requirements: The classification of flipping income as business income introduces more rigorous reporting standards and record-keeping requirements.

Expert Strategies:

To adapt to these new regulations and minimize their impact on your investment returns, consider the following strategies:

  • Long-Term Investment Focus: Reevaluate your investment strategy to focus more on long-term property investments. Holding properties for longer than 365 days can help qualify the profits as capital gains, subject to more favorable tax treatment.
  • Accurate Expense Tracking: Diligently track and document all expenses related to the purchase, renovation, and sale of flipped properties. Business expenses, including interest on loans, renovations, and real estate commissions, can be deducted from business income, reducing the overall tax liability.
  • Structural Considerations: Consult with a tax professional to explore the possibility of structuring your real estate activities within a corporation. This could offer benefits in terms of tax planning and liability protection, depending on your specific situation.
  • Compliance and Documentation: Ensure full compliance with the CRA’s requirements by maintaining detailed records of all transactions, including purchase agreements, renovation invoices, and sale documents. Proper documentation is crucial for supporting your tax filings and defending against potential audits.

How We Can Help!

MiAccounting: Your Ally in Tax Preparation and Planning

At MiAccounting, we go beyond tax filing; we empower you with strategies to enhance your financial health. Whether it's navigating new tax rules, maximizing deductions, or planning for future financial success, our team is here to support you every step of the way.

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Embark on a Hassle-Free Tax Season

Ready to transform your tax filing experience? Contact MiAccounting today, and let's ensure you're fully equipped to tackle the 2023 tax season with confidence and ease.

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