The government’s 2018 federal budget focuses on a number of tax tightening measures for business owners. It introduces a new regime for holding passive investments inside a Canadian Controlled Private Corporation (CCPC). (Previously proposed in July 2017.)
Here are the highlights:
Small Business Tax Rate Reduction Confirmed
Lower small business tax rate from 10% (from 10.5%), effective January 1, 2018 and to 9% effective January 1, 2019.
Limiting Access to the Small Business Tax Rate
A key objective of the budget is to decrease the small business limit for CCPCs with a set threshold of income generated from passive investments. This will apply to CCPCs with between $50,000 and $150,000 of investment income. It reduces the small business deduction by $5 for each $1 of investment income which falls over the threshold of $50,000. This new regulation will go hand in hand with the current business limit reduction for taxable capital.
Limiting access to refundable taxes
Another important feature of the budget is to reduce the tax advantages that CCPCs can gain to access refundable taxes on the distribution of dividends. Currently, a corporation can receive a refundable dividend tax on hand (known as a RDTOH) when they pay a particular dividend, whereas the new proposals aim to permit such a refund only where a private corporation pays non-eligible dividends, though exceptions apply regarding RDTOH deriving from eligible portfolio dividends.
The new RDTOH account referred to “eligible RDTOH” will be tracked under Part IV of the Income Tax Act while the current RDTOH account will be redefined as “non-eligible RDTOH” and will be tracked under Part I of the Income Tax Act. This means when a corporation pays non-eligible dividends, it’s required to obtain a refund from its non-eligible RDTOH account before it obtains a refund from its eligible RDTOH account.
Health and welfare trusts
The budget states that it will end the Health and Welfare Trust tax regime and transition it to Employee Life and Health Trusts. The current tax position of Health and Welfare Trusts are linked to the administrative rules as stated by the CRA, but the income Tax Act includes specific rules relating to the Employee Life and Heath Trusts which are similar. The budget will simplify this arrangement to have one set of rules across both arrangements.
BC Finance Minister Carole James delivered the province’s 2018 budget update on February 20, 2018. The budget anticipates a surplus of $219 million for the current year, $281 million for 2019 and $284 million in 2020.
Corporate and personal tax rates remain unchanged.
The biggest changes are:
The Employer Health Tax and Medical Services Plan premiums:
Effective January 1, 2020, the Medical Services Premium (MSP) will be eliminated. In last year’s budget update, MSP was reduced by 50% effective January 1, 2018. Starting in 2019, the budget introduces the Employer Health Tax (EHT). The EHT is to help fund the elimination of the MSP premiums.
The Employer Health Tax will be calculated as a percentage of payroll:
Provincial Property Transfer Taxes
Effective February 21, 2018, the following will occur:
There will be a new affordable child care benefit that will reduce child care costs by up to $1,250 per month per child by 2020. The new benefit will apply in September 2018. Families with pre-tax incomes of $45,000 or less will receive the full benefit, (up to the cost of care) while those who make up to $111,000 will receive a reduced amount, scaling based on income. The government will be releasing an online benefit calculator to help parents budget.
The budget will provide up to $350/month directly to licensed child care providers to reduce fees. They will be the following:
To learn how these changes will affect you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
The month of July saw a set of proposed tax changes announced by the Federal Minister of Canada which are potentially the most impactful and significant amendments since the large-scale tax reform of 1972. We will go on to describe the detail and impact of the proposals, which fall into three main areas, below. In summary, however, the purpose of the changes introduced by the government is broadly to close the potential current perceived tax loopholes that exist for higher earners and owners of private corporations. In response to the proposals, the government is inviting views and opinions on the changes during a consultation period which will last until October 2 2017.
If a high earning individual moves a proportion of their income to a family member such as children or a spouse who hold a lower tax rate in an attempt to reduce the total amount of tax payable, this is known as income sprinkling. To mitigate this, the government is proposing to include adult children in the eligibility rules in addition to minors, as well as taking a “reasonability” approach to assessing their income and thus which rate the transferred income should be taxed at. This will mark a change to the current TOSI (tax on split income) rules which currently apply.
2. Minimizing the incentives of keeping passive investments in CCPCs
Currently, it can be advantageous for corporations to keep excess funds in a CCPC due to the fact that the corporate tax rate on the first $500,000 of taxable income is often much lower than the tax that would be payable by an individual. The government is moving to make this option less beneficial by the following two initiatives: firstly, by the removal of the option of crediting the capital dividend account (known as the CDA) equal to the amount of the non-taxable portion of any capital gains and secondly by removing the refundability of passive investment taxes.
3. Reducing the transfer of corporate surpluses to capital gains
Tax advantages can currently be achieved by the sharing out of corporate surpluses to shareholders through dividends or salaries, which are often taxed at a lower rate than if earned as personal income. This is due to the fact that just 50% of capital gains are taxable.
BC Finance Minister Carole James delivered the province’s 2017 budget update on Sept. 11, 2017. The budget anticipates a surplus of $46 million for the current year, $228 million in 2018-2019 and $257 million in 2019-2020. As a result of the provincial election on April 11, 2017, the measures previously announced were not fully enacted.
Here’s the new budget proposals:
For first time home buyers to save property transfer tax on the purchase of their property the partial exemption has been increased to $500,000 from $475,000.
To learn how these changes will affect you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau delivered the government’s 2017 federal budget on March 22, 2017. The budget expects a deficit of $23 billion for fiscal 2016-2017 and forecasts a deficit of $28.5 billion for 2017-2018. Find out what this means for businesses.
While no specific measures are mentioned, the government will review the use of tax planning strategies involving private corporations “that inappropriately reduce personal taxes of high-income earners.” including:
The government eliminated a tax deferral opportunity for certain professionals. Accountants, dentists, lawyers, medical doctors, veterinarians and chiropractors will no longer be able to elect to exclude the value of work in progress in computing their income. This will be phased-in over two taxation years, starting with taxation years that begin after this budget.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
BC Finance Minister Michael de Jong delivered the province’s 2017 budget on Feb. 21, 2017. The budget anticipates a surplus of $295 million for the current year, $244 million in 2018-2019 and $223 million in 2019-2020.
Reduction in Corporate income Tax Rate from 2.5% to 2.0% effective April 1, 2017
|Corporate Income Tax Rates- As of January 1, 2017|
|British Columbia||Combined Federal & BC|
|*on first $500,000 of active business income **effective April 1, 2017|
Increase in the personal tax rate from 40.61% to 40.95% for ineligible dividends effective January 1, 2017.
|Personal Combined Federal/Provincial Top Marginal Rates|
|Interest and regular income||47.70%|
Medical Services Plan Premiums: Rate will remain at $75/month/adult. Effective Jan 1, 2018: 50% MSP premium reduction for households with annual net incomes up to $120,000.
Firefighter & Search & Rescue Volunteer Tax Credit: Non-refundable tax credit of up to $3,000 for 2017.
Back to School Tax Credit: Non-refundable tax credit of $250 per child (ages 5 to 17) for 2016 to 2018. Effective Jan 1, 2018, the education tax credit will be eliminated.
Electricity- Provincial Sales Tax Act: Effective Oct 1, 2017, the tax rate is reduced to 3.5% of the purchase price.
Property transfer tax: For first time home buyers to save property transfer tax on the purchase of their property the partial exemption has been increased to $500,000 from $475,000.
Canada Pension Plan – Should You Take it Early?
The new rules governing CPP were introduced in 2012 and they take full effect in 2016. The earliest you can take your CPP Pension is age 60, the latest is 70. The standard question regarding CPP remains the same – should I take it early or wait?
While you can elect to start receiving CPP at age 60, the discount rate under the new rules has increased. Starting in 2016, your CPP income will be reduced by 0.6% each month you receive your benefit prior to age 65. In other words, electing to take your CPP at age 60 will provide an income of 36% less than if you waited until age 65.
CPP benefits may also be delayed until age 70 so conversely, as of 2016, delaying your CPP benefits after age 65 will result in an increased income of 0.7% for each month of deferral. At age 70, the retiree would have additional monthly income of 42% over that what he or she would have had at 65 and approximately 120% more than taking the benefit at age 60. The question now becomes, “how long do you think you will live?”
Assuming that an individual has $10,000 of CPP pension at age 65, and ignoring inflation (CPP income benefits are indexed according to the Consumer Price Index), the following table compares the total base income with that if benefits are taken early or late:
CPP Benefit Commencement
Total benefit received Age 60 Age 65 Age 70
One year $ 6,400 $10,000 $ 14,200
Five years $32,000 $ 50,000 $ 71,000
Ten Years $64,000 $100,000 $142,000
The question of life expectancy can be a factor in determining whether or not to take your CPP early. For example, according to the above table if you take your pension at age 60, by the time you reach age 65; you would already have received $32,000 in benefits. With $10,000 in pension income commencing at age 65 the crossover point would be age 73 (the point at which the total income commencing at age 60 equals the total income commencing at age 65). If you were to die prior to age 73, you would have been better off taking the earlier option.
If your choice is to delay taking the pension until age 70 instead of 65, the crossover would not be reached until age 85.
Some individuals may wish to elect to take the pension early and invest it hoping that the income from age 60 combined with the investment growth will exceed the total income that would be received by starting at 65.
Remember, if you elect to take your pension before 65 and you are still working, you must continue to contribute to CPP. After age 65, continuing contributions while working are voluntary. On the plus side, these extra contributions will increase your pension under the Post-Retirement Benefit (PRB).
Reasons to take your CPP before age 65
Reasons to delay taking your CPP to age 70
This information should help you make a more informed choice about when to commence your CPP benefits. Even if retirement is years away it is never too early to start planning for this final chapter in your life. Call me if would like to discuss your retirement planning.
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Investing in today’s environment is not for the faint of heart. However, fortunately for Canadians, Segregated Fund products offered by many life insurance companies provide a safety net for nervous investors.
Fund products present some interesting opportunities for people looking to get more security in their investment portfolios without sacrificing their potential for growth.
100% Maturity and Death Benefit Guarantee
At a time when most companies are reducing their guarantees to 75%, a few companies still offer 100% guarantees for both maturity value and death benefit.
At the maturity date, the value of the investment will be the greater of the market value or 100% of the sum of deposits less any withdrawals taken. In other words, at maturity (minimum 15 years), your worst-case scenario is receiving full value for all of your deposits.
At death, the 100% guarantee will ensure that your beneficiary receives the greater of the market value of your Segregated Fund or the sum of all your deposits less any withdrawals taken.
Reset Feature for Maturity and Death Benefit Guarantee
Resets can have significant value in a volatile market. With this feature you have the ability to:
Reset the maturity guarantee value (usually more than once per year). Accordingly, you can lock in your investment gains at maturity. With each reset you also have the option of designating a new maturity date.
Automatically reset the death benefit guarantee, locking in your investment gains at death. (The frequency of the reset varies by company). How Significant are Reset Options? You Decide.
John invested $500,000 in a segregated fund and selected a technology fund as the investment choice. The technology boom saw that investment grow to $850,000 and John wisely exercised his reset option. Shortly afterward, the dot.com bubble burst and the investment value fell from $850,000 to $300,000 with no significant recovery. This same bubble burst devastated many investors. Meanwhile, John was able to recover not only his original investment but also the full $850,000 at his maturity date.
Designation of Beneficiaries Enables Protection
One fact about Segregated Funds that is often overlooked is that as a product of a life insurance company, you can name a beneficiary for the proceeds at your death. This creates the potential that your segregated fund investment may be free from the claims of creditors or potential litigants.
Investing Using a Balanced Portfolio Close to Retirement
Volatile investment markets create a significant amount of stress and emotional turmoil, particularly amongst older investors. The closer you get to retirement, the higher the stakes. Therefore, many investors have forsaken the potential of higher returns for a significant portion of their portfolio. While this does reduce risk, it probably will result in lower returns.
By using Segregated Funds and taking advantage of the 100% Maturity Guarantee and reset options, one could achieve balance in their portfolio without necessarily locking in low yields.
Estate Conservation for Mature Investors
The 100% death benefit guarantee means that you can remain invested in an equity portfolio while not risking the estate value of your investment portfolio. Regardless of what happens in the market, your investment fund is totally guaranteed at your death. This guarantee is applicable to contracts purchased before age 80. For contracts purchased after age 80 the guarantee is usually 75%.
By naming a beneficiary, upon your death, all of your segregated fund investments will flow to your beneficiary without any probate fees, administrative costs or risk of any Wills Variation Act litigation.
Market downturn is not the only risk to which capital can be exposed. For many professionals and business owners there are situations that may involve litigation either by creditors or other parties who feel they have a claim against your personal and business assets. By naming a preferred beneficiary, this risk is potentially eliminated.
Complicated Estate Protection
For domestic situations involving previous marriages and the desire to protect capital for present or previous family members the beneficiary designation could be made irrevocable. The irrevocable beneficiary designation confers rights and protection on the beneficiary, which would not be as enjoyable through the “primary beneficiary” title.
Another advantage of Segregated Funds is that the use of named beneficiaries allow for a confidential transfer of wealth at death. In uncertain times having the comfort of a maturity and death benefit guarantee provides investors with a significant safety net.
Please give me a call me to see if Segregated Funds will compliment your current investment strategy or use the social sharing buttons below to share this article with a friend or family member you think might benefit from this information.