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Year-End Tax Planning

Come tax time, the goal is to pay yourself… not the CRA.

Year-end means the return of winter, the arrival of the holiday season and, like it or not, a certain amount of financial planning. 

And that means taking advantage of every deduction and tax credit available to you. Leaving funds on the table for the government just doesn't make sense. As we enter the final weeks of 2017, here for your consideration are a few year-end tax tips that could help you keep more money in your pocket:

  • Repay any money withdrawn from your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) under the RSP Home Buyers’ Plan. Repayments must be made no later than March 1, 2018, to avoid taxation.
  • Make any charitable donations you want to claim in 2017.
  • If you have business-related purchases to make, consider doing so before year-end. These may include professional dues and membership fees.
  • Capitalize on the new $5,500 TFSA contribution limit.

10 Tax Planning Strategies

Here are 10 strategies to consider now – before the end of the year – in order to reap the greatest benefit.

+ 1. Tax Loss Selling
+ 2. Estate Planning

Is your will up to date? End-of-year financial housekeeping is a good time to review your will and make sure it represents your current situation and intentions regarding your estate.

+ 3. Registered Plans

If you have any unused contribution room in your RRSP, consider topping it up. (The deadline for 2017 RRSP contributions is March 1, 2018.) If you turned 71 in 2017, you have only until December 30, 2017 to make a contribution to your RRSP for 2017 (but you can include 2017 contributions if you were paid a salary or wage in 2017).

+ 4. Personal Payments

The final tax installment payment for 2017 is December 15th. Parents of children under 16 can claim a non-refundable tax credit of up to $500 for each child registered in an eligible physical activity program.

+ 5. Transit Pass Tax Credit

Provided certain conditions are met, public transit users can claim a non-refundable tax credit.

+ 6. Mutual Fund Purchases

To avoid having to report year-end distributions, consider postponing the purchase of non-registered mutual funds until the new year.

+ 7. Non-deductible Interest on Your Loans

Consider paying off your debt by selling some of your non-registered investments, and then borrowing to replace the investment.

+ 8. Allocating Pension Income to your Spouse

You may be able to increase your after-tax income from your retirement plans by allocating up to one-half of eligible income that qualifies for the existing pension income tax credit to your resident spouse or common-law partner.

+ 9. Stock Option Deferral

Stocks acquired through stock option plans can have the benefit deferred on amounts up to $100,000 in total fair market value (at the time the options were granted).

+ 10. Tax Shelters

Seek professional advice and consult with your financial advisor before investing your money in a tax shelter. The quality of the product is more important than the immediate tax savings.




Related Information
Tax Changes
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