Cottage sale tax tips

How to cut the capital gains tax hit

Thinking about selling the cottage, cabin, or lakeside getaway? Plenty of people are, especially those of the Baby Boom generation who are finding that maintaining two properties is increasingly time-consuming, tiresome, and expensive. And if the younger generation is no longer interested in keeping up a family cottage, there seems little alternative left but to sell. If you do decide to put up that “for sale” sign, bear in mind that the Canada Revenue Agency will come calling with a bill for capital gains tax. Depending on how long you’ve owned the cottage, it could be a big one. But there may be ways to soften the blow.

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Cottage tax traps

Getting away from it all with the CRA

Cottages and cabins in the woods or by the lake are an iconic Canadian getaway. Most owners of recreational property happily deal with maintenance issues for the chance of that glorious sunset, water-skiing, or a dip in the lake. What they don’t count on is that silent partner, waiting to take their cut when it comes time to sell or transfer the place to their kids. Here’s what you need to know. READ MORE

When the CRA comes calling

Refunds and reassessments

Around this time of the year, most taxpayers who filed a tax return in April will be receiving a Notice of Assessment, perhaps with a refund cheque, or what’s worse, a Notice of Reassessment, often with a demand for more tax payment. It’s important to deal with these issues, because each can have an impact on your tax planning for the year. READ MORE

Year-end tax issues with bond funds

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Why they’re not taxed the same way as GICs

As year-end approaches, it’s time to start thinking about the tax implications of distributions from your various investments. This year, the tax consequences of bond mutual funds compared with, say, straight-interest GICs have been top-of-mind for many investors. Here’s a quick primer on some of the tax issues involved with bond funds. READ MORE

Don’t extend credit to the CRA!

Why your tax refund may be a planning mistake

When you get a tax refund, it would be nice to think the government is “giving” you something. But that’s not the case. A large tax refund simply means you’ve paid too much tax through the year. You’re just getting your own money back. If you get a large refund regularly, it’s a sign you need to tighten up your tax planning. The government is happy about it, because it’s had the use of that extra money interest free, while you haven’t. That money could have been earning a decent investment return instead of sitting in the government’s general revenue slush fund. READ MORE

How to get year-end TFSA information from the CRA

It’s available, but forget about calling

Still looking to contribute to a Tax-Free Savings Account before the end of the year? If you’re not sure how much contribution room you have available for this year, you’ll have to do some digging. Unlike RRSP contribution room, that information is not shown on your annual Notice of Assessment. But getting that and other information on registered accounts and on your tax status in general isn’t easy. Here’s a primer on contacting the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). READ MORE

Year-end personal planning tips

Time’s running out for these 4 financial strategies

It’s already getting rather late in the year to set up financial strategies that will have a tax-saving or other impact for 2015. However, there are a number of items you can attend to before the year is out, including deductible payments, tax-loss selling, portfolio rebalancing, and RRSP maturity options. Here’s what you need to do. READ MORE

How high net worth families can cut the tax pain

Income-splitting investment loans to family members

High net worth taxpayers in the top income brackets can still cut the tax hit on high-yielding investment returns. Yes, it means becoming a lender, usually to a lower- or no-income spouse, but the tax savings can be considerable. Here’s how it works. READ MORE

What to do when the taxman wants more

Yes, you can object to a CRA reassessment

If you have received a Notice of Reassessment for your 2014 return from the Canada Revenue Agency demanding more tax or asking you to start quarterly instalment payments, you may have double trouble with the CRA. Here’s what to do before you pop that cheque in the mail. READ MORE

Last-minute tax-saving tips for 2014

Year-end strategies to cut your tax bill

During the hectic holiday season, the last thing you want to think about is your tax bill for the year. But there are a few year-end tax tips that could save you a few bucks in tax come next April. Here are some of my favorites. READ MORE

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