CRA News for Work From Home Business Owners

Latest CRA News
Small Business Information

Canadian Bookkeeping Resource

by L. Kenway BComm CPB

Do you worry about whether you are up-to-date with government changes and announcements pertaining to small businesses?

On this page you'll find the latest CRA News relevant to ... the hard working ... self-employed ... Canadian business owner who does their own bookkeeping. Hopefully it will reduce your worry level!

Be sure to visit CRA's video gallery for videos and transcripts on numerous small business matters. The link to video gallery is found in the Newsroom ... Your best bet is or you can search for "video gallery", then select Videos for businesses.

A popular webcast this time of year is Preparing T4 and T4A Slips and Summaries.



Wise Words

Spend time with those you love. One of these days you will say either, "I wish I had," or "I'm glad I did."

--- Zig Ziglar ---

Start CRA News items here



CRA NEWS ITEM

2015 Payroll Tax Tables for Canada

Employee
Statement of Earnings

CRA wants small business owners to know that the online calculator is NOT meant to be used as a statement of earnings for your employees.

It is recommended you check your employment standards to determine what information is legally required.


December 11, 2014


CRA released the 2015 Payroll Deductions Online Calculator today. The rates are effective January 1, 2015.

The manual payroll deduction tables (T4032) used for common pay periods and the supplementary tables (T4008) used for unusual pay periods have also been released online. You will find them here.

The 2015 CPP and EI rates were released earlier this year.

This is not really CRA news but is related ... QuickBooks® payroll tax tables for 2015 were also released today.



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CRA's 2015 Indexation Adjustments

November 25, 2014

CRA released the 2015 indexation adjustment for personal income tax and benefit amounts in a fact sheet earlier this week. The chart reflects an indexation increase of 1.7% for 2015 and compares the indexed amounts to the 2014 tax year.



2014 Payroll Tax Tables for Canada

September 4, 2014

CRA website (www.cra-arc.gc.ca/payroll) has the newest online version of the 2014 Payroll Deductions Online Calculator for Ontario. The rates are effective September 1, 2014 

The rates for the remaining provinces that went into effect January 1, 2014 are also available online.

The manual payroll deduction tables (T4032) used for common pay periods and the supplementary tables (T4008) used for unusual pay periods, effective September 1, 2014 ... and January 1, 2014 for all other provinces and territories are also available. Both sets of tables are available for downloading in pdf format.

There is also a payroll deduction table for "outside Canada".



December 13, 2012

Improvements have been made to the online calculator.

  • A new button that lets you display the employer remittance summary and the employee's deductions in one pdf file. It only works if no bonuses and retroactive pay are involved.
  • The calculation method for bonuses and retroactive pay increases has also been improved.

These tables are no longer available in paper format but you can download a pdf copy to your computer.



November 30, 2011

CRA was going to discontinue the paper version of the Payroll Deductions Tables in 2012. However, you can still obtain a paper copy by calling 1-800-959-2221 at the end of December. Call this number if you would prefer a CD version as well.

Downloading a pdf copy of the tables to your computer makes for easy use and access ... and is waaay more convenient in my opinion.





CRA NEWS ITEM

T1013 and Electronic Signatures

November 25, 2014

CRA announced this week that they will not be accepting digital and/or electronic signatures on Form 1013 Authorizing or Cancelling a Representative. They are still in the preliminary stages of research to determine if they will approve them in the future.





CRA NEWS ITEM

Payroll Deductions Formulas for Computer Programs
100th Edition Changes

November 10, 2014

CRA News announced the T4127-JAN payroll deduction formulas for computer programs effective January 1, 2015 have been released. The publication includes 2015 indexed personal amounts and income thresholds, federal tax rates, in addition to 2015 EI and CPP amounts.

2015 indexing factor is 1.7% compared to 0.9% in 2014 and 2.0% in 2013.

The summary sheet for 2015 has the federal and provincial figures. It can be found in chapter 9.

The payroll tables and indexing amounts are expected to be released towards the end of November / early December.


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May 15, 2013

CRA News announced the T4127-JUL Payroll Deductions Formulas for Computer Programs changes effective July 1, 2013 are available on the their website. CRA will NOT be issuing a mid-year version of the T4127 as they have in past years. The changes apply to New Brunswick.






CRA NEWS ITEM

CRA Announces 2014 CPP Maximum Pensionable Earnings

November 3, 2014

CRA released the 2015 CPP maximum pensionable earnings. See the 2015 CPP rates here.



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2012 CPP Rule Changes Webinar

November 25, 2011

CRA is hosting a free webinar on the changes to the rules for deducting CPP (Canada Pension Plan) contributions effective January 2012.

When: December 7, 2011

Where to Register: www.cra-arc.gc.ca> Information About> Events and Seminars >Free Webinar> Canada Pension Plan changes: January 2012

What You'll Learn: How the changes affect 60 to 70 years olds that are working AND receiving a CPP retirement pension affect you as an employer or an employee ... and how to stop and start paying CPP contributions.

You can find the CPP rule changes at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/pyrll/clcltng/cpp-rpc/cppchng-eng.html?=eml20111129 .

You can watch a recording of this webinar in CRA's Video Gallery. A downloadable transcript is also available.



Changes Announced For CPP
It May Affect Your Plans For Early Retirement

July 16 2011

CRA has started reminding bookkeepers and small business owners with employees that "starting January 1, 2012, employers may have to deduct CPP contributions from the pensionable earnings they pay an employee who is at least 60 years of age but under 70, even if the employee is receiving a CPP or QPP retirement pension."

You can find CRA's page at Businesses> Payroll> Calculating deductions> CPP>Changes to the rules for deducting Canada Pension (CPP) contributions.

Service Canada also has information on their site at www.servicecanada.gc.ca>request a Service Canada Publication> Changes to the Canada Pension Plan.

Employees between 65-70 of age who are already receiving CPP benefits must file an election (Form CPT30 Election to Stop Contributing to the Canada Pension Plan, or Revocation of a Prior Election) with CRA if they do NOT want to continue making contributions.

Employees between 65-70 years old who have filed elections can revoke them ... but the revocation doesn't come into effect until the following calendar year.


November 2010

HRSDC has updated their information at www.hrsdc.gc.ca> Topics> Canada Pension Plan> Changes to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) ... it's a link under Our Programs.


October 2010

On December 15, 2009 proposed changes to the CPP plan became law through Bill C-51. Changes will be phased in over a five year period with some of the changes taking effect beginning in 2011.

If you have been thinking about applying to start your CPP pension early, you may want to bring yourself up-to-date on the changes to help you determine if you should be doing applying before December 21, 2010. Here is a useful reference to help you understand the changes:

The Advisor published by RBC Wealth Management Services wrote an article on March 25, 2010 that can be found by googling " RBC Wealth Management Services" + "March 25, 2010" + New Changes for CPP Pensioners Coming. It downloads as a pdf documents.

Another interesting article is interviews with actuarials by Jonathon Chevreau at the National Post. You can find it at Financial Post> Jonathan Chevreau Wealthy Boomer> May 28, 2009> Hello Freedom 70.

Of interest to bookkeepers is to note that in this article, Tom Walker, CFP and semi-retired actuary says,

"The current pension benefits of those who have already started to collect an early CPP pension will not be affected. However if a person who retired early prior to the proposed changes is working after the changes are implemented, he or she will be required to contribute prior to age 65 and will have the option to contribute after age 65. The additional contributions will result in additional benefits which are not currently available."


October 1, 2009

Taxtips.ca October newsletter made a good point I missed. The proposed changes will NOT affect people already receiving CPP or if they start to collect it before 2012.


May 26, 2009

Proposed Changes To CPP

Bookkeepers and small business owners may be interested to know that changes announced earlier this week will likely push out any plans you had for early retirement ... but will give more flexibility to baby boomers whose retirement savings took a dive over the past months.

The proposed changes that will start as of 2012 have been summarized very nicely by the Canadian Capitalist. Here they are in less elegant prose:

  • Beginning in 2012, you will no longer be required to stop working or reduce earnings to begin receiving CPP benefits. This is to assist us to "phase into retirement."
  • If you opt for early retirement at age 60, expect a 36% (0.6% per month) reduction rather than the current 30% (0.5% per month). The early retirement reductions will be phased in over five years beginning in 2012.You will be rewarded if you delay taking benefits until age 70 - 42% (0.7% per month) increase rather than the current 30% (0.5% per month). The delaying retirement increases will be phased in over a three year period beginning in 2011.It is thought this will encourage us to use CPP as a savings vehicle.
  • If you opt for early retirement and are still working, it will now be mandatory to continue contributing to CPP even while taking CPP benefits ... if you are between 60 and 65 years of age.Additional contributions are optional for those between 65 and 70.All additional contributions will result in increased retirement benefits.
  • Eight years will be dropped instead of the current 7 years when determining the low or nil earning years that can be excluded ... which should benefit early retirees and those who have encountered erratic work opportunities.


You can find the Department of Finance Canada Information Paper Proposed Changes to the Canada Pension Plan on their website fin.gc.ca under Publications and reports.





CRA NEWS ITEM

Fourth Quarter 2014 Prescribed Interest Rates

September 12, 2014

CRA released the fourth quarter 2014 prescribed interest rates today. They remain unchanged from the previous period except for a slight change to corporate indebtedness.






CRA NEWS ITEM

CRA proposes to register tax preparers

January 22, 2014

Almost 70% of small businesses use a tax preparer to prepare their annual income tax returns.

As a result, CRA is proposing to register tax preparers who are paid a fee for their services. The Registered Tax Preparers Program (RTPP) would help the CRA can identify preparers who making errors in their tax preparation.  They want to work with them to correct problems and avoid errors BEFORE a tax return is filed.

CRA will consulting with the public about this proposal until May 2014.





CRA NEWS ITEM

GOOD TO KNOW

Looking for 2013 and 2014 Canadian Mileage Rates from CRA? You'll find all your options here.

2014 Automobile Deduction Limits and Taxable Benefit Rates

December 30, 2013

The Finance Minister released the automobile deduction limits and taxable benefit rates for 2014. I have updated my tables accordingly.

See company vehicle rates and employee auto allowance rates.

2013 simplified meal and travel rates will be released the first week of January 2014. You can find them here once they are available.





CRA NEWS ITEM

CRA's 2014 Letter Campaign

December 17, 2013

Last year, "Someone" at CRA had a sense of humor. On Christmas Eve, "Someone" sent out CRA's annual email reminding us about the annual letter campaign that began in January 2013. This year the email was sent out in early December.

This the fifth year in a row CRA will be sending out 33,000 informational letters to help taxpayers understand their obligations.

CRA says there are two types of letters that will be going out. "Some taxpayers will receive a letter explaining the eligibility criteria for certain deductions they have claimed on their recent income tax returns. Others will receive a letter with the same information, but it will also inform them that their income tax returns may be selected for audit."

CRA wants "to allow taxpayers to amend their income tax returns by completing an adjustment request in cases where they may have claimed deductions in error or provided inaccurate information".

You can find more informatin on this campaign on CRA's website under Businesses> Other Topics> Audit> The CRA letters about your rental, business, professional or employment activities.





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Current CRA Audit Priorities and Policies

November 23, 2012

The CRA Toronto Centre Tax Professionals Group had a breakfast seminar on November 14, 2012 where CRA's current audit priorities and policies were discussed.

You can find the GST/HST and Income Tax priority lists at lexology.com. Using their search box, set:

  • Jurisdiction = Canada
  • Workarea = Corporate Tax
  • Firm name = Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP

Scroll through the articles until you come to the November 14, 2012 article.

The article also includes CRA's comments on third party penalties and revocation of e-file privileges. The Guidon court case found that penalties imposed under the section 163.2 of the ITA is a criminal penalty not a civil one. CRA is now reassessing their options pertaining to third party penalties.

CRA is working on gaining access to accountants' working papers.

I found it interesting that the "CRA measures the performance of auditors based on six major elements:

  1. planning the audit;
  2. conducting the audit;
  3. applying the appropriate legislation/policy;
  4. the end product of the audit;
  5. professionalism in the audit; and
  6. timeliness of completion of the audit."

Another comment that caught my eye was:

"The CRA reiterated that issues that arise during the audit process should be raised with the auditor, after which it may be appropriate to involve the auditor’s team leader. If the issue cannot be resolved at that level, it would be appropriate to raise the issue with the auditor’s manager or the assistant director of audit at the particular TSO."



GST/HST Memoranda Series - 14.5 Election for Nil Consideration

October 19, 2012

In the December 15, 2011 issue of The Bookkeeper's Notes, I reviewed the most common sales tax issues found during a CRA audit. One item was the required elections which must be filed BEFORE an intercompany charge could be treated as an exempt supply ... or in other words ... as a nil consideration.

Nil consideration means the parties do not have to account for the sales tax that would be required if the election has not been made.

Yesterday, CRA issued GST/HST Memoranda Series - 14.5 Election for Nil Consideration.

This memorandum looks at the requirements for the election as well as the terms set out in section 156 of the Excise Tax Act (ETA). It includes the rules for closely related parties.





CRA NEWS ITEM

Hiring Credit for Small Business

October, 2013

As mentioned under "What's New in Payroll", proposed legislation extends the temporary hiring credit for small businesses for 2013. Last year, they also extended it for 2012.

I chat about how to record your hiring credit in QuickBooks here ...




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August 22, 2011

Back in June, I briefly mentioned the hiring credit for small business.

CRA has an information page on the subject. It can be found at About CRA> Federal Government Budgets> 2011.

Basically, "the HCSB is a one-time credit of up to $1,000 based on the increase in an employer's employment insurance (EI) premiums paid for 2011 over those paid for 2010."

You qualify if your 2010 EI premiums were $10,000 or less and you experienced an increase in premiums in 2011.





CRA NEWS ITEM

New Website is Live

June 3, 2013

CRA's new website is live. If you look at the top navigation bar, you should still be able to find you way around the site fairly easily.

So far, the only I don't like is the presentation of "News". I now need an RSS feed reader to read it instead of viewing it in my web browser.

In April, CRA's new "Manage mail online" service went into effect. Finally you can stop receiving all that paper if you choose ... and look it up online.





CRA NEWS ITEM

CRA Webinar on Non-residents Working in Canada and Canadians Working Abroad

February 5, 2013

CRA will be hold a free webinar aimed at Canadian withholding, remitting and reporting requirements for non-residents working in Canada and Canadians working abroad, on Thursday, February 14, 2013, presented at 11:00 a.m. EDT. You can register by accessing the following link:

http://www1.webcastcanada.ca/cra-arc/index-eng.php

After the webinar, a recording can be found in the video gallery:

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/vdgllry/bsnss/#wbnrs



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CRA Webinar On The Taxability of Automobile Benefits Provided To Employees

October 16, 2012

CRA will be hold a free webinar the taxability of automobile benefits provided to employees, on October 25, 2012, presented at 9:00 a.m. EDT, and at 1:30 p.m. EDT. You can register by accessing the following link:

http://www1.webcastcanada.ca/autobenefits-avantagesautomobiles/index-eng.php


After the webinar, you will find the recorded webcast in CRA's Video Gallery:

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/vdgllry/bsnss/menu-eng.html?clp=bsnss/mtrvhcl-eng&fmt=mp4





CRA NEWS ITEM

Red Tape Reduction Action Plan - Corporate Reporting Thresholds Updated

January 22, 2013

Government is raising the reporting thresholds in the Corporations Returns Act. The CRA news / press release stated:

"The thresholds were last amended in 1981, when they were set at $15 million in operating revenues, $10 million in assets and $200,000 of foreign debt or equity. Under the old thresholds, many smaller corporations are required to file ownership returns while not having any foreign ownership or control.

With these changes, only corporations with revenues of more than $200 million, assets over $600 million, or foreign debt and equity over $1 million will have to report financial and ownership information under the Act. At the same time, 99 percent of total foreign-controlled assets and 98 percent of total foreign-controlled revenues will still be covered. The reform will come into force in the spring of this year."



Red Tape Reduction Action Plan - Business Enquiries: Agent Greeting Policy

January 22, 2013

The Minister of National Revenue announced the Agent ID requirement for business enquiries phone service at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is now permanent. It had been a test pilot program since 2011.

When greeting clients, call agents must provide their first name, a number, and a regional suffix at the beginning of each call.

The regional suffixes are:

  • A-T-L for Atlantic Region
  • O-N-T for Ontario Region
  • P-R-A for Prairie Region

The Agent ID number is meant to establish a friendly relationship as well as a sense of accountability; allow business owners and representatives to provide feedback; and foster a user-friendly experience.

Business callers and bookkeepers should be aware of the Agent ID and make it a practice to take note of it for future reference whenever you make an enquiry with CRA.

You can also expect highly specialized or complex technical enquiries to be referred to an audit specialist on that topic or to the CRA rulings programs for income tax or GST/HST. This "centre of expertise" approach results in higher accuracy and better service to taxpayers.

Don't forget that since April 2012, you can also ask your tax-related questions online through My Business Account. You will receive a written answer to your enquiry.





CRA NEWS ITEM

2013 TD1 Forms Available

January 7, 2013

CRA updated their website on December 3, 2012 for 2013 TD1 forms. They are now available at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/formspubs/frms/td1-eng.html . The form must be completed by employees and returned to you. You should retain the completed forms on file. You do not send a copy to CRA.

A new form is NOT required every year ... only if there is a change to the employee's personal tax credit amounts, although it is a good idea to update the TD1 each January for existing employees.

The latest TD1 form should be used by bookkeepers for all new employees or revisions to existing employees.

You can find the forms for all provinces and territories on the CRA website at Businesses>Payroll>Calculating deductions>Form TD1, Personal Tax Credits Return .




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CRA NEWS ITEM

Processing Review Program Goes Online

January 4, 2013

Beginning in May 2013, representatives registered with "Represent a Client" will be able to submit T1 Processing Review requests for documents electronically. Currently documentation requested must be faxed or sent by mail.

The new system will only accept documents with a valid PR letter reference number.

And by the by, Payroll e-Services resume Monday, January 7, 2013.


The Bookkeeper News source: CRA release


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November 30, 2012

Returns / Slips That Can Now Be Electronically Filed With CRA

Just a reminder that the deadline to internet file 2011 T1s is midnight Pacific Time today. You have until 8 pm Eastern Time on December 4 to retrieve your acknowledgement files.

You can still efile T2s and T1013s.

11.75 T1s were electronically processed in 2012.

2012 information return efiling is available until December 3, 2102. Information returns are T3, T4, T4A, T4A-NR, T4E, T4RIF, T4RSP, T5, T5007, T5008, T5018, and NR4 returns.



Mandatory eFile Registration for Tax Preparers Preparing More Than 10 Returns

October 22, 2012

ATTENTION BOOKKEEPERS AND TAX PREPARERS

A CRA news release reminds tax preparers that effective January 2013, tax preparers preparing more than 10 returns ... and who charge a fee ... must register with CRA's eFile. Volunteer tax preparers who do not charge a fee are not required to register.

Registration requires a tax preparer to sign up for an eFile number in addition to using certified eFile software. The cost to register is free. Registration for the 2012 tax season begins today.

Non compliance may result in penalties being charged.

Registration can be done online on the CRA website ... cra-arc.gc.ca> Information for> Tax professionals> E-services for tax preparers> EFILE for electronic filers.

A note to small business owners who have a tax preparer prepare your taxes ... ask what tax program they use. If they tell you they are using QuickTax or TurboTax (a tax program you can buy to prepare your own taxes) ... I'd find someone else. They are not using CRA certified software. They are relying the on the programmed tax interview meant for your personal use. Knowledgeable tax preparers do not use these types of tax software!



October 22, 2011

Yesterday, CRA announced all the new tax slips that can be electronically filed using CRA's Web Forms starting in January 2012. Each submission can include up to 50 slips.

They are T3, T4, T4A, T4A-NR, T4E, T4RIF, T4RSP, T5, T5007, T5008, T5018, and NR4.

CRA points out the benefits of filing electronically using Web Forms in their new release dated October 21. 2011. They are:

  1. file original, additional, amended, and cancelled slips directly from the CRA Web site;
  2. create an electronic information return;
  3. validate data in real time, with prompts to correct errors before filing your slips;
  4. calculate the totals for the summary;
  5. print slips for recipients; and6. securely submit encrypted returns over the Internet.



July 23, 2009

Mandatory E-filing Starts in 2010

CRA announced today, that beginning in January 2010, mandatory e-filing is required for anyone who submits more than 50 information returns.

An information return are returns like T3 slips, T4 slips and T5 slips. You can find more information on the CRA website Mandatory Electronic Filing of Information Returns.

If you have less than 50 information returns, you can still file electronically. It is quick and easy to do ... and you get instant confirmation for your records that the returns have been received. I found it a lot more convenient and efficient than paper filing the returns.





CRA NEWS ITEM

Bookkeeping for Elimination of Penny

December 14, 2012

CRA released GST/HST Info Sheet GI-131 - Phasing Out of the Penny today.

As discussed in The Bookkeeper's News on July 30, 2012, pennies will no longer be circulated as of February 4, 2013.

This info sheet gives 22 examples of how to account properly for GST/HST once price rounding comes into effect.

Click here for the general guidelines on how to record bookkeeping entries pertaining to the phasing out of the penny.





CRA NEWS ITEM

TFSA Contribution Limit To Increase In 2013

November 26, 2012

The Harper Government will increase the $5,000 annual contribution limit to $5,500 effective in 2013.

The TFSA is indexed to inflation in $500 increments. This is the first increment since TFSAs were introduced in 2009.

While this is not CRA News yet ... it will be in the near future.



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TFSA Contribution Room
TFSA Non-Arm's Length Loans
TFSA Returns

July 21, 2010

The Knowledge Bureau free weekly newsletter reminds us that a non-arm's length loan made to allow another person to make TFSA contribution is not allowed. The rules deem it to NOT be a TFSA.

The newsletter also pointed out that any interest paid on borrowed money for a TFSA contribution (or RRSP contribution), is NOT deductible.

The newsletter also listed the forms and return that needs to be filed if you owe tax on a TFSA.

  • RC243 Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) Return 2009
  • RC243-SCH-A Schedule A - Excess TFSA Amounts
  • RC243-SCH-B Schedule B - Non-Resident Contributions to a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA)

CRA has extended the deadline date from June 30, 2010 to August 3, 2010.



July 15, 2010


If you have a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA), be sure you understand your contribution room.

TFSAs allow Canadian residents to contribute $5,000 annually (plus indexation) where the investment income or capital gains earned are not subject to income tax ... if you stay away from prohibited investments or excess contributions.

Investment income or capital gains earned in the TFSA do not affect your contribution room.

2009 was the first year for this type of tax savings vehicle ... and there was some misunderstanding by some taxpayers of the rules pertaining to unused contribution room.

The general rule for TFSA withdrawals is you can withdraw any amount at any time with no tax consequences ... which then creates contribution room. However ...

withdrawals made during the year may NOT be added back (deposited to the account) until the following year.

The annual contribution room of $5,000 is created by filing a tax return, for those age 18 or older. There is no maximum age limit for TFSAs.

Read more about TFSA proposed revisions and excess contributions here.





December 2, 2009

The Canadian Bookkeeper's CRA News
Proposed Revisions to TFSAs

On October 16, 2009 the Minister of Finance proposed technical changes to TFSAs due to recent tax planning schemes involving TFSAs.

It is proposed that these changes be effective October 17, 2009.

  • Deliberate over contributions and prohibited investments will be subject to anti-avoidance rules.
  • Non-qualified investments' income will be taxed at normal tax rates.
  • Withdrawals of deliberate over contributions and other non-qualifying investments will not make additional TFSA contribution room.
  • Income attributed to deliberate over contribution or prohibitive investments will be charged at 100% as per existing advantage rules.
  • Asset transfer transactions (swaps) between TFSAs and other accounts will be prohibited.

You can find the announcement and more in depth information on the Department of Finance Canada website - www.fin.gc.ca. Look under news dated 2009-10-16.

Read more about TFSA contribution room and non-arm's length loans here.






CRA NEWS ITEM

Remittance Voucher for Current Source Deductions

October 17, 2012

The CRA stop sending the paper remittance of form PD7A-RB remitance Voucher for Current Source Deductions this December if you have been making your remittances electronically.



PREVIOUS CRA NEWS RELATED TO THIS TOPIC


Income Tax Folios To Be Launched Soon

October 5, 2012

CRA will be launching a new Income Tax Technical Publication called Income Tax Folio.

As a result, archived outdated and redundant content were cancelled and removed from their website on September 30. The entire archived Income Tax Interpretation Bulletins section was removed. Current Income Tax Interpreation Bulletins are still available.

The intention to is to slowly replace Income Tax Interpreation Bulletins with the Income Tax Folios. This new section will be broken into 7 series:

  1. Individuals
  2. Employers and Employees
  3. Property, Investments and Savings Plans
  4. Businesses
  5. International and Residency
  6. Trusts
  7. Charities and Non-profit Organizations.

The new section can be found on the CRA website under Forms and Publications> Document type> Income tax folios> Income tax folios index.




TELEFILE To Be Discontinued

June 27, 2012

CRA announced today that it is discontinuing their TELEFILE services due to declining use. They recommend filing electronically using NETFILE.






Combined CRA Audits Discontinued

March 11, 2011

In the Winter 2011 edition of the Excise and GST/HST News publication, CRA has announced it will be discontinuing combined audits.

They will also be changing their approach to GST/HST pre-assessments.

The changes are being made to enhance its focus on GST/HST compliance and will take place over a number of years. The first changes have already been implemented by through a restructuring of the organization ... which has lead to the discontinuing combined audits as mentioned.

The initial focus will be on:

Deloitte's Weekly Tax Highlights newsletter points out that this will lead to additional compliance costs to businesses.

I would like it if the CRA GST/HST return split the sales amount reporting into three (or four) categories ... GST, HST, and zero rated ... instead of one lump sum number.






CRA NEWS ITEM

What's New For Payroll in 2013
Direct Deposit for Payroll Accounts

October 10, 2012

In the 2012 edition of RC 4120 - Filling out the T4 Summary - Employers' Guide, it announces that "direct deposit will be available for your payroll account as of October 2012. If you request it, the CRA will deposit your refund directly into your account at most financial institutions."

When I followed the link they provided for information on how to request this diect deposit, the page did not have payroll information link added under the Business section yet ... but soon hopefully. You can request direct deposit of payroll by completing Form RC366.

Other information listed under "What's New" is:

  • Small business payroll videos can be found in the CRA video gallery located under Payroll> Multimedia> Video series
  • Proposed legislation extends the one-time temporary hiring credit for small businesses for 2012.
  • "Under proposed legislation, employer contributions to a group sickness or accident insurance plan will be considered a taxable benefit to the extent that the contributions are not in respect of a wage loss replacement benefit payable on a periodic basis and must be reported as income on the employee’s T4 slip for the year the contributions are made."
  • Again under proposed legislation, the OETC will be phased out over three years and eliminated by 2016.



PREVIOUS CRA NEWS RELATED TO THIS TOPIC


October 22, 2011

On October 7, CRA updated publication RC4120 - Employer's Guide - Filing the T4 Slip and Summary for 2012 tax year. Under the what's new section you'll find information about:

  • CCP reform for working beneficiaries come into effect on January 1, 2012.
  • Pensionable earnings in box 26 must now be completed on all T4 slips.
  • EI insurable earnings in box 24 must now be completed on all T4 slips.
  • Report exempt payments to volunteer firefighters using code 87 in the "Other Information" of the T4 slip.
  • You can begin to electronically file original and amended information returns using Web Forms.





CRA NEWS ITEM

National Inventory For The Processing Review Program

September 28, 2012

CRA is reminding eFilers that their new national inventory for the processing review program went into effect on July 23.

Under the new system, it is really important that you forward requested documentation to the Tax Centre that made the request.

Under the old system, only the tax centre that assessed the initial return would contact the taxpayer or their authorized representative. This is no longer the case.





CRA NEWS ITEM

2013 EI Premium Rate Announced

September 20, 2012

CEIFB announced the 2013 EI rates.

CPP rates are normally announced in November.



PREVIOUS CRA NEWS RELATED TO THIS TOPIC


November 12, 2011

On November 7, 2011, the Finance Minister announced 2012 EI premiums will only rise by 5 cents to 1.83% due to the global economic slowdown. They had been expected to rise by 10 cents as announced on September 30, 2010.

An 16 week extension to the Work-Sharing Program was also announced.

2012 EI maximum insurable earnings have NOT been released yet ... but I am expecting they will be released by the third week in November as they were last year.

2012 CPP Rates were released on November 1.

BACKGROUND

In 2009, EI premiums were frozen as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan. The plan called for the premiums for 2011 and beyond to be set on a break-even basis.

The Finance Minister announced on September 30, 2010 that it still supported the principle that the EI system should break even over time ... but at a slower rate. This means there will need to be modest increases over a number of years to repay the deficit built up in 2009 and 2010.

To continue to support the current economic recovery, 2011 EI premiums only rose by 5 cents (.05%) instead of 15 cents (.15%) ... to 1.78% from the current 1.73%.

Subsequent years were expected to increase by 10 cents (.10%) per year.

For more information, go to Department of Finance>Publications and reports> Backgrounder on EI Rate Increase Limit and Department of Finance>News> Harper Government Takes Action to Support Jobs and Growth.





CRA NEWS ITEM

Do You Sell On eBay?
Income Earned Online is Taxable

September 17, 2012

JonHall Tax Solutions has an excellent article titled Income Reporting Requirements for eBay Sellers. Two court challenges are reviewed - Brian J. Stewart and Jack Walls, reasonable expectation of profit and willful blindness in the context of source of income are discussed with references to ITNEWS-25 Income Tax - Technical News No. 25.

You can find the article at jonhalltax.com> ebay. It is an oddly designed website as there is no menu bar or link that I see to read their articles so you will probably have to Bing/Google the title to locate the article.


PREVIOUS CRA NEWS RELATED TO THIS TOPIC


July 23, 2011

The Tax Guy wrote a blog on March 30, 2011 ... sorry I'm a bit behind on my reading ... about Selling on eBay Can Be Taxing.

He discusses what personal use property is and why eBay Power Sellers and Frequent Sellers are considered a business.

You can find his entire blog at blog.resources.ca> archive> By month> March 2011.


August 1, 2009

CRA sent a reminder out on July 30, 2009 that Canadian electronic income is treated the same way as traditional commerce income. Both are taxable.

You still have time to amend 2008 personal tax returns, if this income was omitted. If a CRA audit uncovers the unreported income, penalties will occur along with the possibility of prosecution.

eBay sellers were used as an example. CRA has a list of all eBay sellers due to a recent Federal Court of Canada decision. Beginning late this summer, this information will be used to determine if they properly reported their income on their personal tax returns.

Under the Voluntary Disclosures Program, penalties and prosecution will not be applied it the taxpayer takes the initiative to correct returns already filed.

eBay sellers can learn about what business deductions they are eligible for in "The Tax" section.

Read more here on unreported income and which tax form to use to file your amendment with CRA.

You may also be interested in reading information about GST/HST and Electronic Commerce.




CRA NEWS ITEM

Computation and Reporting of Interest Income

September 16, 2012

I was reading E&Y's latest Tax Matters newsletter. One article reviewed CRA's comments on the reporting requirements for interest income.

IT-396R Interest Income reviews how to compute and report investment income when no principal or interest payments are made on a loan.

For investments made before 1990, you may report accrued interest may be reported annually or triannually. If the money is invested in a long-term contract but does not make annual payments, you should be reporting your accrued interest based on the anniversary date of the contract, not the calendar year.

Interest earned on investments made after 1989 must be reported annually. How or when the interest is paid is not a factor.

If you do not report accrued interest, CRA will assess a late payment fee as well as assessing the accrued interest for the period. A groos negligence penalty may also be applied.






CRA NEWS ITEM

Documentary Requirements for Tax-Relieved Sales to Indians

August 23, 2012

CRA released GST/HST Info Sheet GI-127 Documentary Evidence when Making Tax-Relieved Sales to Indians and Indian Bands over the Telephone, Internet and Other Electronic Means . It compliments GST/HST Technical Information Bulletin B-039,GST/HST Administration Policy - Application of the GST/HST to Indians.






CRA NEWS ITEM

Documentary Requirements for Claiming Input Tax Credits

August 15, 2012

CRA released GST/HST Memoranda Series 8.4 Documentary Requirements for Claiming Input Tax Credit. It replaces GST Memorandum 400-1-2, Documentary Requirements.

A breakdown of what the supporting documentation should contain is included. My chat on what constitutes a legitimate receipt covers this requirement.





PREVIOUS CRA NEWS RELATED TO THIS TOPIC


March 2, 2012

Calculating Input Tax Credits


CRA released GST/HST Memorandum 8-3, Calculating Input Tax Credits. This memo cancels GST/HST Policy Statement P‑63, Output‑Based Method for Input Tax Credit Allocation.

"This memorandum explains the general method for calculating input tax credits (ITCs) as provided for under the Excise Tax Act (Act). It sets out the requirement to apportion goods and services between commercial and non‑commercial activities, and outlines methods for doing so. It also explains the rules affecting ITCs in respect of improvements to capital property as well as those for leases and ongoing services."






CRA NEWS ITEM

Canada’s International Social Security Agreements Explained

July 26, 2012

CRA released a new article explaining Canada's international social security agreements. You can find the article under *CPP/EIrulings> CPP/EI explained> Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance Explained: Canada’s international social securityagreements.







CRA NEWS ITEM

Processing Review Program - New Process

July 23, 2012

Effective today, the Processing Review Program will begin using a "national inventory" rather than a "tax centre inventory". Prior to this, only the tax centre that initially assessed your return could undertake a review.

This means your return can now be reviewed by any tax office in Canada. When forwarding requested documentation, you will now have to note which tax center made the request.







CRA NEWS ITEM

GST/HST - Allowances and Reimbursements

June 28, 2012

CRA replaced GST Memorandum 400-3-11 Allowances and Reimbursements with two new documents:

GST/HST Memorandum 9-3, Allowances
GST/HST Memorandum 9-4, Reimbursements

You can find the new releases on the CRA website under Forms and Publications.







CRA NEWS ITEM

CRA Webinar on Gifts and Awards

May 3, 2012

You can find the archived version of this webinar in the CRA Video Gallery along with a downloadable transcript.


PREVIOUS CRA NEWS RELATED TO THIS TOPIC


March 22, 2012

The webinar will be held on March 28, 2012. This webinar was open for registration. However, since there was a limit of 750 connections, the registration has been closed.

Hopefully they will hold another session or get the webcast up on their site shortly after the webinar has been completed.





CRA NEWS ITEM

2012 Federal Budget

April 2012

CRA has an excellent web page with links to not only the highlights of the 2012 Federal Budget, but links to the years 2005-2011 as well. You can locate the under Information About The CRA> Other Topics> Federal government budgets and other federal legislative announcements.

The 2012 Federal Budget extends the hiring credit for small business, eliminates the penny and phases out the OTEC.

Employer contributions to group sickness or accident insurance plans proposes the employer contributions become a taxable benefit to employees in 2013. Under current rules, employer contributions are not taxable.



PREVIOUS CRA NEWS RELATED TO THIS TOPIC


2011 Federal Budget

June 25, 2011


I reported in the June 15, 2011 isssue of The Bookkeeper's Notes ... with the Conservatives elected with a majority, their budget was reintroduced and the next phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan was announced.

It includes a temporary hiring credit for small businesses (See ... About CRA> Federal Government Budgets> 2011> Hiring Credit for Small Business) and extending the accelerated capital cost allowance rate for investment in manufacturing or processing machinery and equipment for two years. The accelerated CCA was first introduced in the 2008 budget.

I didn't mention in the newsletter that CRA will be reviewing the graduated penalty structure for information returns. (See ... About CRA> Federal Government Budgets> 2011> Filing Penalty - Information Returns).







CRA NEWS ITEM

Transitional Rules To Eliminate BC HST Announced

March 20, 2012

This posting has been moved to Reimplementing PST in BC.







CRA NEWS ITEM

CRA Tips On Fraud Protection

March 12, 2011

The CRA has created a page on their website on tips to help protect yourself from anyone obtaining your tax information fraudulently. I think it can be applied to protecting all your financial information and identity documents.

Here are their suggestions with a few of my own embellishments:

  • Choose your bookkeeper, accountant or tax preparer carefully.
  • Keep your information up-to-date. Notify CRA when you change your address.
  • Don't put personal information in emails. Sending an email on the internet is like putting a postcard in a Canada Post mailbox. Anyone who knows how can read it. It's much better to send sensitive and confidential information ... including your personal information ... by encrypted email.
  • This one is pretty basic ... don't share your passwords or access codes or user IDs.
  • Secure your documents that have your name and SIN. Shred documents with your personal identification on them ... especially those unrequested pre-approved credit card applications. If you have your business information on a computer, password the information. If you have a home office, keep you financial documents like bank and credit card statements in a locked filing cabinet.
  • Don't let your bookkeeper open your bank and credit card statements ... or have blank cheques. You should be doing that.
  • Remove your SIN card from your purse or wallet. It will prevent its theft in the event you lose your wallet or purse ... and don't release your SIN on applications unless you are completing financial information for a bank, brokerage house or your employer. They need it to issue tax slips. I'd question why anyone requires this information nowadays. Same goes for your birth date. Before just handing it over, find out why they want it.
  • Don't let your mail pile up while you are away. It could be stolen, giving thieves access to your personal information. Have a family member or trusted neighbour pick it up ... or pay to have Canada Post hold it until you return.







CRA NEWS ITEM

Subcontractor Reporting Requirements

February, 2011


On CRA's website under What's new for payroll?, subcontractor reporting is being referred to as fees for services.

Box 048 was added to the newly designed T4A slip as the place to report subcontractor payments. It is interesting to note the following comment:

"Until such time as the CRA undertakes a review for the purposes of clarifying the types of fees for services that are to be reported on the T4A slip, taxpayers will not be penalized for failing to complete Box 048."

So stayed tuned on this one. You can find what information I've gathered so far on how CRA is auditing this area.







CRA NEWS ITEM

Computers CCA Class 52 - 100% Tax Deductible Computer

January 2011

This the last month you can purchase a business computer eligible for Class 52 CCA with a rate of 100%.


PREVIOUS CRA NEWS RELATED TO THIS TOPIC


July 2009


This is a reminder that any business computer purchased from January 28, 2009 to January 31, 2011, is eligible for a temporary 100% capital cost allowance (CCA) in Class 52.

This applies to computer hardware and system software but NOT operating software. The half year rule will not apply.

This tax relief was part of the 2009 Economic Action Plan to stimulate business investment.

If you are interested, there was an update on Canada's Economic Action Plan, released June 16, 2009.





CRA NEWS ITEM

Extended EI Benefits End

September 15, 2010


The Knowledge Bureau's weekly newsletter released today had a reminder.

Applications for the extended EI benefits for long service employees who had accessed EI on limited basis in the past ended officially on September 11, 2010.

The extended benefits began October 25, 2009. They offered an extra five weeks of regular employment insurance benefits and up to 20 weeks of additional benefits. The benefits don't end until August 2011 for those who applied before September 11 or are currently receiving them.

An additional reminder to bookkeepers and employers that the two year freeze on EI premiums comes to an on December 31, 2010 ... so adjust your budgets accordingly.






CRA NEWS ITEM

Electronic ROE Improvements

December 18, 2009


Two changes were made to the EI regulations back in March, 2009 that affect users who file ROEs (record of employment) electronically using ROE Web. The changes do NOT apply to employers still filing paper ROEs.

  1. If you submit an ROE electronically, you are no longer required to print paper copies for employees or Service Canada. Employees can go to My Account to view or print their ROE. You are asked however to supply a copy of the ROE as a courtesy if the employee asks for one.
  2. You now have up to 5 days after the end of the pay period to issue an electronic ROE. Previously, the ROE had to be issued within 5 days of the employee's earnings interruption. This should reduce the number of amendments required and make the processing of EI claims more efficient for Service Canada.

You can find the Service Canada announcement at www.servicecanada.gc.ca under publications and reports>records of employment>Changes to Regulations Concerning Electronic ROEs or Pamphlet - Changes to Regulation 19.






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