Abundance in Creativity

A tree doesn’t have to contemplate growing – it just grows…and produces tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of leaves. Trees are so abundant!

What if you were as abundant as a tree? Well, you are…and even more so.
Your body has 75 trillion cells (give or take), and produces 20 million new cells every few seconds!
You take over 20 thousand breaths each day.
Your mind produces 12-60 thousand thoughts each day (mostly negative and repetitive, but some of those are creative thoughts).
And creative thoughts come mostly during periods of rest, relaxation and distraction from left brain activities…this is why you’ll have more ideas come to you while in the shower or driving.
You produce and ABUNDANCE of creative thoughts and ideas every single day!

YOU ARE ABUNDANT!

And what if you took action on even one of those creative thoughts each day…

TRY THIS:

Keep a journal of creative ideas. Every time you have a creative idea, write it down (it doesn’t have to be much, just a few words about the idea). Then, each week, give yourself time and space (say 33 minutes to start with) to explore and expand at least one of those ideas.

I actually do this as part of my daily practice…at several points in the day – I dedicate time and space to let my mind flow with creative ideas and thoughts, and take at least 3 hours on the weekend to expand on those ideas…this is how I generate my content, programs and services (and any other project I work on).

Do this for at least a month and see what happens 🙂

What does this have to do with money and your relationship with Money?

    Allowing time for creative thoughts to be explored and expanded upon into tangible form is where everything that is created comes from – artistic work, graphic designs, books, stories, poems, gardens, games, courses, services and every product ever made.

    Financial wellness and abundance often comes with a shift in perspective – shifting from negative & limiting thoughts and behaviour patters into positive thoughts and creative ideas that can be turned into financial endeavors.

    So, every time you become aware of a negative thought (which comprises of about 80% of our daily thoughts), say thank you to that thought and ask “what is the gift in this?”. At the very least, you’ll become super aware of your negative thought patters, but more likely you will start to shift those negative thoughts into positive ones, and into creative ideas that, when acted upon, can attract greater health and wealth into your life.

Canada’s $82B economic response to Covid-19

The Government of Canada announced an additional $82B COVID19 Phase 1 response package (March 18, 2020)

Some of the economic measures including:

  • Extending the income tax filing deadline.

For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020.  However, the Agency encourages individuals who expect to receive benefits under the GSTC or the Canada Child Benefit not to delay the filing of their return to ensure their entitlements for the 2020-21 benefit year are properly determined.

This filing extension does not extend to Specified Income Trusts or Corporations.

 

  • Extending deferral of income taxes due for individual and corporate taxpayers. Interest and penalties will be waived during this period.

The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

NOTE:  This is a DEFERRAL of tax payments, not a forgiveness.  The intent is to allow these funds to continue to circulate in the economy during this Covid19 crisis situation, but you will have to eventually pay them (think of the deferral as a line of credit on your taxes due).

Also, this deferral does not apply to GST/HST remittances or Payroll tax remittances.  As these amounts are collected and withheld by businesses and employers IN TRUST for the government and still need to be remitted on time.

Income Tax and GST/HST audits and reviews for small and medium-sized businesses will be suspended at least for the next 4 weeks (i.e., until mid-April).  NOTE:  You are responsible for having complete and accurate records to support your tax filings and must keep these records for a period of 6 years after the taxation period.

 

  • Special EI benefits available to workers, self-employed individuals, contractors, temporary worker and others who would not normally qualify for EI benefits – available to those who are unable to work because of Covid19, up to 15 weeks of benefits equal to $900 paid bi-weekly. It will require that individuals applying make an attestation in their application (i.e., it’s on the honor system) – no medical documentation will be required.

The CRA is working on creating and implementing the system that will allow Individuals to apply for these special EI benefits online.  Finance Minister Morneau said to expect this to be available early April.

 

  • Emergency Support Benefits for workers who lost their job because of Covid19 – they can receive up to 14 weeks of support comparable to EI.

I expect that the application system will be similar to that of EI.  More details will be forthcoming from the Finance Minister and the CRA.

 

  • Enhanced GST benefits for low/modest income families between $400 and $600 (it was unclear whether this was a monthly amount or quarterly, and when these payments would be made).

 

  • Special Canada Child Benefit top up of $300/child for low/modest income families (it was unclear for how long, when and how these top up payments would be made).

 

  • Retirees and seniors are ensured that their CPP/OAS/GIS payments will continue as usual.

 

  • A 6-month interest-free period and moratorium on student loan payments.

 

  • A 10% wage subsidy available for small employers for the next 3 months, up to $25000 per employer, effective immediately. (it is unclear HOW this subsidy will be rolled out)

 

  • Additional lending and credit available to small businesses through BDC and EDC. See BDC and EDC websites for more details.

https://www.bdc.ca/en/pages/special-support.aspx?special-initiative=covid19

https://www.edc.ca/

 

  • All the major banks have announced that they we will work with individuals and businesses on a case by case basis for support, including
    • Up to 6-month deferral of mortgage payments
    • Other “skip-a-payment” options for loans and credit cards

You are encouraged to contact your bank directly to discuss your particular situation and the options available to you.

 

This is PHASE 1 of the response package designed to ensure that all Canadians can keep food in the fridge, a roof over their head and have access to required health care, without the added financial stress due to Covid19 protocols.  More specific details will be emerging over the next few days and weeks.  Stay tuned.

 

See the CRA’s official website for more information:

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html#Flexibility_for_Tax-filers

 

Disclaimer:  This article is meant to keep you up to date and give you general information about tax initiatives that may be of interest to you.  It is not meant as tax advice for your particular situation. Please discuss your situation with your tax and financial advisors to see how these announcements apply to you and your specific circumstances.

Conscious Holiday Deal Spending

This year’s online Black Friday spending broke records! (with $7.5 billion spent online according to Adobe Analytics) and Cyber Money spending is expected to increase by 14% over last year …yet we (Canadians) report that much of our spending is regretted after the purchase (according to Finder.com, Canadians wasted about $1.3 billion on regretful holiday shopping sales last year)!

Who doesn’t love a great deal, right?

As we are bombarded with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, pre-Boxing Day and other holiday sales and promotions, it can be very tempting to buy things just because they’re on sale.

This was me.  I would buy things that were on sale, even if I didn’t really need or want it, or thought it would be a great gift for someone, especially with those holiday deals!  The result – an accumulation of STUFF cluttering my closets, shelves and storage room, gifts that no one really wanted or would use, and a sinking feeling in my stomach that I spent too much.

A huge divorce payout followed by a job loss and business start-up with no savings (and living off debt in the process) led me on a journey with my money relationship, and of evaluating my spending habits and how I was making my purchasing decisions.

And while I became somewhat minimalist fairly quickly in my personal spending – enjoying the freedom of less clutter, a less crowded closet, and only buying gifts that people wanted, my business buying decisions took a lot longer to become more conscious.  I continued to invest in discounted programs and items without fully evaluating my buying decisions…without looking at the returns on investment and time to realize those returns, resulting in “wasted” money in my business too.  After years of working on my money stories and purchasing decisions, this has shifted too – which has certainly increased my profits and my money joy as a result!

Now, I’m not saying that you should completely ignore the holiday sales and promotions (hey, I run them too!)…in fact, I would suggest otherwise – DO look at them, but look at them with the mindset of “how can I get what I really need/want for less?”

To curb the temptation of unconscious or remorseful spending on these amazing holiday deals like I used and so many people do, here are some questions to ask yourself before making that purchase:

•                 Do I really need it, already have it, have something else that will work, will it light me up?

•                 Is this something I REALLY want and will use?

•                 (if it’s a gift) Is this something the person I’m buying for will really enjoy and use?

•                 What’s it’s longevity?  Will it last or will it end up in landfill in a relatively short period?

•                 What is the return on investment?  How long will it take to make my money back and more?

•                 Will buying this cause me to go into debt/carry a balance on my credit card?

•                 Is this really a good choice for me at this time?

You could add questions about carbon footprint impacts or other social, environmental, health or economic impacts that will help you make a more conscious choice with your buying decision.  It doesn’t have to be a lengthy process to evaluate your purchase decision…in fact, asking these questions just takes a minute or two before standing in the checkout line or hitting that BUY NOW button.  Another practice I find really helps is making shopping wish lists BEFORE your make your way to the stores or opening your online shopping browser.  I start making Christmas gift lists early in the fall, and keep an ongoing “wish” list of items for my house and business, so I’m ready when those deals do come up and I can get what I’m looking for at a lower price.

This new conscious spending mindset and behavior will result in less post-purchase remorse and stress and increased longer-term joy and satisfaction with your purchases…and hopefully, more money in your bank accounts to invest in your longer-term wealth goals 😊

 

If you'd like more tips on cash flow strategies and have a better relationship with Money, I invite you to join my community -  JOIN HERE

Linda Spencer is an independent CPA, CA, Business Profits Strategist and Money Mindfulness Coach, with no affiliation to any financial products. She has over 20 years experience of helping entrepreneurs with their cash flow and tax strategies.

6 Big Mistakes that Small Business Owners Make that Can Lead to Struggle and Failure

In business, ignorance is not bliss. In the last three years of running my own business consulting practice and 20 years of advising small business owners, I’ve seen a trend of “mistakes” or challenges that small business owners face that cause them to struggle, and can lead to financial failure…these are mistakes I’ve made in my business as well. Most business owners are really good at their passion (their reason for starting their business), but very few have business management and finance training – they’ve never learned to run a business…I know I didn’t have that knowledge at first when I started my business, even with my seven years of business finance and accounting education and professional designation. But you don’t have to struggle like I and so many other business owners have…here are some tips to overcome the biggest small business mistakes that contribute to those struggles.

Mistake #1 – Failing to Plan

We all know the saying, if you fail to plan, plan to fail. Yet, strategic planning continues to be one of the greatest struggles for business owners. It certainly was for me when I started out. I knew I had to have a plan (I had the offer, target client and financial forecasts, but had no sales and marketing plan), but trying to work with business plan templates used to make me nauseous…that is, until I found a more intuitive approach to business planning. It starts with having a very clear vision of you business, what you offer, to whom, and WHY (WHY you’re doing your business – your mission, and WHY customers would buy from you)…I use visualization and meditation techniques to get this clarity. This is an iterative process, and while your WHY may not change much, your offers and target clients could change dramatically over the years. My only caution here is to not get caught in the planning paralysis trap…make sure you are taking action while you’re creating and refining your plans (results come from taking action and going through iterations, failing fast and getting back in the game).

Mistake #2 – No Clear Value Proposition and Ideal Client Experience / Process

The more targeted and clear you can be with who you serve and the results you create for them, the easier it will be to communicate that value and attract new high-quality clients. It’s easy to want to serve everyone, and not leave anyone out. While this “jack-of-all-trades” mindset can work for a little while, and while you determine what you’d really like to be doing, it can lead to a huge dilution in energy, focus and profits. It’s difficult to communicate your message to the masses in a way that anyone will actually hear it. It’s better to have a focused approach, targeted to a specific group…try it for 90 days…if it doesn’t produce the results you’re looking for, target a different group with a message designed to reach them. Again, this is an iterative process.

Mistake #3 – Not Tracking and Reviewing Financials on a Regular Basis

Most business owners are not trained and educated on organizing, tracking and understanding their financial numbers. In fact, less than 30% of business owners have a good understanding of what their numbers are telling them (couple this with the fact that 85% of business failures are a result of poor financial organization and know-how, it’s no surprise that so many businesses fail). Yet, the numbers tell the story of how the business is doing and can highlight problem areas that need to be addressed. As a micro or small business owner, at a minimum you’ll want to review sales, gross margins, major expenses that you can control the most, and profit margins. You’ll also want to look at balance sheet items such as accounts receivable (how much, from who and how long have they been outstanding), accounts payable (how much, when are they due), and balances in your bank accounts. Review your numbers on a regular basis (monthly is best), and get help to truly understand what your numbers are telling you.

Mistake #4 – Not Paying Yourself Enough

This is one of my favorite things to work on with clients. The traditional business model has been to pay the owner last, with whatever is left in profits after operating expenses. When you follow this model, you’re likely to get paid a lot less than you’d like (or not at all). While working with one client, he figured he was only paying himself $2 an hour for his efforts…you wouldn’t work for anyone else for less than minimum wage, so why work for yourself for such low pay. I like to take a bottom-up approach to paying yourself first and determining what sales you need to support what you want that pay to be.  Here’s how: determine what you’d like to pay yourself (based on your personal needs and lifestyle), layer in taxes, desired business profits and estimated operating costs, to determine what your revenues and prices should be. This approach works really well for service-based entrepreneurs, and I’ve developed a whole empowered pricing course to teach this method [email me for more info].

Mistake #5 – Trying to do it ALL Yourself

Some business coaches may say that you should turn your greatest weaknesses into your greatest strengths. However, this is not what 7+ figure business owners do…they capitalize on their strengths, recognize their weaknesses, and build a ROCKSTAR team to get done what needs to be done in the most efficient way possible.  Often we feel as entrepreneurs, we need to do it all ourselves/be jack of all trades…this can work if your goal/intent is to be a practitioner for life (i.e., steady contract work), BUT, if you want to grow and scale your business successfully, you need a good team to support you.

Getting help and building a team doesn’t have to mean hiring full-time employees, but it does mean you have to think about all the different functions in your business, what is within your zone of genius, and what makes sense to outsource. Create hiring criteria (whether hiring consultants or employees) and make it a priority to outsource and delegate what is not your genius so you can focus more on what you do best, knowing that the rest will be properly taken care of.

Mistake #6 – Not having a Governance and Risk Management Plan

Most small businesses have no governance/risk management plan, yet it is one of the most important aspects of business success. Governance and risk management may not be sexy, but ignoring this aspect of business could lead to business failure. Just think about what would happen to your business if you had a significant negative tax audit, or legal action from a customer or employee, or experience a major illness or disability. It’s necessary to identify all your risk areas (legal, tax, employee, operations, economic, health, political, social, technology, business interruption, etc.) along with potential costs should the risk materialize, then implement protocols for managing and mitigating those risks within your risk appetite.

The bottom line is, when you have a clear vision for your business, supported with systems, structure, protocols and people to help you achieve your true potential, all the pieces start to fall into place…and you’ll have more ease, confidence, peace and harmony in your business and its possibilities.

These are all areas that I work with my clients to overcome and create a strategic business roadmap for success, while working on shifting their mindsets and relationship with money and the financial side of their business. I invite you to book a discovery call with me to discuss your challenges in business and what actions you could take right away to overcome them. I also welcome you to join the CFO Mentoring community on Facebook to support you in being the CFO of your business and your life!

Simple Steps to Start Organizing Your Business Finances

In Canada, the tax filing deadline for self-employed individuals and their spouse is June 15 (but taxes payable are due April 30th).   The biggest reason I get for clients deferring to the last minute to file (or filing late) is the lack of organization of their receipts.  Here are some tips to get you organized and tracking your finances regularly:
1 – Choose how you’re going to track your financial transactions (ledger book, spreadsheet, MINT, Money Tracker, WAVE accounting, Quickbooks, SAGE or other bookkeeping software) – I personally use a combination of WAVE (for personal), Quickbooks (for my business) and Excel (for cash flow planning)
2 – Depending on the method of tracking, download an app to your phone to scan receipts (I have WAVE Receipts for my personal expenses and HUBDOC for business receipts that links to QB)
3 – Make a date with yourself every single week, for an hour, to scan your receipts and update your finances, balance your checkbook if you will.

4 – Keep receipts and invoices organized either in electronic folders by transaction type, stapled/matched to your credit card/bank statement or in paper format in a tabbed binder.

If you follow these 4 steps alone, even if you don’t understand the numbers, at least everything will be complete an organized for your accountant come tax time, and you won’t have to wait for the last week of the filing deadline, nor incur costly late-filing penalties due to disorganization. Hey, you may even file early and knock one more thing off your list to stress about!

If you need help getting organized with your finances, I can help or connect you with someone else who can.  Send me an email Linda@visionspire.ca
________________________________
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://54.82.103.175/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/IMG_0012-resize-square.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Linda Spencer is a CPA, CA, Canadian Tax Specialist, Business Planning Consultant and Money Mindfulness Coach. Her mission is to eliminate the stress and anxiety you experience around money and taxes, by empowering you with the know-how and mindsets to improve your business success and financial wellness, so you can have more harmony, joy and abundance in your life. [/author_info] [/author]

So you missed the tax filing deadline, now what?

April 30 has come and gone, and we accountants have survived another personal tax season in Canada.  But we’re not done yet – the deadline for self-employed individuals is June 15, and some other taxpayers may not have been concerned about meeting the April 30th deadline.

Taxpayer:  I know I’m getting a refund (or don’t owe any tax), and I haven’t filed my return yet.  Do I still need to file my tax return?

YES! Here’s why:
1) Your refund is your money…as long as you don’t file your income tax return to claim that refund, and it’s sitting with the Receiver General, you’re giving them an interest-free loan with your money.  Also, note that CRA has limitations on how far back they can issue refunds.  The CRA will only issue a refund if you file your tax return within 3 years of when it is due (i.e., by April 30, 2018 for your 2014 income tax return).  For returns with refunds owing beyond that time (up to 10 years late), you may still get your refund (or at least have it applied to taxes owing in other years) under certain circumstances and only if you apply for relief (but this is not guaranteed and up to CRA’s discretion).

2) If it turns out that you OWE taxes (either you miscalculated or CRA finds adjustments), the penalty for late-filing is 5% of the balance due, plus 1% per month that is late, plus interest.  For repeat offenders (you filed late more than 2 years in a row), the penalty can be double.  That’s a huge risk to take for not filing your return on time.

3) You could be missing out on tax-free money that the government gives certain groups of taxpayers

A) GST credits for lower-income taxpayers
B) Ontario Tax benefits (or other similar provincial tax credits) relating to sales tax and rent/property tax for lower-income taxpayers
C) Canada Child Benefits for families with children under the age of 18 (all families get a minimum amount based on the number of children they have; lower-income families get more)
D) Old Age Security Guaranteed Income Supplement for low-income seniors

Most of these programs have a July to June payment period based on your prior year income tax return.  If you file late, payments will at the very least be delayed.  This can be a huge cash flow problem for lower-income families who depend on these tax benefits to supplement their basic needs.  So filing on time, or as soon as possible after the deadline, is important.  AND if you’re self-employed, these are reasons to file sooner than later, and not to wait until the June 15th filing deadline.

And if you’re not filing your tax return to claim your refunds and other tax benefits, where else are you refusing to receive money that belongs to you?  Perhaps it’s in your business, with your clients, or in your job, or from friends and family members.

If you would like assistance in claiming your refunds and tax benefits, or don’t know where to start, feel free to contact me (Linda@visionspire.ca) for a complimentary consultation.  And if I can’t help you, chances are I’ll know someone who can.

______

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://54.82.103.175/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/IMG_0012-resize-square.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Linda Spencer is a CPA, CA, Canadian Tax Specialist and Money Mindfulness Coach. With over 20years of assisting business owners with the business and tax strategies, her mission is to eliminate stress and anxiety people experience around money and taxes, by empowering them with the tools, knowledge, strategies and mindsets that will put them in the driver’s seat of their business success and financial wellness, so they can have more harmony, joy and abundance in their life. [/author_info] [/author]

Get Unstressed – Organization tips to get you ready to file your taxes

I hear it all the time – people STRESS about their taxes and getting their taxes done.  Here are some tips to get you ready for your 2017 tax returns and reduce your tax preparer fees, as well as reduce your stress levels, knowing you’re prepared:

1 – Gather all your tax slips in one folder (T4’s, T5’s, T3’s, other T-slips, RRSP contributions, donation receipts, medical receipts.  Your T-slips should all be available to you by February 28th, except for T3’s and T5013’s which can take a few weeks longer (but by March 31st).

2 – Group like slips together

3 – If you have a lot of investments, keep a list of your accounts and account numbers, and check your T5 and T3 slips against your accounts to see what’s missing

4 – Group medical receipts by patient

5 – Group donations to the same organization together

6 – Gather details of any investment dispositions, including real estate, into a spreadsheet.  Include details of the historical cost and other transactions affecting your cost base.

7 – If you are a sole-proprietor or have rental income, use accounting software to capture income and expenses details for each of your business and rental properties (separate books and records for each business or property).  Hire a qualified bookkeeper to do your bookkeeping for you (freeing your time to spend on higher-level business matters). At the very least, use a spreadsheet to track your financial transactions.

8 – Don’t delay – start the process early.  The sooner you get your information to your tax preparer, the less stressful it will be for both of you.  Tax preparers would much rather get your returns done in March than scramble to meet the deadlines in the last final week.   If you’re getting a refund, wouldn’t you much rather receive that sooner than later?  And if you owe, wouldn’t you like to have peace of mind knowing how much you owe and that you still have time to make that tax payment (due April 30th), rather than waiting until the last minute.

9 – A caveat to #8 – it’s more efficient (and less costly) to get your complete tax information package to your tax preparer at the same time.  Sending bits and pieces in dribs and drabs will only add processing and review time to the process, which could result in additional billings by your tax preparer.  Having said that, don’t hold up if you’re just waiting for a couple of slips or receipts.  Just note what you are missing with as much detail as you can (for example, if you’re missing an RRSP contribution slip, note the amount you contributed and date of contribution).

You must have adequate and reliable records to support your tax filings.  Here are some helpful links on keeping records.

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/businesses/topics/keeping-records.html

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/publications/ic78-10r5/books-records-retention-destruction.html

Need help?  Send me an email (Linda@visionspire.ca), and I’d be happy to answer your questions.

 

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://54.82.103.175/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/IMG_0012-resize-square.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Linda Spencer is a CPA, CA, Canadian Tax Specialist and Money Mindfulness Coach. With over 20years of assisting business owners with the business and tax strategies, her mission is to eliminate stress and anxiety people experience around money and taxes, by empowering them with the tools, knowledge, strategies and mindsets that will put them in the driver’s seat of their business success and financial wellness, so they can have more harmony, joy and abundance in their life. [/author_info] [/author]

What’s new in tax for your 2017 personal tax returns

It’s that time of year again – personal tax season!   Now, there are a few things you should be aware of that may affect your 2017 tax returns…here’s a quick summary (this update is for general information purposes.  Please speak to your tax advisors for specifics regarding your personal situation):

RRSP Contributions – The deadline to make RRSP contributions that can be deducted on your 2017 tax return is March 1 this year.  Many people ask whether they should contribute to their RRSP or Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), and I always respond by recommending they consult with their financial advisors.  Generally, however, it is advantageous to contribute to your RRSP if you are in a high income tax bracket and expect your retirement income (when you withdraw from your RRSP) to be in a lower tax bracket.  For 2017, you can contribute 18% of your 2016 earned income to your RRSP, up to a maximum of $26,010 for 2017 (plus any unused contribution room from previous years).  The TFSA contribution room is $5500 for 2017 (plus any unused contribution room you may have from previous years – up to a cumulative total of $52,000 at the end of 2017).  TFSA contributions are not deductible, and the income earned in the TFSA is not taxable.

Child Fitness and Arts Amounts – 2016 was the last year to claim the child fitness and arts credits.  No need to keep your children’s fitness and arts program receipts for income tax purposes.

Credit for Education and Books – 2016 was also the last year to claim the education amount tax credit.  If a student has unused education credits from 2016, they can still be used in 2017 and later years.  The tuition credit amount continues to exist, which has been enhanced for certain occupational and apprenticeship programs.  A proper T2202A will be required to claim the tuition credits (students should be able to get a copy through their student account).  Check the CRA website to see which programs qualify for the enhanced credit amount.

Professionals with unbilled Work-in-Progress (WIP) – Certain professionals, such as lawyers and accountants, generally carry WIP (income that has been earned for services provided, but not yet billed at year-end) on their balance sheet.  If you had WIP at the end of the year, you could generally take a reserve to defer the income inclusion to the following year when it is billed.  Effective March 22, 2017, such professionals will need to include their year-end WIP in income.  There are transition provisions available.  Please seek guidance from your tax professionals to ensure the transition year is being reported properly on your return.

Caregiver Tax Credit Amounts – As our population ages, more and more adults are caring for their elderly parents.  If this is you, you may be entitled to claim certain additional tax credit amounts on your tax return.   Effective for 2017, the caregiver tax credit, infirm dependent tax credit and family caregiver tax credit are being replaced by a NEW Canada caregiver tax credit.  This credit is equal to 15% (Federal) of caregiver expenses incurred, up to $6,883 of expenses, and up to $9,033 of caregiver expenses incurred for your dependent spouse or child who is infirm.   This credit is reduced dollar-for-dollar when the family member’s income exceeds $16,163.

Other noteworthy items:

For those who are self-employed – Remember that you pay double the CPP premiums – 9.9% of net business income, to a maximum of $5,128 for 2017.  You will also get a CPP credit amount for half of that (the employee portion).

The combined top marginal tax rate in Ontario is 53.53% (on income over $202,800).  The highest top marginal tax rate in Canada is in Nova Scotia at 54%, while residents of Alberta, BC and Saskatchewan see the lowest top marginal rates (47-48%).

Where are those high-income earners (over $200k)?  Here are some 2015 stats from Statistics Canada:

In 2015, there were 390,000 people in Canada who earned over $200k in income (or 1.45% of all income groups), over 100,000 more people than in 2011.  The median income for all of Canada was about $34k in 2015.

More than half of the over $200k income-earners can be found in Ontario (157,450 people or 1.55% of Ontario income-earners).

Interestingly, almost 900,000 people (8.7%) earned over $100k in Ontario in 2015 (2.2million or 8.27% across Canada).

 

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://54.82.103.175/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/IMG_0012-resize-square.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Linda Spencer is a CPA, CA, Canadian Tax Specialist and Money Mindfulness Coach. With over 20years of assisting business owners with the business and tax strategies, her mission is to eliminate stress and anxiety people experience around money and taxes, by empowering them with the tools, knowledge, strategies and mindsets that will put them in the driver’s seat of their business success and financial wellness, so they can have more harmony, joy and abundance in their life. [/author_info] [/author]

Play a Game with Money

Do you regularly track your money coming in? Do you track it daily? What patterns do you see? Perhaps those patterns gave you the impression that Money is a bit elusive.

Well, if you are the least bit competitive, you could play a game with Money. Here are some games or challenges you can play using the Daily Money Tracking tool.

Game #1 – See how many non-zero money days you can have in a month…challenge yourself to have more positive money days than zero days.

Game #2 – Create a challenge for bringing in a minimum dollar amount for a number of days (ex: $1500 or more coming in at least 1 day a week).

Game #3 – Challenge yourself to beat your highest positive money day from the previous month.

Game #4 – Challenge yourself to hit your bold money goal for the month BEFORE the end of the month (ex: if you bold money goal is $10,000 for the month, set a target of hitting that goal by the 21st).

One of my clients went from completely ignoring her money to using the Daily Money Tracking tool as a game board to see how much more money she could receive each month. With a Maverick Money Archetype, she openly admits to now playing the game to win and is having fun with it!

Choose your challenge, then brainstorm all the ways that could happen. Think outside the box, and outside of your current situation. Then, once you’ve decided on a strategy, start taking consistent action – each day/each week. Be sure to track your activities and results daily so you can see what’s working and what needs adjusting.

 

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://54.82.103.175/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/IMG_0012-resize-square.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Linda Spencer is a CPA, CA, Canadian Tax Specialist and Money Mindfulness Coach. Her mission is to eliminate the stress and anxiety you experience around money and taxes, by empowering you with the know-how and mindsets to improve your business success and financial wellness, so you can have more harmony, joy and abundance in your life.[/author_info] [/author]