Availablity Notice

HAPPY 2017!!  I hope these past couple of weeks have gone well for you thus far.

This is a quick message to notify you that Balanced Business Bookkeeping Solutions office will be closed while I am away on my long awaited vacation. I will be away from February 1st and plan to return to the office on February 14th.

I thank you in advance for your cooperation and patience during my time away.

 

THANK YOU!!

In celebration of our 10th year of business, we want to extend a big THANK YOU!!

Please accept our service voucher of up to $40 this upcoming 2017 Income Tax season, which you can access and print from the home page of our web site.

We strive to provide many more years of quality service for our community! Don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE, and COMMENT on our Facebook page or our website. We would love to hear about how Balanced Business Bookkeeping Solutions has helped you! We look forward to hearing from you soon!

New Educators Tax Benefit

A new school year has begun!! Who is more excited? … the children or parents? Well, now the childhood educators can be excited too!

The Government of Canada has introduced a new Eligible Educator School Supply Tax Credit starting for the 2016 Income Tax year.

This new credit will apply to educators who hold a teachers certificate or have a childhood education certificate or diploma in the applicable province. With employer certification, these eligible educators may claim a 15% refundable tax credit for purchases of up to $1000 in school supplies for the children.

For more details on this new credit, the eligible supplies, and tax filing requirements, click here to CRA web site.

On-line access

Today’s society is driven more and more toward a paperless world, from e-mails, social media, shopping, banking, receipt of bill, bill payments, and even event registrations. Dealing with Canada Revenue Agency is no different.

As you may know, CRA is setting up individuals with on-line access for their personal and business accounts. There are many things you can have access to, view, and manage from your access account.

For individual personal tax matters, you are able to have easy access to you balances owing, benefit payments, RRSP limits, Notice of Assessment, prior personal Tax Returns, direct deposit details, and set up for e-mail notifications … just to list a few.

For business accounts, this would include some of the above but also access to details regarding your Corporate tax, GST and payroll accounts.

Not only is this easier than trying to contact CRA over the phone, you are able to set up representatives for your account also, such as your bookkeeper, accountant, or Income Tax preparer who you authorize to deal with certain matters on your behalf – see RC59. By filling out a RC59, you are able to delegate who you authorize to represent you with CRA matters, what you are authorizing, and level of authorization you are allowing. Your on-line access account allows you to easily change this.

If you do not already have a CRA on-line access account, it is still recommended that you self-register through the CRA web ‘My Account’ or ‘My Business Account’. Once you are registered with your account, be sure to review your account and make any necessary changes. Particularly with the RC59 authorization, ensure that representative details and any applicable expiration dates are still valid.

 

Tax filing prep

Another income tax season is upon us! As have mention to my clients each year, the first step to being prepared is to collect all of your Income Tax documents and information and compare it to the prior year in order to determine if there is still something that you may be missing or need to gather, such as your medical expenses.

However, keep in mind that CRA also implements various changes to the Income Tax Return schedules and calculations which may affect your result. Some things have changed again for 2015 Income Tax Returns, such as the federal and provincial tax amounts, Child Fitness Credit, and the non-refundable tax credit for children under 18.

Research applicable changes on the CRA website, or ask your Income Tax professional so that you can also be prepared for what changes may have an effect on your result.  For future tax years,there has also been rumor of eliminating the Family Tax Cut credit, and implementing the Home Renovation Tax Credit, so keep your eyes and ears open for any future news on these and any other changes that you may need to be aware of.

Also, if you have not already, sign up with CRA on-line access account to have instant access to your Income Tax matters such as your Notice of Assessments (NOA). Your NOA may provide important details which may affect your future tax years, therefore it is helpful to ensure that you provide a copy of your NOA each year to your Income Tax Preparer.

As usual, please feel free to leave a comment and share. We’d love to hear from you.

Balance

Many people, particularly business owners, feel the effects of burn-out. Life happens, and periodically feeling ‘stretched thin’ is normal. However, this overdrive being a constant in your life only means the risk of failure or ‘dropping the ball’, and ultimately unhappiness. I’m sure you have heard more than once about the notion of needing life balance. If you are not achieving it, there are some things to consider.

#1: Life balance does not necessarily mean equal time for work/family and leisure. Everyone’s life and task thresholds are different. The key is to accomplish your own boundaries and schedule so that you do not reach burn-out.

#2: Being busy or taking on more does not equal success. Taking regular time to recharge helps to keep your body and mind focused and happy, which results in success. This means taking your lunch break away from the desk, sticking to work hours, leaving work at work, and taking vacation days. More importantly, understand that taking on an extra task or event does not mean you are considered more important or successful.

#3: Social and personal events should be kept at the same level as work commitments (Eg: picnic, celebration party, exercise routine, vacation days, home renovation projects, etc). Stick to these plans, and avoid work related thoughts or habits that will distract you (Eg: checking e-mails, calls, or phone messages). These non-work related commitments are just as important to your happiness and being accomplished.

#4: It is okay to say no. Especially if it means risk to your existing obligations, your own time, or your health. Prioritize and delegate when things become busy. You are not going to be any good to anyone if you are overwhelmingly unfocused or become ill because of burn out.

It may take time and perseverance to achieve, but it is possible to find that balance that works for you. Please like and share these messages with others, and don’t be shy to comment. I look forward to hearing from you.

RRSP Contribution?

As this next Income Tax season approaches, you may be considering an RRSP contribution before the upcoming deadline.

Regardless, I always suggest to make a list of your tax related details and compare them to the previous year. This allows you to be organized and prepared for filing, and provides a general overview of the possible tax results so that you can determine if any RRSP contribution will be a good choice.

Keep in mind that although investment is important, an RRSP contribution is not necessarily the best option for everyone. Taking into consideration your current and anticipated life style, goals, contribution limits, and overall tax implications, a spousal contribution, TFSA, or other investment means may be a better option for you.

Personal or spousal RRSP contributions made between March 3, 2015 and February 29, 2016 will be applicable for your 2015 Income tax Return. Consult your financial adviser to determine the best option for you.

Like what you see from Balanced Business Bookkeeping Solutions information blog site, or have something specific you would like to hear from us about? Please comment! We would love to hear from you. 🙂

Income

Inflation, inflation, inflation!! Have you ever sat back and contemplated the ridiculousness of what things cost now compared to 20 years ago? Or even 10 or 5 years ago? And ironically things are produced cheaper and aren’t made near the same quality, thus don’t last as long.

Business overhead costs increase due to such things as fuel prices and minimum wage increases, which in turn causes them to increase their selling prices. With this, the value of money actually becomes less as you aren’t able to buy as much as you used to. Yet the standard of living goes up, therefore there is this continuous feeling of requirement to increase your income. Quite the weird wheel of life, isn’t it?

Before you consider asking for a pay raise, boosting your business income, or looking forward to that pension, consider the tax implications. It has been said that you can never make enough money, however making the best of your money and sending as little as possible to the Government is something that takes regular monitoring.

The first thing to consider is educating yourself on the Income Tax bracket thresholds. Is that $1.00 per hour raise (or approx $2000/year income increase) going to put that income into a higher tax bracket, thus you giving a higher percentage of it to the government? Perhaps you could avoid the next tax bracket with an RRSP contribution? What portion of your income can you spilt with your spouse? What are the other things you could consider that affect your ‘taxable income’?

Everyone’s situation is different, therefore some options work better for some than others. Be prepared with assistance from your Income Tax professional and financial advisor. Refer here for the most recent 2016 Indexation adjustment for personal income tax and benefit amounts.

Don’t forget to use your favorite media buttons on our site to LIKE and SHARE our information blog web site (www.bbbsinfo.ca) with your friends and family so that they can sign up to keep informed too! Please take our short 2 minute survey and comment so that you can tell us your opinions of our site and let us know your interests in what you would like me to write about in the future.

Best wishes for you in 2016!