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.

 

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.

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.

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Best wishes for you in 2016!

Contract work versus employee

As we have entered into the warmer weather and an increase of labor intensive businesses such as landscaping, renovation specialists, and farming, there becomes an increase need for help.

DID YOU KNOW there are differences between an employee and a contract worker? Did you know that CRA has guidelines to determine what your working agreement should be?

Whether you are a worker offering your services or an employee looking to hire someone to assist you, you may want to consider what the differences mean to you. There are pros and cons to each, although things you need to consider depending on your situation and working relationship.

The type of job or duration alone does not determine a contract or employee status. Certain aspects of the working relationship are what CRA looks at when determining if the worker is considered an employee or not. You will be required to submit Employee Deduction Remittances if a worker is considered to be an employee.

When entering into any working agreement, there needs to be a full understanding by all parties involved. It is advised that you keep yourself updated and informed regarding the current labor laws and CRA detailed guidelines which assist them in deciding if an employee status should apply.

Eligible Income Tax Credits for Moving!? …

DID YOU KNOW …

… about Line 219 on your personal Income Tax Return, which is the eligible calculated tax credit for moving expenses? If you have moved more than 40 km closer for work or to attend school, you could be eligible.

Of course, just as most credits available, there are certain guidelines and restrictions for claiming this tax credit.

For more information on this topic, please leave your question/comment below, go to CRA web site, or contact Balanced Business Bookkeeping Solutions.

CRA On-line Service Outage

IMPORTANT NOTICE…

It has come to my attention that Canada Revenue Agency has a recent concern regarding possible internet security vulnerability. As a result, CRA has temporarily shut down public access to their online services to safeguard the integrity of the information they hold. Such services include online services like EFILE, NETFILE, My Account, My Business Account and Represent a Client.

Canada Revenue Agency recognizes the impact of this matter, and are working on restoring on-line services it as soon as possible.

Daily updates regarding this outage can be viewed on the CRA home page, or on my web site – balancedbusinessbookkeeping.ca.

 

CRTC Wireless Code: Know Your Rights!

The CRTC created the Wireless Code to make it easier for you – as an individual or a small business – to understand the contracts for your cellphone and other mobile devices.

Get the facts about Canada’s wireless policy … More Choices, Lower Prices, Better Service

 

The following tools have been developed to help you to better understand your rights with your wireless service contracts and usage:

Economic Action Plan (EAP)

Are you, or considering becoming, a search and rescue or firefighter volunteer for your community?

DID YOU KNOW … just as the volunteer firefighter tax credit introduced in 2011, a new tax credit has now been implemented to support search and rescue volunteers as another part of the government’s Economic Action Plan (EAP).

On February 19, 2014, the Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, accompanied by the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of State and Chief Government Whip and Member of Parliament for Vancouver Island North, visited the Comox Valley Search and Rescue Hall to promote the new credit.Some info on this and a few other new 2014 EAP measures, with some interesting facts … READ MORE