Wednesday, August 1, 2012
What Non-Residents need to know about taxes
Resident or non-resident?
• A resident must pay Canadian income tax on his/her worldwide income from all sources.
Non-residents and property ownership
Non-residents and rental property
1. Withholding tax on gross rent
2. Withholding tax on net rent
If CRA approves withholding on the net rent rather that gross rent then non-resident property owners must file Form NR6, Undertaking to File and Income Tax Return by a Non-Resident Receiving Rent from Real Property or Receiving a Timber Royalty.
When a non-resident sells a property
Article from The Open House, July 27, 2012, Volume 7, Number 8
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Property Taxes Special Edition
It's Property Tax Time
By now home owners and businesses through out the province have received their annal property tax notices in the mail. Property taxes are due July 3, 2012.
Property owners who haven't received a tax notice, should contact their municipal finance department and arrange for a duplicate notice. Property owners are responsible for ensuring that the local government and BC Assessment have your correct mailing address. Property owners must pay property taxes whether or not they receive a notice.
What taxes do property owners pay?
For questions about taxes levies by other taxing authorities, contact:
Avoid late payment penalties
The upside of property taxes
Artice from The Open House, Volume 7, Number 7, June 29, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Government announces new HST/PST housing transitional rules
The government today announced the HST/PST transitional rules on new homes.
As the province transitions back to the PST, which will replace the HST effective April 1, 2013, measures to ease the HST burden on new home buyers include:
The BC New Housing Rebate threshold will increase to $850,000 from $525,000, so that more than 90% of newly built homes will now be eligible for a provincial HST rebate effective April 1, 2012.
The maximum rebate will increase to $42,500 from $26,250 effective April 1, 2012.
Buyers of new secondary vacation or recreational homes outside the Greater Vancouver and Capital Regional Districts priced up to $850,000 will now be eligible to claim a provincial grant of up to $42,500 effective April 1, 2012.
For newly built homes where construction begins before April 1, 2013, but ownership and possession occur after, purchasers will not pay the 7% provincial portion of the HST. Instead, purchasers will pay a temporary, transitional provincial tax of 2% on the full house price.
HST/PST transition rules will help ensure that whenever purchasers buy a new home they will all pay a consistent and equitable amount of tax, whether the home is built:
entirely under the HST;
entirely under the PST; or
partly under HST and partly under the PST.
The temporary housing transition measures will be in place until March 31, 2015. The tax only applies to homes where construction begins before the transition date and ownership and possession occur after.
Monday, January 30, 2012
9 Tax Deductions Canadians Often Miss
Does the looming tax deadline have you gritting your teeth? Here's how to get a bigger, better refund.
Does the looming tax deadline have you gritting your teeth? We all have to pay our taxes. And nobody wants to pay too much.
“Unfortunately, people tend to pay more tax than they need to because they do tend to overlook some of the savings they can take advantage of,” said Carol Bezaire, vice-president, tax and estate planning, at Mackenzie Financial.
A deduction is valuable because it reduces your income for tax purposes.
Rack up enough of deductions and you’ll pull yourself down into a lower tax bracket and end up with a big refund, if you’re lucky.
These are worth more to those in higher tax brackets. By contrast, a non-refundable tax credit reduces the amount of taxes owed. The value is the same for everyone. The term “non-refundable” refers to the fact that if the tax credit exceeds the amount of tax payable, you won’t get a refund for the difference.
1. RRSPs: Contributions to Registered Retirement Savings Plans are the mother of all tax deductions. Roughly speaking, you are allowed to contribute up to 18 per cent of your earned income from the previous year, and deduct that amount from your income at tax time.
The government even gives you an extra two months past the end of the previous calendar year to sock that money away. (That’s why January and February are known as RRSP season.) The trick here is that you can carry forward contribution room indefinitely.
You can also carry the deduction forward to use in a year when your income is higher. Check your Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency for more details about how much you are allowed to contribute and deduct.
If you carry forward those RRSP contributions to deduct in a future year, keep track of them carefull. This amount will determine how much you can put into your account in the current year.
2. Capital losses: Losses from buying and selling shares in an unregistered account (not your RRSP or your TFSA) can be carried back to any of the previous three years or carried forward indefinitely. These can be applied against capital gains to reduce your total income from investments.]
3. An equivalent-to-spouse-tax-credit: Taxpayers who are single, divorced or separated with children, can be claimed for a child. This non-refundable tax credit is worth $10,527 this year federally. (That’s multiplied by 15 per cent when calculating the final credit, but it’s still far higher than the $4,282 tax credit for a dependent child.)
In the case of a child, the dependent has to be a Canadian, resident, under 18, and financially dependent on you.
4. Child care expenses: These expenses, whether for a nanny or day-care centre, must be claimed by the parent with lower net income in most cases. Allowable expenses are those paid for the care of a child age 6 or under, to enable the parent to work, carry on a business, or go to school.
5. Medical expenses: Claim non-refundable tax credits for medical expenses paid by either you or your spouse or common-law partner.
“People forget to take a look or they assume it’s not eligible,” Bezaire said. But, in fact, any non-reimbursed medical expense can be claimed, including prescription medication, dental surgery that’s not covered by insurance, or laser eye surgery.
Expenses that total more than $2,052 or 3 per cent of net income can be claimed. To make the most of the tax credit, the expenses should be claimed by the person with the lower net income, Bezaire said.
6. Moving expenses: If you moved at least 40 km to be closer to a new job, run a business, or go to school, you may deduct the moving expenses. Eligible expenses include transportation and storage costs, reasonable costs for meals and accommodations, real estate commission, legal fees, and costs related to changing your address, such as replacing your driver’s licence and connecting or disconnecting utilities.
“What many people overlook is that you can claim the cost of moving your children to university or college,” Bezaire said. [More: 10 tax tips to save you money]
7. Carrying charges: This refers to costs incurred in order to earn income on your investments. Fees paid for the management of your investments, other than commissions, are eligible. If you use a safety deposit box for safekeeping your investments, you can claim the cost as a carrying charge.
8. Physical fitness and arts activities for children: Eligible programs must be supervised, appropriate for children and must be at least eight consecutive weeks or five consecutive days long, with at least half of the activities involving a significant amount of physical or artistic activity.
Additional tax credits are available for a child with a disability. The sports programs must build muscular strength, endurance, flexibility and balance. On the arts side, eligible programs can focus on literary, visual or performing arts, music or language.
9. Charitable donations: keep in mind that these donations can be carried forward.
“If you’re doing your housekeeping and find a charity receipt and you say, ‘rats, I didn’t use it’, hang on to it. You can still use it still.
If you have a spouse, pool them and include them on the return of the person who pays the most tax, she added.
January 27, 2012 YahooFinance Article by Madhari Acharya-Tom Yew, available online at http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/9-tax-deductions-canadians-often-miss.html
Monday, May 9, 2011
Commercial property owners across Metro Vancouver typically pay a far larger share of property taxes
In the City of Vancouver, the situation had reached the point where eight per cent of all properties (commercial) paid more than 50 per cent of the property taxes, explains Bob Laurie, cochair of the Vancouver Fair Tax Coalition (VFTC).
In 2009, the VFTC successfully convinced Vancouver City Council to approve a one per cent tax shift to residential properties from non-residential properties.
Since then, the City of Vancouver has shifted property tax by one per cent each year to residential from commercial, a gradual correction of the long-standing inequity. Laurie estimates savings for Vancouver businesses include:
- a tax reduction of $155 for a business property valued at $783,000; and
- a collective saving of more than $5.5 million each year.
Attracting investment, jobs and workers
To attract investment, local governments throughout the Real Estate Board area are rezoning to create denser, walkable, lively urban hubs close to transit.
Who are they trying to attract? Talented younger adults ages 25 – 29 and known as the Millennials, who are well-educated and highly skilled, and much-needed in our knowledge-based economy.
"It’s part of the shift in our local labour market as baby-boomers age and retire," says Andrew Ramlo, Executive Director at Urban Futures Inc. And they're having a significant effect on the future prosperity of our communities.
Where do the Millennials want to live? “Downtown,” says Ramlo.
To attract and retain the Millennials, cities throughout the Lower Mainland are rethinking former approaches to planning for economic development.
What Millennials like most, explains Ramlo are higher density, mixed use, walkable, green, lively neighbourhoods with businesses, restaurants, transit and parks just steps away.
A closer look at the downtown area of Vancouver reveals the effect of the Millennials - even taking into account that between 15 and 20 per cent of buyers in the downtown area are retirees and empty nesters who have sold larger properties and are moving back downtown.
What happens as downtown residents age? After age 35, when babies have grown to toddlers, they are more likely to move to suburban locations, according to Ramlo, but they also still want their neighbourhoods to have a vibrant urban feel and be walkable, interesting and attractive.
A tale of two downtowns – it goes both ways
- No. of workers who live in Richmond and work in Vancouver: 18,530
- No. of workers who live in Vancouver and work in Richmond: 22,880
Urban workplace = recruiting tool
What happens when a company wants to move downtown, but the neighbourhood is faded – the opposite of the urban vibrancy so popular with the Millenials?
Some companies like Telus create their own neighbourhood. Although the zoning still requires approval, Telus plans to relocate its national headquarters downtown in a one million square foot, $750 million project that will revitalize a fading block of prime real estate bordered by Georgia, Robson, Seymour and Richards Streets.
The proposed Telus Garden will include:
- 500,000 square feet of new office space in a 22-storey tower for multiple tenants built to the new 2009 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum standard; and
- 500 new residential units in a 44-storey tower, built to the LEED Gold standard which will be one of the highest buildings in Vancouver and include retail and a wellness centre with a meditation room.
"Our vision is a beautiful and unique location where leading-edge technology, urban living, environmental sustainability and tomorrow’s work styles are integrated into a vibrant community”, says Darren Entwistle, TELUS president and CEO.
The development will consume 30 per cent less energy, making Telus a significant contributor to Vancouver's goal of becoming the greenest city in the world.
It will also feature 10,000 square feet of green roofs providing organic produce for local restaurants, two elevated roof forests, British Columbia artwork, LED lighting projecting programmable coloured images onto glass, and media walls where cultural events such as symphony concerts can be broadcast.
The project’s construction will inject a much-needed hundreds of millions of dollars into our local economy and create three million person-hours of employment during construction, scheduled to begin this fall and be complete in 2015, according to Entwistle.
Once occupied, the site's business and residential tenants will contribute up to $10 million annually in new tax revenue to the city.
With more than 100 restaurants, the seawall, an aquatic centre and upscale retail shops and groceries within blocks, it’s clear Telus has made talent attraction and retention a key part of its business strategy.
source: Realty Link in print.
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