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March, 2011Archive for

Between the tax season busyness around the office and our beloved Canucks clinching the Western Conference Championship outside the office, this contract employee has yet to file his taxes. I thought this morning: “How can I rightfully chide my audience if they choose to take the typical tardy approach to doing ones taxes, when I myself have fallen victim to the same game of procrastination?” I can’t. So with 31 days to file your taxes, my repentance to you is to introduce you to the basics of Employment Expenses as referenced by the CRA; and recommend you find an accountant as educated on the (often complex) aspects of Employment Expenses as my coworkers here at Tax Team.

To claim employment expenses, your employer must sign a T2200 form!

Work-space-in-the-home expenses
You can deduct expenses you paid in 2010 for the employment use of a work space in your home, as long as you meet one of the following conditions:

* The work space is where you mainly (more than 50% of the time) do your work.
* You use the work space only to earn your employment income. You also have to use it on a regular and continuous basis for meeting clients or customers.

CRA Interpretation Bulletin on Employee’s Expenses, Including Work Space in Home Expenses

Motor vehicle expenses
The types of expenses you can deduct include:

* fuel and oil;
* maintenance and repairs;
* insurance;
* licence and registration fees;
* capital cost allowance ;
* eligible interest you paid on a loan used to buy the motor vehicle;
* eligible leasing costs.

Enter these amounts in the “Calculation of Allowable Motor Vehicle Expenses” area of Form T777.

CRA Interpretation Bulletin on Vehicle, Travel and Sales Expenses of Employees

Having now fully recovered from our pi(e) day hangovers and with the kids all on Spring Break, things around Tax Team are more abuzz than the seasonally stressed elliptical machines at your local fitness centre.

While the glimmer of the Springtime sun sends me to the gym along with the frenzied masses, it also rekindles memories of summers passed and excites the desire for a quick get-away to one of my favourite spots in the sun. Now for someone like me, who is just getting a footing in the “real” job world, a spot in the sun usually consists of a (seasonally heated) patio. But perhaps you, my financially established readers, have a spot South of the 49th and perhaps you collect foreign income off of it when that desire for a get-away just isn’t in the cards. So if you’re lucky enough to make some money off the sunshine South of the border when you’re not fortuitous enough to personally enjoy it, today’s tax tip is for you.

If you as a Canadian have had withholding taxes deducted from your foreign non-business income you may claim a foreign tax credit. But beware because not all tax software programs automatically calculate this non-refundable tax credit, if it is non-business income and not reported on a T-slip. When the withholding tax on foreign property income exceeds 15% the difference may be deducted from income on line 232 of your T1 tax return. In other words, only the 15% tax amount is used in the calculation of the foreign tax credit, with the remainder available to reduce the amount of foreign non-business income.

For further clarification from the CRA please follow the link here

Hello interweb!

This is my first blog post from Tax Team Canada, My name is Miguel and I hold the position of Marketing Director here at Tax Team. When stating my job title to new acquaintances, I’m often confronted with a sarcastic remark like, “Marketing for an Accounting firm? That must be fun…” Luckily, I work in an accounting firm and sarcasm is a style of humor that is a tad too “whet” for the arid numbers world that surrounds me.

I jest, I jest, life in a small accounting firm isn’t bad; I mean what other workplace would one learn to celebrate underrated holidays such as pi(e) day (March 14) or May the 4th (be with you)?

On to more serious matters. The government wants your money, or already has it and after making interest on it, would like to return it to you. So this is a gentle reminder from your boisterous team of accountants lethargic from their blueberry pie hangovers, you have 45 days to file your individual T1 taxes.

After paging through the web this morning, I came across an article from CARP, which is a national non-profit organization aimed at protecting aging Canadian’s quality of life. The article addresses some questions you may have about Canada’s Disability Tax Credit (DTC) or Caregiver Tax Credit (CTC), and it is: Today’s Tax Tip