The 2016 Federal Budget is in: What Does it Change for You?

IT’S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND DETAILS OF THE NEW BUDGET   The new Liberal government rolled out their 10 year spending and tax plans on Tuesday, March 22nd. In a nutshell, the 2016 Federal Budget focuses on putting more cash in the pockets of low and middle-income families and on improving the infrastructure in cities and in aboriginal regions. If you don’t have time or just don’t feel like reading through the 271 page document, here is a summary of a few key changes that will affect the majority of Canadians and may affect you if you fall in the category.   Are you in the “Middle-Class”?   The definition is a bit unclear, but the new budget benefits families earning less than $150,000 per year and individuals in the second tax bracket ($45,282 to $90,563). Most of the benefits in this budget have been targeted to the majority of Canadians who fall within that definition, and marginal tax rates were reduced by 1.5% at the end of 2015 for the second tax bracket. If your family income exceeds $150,000 or your individual income puts you in a higher tax bracket, then you will not benefit from most of these changes […]

For the cost of a stamp a disability tax credits application cost one couple $1629

TAKE TIME TO DO RESEARCH   Applying for the Revenue Canada disability tax credit certificate was something I did to help our friends’ parents who paid more than they needed to. When someone doesn’t know how to do something they normally do research or call in the professionals to help them. Often you hear stories about how people were taken advantage of or how they paid far too much for a service they could have easily done themselves.   Over-priced services   My friends’ mother had not realized that she could claim disability tax credits until it was mentioned to her by her daughter. She wanted to claim for the 10 years previous so she could claim at least some of the money she had over-paid the government while working and looking after her very ill husband. Her mother had already tried accessing disability tax credits through a company that advertised online and charged her $1300 for the service to no avail. It reminded me of the time when my wife and I were filling out the immigration forms to become a permanent resident in Canada. You could hire a representative to complete the forms which you would need to […]

Free Trade Agreement: Planning for a stronger Canada

WHO CUT THE CHEESE PRICE?   The Free Trade agreement in principle was recently signed between Canada and the European Union.  It was hailed as a significant step to boosting the economy of Canada while having minimal negative impact for Canadians. Free trade   So what is a Free Trade Agreement?  Essentially it eliminates tariffs or taxes on cross border imports/exports making it easier for companies to trade products and/or services with neighbouring countries. It’s not just as simple as that though, there has to be limits or quotas set where each trading partner agrees to a set level. Depending on what the country exports or imports the most can determine what is set in the quotas. So for instance Canada has a lot of trees and the US needs to build a lot of houses, it would be in both of their interests to eliminate the tariffs on trees for, let’s say the first 100,000 tonnes. Anything past the 100,000 tonnes then tariffs will be applied so companies would have to budget their exports in order to keep with-in the quota. That’s great for Canada, they’re selling trees like they’re going out of fashion, but what’s the US getting out of the deal? They put […]

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