Income Tax Is Like A Four Letter Word

Income Tax Return

INCOME TAX TIPS YOU SHOULD KNOW   Income Tax for some people is like a four letter word, they just don’t want to hear it, and dread the April 30th deadline we have here in Canada to file a personal income tax return. But it does not need to be like that. I have prepared and  been filing personal and small business tax returns for over 15 years. What started for me as a seasonal job, with H&R Block to supplement my regular income, has turned into a small business. I find it incredibly rewarding when I help people take advantage of all tax credits that are available to their families. From arts and sports credits for kids, to home improvement credits for seniors, there are many credits people don’t think of when filing their taxes.   Tax Credits   Tax Tip: Did you know that if your Grandmother needs a shower bar in her bathroom, that she can get a tax credit for having it installed? If you need to have your home wheel chair accessible, there is a credit for that too. Most people know of the popular tax credits, medical, rent, property taxes, and childcare. What they […]

The Saturday Weekend Review #3 January – Are You Really A Mom?

What’s Been Happening at Canadian Budget Binder? I know I’ve hidden behind the scenes lately and that’s because Canadian Budget Binder has got so busy. I just finished up with an e-book which I contributed to and am anxiously awaiting the new design of Canadian Budget Binder for all of you. Hang tight, it won’t be long. Once we have everything in place I will hold a give-away for our one year anniversary of Canadian Budget Binder with some special sponsors that have contacted me and want to participate. Are You Really A Mom? I know I may be digging into deep waters here but I couldn’t help but tap into what all the noise was about. Mommy Bloggers are not impressed with Elizabeth Banks. I was reading an Interview with People Magazine on Yahoo about Elizabeth Banks an actress in the recent movie the Hunger Games. She was talking about her children now that she has two. She said, “You don’t realize how easy one is until you have two. Now I’m really a mom. Oh, I am a mom now! This is for serious — I am responsible for two people now.”  I’m not a parent so I can’t really say but I’m […]

CBB Family Net Worth Update~October 2012

Posting our CBB Family Net Worth and Budget Update once a month here is a means to motivate ourselves to continue down our financial path. We are a Canadian couple who make an average salary and want to know where we stand each month. We want others to know that you don’t have to make 6 figures to have a Net Worth. There’s no race to the finish line because no one really knows where that line is. You could die tomorrow or you may live until you are 110 years old. What does Individual Net Worth mean? Net Worth is a snap shot of your financial health sort of like a picture. It’s a total of the value of your assets minus your liabilities. Posting our financial numbers is about showing others how budgeting has worked for us. Who’s the Man behind Canadian Budget Binder? My name is Mr. CBB and I’m the frugal guy that does all the talking around here. Yes, some women think Frugal Men are Sexy and I’m here to show you how to spot one! Well not really but I’m sure you will have a good idea just by reading posts I’ve written around this blog. There is also a Mrs. Canadian Budget Binder but she does not currently […]

Canadian Budget Binder-The Saturday Weekend Review #3 November 2012

  Mr.CBB’s  Saturday Weekend Review Well, Halloween has come and gone but I did promise that I would post a picture of the pumpkin I carved. Please don’t mind the obvious blurry picture as clearly I would have gotten out my tripod. Mrs.CBB said, “nah, it will be OK”. So this is her version of “OK” in the following pictures (after a few drinks). I also scooped out the pumpkin seeds like others said they do. I know it sounds strange but it’s only my third pumpkin that I’ve carved. I cleaned the seeds, added some sesame oil, salt, pepper, paprika and steak seasoning lol.. (gosh I hope that’s not odd). Then I roasted them in the oven 2 days after Halloween so I could let them dry out a bit. That’s not entirely true. The tray was taking too much room up on the counter so we tossed it in the oven. Well 2 days later Mrs.CBB says, “Babe, I think we forgot to roast the pumpkin seeds”. They don’t look so appetizing in the picture but I’m currently munching on them as I type this and they aren’t so bad, if you like cardboard. A nice cold beer to […]

Reader Question:Do I Have To Share My RRSP With My Spouse When I Get Divorced?

Another reader of the Canadian Budget Binder blog asked the question, “Do I have to Share my RRSP with my Spouse When I get Divorced”? In Ontario there is the Family Law Act. In simple terms all property acquired after the date of marriage, up until the time of marriage breakdown is deemed to be the property of both parties. The ownership of the property is not a factor. So in short each person is entitled to 50% of the total family property. There are certain exceptions like the family home that was brought into the relationship or received as a gift or inheritance. However to keep things simple we will ignore this. RRSP’s, Stocks, Bonds, Pensions, are all subject to being included under Family Law. So if one spouse had a significant RRSP and the other nothing then the spouse with nothing would be entitled to 50% of the spouse’s RRSP. Note: the courts adjust the value of the RRSP down, by the amount of withholding tax that would be payable if the RRSP were cashed in. So the figure used is less than fair market value of the RRSP. To understand this fully the courts ask each person […]

Canadian Budget Binder-The Saturday Weekend Review #2

Mr.CBB’s  Saturday Weekend Review Saturday comes so fast and for some it’s the weekend of fun and pleasure and for others like me it’s a bit of both work and pleasure.  With Hurricane Sandy in the midst we brace for a wet weekend and upcoming week. Canadian Hurricane Centre says we won’t see the worst of  Sandy until next week when it hits us in Ontario. Lots of rain already, and it still keeps on coming. This past week I was back in the yard hopefully for the last clean up of the year. You know when you get your lawn looking just right, no leaves then a gale of wind comes and dumps another load. Well, that’s how my lawn looked a couple of days after all the work I did the previous week. Meh, I’m never going to get through my to-do list but at least I’m doing it. The Welfare Food Challenge is over but The Grocery Game Challenge I hold each Tuesday is still on. We continue to eat some amazing food here in the CBB home that doesn’t cost alot out-of-pocket like ginger lemon mushroom chow mein noodles topped with lemon pepper fish. Keep checking in each Sunday as I […]

Reader Question:Is It Savvy To Cash In My RRSP’s To Pay Off Debt?

A Reader Question about whether it was savvy to cash in an RRSP to pay off Debt was submitted to Canadian Budget Binders Ask Mr.CBB. He forwarded it to me to share my opinion on this topic with all of you. My short answer is that it depends. There are several factors to consider: The age of the person The withholding tax on the funds withdrawn on the RRSP The amount of debt and its’ interest rate The type of investment held in the RRSP The opportunity cost of the withdrawal To keep things simple let me say if you are doing this and are under 30 then it might not be a bad thing. At older ages you have a shorter accumulation period and time and the magic of compound interest work against you. I have always maintained that paying off debt is one of the best investments someone can make. Let’s say you’re carrying a credit-card balance of $1,000 with 18 percent simple annual interest. That’s $180 a year in charges. Pay off that debt and you’ve saved $180. That’s the same as investing $1,000 in something that earns an 18 percent return after tax. Tax Withholding Rates […]

Mr. CBB’s Weekly Blog Post Picks Sept 14,2012

Mr.CBB’s Week in Review Wow, did I read alot of blog posts this week in my spare time. (Ya, spare time) This week has been super busy for me training at work with new equipment and programs. I’m sure I will be doing this the rest of my life and I should for my line of work. Sometimes I wonder if people get too comfy in their jobs and no longer want to upgrade or keep above or at equal playing fields with those coming out of University and College or other colleagues. Many believe these young kids are going to come in and swoop positions in the company right from under the noses of those that have been with an organization many years. So for those that believe that education ends when you get your diploma you must ask yourself  “Will I evolve with the world” or “Will the world evolve around me”. You can be a specialist one day but if you don’t keep up with the “new” you may find that the “old” just doesn’t work any more. If you are out of work, laid off or terminated and you don’t have the upgraded skills you may be at […]

Reader Question: RRSP’s-The Need To Know Basics

RRSP’s-The Need to Know Basics Reader Question: I want to save for retirement. Where is the best place to save for this? I have been told NOT to use RRSP. Can you help? Saving for retirement is a good thing and RRSP’s (Registered Retirement Savings Plans) are a popular tool for doing so. I don’t know the client’s age or his/her income so this answer is predicated on the fact that the client has several months of income in an emergency fund.  An emergency fund is a base component of proper planning and should be done before making any RRSP contributions. Also, it assumes the client is making more than $40,000 in income per year, as incomes under $40,000 don’t benefit much from tax savings on RRSP contributions. Below I will try to define some of the Basics of RRSP’s and also illustrate some of the long-term advantages. When Did RRSP’s Begin? RRSP’s first came into existence in 1957 as a government supported effort to help Canadians save for their retirement. Types of RRSP’s There are broadly speaking three main types of RRSP’s Individual RRSP-where the contribution is made in your name and held in your name. Spousal RRSP– The […]