2024 Federal Budget Commentary

Highlights of the April 16th Federal Budget Commentary Include:

A. Personal Measures

  • An increase to the capital gains inclusion rate to 2/3, however individuals will retain the 1/2 inclusion rate on the first $250,000 of capital gains annually.
  • An increase to the lifetime maximum capital gains exemption, and two new incentives on specific types of business sales.
  • Modifications to the proposed amendments to focus the alternative minimum tax regime on high-income individuals.

B. Business Measures

  • A Canada carbon rebate for small businesses that will begin by delivering payments to eligible CCPCs for five years of carbon tax.
  • Accelerated capital cost allowance on purpose-built residential rental properties.
  • Immediate expensing of certain productivity-enhancing assets, including computer hardware, acquired on or after April 16, 2024.

C. International Measures

  • A crypto-asset reporting framework that will require annual reporting by cryptoasset service providers on their clients’ activities using these assets.

D. Sales and Excise Measures

  • Extension of the GST exemption for new purpose-built rental housing projects to not-for-profit universities, public colleges and school authorities.

E. Other Measures

  • Details on the Canada disability benefit intended to commence in July 2025.

F. Previously Announced Measures

  • Intention to proceed with previously announced measures, including the denial of expenses for non-compliant short-term rental activities; the exemption of certain
    services of psychotherapists and counselling therapists from GST/HST; proposals related to the underused housing tax; temporarily pausing the fuel charge on heating oil; various clean energy tax credits; and other initiatives related to the clean economy.


Read the full article here: Commentary on the Federal Budget 2024

Personal Tax Season: Travel Log

If you claim vehicle expenses on your personal tax return, it is important to keep a mileage log.

A mileage log is a record of the distance you drive for business purposes, such as meeting clients, attending conferences, or delivering goods. A mileage log can help you claim deductions for your vehicle expenses on your income tax return, such as fuel, maintenance, insurance, and depreciation. A mileage log can also help you avoid penalties from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) if they audit your vehicle expenses. The CRA requires you to keep a detailed and accurate mileage log that shows the date, destination, purpose, and number of kilometres driven for each business trip, as well as the total kilometers that you have driven in the year. You should also keep receipts for your vehicle expenses and proof of ownership or lease agreement. A mileage log can save you money and hassle in the long run, so make sure you start one today and update it regularly.

To maintain a log you can use a notebook, calendar, or there are many apps available for download.

If you have any questions about claiming travel and vehicle costs, please speak to your accountant or see the CRA website for further details (https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/businesses/topics/sole-proprietorships-partnerships/business-expenses/motor-vehicle-expenses.html) .

Personal Tax Season: Moving Expenses

If you moved to a new home in Canada for work or school, you may be able to claim some of your moving expenses as deductions on your personal income taxes. However, not all expenses are eligible, and there are some rules and limitations you need to know.

Eligible moving expenses include:

  • Transportation and storage costs for your household items, such as furniture, appliances, and personal belongings.
  • Travel expenses for you and your family members, such as airfare, car rental, gas, meals, and lodging.
  • Temporary living expenses for up to 15 days near your old or new home, such as hotel, meals, and parking fees.
  • Cost of cancelling a lease or selling your old home, such as legal fees, real estate commissions, mortgage penalties, and advertising fees.
  • Cost of buying or renting a new home, such as legal fees, land transfer taxes, security deposits, and utility hook-ups.

There are some conditions and restrictions for claiming moving expense deductions:

  • You must have moved at least 40 kilometers closer to your new work or school location.
  • You can only deduct the amount of your moving expenses that is more than the net income you earned at your new location in the year of the move.
  • You can only deduct eligible moving expenses from the income you earned at your new location. If you have income from other sources, such as investments or pensions, you cannot use it to reduce your moving expenses.
  • You must keep all receipts and documents to support your claim. The Canada Revenue Agency may ask you to provide them if they review your tax return.

Moving to a new home can be stressful and costly, but you may be able to save some money by claiming moving expense deductions on your personal income taxes. If you need help with preparing your tax return or have any questions about moving expense deductions, please contact your accountant or visit the Canada Revenue Agency website (https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/line-21900-moving-expenses/line-21900-expenses-you-deduct.html) for more information.

Personal Tax Season: Medical Expenses

If you have paid medical expenses for yourself or your dependents, you may be able to claim them on your personal tax return. However, not all medical expenses are eligible, and there are some rules to follow. Here are some tips on how to organize your medical expenses for claiming on your tax return.

  1. You need to determine the total amount of eligible medical expenses that you paid in the tax year. Eligible medical expenses include payments to medical practitioners, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care providers, as well as prescription drugs, dental care, vision care, hearing aids, and more. You can find a complete list of eligible medical expenses on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website. (https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/lines-33099-33199-eligible-medical-expenses-you-claim-on-your-tax-return.html#mdcl_xpns)
  2. As part of preparing your personal tax return, the amount that you can claim as a tax credit will be calculated. The medical expense tax credit is a non-refundable tax credit that reduces your federal and provincial taxes payable. The amount of the credit is based on a percentage of your eligible medical expenses that exceed a certain threshold. For 2023, the threshold is the lesser of 3% of your net income or $2,635. You can claim the credit for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner, and your dependent children under 18 years of age. You can also claim the credit for certain other dependents, such as your parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, or nephews, if they depended on you for support and their net income was below a certain amount.
  3. Plan to keep all the receipts and documents that support your claim. You do not need to send them with your tax return, but you must keep them in case the CRA asks to see them later. You should also keep a record of the names and relationships of the persons for whom you paid medical expenses, and their net income if they are not your spouse or child.

Claiming medical expenses on your tax return can help you reduce your taxes payable. However, it can also be complicated and time-consuming. Please reach out to your accountant if you have further questions.


Important Announcement Regarding Bare Trusts

CRA has just announced that bare trusts are exempt from trust reporting requirements for 2023. CRA stated:

“To support ongoing efforts to ensure the effectiveness and integrity of Canada’s tax system, the Government of Canada introduced new reporting requirements for trusts.

In recognition that the new reporting requirements for bare trusts have had an unintended impact on Canadians, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will not require bare trusts to file a T3 Income Tax and Information Return (T3 return), including Schedule 15 (Beneficial Ownership Information of a Trust), for the 2023 tax year, unless the CRA makes a direct request for these filings.

Over the coming months, the CRA will work with the Department of Finance to further clarify its guidance on this filing requirement. The CRA will communicate with Canadians as further information becomes available.”

Please visit the CRA website to learn more: New – Bare trusts are exempt from trust reporting requirements for 2023 – Canada.ca

Giving us access to your My Business Account

In order to talk to the CRA on behalf of our clients, we need to get authorization from them to in order to become representatives. If you have a business, you will need to give us access to your My Business Account with the CRA.

In order to do this, we have complied a list of the steps that you will need to take in order for this process to be completed. You can check out this, and a bunch of other useful documents for our clients in our Document Library on our website. Visit www.grahamscottenns.com/document-library/ to view this and all other documents!

1. Log in to My Business Account Canada Revenue Agency – CRA Sign in (cra-arc.gc.ca)
2. On left hand side, click on Profile
3. On right hand side, go to Authorized Representatives and click on Manage authorized representatives
4. Click on Authorize a representative button
5. Enter GSE’s business number 12276 3774
6. Level of authorization should be set to Level 2 Update and view
7. No expiry date
8. Click on All accounts
9. Click on Confirm and submit

It’s Here! New and Expanded T3 Trust Reporting!

New rules originally released in 2018 aimed at providing more transparency on beneficial ownership of assets now require more trusts and estates to file tax returns.

The new rules are broad and include cases where a trust acts as an agent for its beneficiaries. This structure is commonly referred to as a “bare trust”. There is however, no expansion or increase of the tax involved but there is a requirement to file a Trust Tax return in many situations where there was no prior requirement to.

Highlights of this newsletter include commentary on:

  • Does a bare trust arrangement exist,
  • Does a trust return need to be filed, and
  • What information must be disclosed?

Check out the full newsletter below, and please reach out for further information.

Expanded T3 Reporting Rules

2023 Personal Income Tax Season Has Arrived!

Personal Income Tax Season Has Arrived!

For new and existing personal income tax clients, here are some reminders and new information regarding GSE’s personal income tax preparation process.

  1. We continue to provide multiple methods to accommodate the receipt of your income tax documents in a secure and safe manner.

    a) Secure online Portal – Please upload supporting documents via our Secure client portal. We prefer PDF files and recommend the use of an app such as Microsoft Lens (available in your favourite app store) to help you convert image files to a PDF. When in doubt, submit what you have and we’ll reach out if the format is not compatible.


    b) ST. THOMAS – You may drop off supporting documents to the secure drop box at the South rear entry of the County of Elgin building, door closest to the loading dock. This drop-box is emptied daily and allows us to have fewer clients in our reception area. Alternatively, you may drop off supporting documents at either the County of Elgin reception located in the centre portion of the 1st floor or to the GSE reception located on the 2nd floor. The drop-off hours are 8:30 – 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday.


    c) AYLMER – You may drop off supporting documents to the secure drop box located directly outside of our regular main reception lobby door. This drop-box is emptied daily and allows us to have fewer clients in our reception area. If your item is too big for the drop-box, please enter the office and leave with reception. The drop-off hours are 8:30 – 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday.

  2. We have a new Document Library on our website. Here you will find the following documents:

    a) 2023 Personal Income Tax Return Checklist – please review this listing to determine if you are submitting all necessary documents to support your reported income, deductions and credits.

    b) T1 Returning Client Questions – Please complete these questions on an annual basis. Either print and drop them off with your personal taxes or upload your responses to the Portal. These questions help us to ensure we have accurate information about your current tax situation.

    c) T1 New Client Questions Form – We highly recommend this Form for new clients or returning clients with changing tax situations. Either print and drop it off with your personal taxes or upload your responses to the Portal.

    d) Final Return & Estate Checklist – If you are assisting with the final tax return for someone who has recently passed away, please complete and return this checklist. It outlines some of the additional information we will require.

    e) Authorization/Cancellation Request Form – For new clients to allow us to communicate with the Canada Revenue Agency on your behalf.

  3. How do I get my documents and personal tax return back?

    a) Once your tax return has been prepared and reviewed, you will receive a call indicating that your personal income taxes have been completed.

    b) If you have not already told us, we will ask if you would like it back electronically (via our Secure online portal) or a paper copy. Prior to us filing your return, we require a signature – this can be done either via Portal (using an electronic signature – DocuSign), via Portal (with a scanned upload of the signed document), via fax, via mail, via drop-box at our office, or it can be signed in-person at the time of pick-up.

As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to us at (519) 633-0700/ (519) 773-9265 or contact the individual you usually work with.

Happy tax filing!

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