Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)

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What is a TFSA?

A TFSA is savings account that individuals of age 18 or older can contribute to over their lifetime. Any contributions are not deductible for income tax purposes but the interest and dividends earned on those contributions are tax-free even when an amount is withdrawn.

Setting up a TFSA

To open a TFSA, contact your financial institution, credit union or insurance company and provide them with your SIN and date of birth. Visit their website to find out any other supporting documents they may require.


The maximum amount you can contribute to a TFSA during a year is known as your contribution room. For 2019, the TFSA contribution limit is $6,000. If you contribute more than this limit you will be subject to a 1% tax on excess contributions each month until the excess amount is withdrawn.

The Canada Pension Plan Enhancement

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As of January 1st 2019, Canadian workers will contribute more to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). This new change affects all workers in Canada except Quebec and plans to increase the maximum retirement pension by about 50% by 2024.

Who contributes to CPP?

Any workers in Canada except Quebec over the age of 18 and who earn more than $3,500 per year must contribute to the CPP. Contributions are also made for you by your employer each pay period. The amount you contribute is based on your gross income for the year, the CPP earnings ceiling (which is set by the government), the CPP minimum exemption amount and the contribution rate. The formula is as follows:

(Annual income – CPP minimum exemption) * contribution rate

If your annual income is more than the CPP earnings ceiling, the earnings ceiling is used instead for the calculation.

2019 – 2023

Starting on January 1st 2019, the contribution rate increased from 4.95% to 5.1% and the earnings ceiling increased from $55,900 to $57,400. By 2023, the contribution rate is expected to gradually rise to 5.95% and the ceiling will increase to $65,700.

After 2024

Beginning in 2024 a second earnings ceiling will be added and will be set higher than the first. The difference between the two will be subject to a 4% contribution rate and will be added to your current contribution limit.

For an overview of the new changes, visit:–businesses-individuals-and-self-employed-what-it-means-for-you.html

I’ve had a strange call/voicemail/email from the “CRA” – is this a scam?

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There are many fraud types, including new ones invented daily.

Taxpayers should be vigilant when they receive, either by telephone, mail, text message or email, a fraudulent communication that claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requesting personal information such as a social insurance number, credit card number, bank account number, or passport number.

These scams may insist that this personal information is needed so that the taxpayer can receive a refund or a benefit payment. Cases of fraudulent communication could also involve threatening or coercive language to scare individuals into paying fictitious debt to the CRA. Other communications urge taxpayers to visit a fake CRA website where the taxpayer is then asked to verify their identity by entering personal information. These are scams and taxpayers should never respond to these fraudulent communications or click on any of the links provided. Read more on How to Protect Yourself from Fraud.

What’s involved in GST/HST Registrations?

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The following link to the CRA website provides links to access GST/HST forms and guides.

We can assist you with all of your GST/HST-related questions, including registration, calculating GST/HST payable or refundable, and filing requirements.

When are my personal income tax installments due – 2018.

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Your personal income tax installments are due on the following dates:

  • March 15
  • June 15
  • September 15
  • December 15

When are my corporate tax returns and final tax payments due?

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Generally, the balance of tax payable is due 2 months after the end of the taxation year. However, the tax is due 3 months after the end of the taxation year under certain conditions.

Please visit for more information.

Do I need to register for WSIB?

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The following link provides information for employers on whether your business needs to register or not as well as the steps required to register including a downloadable registration form.

Where can I get tax information for small businesses?

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The following link to the CRA website provides information for businesses including business registration, corporate income tax, payroll and HST.

We’ve helped start many small business organizations at the onset and can help save you money in the long run.

What are CRA’s record-keeping requirements?

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The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently released revised guides and circulars regarding record-keeping, retention and destruction of records and electronic record keeping. (RC4409, IC 78-10RY and IC 05-1)

Visit to read these documents.

The Importance of Personal Income Tax Instalments

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Who Has to Pay Tax Instalments?

If you are an individual and your tax liability is greater than $3,000 in the current year and either of the two preceding years, then you are required to make quarterly instalments for the year. The quarterly instalment dates are as follows: March 15, June 15, September 15 and December 15. Note that you should receive an instalment reminder from the CRA (these are sent twice a year) detailing the dollar amount of instalments to make.

Instalment Payments

Tax instalments can be paid to the CRA directly through mail. They can also be made online through participating Canadian financial institutions. Online payments for tax instalments are essentially the same as paying your bills online. You simply set up CRA as a “payee” and make your quarterly instalments electronically on the required dates.

Failure to Pay Instalments

Failure to pay the required instalment amount on time could result in significant interest and penalties imposed by the CRA. Instalment interest, compounded daily, is calculated at 5% [CRA’s prescribed rate (1%) plus 4%]. In addition to the instalment interest charges, there is a penalty for making late instalments if the instalment interest for 2016 is more than $1,000.

You can reduce or eliminate the interest charges and penalties on late instalments by overpaying on your subsequent instalments. Any interest earned on the excess instalment amount paid will offset the interest charges on the late payments.

Benefits of Paying Tax Instalments

There are several benefits to paying tax instalments throughout the taxation year:

  • Paying tax instalments helps to eliminate the possibility of cash flow problems arising from a large income tax payable amount.
  • Paying tax instalments allows you to plan and manage your personal finances in a more effective way.
  • If your tax liability turns out to be less than t

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