What's New -> What's New 2011
What's New by Month in 2011December 2011
The annual limit for contributing to a TFSA is indexed for inflation. However, the indexed amount is rounded to the nearest $500, and will remain at $5,000 for 2012. At the current rate of inflation, the limit will increase to $5,500 in 2013.
The prescribed rates used to calculate the operating cost benefit related to the personal use by employees of employer-owned vehicles is increasing by 2 cents to $0.26 per km for 2012. The rate for taxpayers employed principally in selling or leasing automobiles will also increase by 2 cents, to $0.23 per km.
The limits on the deduction of tax-free allowances paid by employers to their employees to reimburse the costs of using their personal vehicle for business purposes have each been increased by 1 cent for 2012. The limit for the first 5,000 kms driven is $0.53 per km, and additional kms have a limit of $0.47 per km. The limits for Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut are $0.57 for the first 5,000 kms, and $0.51 for each additional km.
The expense limits for passenger vehicles acquired or leased in 2012 remain the same as the 2011 limits. The ceiling on the capital cost remains at $30,000. The leasing cost deduction limit remains at $800 per month, and the limit on the allowable interest deduction remains at $300 per month.
The table of 2012 corporate income tax rates for Canada, provinces and territories is now available.
Where the death of an annuitant of an RRSP, RRIF or RPP occurred after 2007 and before 2011, special transitional rules allow a contribution to be made to the RDSP of a financially dependent infirm child or grandchild. In order to be eligible, the contribution must be made to the RDSP before 2012.
We have published the table of sales tax rates (GST, HST and provincial retail sales taxes) for 2012. Quebec's QST rate increases from 8.5% to 9.5% on January 1, 2012.
December 2011 wages, if not paid until January 2012, will be reported on a T4 for 2012, not 2011. There are some cases in which it is not necessary to prepare a T4 for an employee. Learn about filing T4 slips online - this can be done for up to 50 T4s using Canada Revenue Agency's Web Forms, without any software required.
The tax credit for experienced workers is new for 2012, and the available credit will increase each year until it is fully implemented in 2016. The calculation of this credit is included in the 2011/2012 Quebec Tax Calculator.
On our Recommended Stocks page, we've added a lower risk portfolio that may be preferred by those close to retirement, or looking for less volatility.
This is the most important issue facing Canada and Canadians right now. The most important thing you can do is to reduce your debt as quickly as possible, especially debt on which the interest is not tax-deductible. You can also lobby your government representatives to eliminate the deficit, reduce debt, and to be better managers of your money. You can also sign petitions on the Canadian Taxpayers Federation website.
Our article on alternative minimum tax has been updated to show the maximum amounts of eligible and non-eligible Canadian dividends that can be earned in 2012 before any taxes are payable, when there is no income other than the dividends.
The 2011/2012 Income Tax Calculator for Quebec is now available.
The 2011/2012 Income Tax Calculator for all provinces and territories except Quebec is now available for those of you who are ready to start their tax planning for 2012.
This non-refundable tax credit is available to individuals who are, at the end of the taxation year, aged 65 or older. However, it is reduced when income exceeds a threshold amount. Each province except Quebec has an age amount tax credit which is calculated in the same manner. The Quebec tax credit calculation is similar, but combines the credits for taxpayer and spouse in the same calculation, and uses family income in the calculation.
The Federal government is inviting input from all Canadians prior to the preparation of the 2012 budget. If you are concerned about the deficit, the debt (which is at an all-time high), or have other concerns, this is your opportunity to provide input.
We have revised our table of the Canadian Federal Debt, to report the total government gross debt instead of the accumulated deficit. The total government gross debt (including all levels of government) as a % of GDP is used as an indicator of the financial stability of a country, so we feel it is more relevant that the Federal Debt, which is a much lower amount.
We have compiled a table which shows the total government and personal gross debt for 11 different countries, including debt as a % of GDP, sorted by the total debt per person.
The tables of non-refundable personal tax credits for 2012 for Canada and all provinces and territories are now available.
The end of the year is coming up, and employers must soon calculate auto taxable benefit amounts for 2011 for their employees who have company-owned automobiles available to them. These amounts are included in employment income reported on T4s. Canada Revenue Agency provides an online calculator for employers to do these calculations.
There is no deadline for contributions to a TFSA, as the unused contribution room is carried forward into the next year. However, a withdrawal in any year increases the TFSA room in the following calendar year. Thus, if you are thinking of making a withdrawal soon, make sure it is done by December 31st, in order to have your TFSA room increased by the withdrawal amount on January 1, 2012.
The TD1 forms for 2012 are now available from Canada Revenue Agency. If there have been changes which will affect your tax exemptions (see our article), you should ensure that you complete these forms so that your employer (or other payer) will deduct the appropriate amount of income tax from your employment income or pension income. New employees should always complete these forms. For those working only part time, if your total income for the year will not exceed your exemptions, you should tick the appropriate box on the back of the form, so that your employer will not deduct any income tax from your pay cheques.
Ontario has proposed a new refundable tax credit which, if passed, will be available to senior homeowners and tenants, and individuals who share a home with a senior relative, for qualifying expenditures made on or after October 1, 2011. The tax credit will be claimed on the personal tax return, with 2011 expenditures being included on the 2012 tax return.
Starting January 1, 2012, employees who are already collecting their CPP retirement pension will have to start contributing to the CPP again, if they are earning pensionable earnings. Those who have reached 65 years of age can elect to stop making further contributions, by completing an election form to be provided to their employer and Canada Revenue Agency.
On December 7, 2011, CRA is presenting a free webinar on the new Canada Pension Plan rules which come into effect on January 1, 2012. Those interested can register online.
The last trading date in 2011 for Canadian publicly traded stocks is Friday December 23rd, because the Canadian stock markets are closed on December 26th and 27th. Canadian stocks purchased or sold after this date will settle in 2012, so any capital gains or losses on sale will apply to the 2012 tax year. The last trading date in 2011 for US publicly traded stocks is Tuesday December 27th.
The 2012 indexation factors have been verified to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenu Quebec factors. We have made $1 adjustments to some amounts for AB, BC, NT, ON and PE, and one ON surtax bracket level was adjusted by $9. CRA payroll deduction information is now correct for the basic personal amount for NB, and we have made a $1 adjustment to this amount.
This calculator has been changed to allow the input of various rates of return. It provides a simple table showing the annual income your investments will provide at different rates of return.
The table of personal tax credits and deductions subject to indexation has been updated to include 2012 amounts.
The 2012 indexation factor for Quebec is 1.0266. We estimated it at 1.0263, so there has been a slight adjustment in the tax bracket levels and personal amount.
The maximum insurable earnings for 2012 will be $45,900, up from $44,200 in 2011. The employee and self-employed rate for 2012 is 1.83%, up from 1.78% in 2011, while employers will pay 2.562%. This results in a maximum annual payment for 2012 of $839.97 for employees or self-employed, and $1,175.96 for employers. This is an increase of 6.8% over 2011. The 2012 Quebec rate for employees is 1.47%, and for employers is 2.06%, resulting in maximum annual payments of $674.73 for employees and $944.62 for employers, up 8.3% from 2011.
Haven't filed your 2001 tax return yet? Taxpayers are running out of time to file requests under the taxpayer relief provisions for the 2001 tax year and any reporting period that ended in the 2001 calendar year. However, as a result of a recent Federal Court of Appeal Case, Bozzer v Canada, the taxpayer relief provisions (fairness provisions) can apply to reduce interest and penalties which have accumulated in the 10 taxation years preceding the request for leniency, even if the tax debt causing the interest arose prior to that period. So, if a tax debt arose from the 1999 tax year, penalties and interest that have accumulated from 2001 to 2010 could still be reduced as a result of a 2011 request for leniency.
Not only did the population of the world reach a record 7 billion people on October 31, 2011, but the Canadian Federal Debt also reached an all-time high. Based on economic forecasts, the Federal Debt (accumulated deficit) reached $568 billion on October 31st. The total Federal interest-bearing debt at March 31, 2011 was $801.8 billion. Financial and non-financial assets are deducted from total debt to arrive at the accumulated deficit total. Our new table reports the federal debt, debt to GDP ratio, and debt per person up to 2011, and also shows the projected debt up to 2016.
Federal, provincial and territorial governments are working to implement PRPPs as soon as possible. The objective of PRPPs is to provide low-cost defined contribution pension plans that would be available to both employees and the self-employed.
The rates for Money Purchase, RRSP, DPSP and Defined Benefits limits have been announced by Canada Revenue Agency. The RRSP contribution limit for 2013 is 18% of "earned income" for 2012, to a maximum of $23,820.
The 2012 maximum pensionable earnings for the Canada Pension Plan is increasing from $48,300 to $50,100. The CPP contribution rate remains the same, but the QPP rate is increasing each year from 2012 to 2017.October 2011
Tables of marginal personal tax rates are now available for 2012 for all provinces and territories. The indexation factors to calculate 2012 tax brackets are not yet available from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenu Quebec, so we have calculated the factors. When the factors are available late in November, these tables may need minor adjustments.
Individuals and groups are invited to share their views on important topics that are crucial to the success of the RDSP. The closing date for comments is December 16, 2011.
Bill C-13 was tabled in the House of Commons and passed First Reading on October 4, 2011. This bill contains provisions from the 2011 Federal Budget.
Capital gains can be eliminated by donating capital property, such as securities, to charitable organizations which are qualified donees. This should be done by November or very early December to avoid the busy season and ensure the transactions are completed before year end.
The superficial loss rules provide a method for capital losses to be transferred to a spouse. The spouse must hold the shares for more than 30 days for this to work, so to do this for 2011 you should act fairly soon.
Are you 65 or older at the end of 2011? If you donít already have pension income which is eligible for the federal and provincial pension income tax credits, you can generate some eligible income by transferring a portion of your RRSPs to a RRIF, and making a withdrawal this year. You can also use the pension splitting rules to shift up to 50% of the RRIF income to your spouseís tax return. If your spouse is also over 65, this will generate a pension tax credit for him/her.
On September 30, 2011 Canada and Quebec signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) regarding the harmonization of the Quebec Sales Tax (QST) with the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
We have compiled a table of BC provincial debt levels, GDP and population for 1997 to 2011.
Up to 100% of a taxpayer's net income can be claimed as donations in the year of death and the year preceding death, for purposes of calculating the donations tax credit. When a donation, or gift, is bequeathed in the will, it is deemed to have been made immediately before the individual died. An individual can name a qualified donee as the beneficiary of an RRSP, RRIF or TFSA, or of a life insurance policy. In some circumstances, donations in the year of death can be claimed by the surviving spouse instead of the deceased taxpayer.
The input of British Columbians is being sought on next year's provincial budget, by the all-party Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. The Committee will be holding province-wide consultations in September and October based on the Ministry of Finance's Budget 2012 Consultation Paper. The deadline for submissions is Friday, October 14, 2011.
Do you qualify for the Disability Tax Credit? See our article, which explains the requirements to qualify for this tax credit. We have just added a link to very detailed information on the Canada Revenue website, which describes qualifying impairments, in text and video format. If you have qualified for this credit for a number of years but have not claimed it, adjustments to your tax returns can be filed to claim it for up to 10 years.
Explanatory notes were provided on September 1, 2011 regarding the draft legislative proposals which were released on August 16th.August 2011
When non-residents of Canada receive certain types of income from payers in Canada, withholding tax is deducted. As a non-resident, you may be able to file an elective Canadian tax return in order to recover some of the withholding tax.
The results are in, and BC is going back to the archaic PST system.
If you receive a letter or TFSA return from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) asking for further information regarding an apparent over-contribution to your TFSA in 2010, it does not necessarily mean you will have to pay tax on the over-contribution. It is important to respond to CRA within 60 days.
The Federal 2011 budget proposed a new non-refundable tax credit, beginning in 2011, which would be available to individuals for registration and membership costs of up to $500 per child, for prescribed programs of artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental activity for their children.
On August 18, 2011, the government announced the launch of Employment Insurance (EI) premium rate-setting consultations. A web-based consultation process, closing on November 30, 2011, invites written recommendations.
On August 16th the Department of Finance released draft legislative proposals to implement measures from Budget 2011. The measures in the legislation include the Family Caregiver Tax Credit, Children's Arts Tax Credit, Volunteer Firefighters Tax Credit, and many other provisions.
IE9 Not Compatible With Cantax Products
Cantax recommends that users of their products do not use Internet Explorer 9, as it is not compatible, and may cause loss of data.July 2011
Bruce Hurst, FCGA, Chair of the Certified General Accountants Association of British Columbia, explained in a news article "Why I am voting in favour of the HST". One of his points was "In my view, the consumer either pays the tax directly via a value-added tax like the HST or indirectly through a tax embedded in the cost of the product. Either way the consumer pays the tax."
Medical expenses can be claimed for any continuous 12 month period ending in the tax year. However, on the Quebec tax return, the premiums payable for the prescription drug insurance plan can be claimed on the current year tax return, even though the premiums are not payable until the following year.
The premium rates for the Quebec prescription drug insurance plan have been reduced by 6.1% effective July 1, 2011, from a maximum of $600 per year to a maximum of $563 per year.June 2011
The new 2011 tax comparison tables show the total income taxes payable or refundable at various levels of employment income for each province and territory, for a single person, and for a single-income family with 2 children.
The Canadian Tax Calculator, Borrow to Invest Calculator, Marginal Tax Rate tables and tables of enhanced dividend tax credit rates have been updated for a change to the 2011 Northwest Territories enhanced dividend tax credit rate.
The 2011 Federal Budget was reintroduced on June 6, 2011 with few changes from the March version. Bill C-3, which implements many of the budget provisions, received Royal Assent in Parliament on June 26th.
For most capital additions in the year, capital cost allowance can only be claimed on one-half of your net additions in the year. However, some additions are not subject to the half-year rule, including most Class 12 additions.
The BC government passed a binding motion on May 31 to reduce the HST rate to 10% in 2 stages, subject to a NO vote in the HST referendum.May 2011
In December 2010 a US bill was passed which provides that for the years 2010 to 2012, no estate tax is payable when the total worldwide estate is $5 million or less. The top tax rate on estates was reduced from 55% to 35%. However, deceased Canadians with US-situated assets, including shares in US publicly traded corporations, may have to file a US estate tax return even if no estate tax is payable.
All provinces and territories have the same donation tax credit rates for 2011 as for 2010, except for New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.
We have compiled a table on the total provincial personal income taxes payable (refundable) by a single person in BC on different levels of income.
Although today's announcement regarding HST rate reductions (1% on July 1, 2012 and 1% on July 1, 2014) and one-time payments to families with children will probably convince HST haters to vote NO to reinstating the PST, we still wanted to present our opinions on why the HST is a good thing for BC.
We have finally taken the step of creating a Facebook page. New content will be posted there as well as here on the What's New page of our site. When you're on Facebook, search for TaxTips.ca to find our page.
The 30% NA!TC tax credit was announced in the Manitoba 2011 Budget. It is available to corporations in Manitoba that participate with an eligible charity to establish a social enterprise.
BC voters will be making a choice, probably next month, as to whether to go back to the old PST/GST system. Please visit the HST in BC website to learn the facts so that you can make an informed decision. There are more telephone town halls coming up - please check the schedule on the HST in BC website, so that you can be available to participate in your region. We believe that keeping the HST is the best choice for British Columbians, and encourage you to say NO to extinguishing the HST and reinstating the PST/GST.April 2011
It's very important to have a will and keep it up to date. We've added some new information to our Wills and Estates articles, including information on when an estate must register as an employer with Canada Revenue Agency, and how multiple wills (probate and non-probate) may be able to reduce probate fees.
The NL Budget announced a new Residential Energy Rebate of 8% equal to the provincial portion of the HST, effective October 1, 2011, as well as two new non-refundable tax credits - one for child care expenses currently deductible from income, and one for Volunteer Firefighters.
Nova Scotia's probate fees were increased by approximately 2% effective April 1, 2011.
Manitoba's budget announced increases to the basic personal amount, spousal amount, and eligible dependent amount, beginning in 2011. A new Children's Arts and Cultural Activities Tax Credit was introduced, and increases were announced for the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit and the Education Property Tax Credit. Changes were also announced for several corporate tax credits, and a new corporate tax credit, the 30% Neighbourhoods Alive! Tax Credit, was introduced.
This is a refundable tax credit of up to $50, or up to $100 for disabled children, new for the 2010 tax year. Eligible activities include the activities eligible for the Federal Child Fitness Credit, as well as instructional activities such as music, gardening, chess, and many others.
A single parent has the option of including the UCCB in the income of a dependent claimed as an eligible dependent (equivalent to spouse).
There were no new income tax changes announced in the 2011 budget.
The basic personal amount and several other personal tax credits have been increased for the 2011 tax year. The corporate tax rate for small businesses will be reduced to 4% effective January 1, 2012.
For most taxpayers, the gain or loss on the sale of securities will be considered capital gains or losses. For some taxpayers, such as day traders, the gains and losses will be considered income gains or losses (100% taxable). However, an election can be made so that the gains or losses on all Canadian securities are considered capital gains and losses. This article has been updated to include references for Quebec taxation.
All tables have been updated with current rates, including comparisons of taxes payable on Canadian dividends versus other income. We have also added a tax comparison for seniors at a particular income level, comparing the taxes payable on Canadian eligible dividends versus other income.March 2011
Ontario plans to combine 3 refundable tax credits into the Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB), which would make monthly payments to eligible recipients beginning in July 2012. There were no changes announced to tax brackets or rates. Previously planned corporate tax reductions will reduce the general corporate tax rate to 10% in 2013.
Saskatchewan's budget increases basic tax credit amounts, reduces the corporate income tax rate for small business, and reduces the dividend tax credit rate for non-eligible dividends from small businesses.
The 14.3% rate on the highest tax bracket in 2010 is to be retained for 2011 instead of the previously planned reduction to 12.7%. In 2012, the tax rates for all tax brackets will remain at their 2011 levels, delaying the previously planned tax rate reductions. The planned reduction of the general corporate tax rate to 8% will not happen, but the small business corporate income tax rate is being reduced to 4.5% effective January 1, 2012.
There are quite a few personal income tax measures in the 2011 budget, including a new family caregiver tax credit, new volunteer firefighter tax credit, removal of the cap on medical expenses for other eligible dependents, new children's arts tax credit, expansion of the kiddie tax to capital gains, and changes to the capital gains exemption on donation of flow-through shares. There is also a proposal to enhance the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), and a proposal to eliminate portions of student debt to attract health care workers to rural communities.
The calculations for the tradesperson's tools deduction and the apprentice mechanic's tools deduction are far from simple, so we've published a calculator for them. It also calculates the adjusted cost of the tools purchased in the year, which will be needed if the tools are sold at some point in the future.
We have revamped our information on deductible employment expenses, and added articles on the employed tradesperson's tools deduction and the apprentice mechanic's tools deduction.
Quebec is making changes to the Quebec Pension Plan to encourage later retirement, and a private voluntary retirement savings plan is being introduced, which will be available to Quebec residents, including self-employed workers. A tax credit will be introduced in 2012 to reduce Quebec income tax on work income of workers aged 65 or older. See the budget page for more information.
If you are a Canadian resident and have had 30% tax withheld from lottery or gambling winnings in the US, it may be possible in some circumstances to get a refund of part or all of this tax.
Updated rates have been published for the 2011 Money Purchase limit, DPSP limit, Defined Benefit limit, and 2012 RRSP limit. The 2012 RRSP limit will be $22,970, up from the 2011 limit of $22,450.February 2011
This new calculator will show you how much Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement pension you will collect, depending on the age at which you decide to start collecting. You can compare results using 3 different starting dates.
Our article on the revised rules for the CPP has been updated to add more detail regarding the factors that are used to increase or decrease the retirement benefit, depending on the age at which the pension is started. Information has also been added regarding the post-retirement benefit (PRB) and how it is calculated.
Our table of historical returns on stock markets and other investments has been updated for returns to December 31, 2010.
Regulations are being developed that will allow the Province of Nova Scotia to implement a credit for seniors who are GIS recipients and Nova Scotia residents, so that any provincial taxes payable will be refunded to them by the province.
Alberta presented its budget on February 24th. No tax changes were announced. Revenue from personal and corporate income tax is forecast to increase by $1.4 billion to $12.3 billion in 2011-12, as a result of an improved economy.
The Yukon Budget was presented on February 3rd. It was announced that their Income Tax Act was amended last fall to increase the small business deduction limit from $400,000 to $500,000 for 2011.
The Yukon Income Tax Act was amended late in 2010 to revise the calculation of the dividend tax credit for both eligible and non-eligible dividends, beginning in 2011.
The RRSP vs Mortgage, TFSA vs RRSP and Borrow to Invest calculators have now been updated to 2011 income tax rates.
The BC Budget did not announce any personal or corporate tax changes, but did announce a 6% increase to the Medical Services Plan premiums, which will take effect January 1, 2012.
No new taxes were announced, but a carbon tax and a hotel tax will be researched and considered.
RRSP Sheltering Calculator - How to get money out of your RRSPs tax-free (sort of)
We have updated the RRSP Sheltering Excel worksheet for 2011. The Input sheet has been revised so that users can change formatting if desired, including changing column widths. Although we have been publishing this worksheet since 2007, we have had very little feedback on it. If you use it, please let us know if you had any problems with it, or if you have any comments or suggestions.
HST in BC - New website
The BC HST Information Office has launched a new website to provide facts about the HST in BC.
We have published the table of WITB factors for 2011. The WITB is a federal refundable tax credit which is available for low-income individuals or families with working income over $3,000 for most provinces and territories. The Quebec 2010 WITB table has some factors revised by small amounts. The previous factors were estimated based on the QC indexation factor for 2010. The 2010 factors for other provinces and territories have been adjusted for rounding differences from the previous estimates.
See also Prior Years:
Revised: September 20, 2017
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