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We are pleased to provide a variety of resources on accounting, taxation and other related subjects that we hope will be helpful to both individuals and businesses.Browse through our Quick Tools resource menu. Have a question that isn’t answered here? We can help. Simply contact us by email or give us a call at 416-614-8046. We would be happy to meet with you for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Canada Revenue Agency monitoring Facebook, Twitter posts of some Canadians

By Elizabeth Thompson, CBC News Posted: Jan 19, 2017 5:00 AM ET

Agency is increasingly turning to cutting-edge data analysis techniques to improve service and 'compliance'

 

The Canada Revenue Agency is scrutinizing the Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other social media posts of Canadians it suspects could be cheating on their taxes.

That's just one example of the agency's increasing focus on what it can learn by collecting and analyzing many kinds of data — both its own internally generated information and what it calls "publicly available information."

"The CRA does practice risk-based compliance, so for taxpayers identified as high risk, any relevant, publicly available information relating to the specific risk-based factors for the taxpayer may be consulted as part of our fact-gathering processes," said spokesperson David Walters.

Among those considered high risk are wealthy Canadians with offshore bank accounts, said Jean-François Ruel, director of CRA's Strategy and Integration Branch.

"If we go with high-risk, high-wealth individuals that do offshore [banking], then we would look at all information that is public for compliance action."

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Couple asked by CRA to prove they have children a second time

The Canadian Press

 

A Saskatoon couple has two boys, four car seats and a nanny but they’re being asked by the Canada Revenue Agency to prove that their children exist — again.

Devin Dubois and his wife got a letter telling them to prove that they have children or their child benefits would be cut off. But Dubois says the CRA has the information in its possession because the couple got the same letter in 2014.

“It’s not that there’s anything new in our 2015 tax returns. These are the same two kids that we’ve always claimed. I don’t know what the CRA thinks has happened between now and then,” said Dubois.

“I don’t know what more proof positive we really could provide.”

Dubois says in 2014 he provided proof of their Canadian citizenship, social insurance numbers, child-care receipts and property tax details.

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Opinion: It's never too late for low-income Canadians to file their taxes

BY: GARY BLOCH & JOHN SILVER, VANCOUVER SUN

Most Canadians would like to see an end to poverty. What if we told you that one organization, using the existing social benefits system, found a way to get $21 million into the pockets of 9,000 low income individuals in Winnipeg?  This is not Robin Hood and his gang — it’s Community Financial Counselling Services, an organization that helps people living at low income to file their tax returns. They have been doing this important work for 42 years.

The latest federal budget makes an important commitment to low-income Canadians — to help them complete and file their tax returns. Many might assume this is a way for the government to bring in more revenue. In actual fact, for the large majority of Canadians earning less than $40,000 a year, filing taxes doesn’t mean a bill to pay — it means extra benefits to collect.

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Photo GalleriesCBC SecureDrop 5 things to know about the new Canada Child Benefit

5 things to know about the new Canada Child Benefit
Is your family among the 90 per cent the Liberals say will be better off on July 20? You're about to find out.

By Janyce McGregor, CBC News

 

The Liberals promised during last fall's federal election that nine in 10 Canadian families would be better off once their new child benefit package rolls out.

Significantly better — to the tune of $2,300 annually, on average, according to the finance department's calculations for the 2016-17 benefit year..

Is that really true?

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Banka: Fighting back against tax fraudsters and scammers

By: Gabriele Banka - Kelowna Capital News

How many of you have received a threatening phone call in the past 12 months demanding payment of an amount that you are sure you don’t owe?

Statistics show that 90 per cent of people have been targeted by fraudsters and scammers.

The RCMP Scams and Frauds website lists all the scams that are currently out there. The frightening reality is that new ones are being invented every day.

They include identity theft, debit and credit card fraud, email fraud, telephone scams, charitable donation fraud, lottery winnings fraud, on-line shopping fraud, investments and securities fraud and counterfeit money.

It seems that our culture has moved away from the concept of ‘A Day’s Work, A Day’s Pay’ and is more focused on how to get the ‘easy money.’ With respect to the Canada Revenue Agency,  there are two scams that are currently a concern—telephone and email scams.

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Tax Strategy: A large down payment helps first-time homebuyers

 

Tax Strategy: A large down payment helps first-time homebuyers.

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How to allocate funds for the purchase of a first home and how to collapse a Registered Education Saving Plan (RESP) in a tax-efficient way were among the topics raised in the latest batch of reader letters. Here’s what they wanted to know.

Q: My wife and I are looking at building a house in the $275,000 range within eight months and wondering what would be an appropriate down payment. I have $80,000 and my wife has an additional $20,000 in cash, both earning very little in the bank. Borrowing more rather than less would seem to be the way to go, with interest rates so low. What do you suggest?

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The Importance of reporting ALL income from information slips

Many people assume that if they fail to include an information slip with their income tax return, the Canada Revenue Agency ("CRA") will simply adjust the return to report the income and adjust the income tax accordingly. This is half correct! The other half of the equation is a little known penalty the CRA imposes for repeated failure to report income. This penalty arises when an income slip is not added in your tax return two times in a three year period.

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Foreign Asset Reporting and the Extreme Costs of Non-Compliance

Several years ago form T 1135 was added to our tax returns for individuals, corporations, partnerships and trusts. It is a simple form that has been often overlooked and non-compliance has been high. More than likely this has been because the form does not enter into the calculation of income tax payable.

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