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10 ways to reduce your tax bill

January 31st, 2013 Comments off

10 ways to reduce your tax bill

 

The days are starting to get longer, and you can feel that spring is right around the corner. With spring, of course, comes tax-filing season, so as “filing taxes” joins “spring cleaning” on your to-do list, here are 10 ways to save you money—and even land you that refund you’ve been hoping for.

• Tax-free savings account: Using a TFSA is a smart way to save on tax. Generally, the interest, dividends, and capital gains earned on investments in a TFSA are not taxed—not when they are held in the account or when they are withdrawn.

• Registered retirement savings plan:
Pay less tax and save for your retirement at the same time. Any income that you earn in your RRSP is usually free from tax as long as the funds stay in the plan.

• Charitable donations:
Donations of cash, goods, land, or listed securities made to a registered charity or other qualified donee may be eligible for a tax credit.

• Parents:
All those mornings spent at the hockey rink and afternoons spent at the ballet studio can mean savings—with the children’s fitness and arts tax credits. Child care is also deductible, so gather up your receipts.

• Family caregivers
: If you have a dependant with a physical or mental impairment, you could be eligible for an additional $2,000 this year with the new family caregiver amount.

• Student:
Were you a student in 2012? You may be able to claim tuition, textbook, and education amounts, as well as moving expenses if applicable. And if you’ve recently graduated, you can claim the interest you paid on your student loan.

• Public transit amount:
If you are a public transit rider, you may be able to save by claiming the cost of your transit passes. You can get up to 15% of the amount claimed.

• Seniors:
If you receive income from a pension, you can split up to 50% of eligible pension income with your spouse or common-law partner to reduce the taxes that you pay. You may also be eligible to claim the age amount, medical expenses, and the disability amount.

• Home buyers:
You may be able to claim up to $5,000 if you bought your first home in 2012.

• Hiring an apprentice:
Did your business employ an apprentice? An employer who paid a salary to an employee registered in a prescribed trade in the first two years of his or her apprenticeship contract qualifies for a non-refundable tax credit.

Make filing your taxes this spring even easier by doing it online. It’s fast, secure and you may be able to use cost-free filing software. The Canada Revenue Agency offers step-by-step instructions at www.cra.gc.ca/getready.

Source: News Canada

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The Bank of Canada has a WARNING for condo investors

February 6th, 2012 Comments off

Some lenders have increased the downpayment required for condo apartments, the usual downpayment is 5%, some lenders have increased this to 10%. The Bank of Canada has a warning for condo investors – the boom times may be over……..

In its December economic review, the central bank said that “certain areas” of the housing market could see prices fall as the economy weakens.

“Certain areas of the national housing market may be more vulnerable to price declines, particularly the multiple-unit segment of the market, which is showing signs of disequilibrium,” the bank warned. “The supply of  completed but unoccupied condominiums is elevated, which suggests a heightened  risk of a correction in this market.”

The Toronto  market has been of particular concern to market watchers, with prices  continuing to rise at the same time as a record number of new units are set to  flood the market.

It’s also unclear who is buying the units – those in the industry often cite foreign demand, saying that investors from afar are racing to snap up units  because the city is seen as a safe place to park money.

But there are no actual statistics. Canadadoesn’t track foreign  investment in its real estate market, leaving anyone with an anecdote licence  to talk up the market.

While there has been a flurry of construction in the GTA, where most of the  country’s condos are built, there are signs that the market is slowing. Data  released Thursday by Canada Mortgage and Housing showed the number of  multiple-unit housing starts dropped by a surprising 23 per cent in November.

Urbanation, which tracks Toronto  condo sales, said that 20,964 new condo units were sold in the first nine  months of the year, putting the city on track for a record year regardless of  any recent slowdown.

The average resale unit, meanwhile, sold for $365,161 in November,  according to the Toronto Real Estate Board, 8 per cent higher than they were  last year.

National Bank Financial analyst Stefane Marion said that he disagrees with  the idea of oversupply in the city. He said the amount of inventory currently  on hand would take 19.3 months to sell, below the historical average of 26  months and well below the four-year mark set in 1990, 2007 and 2010.

While it may be true that the residential market in Canada is vulnerable to  price declines in the advent of an economic slowdown, the source of the problem  is more likely to come from a credit-crunch induced global recession, not the
Toronto new condo market,” he said.

Those in the industry don’t expect to see things slow down much in the next year.

“As a result of delayed condo launches in 2011, and due to the number  of new sites rumoured and under development in the GTA, we are expecting a busy  2012 in terms of new condo launches,” said Matthew Slutsky, president of BuzzBuzzHome. “We are  expecting to see some epic and mind-blowing new condominium buildings and sites  coming to market in 2012, specifically centred aroundToronto’sYonge Street and the 905 region.”

 

Steve Ladurantaye

Globe and Mail Update
Posted on Thursday, December 8, 2011 2:54PM EST
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Interest Rates on the Move?

March 25th, 2010 No comments

As a result of stubborn inflation and stronger then expected economic growth signs are becoming more clear that Canadians could be seeing interest rate hikes sooner then previously anticipated.

Bank of Canada’s Mark Carney did not directly state that higher rates were on the way however, he did issue his clearest indication to date that his year-old commitment to keep the policy rate at the record 0.25 per cent until July was “expressly conditional” on inflation remaining tame.

In a speech to a business audience, the bank governor noted that both underlying core inflation and economic growth have grown slightly stronger, although broadly proceeding as expected.

The tip-off to economists was that he changed his language on his conditional commitment on interest rates, which has led to historically low rates for both consumers and businesses in Canada and helped the country recover from recession.
“This commitment is expressly conditional on the outlook for inflation,” he told the Ottawa Economic Association.

It was the first time Carney has undercut the commitment in such pointed language.
“They still have considerable latitude, but the changes that would be required to their forecast are consistent with hiking rates sooner than markets are anticipating,” said Derek Holt, Scotiabank’s vice-president of economics. He said Carney may move as early as June 1.

But Holt stressed that Carney’s overall message to Canadians is that rates will remain low by historical standards for some time.

“No matter what, we emerge from this with lower rates at the end point of the hiking campaign than in past cycles. He’s saying the outlook is clouded with risks and there’s a number of reasons to expect growth to be lower than past cycles.”

For more interest rate information contact Verico Designer Mortgages Inc.

Source: Julian Beltrame, The Canadian Press

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Bank of Canada Maintains Interest Rates

March 2nd, 2010 No comments

The Bank of Canada is keeping its benchmark lending rate at a record low of 0.25 per cent, reiterating on Tuesday its conditional commitment to hold rates steady until the middle of this year.
Although it held the overnight lending rate steady, the bank acknowledged the recovery appears to be proceeding at a better pace than it had anticipated.
“The level of economic activity in Canada has been slightly higher than the bank had projected in its January Monetary Policy Report,” the bank said in announcing the rate decision.
“Conditional on the current outlook for inflation, the target overnight rate can be expected to remain at its current level until the end of the second quarter of 2010 in order to achieve the inflation target.”
It is set to release its next decision on interest rates on April 20.

Source: CBC News
For more information please contact
Verico Designer Mortgages Inc.

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Interest Rate Update

February 4th, 2010 No comments

A quarterly Reuters poll published last Thursday indicates growth from the Canadian economy in 2010. This growth however is not indicated to be prompt enough to influence the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates anytime soon.

The survey consisted of around 20 economists, conducted over the past week, with their predictions on how the Canadian economy will emerge from the recession. The general consensus was growth by an annualized 2.5% in 2010, in line with predictions from the same poll in October.

The poll comes as the Bank of Canada this week held its key interest rate at a record low, as expected, and changed growth forecasts only slightly, highlighting weak U.S. demand and a strong Canadian dollar as risks to the recovery.

“The growth will come as the Bank of Canada notes in its press statement from the domestic side, which is benefiting from the record low interest rates and fiscal stimulus,” said Sal Guatieri, senior economist, BMO Capital Markets.
“So we should continue to see strength in housing markets, auto sales and generally a pick up in consumer spending. As well, the upturn in commodity prices should support business investment.”

The domestic economy has been aided in part by the Bank of Canada slashing rates to an all-time low near zero, where it has pledged to keep them until the end of June next year as long as inflation stays in check.

The poll shows economic growth is not expected to be forceful enough to spark a rate hike any time soon, with the median forecast in the poll not calling for any monetary tightening until July at the earliest.

The median forecast of the poll has the Bank of Canada keeping its key rate steady at 0.25% until the third quarter, when it is expected to raise it to 0.75%. It is expected to raise the rate further to 1.25% by the end of 2010, the poll showed.

Housing starts are expected to average 173,000 units in 2010, up 8.5% from the 159,400 units forecast for this year in the October poll. For 2011, housing starts are forecasted to rise to 180,000 units the median forecast showed.
Information from Jennifer Kwan, Reuters, Financial Post

For more interest rate information please contact Verico Designer Mortgages Inc at 1-866-824-8057.

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