Talking Tax for Friday, March 29, 2019
Tony Salgado, president and founder of AMS Wealth
SET IT AND DON’T FORGET IT
With an ever-changing tax landscape, a taxpayer needs to be attuned to the appropriate strategies to meet their specific needs. Changes to legislation as well as to your own personal circumstances will need different strategies. Communicating with your advisory team is critical: Have a continuous dialogue with your advisors and be sure to have everyone working with the same information.
These are some critical personal circumstances which can lead to a change in strategic direction:
- Marriage and divorce.
- Birth, adoption or death.
- Purchasing property outside Canada.
Your estate plan should evolve and change along with these personal stories.
RETURN VS. AFTER-TAX RETURN
Be sure to understand what you are able to keep in your pocket, what’s the after-tax cash you will be able to keep for yourself and your family. Look at using registered investments and non-registered investment while considering how your portfolio can be most efficiently structured. Ask yourself:
- Do you want fixed income in a non-registered account or registered?
- Within a personal non-registered account, would you rather have $1 of dividend income or a $1 of interest income?
- Do you understand your marginal tax rate today versus in the future?
WATCH YOUR DIVIDEND INCOME SPLITTING
The new tax on split income (TOSI) rules come into effect in 2018. Many people (in particular business owners) may have done planning in the past which would have been great advice but that might no longer meet their distribution intentions. Review any corporate restructuring you may have done in the past as it may no longer hold relevant for your particular circumstance. Specifically, ask yourself these questions:
Are family members shareholders of a family business? Should they be?
Should family members receive payment (whether salary or dividends) for their contributions?
Are your adult children between the ages of 18 and 24 receiving dividends from your corporation? Pay careful attention to this group as punitive measures are in place to capture this specific demographic.
BUDGET 2019: THE HOME BUYERS’ PLAN ALLOWANCE
The new federal budget increased the amount you can borrow from your RRSP to fund the purchase of a home from $25,000 to $35,000. The boost applies for withdrawals made after March 19, 2019. Still, be mindful of the repayment required during the next 15 years as no deduction is available.
There’s no better time to start estate planning than during tax season: you’re already in the weeds and looking through your portfolios, your liability and your assets, so why not begin preparing what you want your estate planning to include?
Be sure to begin planning what and how you want your estate distributed. Updated your wills and power of attorneys (a general rule of thumb is to update every three to five years or anytime there’s a significant life event). Ask yourself what can you expect to have as your terminal tax liability: has it been mapped out for you? How can you plan to efficiently fund this liability?