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New Software: Bookkeepers Quote™ Lisa Patrick

10 medical deductions that can save you money Lisa Patrick

Tom McFeat  recently wrote an article in CBC News  about your medical expenses. In the article as a tax payer you were advised that ‘you do need to do some homework, in terms of keeping your medical expense receipts.’ It's something that is not easy to do over the course of a year unless you make a conscious effort to put the receipts aside.’

At C2online our tools will help you to ensure you maximize on these claims, save money and save time by simplifying the tasks for you:

Deduct your Gluten Free Groceries: You must calculate the incremental cost to ensure you receive the medical expense claim.  Incremental cost is the increased cost of purchasing a GF product as compared to the cost of a similar non-GF product. It is calculated by subtracting the cost of a non-GF product from the cost of a GF product. C2online provides the calculation in your worksheet for you.

Deduct the travel: If you are traveling more than 40 km one way for medical reasons, you can claim the trips on your personal tax return for a medical deduction.  Keep a diary of trips taken for medical reasons to use for a medical deduction on your personal tax return a medical critical to know the total number of kilometers your automobile was driven during the year for any medical purposes when you have traveled over 40 km one way. 

The article suggests you contact your drugstore for a complete list to save time – We have a form to request for medical receipts from your pharmacist.

Eligible expenses that you claim can get missed and this list states the ones most commonly missed.

Disability tax credit will provide those taxpayers that are the in-home caregivers to a parent or grandparent age 65 or older.  You need help to ensure that you are claiming this eligible credit correctly and receiving the appropriate amount of credit this tool will assist you.

Neglectful Employee's at The Canada Revenue Agency Lisa Patrick
We need our federal or provincial government to appoint a personal taxpayers advocate that understands the tax system Or publicize the resolution process more.

Since April 2011 we have been having to push Canada Revenue Agency to complete tasks on a file that at conclusion is worth about $15,000 dollars in refunds to the taxpayer.

The employees of the Canada Revenue Agency that has handled the file have neglected their job duties on several occasions.  A blatant neglect by several employees by professionals that are supposed to know more about taxes than the taxpayer.
If it had not been for our long term relationship (20+ years) with the parents of the taxpayer we would have lost the trust of the taxpayer.

The taxpayer was even told on one occasions that we, the tax preparer had made mistakes and misdirected them as to the eligibility of the refund that was anticipated.

Canada Revenue Agency actually issued a notice of tax owing but not the tax refund.  Canada Revenue Agency actually made it appear that the taxpayer now owed the government $1600.00 and not that the Canada Revenue Agency owed them $15,000.00

Darlene Lafond R.P.A.

The next time there is a federal election I would like to go public with this file.

Is there any provincial candidate that wants to help….

Disability Tax Credit - Transfer - How to? Lisa Patrick

Disability Tax Credit

If a family member is dependent on another family member for food or shelter or clothing – any essential life support on a routine basis: You should discuss with them if they qualify for the disability tax credit T2201.

They may not require the disability tax credit on their taxes but if the support person needs it, they may be able to transfer any unused disability tax credit to them just because they are providing essential life support, even if the person does not live with the person providing support.
Federal                                 provincial
Disability tax credit transfer                 line 318                        5848

If a disabled person lives with you….claim…
Amount for infirm dep over 18            line 306                        5820
Caregiver credit                                   line 315                        5840

*NOTE:  Do not forget to explore medical claim as well.

Pivotal Payments - Solved Lisa Patrick

First, our office had loads of documented dates and contacts on the shortfalls in the servicing to their contract with C2online's sister company - Morinville Business Centre.

The documented evidence that our internal communications thru internet, electronic filing with Canada Revenue Agency was secure and uninterrupted and we represented that their equipment was faulty and at risk of robbing from clients bank accounts.
Our first course of action was that we took them to small debt action in Alberta.  Why Alberta, because it Alberta was the province where the contract and business dealings were occurring.  Pivotal Payments tried to have it thrown out due to the clause in their contract regarding Quebec location but that attempt was unsuccessful.  
Alberta has a pre-trial collaboration process where the people in the case discuss the case with a judge before trial…
(yeh, weird but interesting helpful as it is meant to help the non-legal participant get better ready if facing a lawyer)
The one thing that we did wrong;  we did not take all three of their companies to small debt action.  We only took Pivotal Payments and the judge did communicate that when we seeked legal advice before appearing in front of the trial judge to determine whether we should be adding the other two companies to our case.
We had two phone conferences with them but never went to court.  Pivotal Payments was diligent in their efforts to threaten that we would lose in Quebec.  However we were diligent and continued to represent that we would love to write off a business trip to Quebec to charge them in Quebec as they were not fulfilling their contract services.
In the end, they provided us a temporary run of some new equipment for 45 days.  We were very satisfied and have continued to see reliability in the equipment and the service.  I do know that I would not be dealing with them if it had not been a mistake in the first place.  But the contract we were finally provided is at a cost far less than what we were paying using the alternate services when their equipment stopped working.
We suggest that if you have any opportunity to get someone to take them through a bit of a legal battle, we believe they will see you are not backing down.  Try something like small debt court, keep talking like you are not afraid of going in front of a judge and showing how they have not fulfilled their contracts.

Whatever your decision may be ensure that you take all three companies to court.

Darlene Lafond R.P.A. 

Celiac's Save Money on Your Income Tax Return Lisa Patrick

Celiac disease is a medical condition in which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by a substance called gluten. This results in an inability of the body to absorb nutrients: protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for good health.

Although statistics are not readily available, it is estimated that 1 in 133 persons in Canada are affected by celiac disease.

A wide range of symptoms may be present. Symptoms may appear together or singularly in children or adults. In general, the symptoms of untreated celiac disease indicate the presence of malabsorption due to the damaged small intestine.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, triticale, barley. In the case of wheat, gliadin has been isolated as the toxic fraction. It is the gluten in the flour that helps bread and other baked goods bind and prevents crumbling. This feature has made gluten widely used in the production of many processed and packaged foods.

At present there is no cure, but celiac disease is readily treated by following the gluten-free diet. *(

Persons who suffer from celiac disease (gluten intolerance) are entitled to claim the incremental costs associated with the purchase of gluten-free (GF) products as a medical expense.

You must calculate the incremental cost to ensure you receive the medical expense claim.  Incremental cost is the increased cost of purchasing a GF product as compared to the cost of a similar non-GF product. It is calculated by subtracting the cost of a non-GF product from the cost of a GF product. C2online provides the calculation in your worksheet for you.

We have provided you a free worksheet to simplify the ease of compiling of the information to ensure that you maximize on your income tax deduction and receive your medical expense claim.

We encourage you to provide us your compiled worksheet so that we can create a database of products and we will continue to update the worksheet for free for other to use so they also ensure they receive their medical expense claim.

Celiac Medical Expense Claim Form .xlsx 

Quick Tips - Protocols for Communicating with Social Feeds Lisa Patrick

Quick Tips – Protocol for Communicating with Social Feeds

I am not a social media expert.  I am a professional business owner struggling to find my way for using the social media. I have no time to sift through pages of articles to find quick tips that I can apply instantly.   So this is short and straight to the point… so I hope it helps you!

Use a code of ethical conduct when communicating to anyone on the internet.

Linked In - Discussions and Groups: INFORMATION SHARING

1.   Posting self promotion or listing commercials in the ‘start’ discussion header of linked in is not allowed. 

2.   You wrote an article or blog and you know it can help the group – ask the moderator of the group to post it for you OR create the discussion around the focal point of the article – share the information within and pose a question to the audience; Linked-In is about creating discussions around the topic and sharing the information to others.

3.   In the feed of another discussion add information and expertise and their you can add links to other valuable pertinent information for sharing on the internet.

Linked In – Request a Connection
Learn about the person you are asking to connect with – and when you request to connect – tell the future connection something relevant in the connect as to why you are asking to connect. 

1. find familiar ground
2. find blogs and articles about them READ them and comment to them
3. research their business
4. tell them why you think you should connect – the reason should never be just so you can grow the # of connections you have

Nothing worse then someone out of the blue comes forward as your friend, using the generic “I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” and no other comments …. Bad Etiquette.

Twitter – Use it as your business communication tool! No it is not just about telling them ‘you just flushed the toilet..’
I started to think of it as my own personal newspaper and the worlds Rolodex of business cards – if that makes it easier for you.

1. Follow those you would like to be in business with – easy access to them IMMEDIATELY!
2. Post questions for quick answers and answer others’ questions to establish your credibility and expertise
3. Keep up on the buzz in your industry
4. Use it as your press release for your business
5. Network with like-minded people
6. Provide tips to help those who are following you – establish expertise
7. use acronyms because you only have a limited # of characters.

Twitter –you see these acronyms and have no idea what they mean…
RT – retweet
TMB – tweet me back
PRT – please retweet
TY – thank you
YW – your welcome
BTW – by the way
BR – best regards
FTF – face to face
FWD – forward
HTH – hope that helps
IMO – in my opinion

Twitter Etiquette:

1. Always say thank you when someone follows

2. Watch what you tweet - Everyone can see what you tweet, including your boss, work colleagues, family and friends. Be careful about what you post or you could lose friends, fall out with your family and maybe lose your job.

3. Have something interesting to say, how can you expect people to notice you.

4. Tweet safe – ensure that you exclude stuff like time, date, address – everyone can see – PUBLIC.

5. keep your tweets relevant and don't tweet all day long every second – you turn people away and stop following because your name dominates their twitter homepage

Hope this very straight to the point article helps you.

Scholarships Payable to Family through Your Business Lisa Patrick

We have recently determined that a business may pay a scholarship to a staff member or their family members.  This would be a taxable benefit in some situations to the family member.

If the family member meets certain criteria, he or she may be able to exclude the amount from income on his or her income tax and benefit return. Any questions about the T4A slip issued to the family member, you can refer them to Scholarships, fellowships, bursaries, study grants, and artists’ project grants , or to their General Income Tax and Benefit Guide.

For more information please follow this link to Tuition fees, scholarships, and bursaries

Adoption - Elgibility - What expenses can claim on your taxes. Lisa Patrick

For eligible adoptive families who have finalized their adoption, the federal adoption tax credit helps to offset some of the costs of adopting.

As a parent you can claim an amount for eligible adoption expenses related to the adoption of a child who is under 18 years of age. The maximum claim for each child is $11,128. You can claim these incurred expenses in the tax year that includes the end of the adoption period in respect of the child.

Canada Revenue Agency defines the adoption period as:

  • begins at the earlier of:
    • the time that the eligible child's adoption file is opened with a provincial or territorial ministry responsible for adoption (or with an adoption agency licensed by a provincial or territorial government); and
    • the time, if any, that an application related to the adoption is made to a Canadian court; and
  • ends at the later of:
    • the time an adoption order is issued by, or recognized by, a government in Canada in respect of that child; and
    • the time that the child first begins to reside permanently with you.

Expenses that can be claimed:

  • fees paid to an adoption agency licensed by a provincial or territorial government (an "adoption agency");
  • court costs and legal and administrative expenses related to an adoption order in respect of the child;
  • reasonable and necessary travel and living expenses of the child and the adoptive parents;
  • document translation fees;
  • mandatory fees paid to a foreign institution;
  • mandatory expenses paid in respect of the immigration of that child; and
  • any other reasonable expenses related to the adoption that are required by a provincial or territorial government or an adoption agency.

C2online provides several tools to assist you with your needs to keep all your claims organized to ensure that you maximize on your tax deduction. 

If you are unsure how to claim any of the above expense please contact us so we may assist you.

Salary or Dividends? Lisa Patrick

Wages vs. Dividends

If you own an incorporated business, there are two primary ways to pay yourself:

Salary and/or Dividends.

If you pay yourself a salary, the amount is a deductible expense to your company and is taxable in your hands. You will be required to deduct income tax and CPP premiums from your salary.

Some Advantages:

  1. Salary is treated as earned income for RRSP purposes.
  2. Salary is ‘provable income’ for financing purposes. If you are planning on applying for a line of credit or a mortgage, then paying yourself a salary will help you to qualify.
  3. Salary is subject to Canada Pension Plan (CPP) premiums. By paying into the Canada Pension Plan your entitlement to CPP will increase.

If you pay yourself a dividend, you must first understand what a dividend is.

Dividend is the return on investment from the business you invested in. They are payments made to company shareholders from the profits of the company.

They provide you the opportunity to have the income taxed in your corporation and then pay the after-tax earnings to yourself, as dividends, which is not deductible for the corporation.

Some Advantages:

  1. Dividends are taxed at a lower rate than salary. 
  2. Dividends are not subject to CPP premiums, which can add up to big savings.
  3. Dividends are administratively simple. You do not have the burden that you do with payroll.  To pay yourself a dividend, you simply write a cheque to yourself from your corporation.

4.    Can be paid to individuals who are not employees of the company (They must be shareholders).

5.    No payroll process.

NOTE: in order to pay yourself dividends your articles of corporation must allow for dividends to be paid.

When deciding it is not a cookie cut answer and every business must make a decision based on the information above and the further additional following information that is relevant to their business and personal finances:

1. # of employees - are you an employee of your company?

2. other personal income outsides of the business

3. profit vs loss

4. best income tax rate

5. whether RRSP contributions are a consideration

Before making any decisions please contact your tax accountant to discuss further.  In the event you do not have a tax accountant please contact us for a free ½ hour consult.

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