So who has to keep records?

Adequate records have to be kept by individuals, partnerships, corporations, organizations and trusts, as identified below:

persons carrying on a business or engaged in commercial activity;
persons required to pay or collect taxes or other amounts such as payroll deductions and goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) under the Income Tax Act, the Excise Tax Act, the Excise Act 2001, the Employment Insurance Act, the Canada Pension Plan, the Air Travellers Security Charge Act and the Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006 (SLPECA);
persons required to file an income tax or GST/HST return;
persons who apply for GST/HST rebates or refunds;
payroll service providers;
trusts;
non-profit organizations;
a registered agent of a registered political party;
an official agent for a candidate in a federal election;
agents authorized under the Senate Appointment Consultation Act;
universities;
colleges;
municipal corporations;
hospitals;
school authorities; and
qualified donees such as:
a registered charity;
a registered Canadian amateur athletic association;
a housing corporation resident in Canada and exempt from tax under Part 1 of the ITA because of paragraph 149(1)(i) that has applied;
a municipality in Canada;
a municipal or public body performing a function of government in Canada that has applied;
a university outside Canada that is prescribed to be a university the student body of which ordinarily includes students from Canada; or
a charitable organization outside Canada to which Her Majesty in right of Canada has made a gift.

 

Ontario Trillium Benefit and tips

 Ontario Sales Tax credit (OSTC), Ontario Energy and Property Tax credit (OEPT) and Northern Ontario energy credit (NOEC) are credits for Ontarians earning low and moderate  income. These programs will be combined as Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) from July 2012. These benefits are now paid quarterly and will be paid monthly from July 2012.

 

Ontario Sales Tax Credit

You could get up to $265 for 2011 for each adult and child in your family to help with the sales tax you pay on goods and services. This amount is adjusted for inflation each year.

Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit

If you pay rent or property tax, you could get up to $917 for 2011 to help with the sales tax you pay on energy and the property taxes you paid and qualifying seniors can get up to $1,044 for 2011.

Northern Ontario Energy Credit

Families living in Northern Ontario can get up to $204 for 2011 to help with their home energy costs, as it is often higher in the North due to more severe winters. If you are single, you can get up to $132.

These amounts will be adjusted for inflation each year.

 

Eligibility:

You must be eligible to at least one of the benefits (OSTC, OEPT or NOEC) to eligible to receive OTB.

Application:

You must complete Ontario Form ON-BEN which is part of the 2011 T1 General Income Tax and Benefit Return package and file it with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  If file your individual tax returns later than April 30th may result in delay in receiving OTB payments.

 

 

 

10 tax-filing myths by Tom McFeat (Source:CBC News)

This is an interesting quick read on some myths that you have probably heard from friends/colleagues in regard to taxes and Canada Revenue Agency:

We at handt accounting would be pleased to assist you mull through some of these myths, so let us know how we can help!

What is a Lien?

A lien is a legal document filed by a creditor (lender) in order to record its claim on the debtor’s (borrower’s) property. The lien is recorded at a government’s office. The lien provides a creditor with some protection or collateral until the debtor pays the creditor the amount owed.Here are three examples of liens:

1. A bank may lend a retailer $50,000 but one of the conditions is that the bank will file a lien on the retailer’s inventory. In this situation the bank’s lien results in its loan becoming secured.

2. A mortgage is a lien filed by a lender in order to secure the lender’s long-term real estate loan. The lien will require that the lender be paid the amount owed on the loan before the real estate can be transferred to another party.

3. The government may file a lien on a company’s assets until a tax obligation has been paid.

A lien on a company’s assets is to be disclosed in the company’s financial statements.

Pension income splitting

You (the pensioner) may be able to jointly elect with your spouse or common-law partner (the pension transferee) to split your eligible pension income if you meet all of the requirements.

 

Eligible pension income

What is Eligible pension income?

Eligible pension income is generally the total of the following amounts received by the pensioner in the year (these amounts also qualify for the pension income amount):

  • the taxable part of life annuity payments from a superannuation or pension fund or plan; and
  • if they are received as a result of the death of a spouse or common-law partner, or if the pensioner is 65 years of age or older at the end of the year:
    • annuity and registered retirement income fund (including life income fund) payments; and
    • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) annuity payments.

Pension income that is not eligible

The following amounts received by the pensioner are not eligible for pension income splitting:

  • Old Age Security payments;
  • Canada Pension Plan, Quebec Pension Plan; and
  • Amounts received under a retirement compensation arrangement.

Note
Variable pension benefits paid from a money purchase provision of a Registered Pension Plan are not considered life annuity payments and do not qualify unless the pensioner is age 65 or older at the end of the year or the variable benefits are received as a result of the death of a spouse or common-law partner.