Author Archives: taxchick114

Happy Birthday to my blog – Week 4 (Business Support)

May 31, 2021

I started this blog because I wanted to help business owners.  So, it only seems fitting that I am rounding out the month of celebrations by highlighting some of my posts over the last year that were aimed at supporting business-owners:

Also, I have taken some time to reflect on the last year and the purpose and reach of “The Tax Chick Blog” and “The Tax Chick Podcast”.  I have made the decision to move from writing a weekly blog, to a monthly blog, starting in June 2021.  My plan is to supplement monthly blog posts with other sources of information provided on my LinkedIn page, Instagram page and through the podcast!

Here are the other places you can find “me” and my content:

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support over the last year.  Creating “The Tax Chick” brand has opened me up to so many new opportunities and has allowed me to meet and connect with some wonderful people.  I am excited to continue sharing this content with all of you.  As always, if there are topics you would like to see covered in the blog, or podcast – or if you would like to be a guest on my podcast, please send me an email: thetaxchickpodcast@gmail.com.

Happy Birthday to my blog – Week 3 (Tax Court of Canada)

May 17, 2021

The very first blog post that I ever put out into the world was a post about the Tax Court of Canada and the plan for reopening in light of the COVID pandemic.

I posted a few times over the past year about the Tax Court of Canada.  Check out these blog posts for more details:

Happy Birthday to my blog – Week 2 (Tax Litigation)

May 10, 2021

One of my favorite parts of being a tax lawyer is being able to act on behalf of taxpayers in their communications with Canada Revenue Agency.  I am passionate about making sure that taxpayers understand the dispute resolution process – and I wrote about this A LOT in the last year!

To learn more, check out the following blog posts:

And if you are interested in listening to two tax litigators talk about the tax dispute process, check out this episode of The Tax Chick Podcast (with special guest, Sophie Virji):  https://thetaxchickpodcast.transistor.fm/s1/5

And, if you are interested in learning more about tax audits, I am hosting an Instagram Live on May 12th at 10:30 a.m. (CST) – my IG handle is @tax.chick – here is the info!

What is a tax audit, and what do I actually NEED to know about it?

First, don’t panic. I know it’s probably the last thing you need after all you’ve been doing to keep your business and family running. Take a deep breath, then tune into my Instagram Live with CPA Taheera Fidaali (@tula.cpa) on May 12th at 10:30 am CST. We’ll cover what you need to know about tax audits!

(The IG live will be recorded and available on our feeds following the event if you are not able to attend live.)

Happy Birthday to my Blog – Week 1 (Estate Planning)

May 3, 2021

I cannot believe it, but this month, my little blog that could – The Tax Chick Blog – turns 1 year old!

I have decided to celebrate the birthday month by recapping some of my favorite blog posts from last year!

In this week’s blog post, I wanted to reminisce about the time I decided to expand my content to talk more about estate planning.  Tax is EVERYWHERE and it touches on all other areas of the law.  While tax should not be the driving force behind estate planning decisions, it is important to have knowledge about the tax consequences of certain actions. 

To learn more, check out the following blog posts:

Tax Resources 101

April 26, 2021

Sometimes I wish there was a website that had all of the key resources for tax information all in one place.

However, I recognize that different people need different types of tax information depending on where they are at in their life.

I get a lot of queries about where to “start” when trying to get up to speed on tax issues.  So I thought it might be helpful to provide an initial list of some of the places I go to for information.  This is not an exhaustive list!  If you would like more comprehensive information, check out my LinkedIn post from today – I am asking friends and followers to share their favorite sources of tax information.

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Federal Budget Day!

April 19, 2021

Federal budget day is a bit like the Oscars for tax professionals.

Most of us are just seat fillers anxiously awaiting the results.

Before I became a tax lawyer, I never really paid attention to the federal budget.  I did not take the time to stop and think how the decisions at the federal level impacted my daily life.

But the truth is that behind every tax rule is a policy.  Guess who makes policies?  The government.  So it is important to pay attention to the budget and the plan for the year – because that plan gives insight into the underlying “policies” that the government is trying to support or suppress at the moment.

Now, I block off the day in my calendar, sign-up for every webinar, and sit with my colleagues to digest the news.

And of course, there is the flurry of activity that happens prior to the budget.  Like clockwork, about 2 months before the budget, my clients start asking me to predict the future – “Amanda, what do you think will happen?  Will they increase the capital gains inclusion rate?  Will they get rid of the exemption altogether?”  Unfortunately, I am not psychic. 

Today, I thought it might be “fun” to give a bit of history about the federal budget and also to give some insight into where I get my information on Budget Day.

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Fun Facts about the Federal Budget

  • Budgetary reports have been presented by the federal minister of finance since 1867.
  • There is no requirement for the government to present a new budget in each fiscal year… remember 2020?  The government chose not to release a budget because of the pandemic.  In the interim, the government gets authority to spend money by presenting estimates – they have to get approval from the House.
  • Prior to the more recent delay due to COVID, the longest stretch between budgets was 482 days between March 2, 1943 and June 27, 1944 – this was due to a combination of World War II and an overwhelmed finance department.  Why were they overwhelmed?  Well, finance realized it had much higher revenues than projected and the war looked like it was going to end.  They were facing public scrutiny over unpopular taxes, and did not know how to explain the fact that they were drowning in cash.  Not surprisingly, a lot of the more unpopular taxes were cancelled in that budget.

To learn more about the history of the Federal Budget, check out this great article in Maclean’s: https://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/a-brief-history-of-canadian-federal-budgets/

What I am going to be doing on Budget Day 2021

Here is the link to the formal announcement of the budget: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2021/03/government-of-canada-announces-date-of-budget-2021.html.

Typically, there is an opportunity for certain press and invited members to have an embargoed reading – a chance to see the budget before it is presented.  Usually this happens in person, but this year will happen virtually.  This gives an opportunity to digest the information and prepare questions for the news conference that typically occurs following the formal reading of the budget.

I typically try to watch the announcement of the Budget live – this year, it will be presented at 4:00 p.m. E.S.T.   However, typically the formal reading of the Budget does not always give much insight into the details of the plan.  That is found in the Budget documents themselves.  Past Federal Government Budgets can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/services/publications/federal-budget.html. You will note that each one is centered around a “theme” with the most recent theme being “Investing in the middle class” from 2019.

I also make sure that I sign up to receive newsletters and participate in webinars put on by organizations that have an opportunity to see an embargoed copy of the Budget.  For example:

Happy Budget Day everyone!  (Let’s hope that we do not have a repeat of Budget 2017 and the chaos that ensued with the introduction of TOSI…)

Mixing friendship and business can sometimes be a dangerous cocktail.

April 12, 2021

Does this story sound familiar to you?

Jill is an amazing baker.  Her best friend Sally is an amazing chef.  They are sitting around one evening and come up with an AMAZING idea.

A bed and breakfast.

It would be perfect!  Jill could whip up scrumptious desserts, and her warm and friendly nature would be wonderful with guests.  Meanwhile, Sally could make mouth-watering breakfasts and use her social media skills to bring in new guests.

What are some things that Jill and Sally should keep in mind?

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Who is on your team? The importance of collaboration in business and beyond.

April 5, 2021

Sometimes I feel a bit like a broken record because I am always telling others to “establish their team”. 

In fact, I have written on this topic several times before – for example:

The other day, a new business owner posed a couple great questions in response to my constant musings about “establishing your team”:

  1. How do I know who needs to be on my team?
  2. What if I cannot afford to have a team?

These are great questions, and it got me thinking about the fact that I keep approaching the discussion about “teamwork” from the same angle.  So this week, I want to take a new approach to the discussion… here we go!

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Canadian income tax law 101: for individuals (Part III)

March 29, 2021

In last week’s blog post, I shared with you the line item in the income tax return that causes me the most stress – Line 150.  The “refund” versus “you owe tax” line.

Keep in mind that if your primary source of income is employment income, your employer would have deducted income tax from your pay cheque over the year.  On the T4 slip that you receive, it will state what your “gross” earnings were for the year (i.e., what you made before deductions), and will also set out what amounts were taken off of your gross earnings (i.e., for income tax, benefit plans, and maybe other fees such as union dues).  Therefore, if you are curious how much income tax you paid during the year on your employment income, just take a peek at your T4 slip.

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Canadian income tax law 101: for individuals (Part II)

March 22, 2021

In last week’s blog post, I reminisced about sitting at the dining room table with Dad working on our tax returns.  We talked about the basic tenants of taxation in Canada, and also the various sources of income.  We also learned how to calculate taxable income.

This week, I want to tackle an often-misunderstood set of concepts: credits versus deductions.

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