Archive for Canada

Non-Active Canadian Corporations Are Not Required To File A Corporate Tax Return…Or Are They?

Grant Gilmour, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, Vancouver, Canada, TaxConnections

Non-resident corporations that have no activity in Canada during its fiscal year are not required to file a Canadian corporate tax return. However, without filing a Canadian corporate tax return, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will not know that you did not have activity in Canada. Therefore, CRA may send you a letter requesting that a return is required to be filed.

If CRA requests that a return be filed, even though your company had no activity in Canada, you may be tempted to file a return in order to be in compliance. Read more

Ownership Structures In Real Estate

Grant Gilmour, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, Vancouver, Canada, TaxConnections

The common types of ownership structures in real estate are owned as an individual, in a corporation, in a partnership or in a joint venture. The type of structure generally depends on the purpose of the use.

Individual Ownership

  • Less complexity but income is taxed at personal tax rates which can be the highest rates.
  • Any losses incurred can be offset against any income.
  • There is no liability protection for the individual besides the insurance policy on the property.

Read more

FBAR Must Be Filed Electronically Through FinCEN’s BSA E-Filing System, Not With The Federal Tax Return

Daniel Gray, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, Toronto, Canada, TaxConnections

FBAR must be filed electronically through FinCEN’s BSA E-Filing System. The FBAR is not filed with a federal tax return.

Public Law 114-41 mandates a maximum six-month extension of the filing deadline. To implement the statute with minimal burden to the public and FinCEN, FinCEN will grant filers failing to meet the FBAR annual due date of April 15 an automatic extension to October 15 each year. Accordingly, specific requests for this extension are not required.

Thus, before the FBAR extended due date of October 15, file streamlined FBARs for each of the most recent 6 years for which the FBAR due date has passed (i.e., is delinquent, and of course timely file the current year FBAR too). Read more

Unintended Consequences Of Tax Jobs And Cuts Act On Canadian Citizens And Others Abroad

John Richardson, Toronto, Canada, Tax Lawyer, Tax Blog, TaxConnections

“This legislation is being interpreted by a number of tax professionals to mean that individual U.S. citizens living outside the United States are required to simply “fork over” a percentage of the value of their small business corporations to the IRS. Although technically “CFCs” these companies are certainly NOT foreign to the people who use them to run businesses that are local to their country of residence. Furthermore, the “culture” of Canadian Controlled Private Corporations is that they are actually used as “private pension plans”. So, an unintended consequence of the Tax Cuts Jobs Act would be that individuals living in Canada are somehow required to collapse their pension plans and turn the proceeds over to the U.S. government” -John Richardson Read more

British Colombia’s Property Transfer Tax Act Is Not As Simple As It Might Seem

David Davies, Vancouver, Canada Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, TaxConnections

British Colombia’s Property Transfer Tax Act (“PTTA”) currently taxes only registered transfers of realty. In other words, it essentially taxes transfers of legal ownership, but not transfers of beneficial ownership. Numerous BC governments have for years considered expanding the scope of the PTT to include transfers of beneficial ownership – without substantive action.

Recently, however, there has been word of possibly significant realty-related tax changes to be proposed in the upcoming provincial budget, which will be released tomorrow. An expansion of the PTT is not unthinkable, given that current Premier John Horgan put forth a bill himself in 2016 seeking to tax the disposition of a beneficial interest in land. Read more

Real Estate Expenses During Pre-Acquisition

Grant Gilmour, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, Vancouver, Canada, TaxConnections

There are various real estate expenditures that are deductible to the corporation and others that are capitalized or allocated to inventory. In this FAQ, we will discuss the real estate expenses that are deductible during the pre-acquisition phase as an operating expense to the corporation in the fiscal year that expenditures were incurred.

There are many “soft” costs in real estate such as representation costs, site investigation costs and financing expenses.

Representation costs are eligible for a deduction for amounts paid in the year. Examples of these costs are rezoning applications, project planning and preliminary design costs. Read more

Passive Investment Income Proposed Tax Changes

Grant Gilmour, Tax Advisor, Vancouver, BC, TaxConnections

The Canadian tax system is built on the concept of tax integration. Based on the view of principles of fairness and neutrality, tax integration aims to ensure that an individual is indifferent between earning income through a corporation or directly as the after tax results should be the same.

Currently corporate tax rates are lower than personal tax rates; however, when after tax profits earned in a corporation flow out to an individual the net result is comparable to the net result had the individual earned it directly. The difference occurs when a corporation’s after tax profits are saved inside the corporation as a passive investment to be flowed out to the individual at a later date. Read more

Plugging The “Pipeline” Raises The Spectre Of Double Taxation

peter Kurjanowicz Tax Advisor, TaxConnections

In a recent blog post I looked at a number of impacts that may be experienced by Canadian business owners should recent tax proposals become law. Many of these are more germane to long-term tax planning, however, one of them may have very immediate consequences. In the case where a business owner passes away or has recently passed away, the estate and executors will likely face immediate issues—and the potential for double taxation. Read more

What You Need To Know About Renouncing U.S. Citizenship

Olivier Wagner, Tax Advisor, Vancouver, Canada, TaxConnections

The U.S. citizenship comes with all the arduous requirements and liabilities, hence why more people than ever started to question whether the benefits outweigh the costs. Thought of renouncing a U.S. citizenship may pass through your mind if you are already a dual citizen, have no ties with the U.S. and don’t want to carry the U.S. tax burden anymore. Some people fall into the category of “Accidental Americans” and they have never even considered themselves being Americans, so it’s the only way to free themselves from the IRS and stop playing their tax game. Read more

Renegotiating NAFTA: Are We There Yet?

Dan McGeown, Tax Advisor, Toronto, Canada, TaxConnections

Canadians could be forgiven for experiencing at least some NAFTA fatigue. The talks that began back in August have moved along in fits and starts — with little to show in tangible outcomes. Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to abandon NAFTA, yet negotiations-watchers have struggled to read his true intentions. Read more

Canada Law: Family Members As Part-Time Workers

Blair Dwyer, Tax Advisor, Canada, TaxConnections

This continues consideration of the revised proposals on income splitting through a family corporation.  The government released these revisions on December 13, 2017.  If passed into law in their current form, the proposals will apply as of the start of 2018.

The revised proposals contain an exemption for an over-age-17 family member who is actively engaged on a “regular, continuous and substantial basis” in the activities of the family business corporation. Read more

Correcting Tax Mistakes After Fairmont and Jean Coutu

I was very glad to be a panelist for the Canadian Tax Foundation’s conference on the Supreme Court of Canada’s decisions in Fairmont and Jean Coutu.

During the discussion the panelists were asked about the ways taxpayers may correct tax mistakes after these two decisions of the Supreme Court. Read more

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