Tax Alerts

A checklist of items for review and what to bring in when its time to do your taxes.

Keep up to date with the latest new information and tips

The Employment Insurance premium rate for 2023 is set at 1.63%.

The Québec Pension Plan contribution rate for 2023 is set at 6.40% of pensionable earnings for the year.

The Canada Pension Plan contribution rate for 2023 is set at 5.95% of pensionable earnings for the year.

Dollar amounts on which individual non-refundable federal tax credits for 2023 are based, and the actual tax credit claimable, will be as follows:

The indexing factor for federal tax credits and brackets for 2023 is 6.3%. The following federal tax rates and brackets will be in effect for individuals for the 2023 tax year.

Each new tax year brings with it a listing of tax payment and filing deadlines, as well as some changes with respect to tax saving and planning strategies. Some of the more significant dates and changes for individual taxpayers for 2023 are listed below.

Two quarterly newsletters have been added—one dealing with personal issues, and one dealing with corporate issues.

Canada’s retirement income system is often referred to as a three-part system. Individuals earning income from employment or self-employment can contribute to a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) and withdraw funds from that plan in retirement. A much smaller (and shrinking) group of Canadians will receive income in retirement from an employer-sponsored pension plan. Finally, there are two government sponsored retirement income programs. Under the first, Canadian retirees who participated in the paid work force during their adult life will have contributed to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and will be able to receive CPP retirement benefits as early as age 60.

As the pandemic continues to wane, traditional employer-sponsored holiday social events have once again become a reality – although, as in all aspects of pandemic life, such events will likely be a hybrid of “virtual” and in-person functions.

The worst of the COVID-19 pandemic which began almost three years ago is now (hopefully) behind us. That doesn’t mean, however, that Canadians aren’t still dealing with the unwelcome consequences of the pandemic, in a number of ways.

For individual Canadian taxpayers, the tax year ends at the same time as the calendar year. And what that means for individual Canadians is that any steps taken to reduce their tax payable for 2022 must be completed by December 31, 2022. (For individual taxpayers, the only significant exception to that rule is registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) contributions. With some exceptions, such contributions can be made any time up to and including March 1, 2023, and claimed on the return for 2022.)

For most Canadians, tax planning for a year that hasn’t even started yet may seem too remote to even be considered. However, most Canadians will start paying their taxes for 2023 with the first paycheque they receive in January of 2023, less than two months from now. And, of course, with inflation running at over 7% and interest rates having nearly doubled in the last eight months, managing cash flow and maximizing take-home (after tax) income is a priority for everyone right now.

Over the past three years, the structure of work-from-home arrangements for employees has been a constantly changing landscape. In 2020, almost all employees who could work from home were required to do so, as most workplaces were closed under pandemic public health lockdown rules. As the pandemic eased (slightly) in 2021, employees began, in some cases, to return to the workplace on a part-time or full-time basis. That trend has continued in 2022, although in most cases employees are now working from home by agreement with their employer, rather than because of the requirements of a public health mandate.

The majority of Canadians who are not members of an employer-sponsored defined benefit registered pension plan save for retirement through a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP). For those Canadians who have accumulated retirement savings in an RRSP, the year in which they turn 71 is decision time. By the end of that year, all RRSPs must be closed, and the RRSP holder must decide whether to transfer his or her accrued savings into a registered retirement income fund (RRIF), or purchase an annuity, or both. (It’s also possible to collapse the RRSP and include all RRSP amounts in income for that year, but such a course of action is rarely advisable from a tax perspective).

While the current state of the Canadian health care system is not without its problems, Canadians are nonetheless fortunate to have a publicly-funded health care system, in which most major medical expenses are covered by provincial health care plans. Notwithstanding, there is a large (and growing) number of medical and para-medical costs – including dental care, prescription drugs, physiotherapy, ambulance trips, and many others - which must be paid for on an out-of-pocket basis by the individual. In some cases, such costs are covered by private insurance, usually provided by an employer, but not everyone benefits from private health care coverage. Self-employed individuals, those working on contract, or those whose income comes from several part-time jobs do not usually have access to such private insurance coverage. Fortunately for those individuals, our tax system acts to help cushion the blow by providing a medical expense tax credit to help offset out-of-pocket medical and para-medical costs which must be incurred.

Two quarterly newsletters have been added—one dealing with personal issues, and one dealing with corporate issues.

Two quarterly newsletters have been added—one dealing with personal issues, and one dealing with corporate issues.

The fact that Canada is in the middle of a housing crisis isn’t really news to anyone. Whether it’s having difficulty finding an affordable apartment or putting together enough money for a down payment, or coping with ever increasing mortgage interest rates and mortgage payments, housing availability and affordability is a concern for Canadians across all age groups.

Most Canadians know that the deadline for making contributions to one’s registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) comes 60 days after the end of the calendar year, around the end of February. There are, however, some circumstances in which an RRSP contribution must (or should) be made by December 31, in order to achieve the desired tax result.

One of the most valuable tax and investment strategies available to Canadians is home ownership. While the real estate market can (and does) go and up down, home ownership has proven to be, over the long term, a reliable way of building net worth.

Transitioning into retirement is a complex process, one which involves decisions around finances (present and future) as well as one’s way of life. While it was once typical for an individual to work full time until retiring (usually at age 65), the word “retirement” no longer has a single meaning – in fact, it’s now the case that almost every individual’s retirement plans look at little different than anyone else’s. Some will take a traditional retirement of moving from a full-time job into not working at all, while others may stay working full-time past the traditional retirement age of 65. Still others will leave full-time employment, but continue to work part-time, either out of financial need or simply from a desire to stay active and engaged in the work force.

As pandemic restrictions ease, the option of sending kids to summer camp is once again a realistic one and, for both kids and parents, the possibility of doing so must be particularly welcome this year.

Canada’s retirement income system has three major components – private savings through registered retirement savings plans or registered pension plans, and two public retirement income plans – the Canada Pension Plan and the Old Age Security program. The last of those – the Old Age Security program – is the only aspect of Canada’s retirement income system which does not require a direct contribution from recipients of program benefits. Rather, the OAS program is funded through general tax revenues, and eligibility to receive OAS is based solely on Canadian residency. Anyone who is 65 years of age or older and has lived in Canada for at least 40 years after the age of 18 is eligible to receive the maximum benefit. For the second quarter of 2022 (April to June 2022), that maximum monthly benefit is $648.67.

It is a sad fact that, every year, thousands of Canadians become the victims of scams in which fraud artists claim to be representatives of the federal government. Equally sadly, in most cases the money lost is never recovered.