April 25, 2021

Canadians plan on paying down debt with tax refunds

1317230_29811116It's not quite like winning a lottery, but almost 8.8 million Canadians will be getting a tax refund so far this year.

To date, 13.1 million tax returns have been filed before the April 30 personal income tax deadline. About 86 per cent of those were filed electronically, and the average refund to date is about $1,585.

If you're one of the lucky ones receiving a tax refund windfall, how do plan on spending your new found wealth? 

Well, according to a new study by BMO Nesbitt Burns, many Canadians will be paying off household debt and making investments.

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March 07, 2022

Canadians investing in retirement with RRSPs

It seems that Canadians are investing in their retirement a little more than usual.

Now that the RRSP contribution deadline has passed, BMO Bank of Montreal released a study which revealed that 63 per cent of those polled made or had planned on making a contribution to their RRSP before the March 1 deadline.

That's an increase over the previous year when only 38 per cent indicated they were contributing.

So what's the logic behind stashing away your cash now for your golden years ahead?

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March 06, 2022

Getting your taxes ready to go

Everywhere you look there are gentle reminders that the income tax deadline is drawing near.

For instance, many postal outlets have the T1 General Tax Forms and Guides available to pick up and income tax preparers are busy advertising their services.

But before you get started, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) offers some helpful tips to get you off on the right foot this year.

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March 01, 2022

Retirees are happy and busy as bees

You would think that life slows down in retirement.

But in fact, according to a new report by BMO Bank of Montreal, Canadian retirees are busier than ever. 

There's not enough hours in a day for all the activities retirees have these days.

The report revealed that more than one-third of those polled have more activities than time in which to do them and one in three admit that retirement is more expensive than they expected.

However, 82 per cent say they are happy with their current lifestyle.

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February 22, 2022

Mutual funds a popular RRSP choice

Decisions, decisions.

Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) season is upon us and there are a wide range of investment options available from which to choose.

So how do you plan on making these important investment decisions?

Well, one of the more popular investment choices seems to be mutual funds for RRSPs, according to a new report by BMO Bank of Montreal.

The study revealed that 72 per cent of Canadians say they hold mutual funds within their RRSP, and that mutual funds make up about one-third (31 per cent) of all holdings held in RRSPs.

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February 15, 2022

Retirement not on the menu for dating couples

Forget the champagne and roses, what about retirement plans?

Believe it or not, talking about retirement isn't one of the top conversations for dating couples.

In fact, only 28 per cent of Canadian couples say they shared their plans for retirement with each other before getting married.

And those who did discuss their plans figure they need at least $1 million to fund their retirement years.

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February 13, 2022

Consider filing your taxes online this year

The internet is quickly becoming the perfect place for online shopping, dating and yes, even taxes.

As a matter of fact, more than 65 per cent of tax returns are now filed electronically. It's safe, secure, easy and convenient!

And with tax season being just around the corner, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) offers some handy tips to help you file your 2012 income tax online.

To get started, make sure you visit their website to learn about ways to help reduce your taxes. Then, gather all your receipts, information slips and a copy of last year's return to use as a guide. 

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February 12, 2022

Young Canadians concerned about retirement

Thinking about the future -- especially retirement -- isn't always at the top of the list when you're young.

Many young Canadians are living for the moment and looking for instant gratification. They already have a lot on their plate to worry about including graduating, funding college or university, and acquiring a good job in today's highly competitive job market. 

So it's no wonder they feel unprepared financially for just seems like such a long way ahead in the future.

A new report from BMO Bank of Montreal reveals that 80 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 are concerned about their ability to save for retirement.

That's just one more thing to add to their growing list of worries.

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February 09, 2022

Tax tips for those 65 and older

Tax season doesn't have to be -- well, taxing.

If you're 65 or older, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has some tips on benefits and credits designed just for seniors.

For instance, if you were 65 or older on December 31, 2021 and your net income was less than $78,684 you can claim an age amount of up to $6,720.

You may also claim a pension income amount up to $2,000 if you reported eligible pension, superannuation or annuity payments on your income tax return. As well, if you're receiving a pension you may be entitled to pension income splitting with your spouse or common-law partner of up to 50 per cent of your eligible pension income.

Your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) deductible contributions can also help reduce your income tax. You have until December 31 of the year you turn 71 to contribute to your RRSP.

Other tax breaks that are worth looking into include the Registered Disability Saving Plan (RDSP); Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) credit that helps people with modest incomes offset all or part of the GST/HST they pay; Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB); a disability amount; public transit amount; and medical expenses that you may qualify for.

If you're computer and web savvy you may also file your your income tax online through the CRA. The online service enables you to file your income tax and benefit returns, make a payment, sign up for direct deposit and track your refund. All you need is your Social Insurance Number and date of birth to access the system.

The agency also offers a Community Volunteer Income Tax Program to assist those with modest incomes or simple tax situations.

Remember...the deadline to file your Personal Income Tax is April 30, 2013. Those who are self-employed have until June 15 unless they have a balance owed and then the deadline is April 30, 2013.

By Donna Donaldson, MSN Money

Will you be filing your taxes online this year?


February 07, 2022

RRSP season is nothing to sneeze at

Enough about flu season – it’s time to stop sniffling and start seriously thinking about RRSP season.

The deadline date for making contributions to the Registered Retirement Savings Plan for the 2012 taxation year is just around the corner on March 1.

An RRSP is a plan that helps you save for retirement while offering you some other great tax benefits. For instance, deductible RRSP contributions can reduce the amount you owe on your income tax or even give you a bigger refund (depending on your income). And, as long as the funds remain in the plan they are exempt from tax as it grows.

You don’t have to make one annual lump sum to contribute to an RRSP either. RRSPs can be made easier to carry through monthly payments that suit your budget needs. However, if you are considering making a lump sum contribution before the March 1 deadline but don’t have the on-hand cash, another option is to talk to your financial advisor about an RRSP loan.

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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...