Tax Day in Canada 2021

Barring a reprieve from the CRA, tax day for 2021 is today. Time to get your taxes done!

I have written many articles about taxes, I will include a few at the end of this article.

Reasons folks tell me they haven’t done their taxes:

I Don’t Owe Anything

Are you sure about that one? Unless you do your taxes, you can’t be sure you owe nothing. If you are owe nothing, why not do your taxes? Get it done. If you are owed money, you enjoy loaning the government money? That is what you are doing if you are owed a refund, and you don’t file your taxes. Who can afford not getting all their money they earned? I suppose Elon Musk maybe?

I Can’t Be Bothered

Usually followed by, “the CRA will come get me if I owe money”. You do realize if you owe money, and haven’t filed they start charging interest on the money owed? This is not the IRS, but the CRA can garnish your wages, if you ignore them long enough.

I Had No Income

Well, that is a great reason to file your taxes. How else will you get HST rebates and many other things? Find someone to help you file, if you can’t do it yourself. Many support programs rely on you showing you have no income, and your taxes is where that can be done. For young folks this is important as well, for things like OSAP, if they are going to claim they are self-supporting. For RDSPs this is important for disabled young folks so they can receive the Canada disability savings grant at a higher level and Canada disability savings bond. The Bond is $1000 if you put no money into your RDSP account for the year (i.e. free money).

I Can’t Get Into My CRA

Yes, that was a big problem for about 800,000 of us, but that is not an excuse (evidently). You needed to spend a while on the phone with the CRA to clear that up. They also (evidently) fixed the problem for a lot of folks too?

Mother's Day

I am Dead

Yes, this is a reason, for you. OK a bit morbid, and maybe not that funny given the COVID times that we are living in. Someone needs to submit your taxes in this instance (your executor most likely), to make sure the CRA knows this as well.

Frederick's of Hollywood

Other Fun Tax Articles

Some other articles I have written over the ages about Income Tax in Canada

{ 0 comments }

An interesting comment on one of my older posts (the script for customer retention) stated

“…  you’re bottom feeding scum that try to bully everyone for nickels and dimes when you aren’t a top shelf customer to begin with…”.

Comment about negotiating for a better price

I am assuming that if the writer is an actual call center employee, they do not speak for their employers (officially). They could easily have been a troll trying to have a laugh as well.

Throughout that article I stressed the importance of being polite with folks on the phone (my daughter works in a call center and I know how crazy some people can get). Politeness is the key when dealing with service folks. Many times they cannot do anything, but if you are polite they will pass you on to someone who can.

I am glad that this one article keeps getting folks reading, and hopefully getting better deals, but, things are changing out there. My inability to get to the Customer Retention group to get a better deal (Cable and Phone service), I will be trying again, but there is hope.

Media Maven Preet Banerjee says he has had an interesting “deal” proposed to him. He set up Rogers Internet in his new Fortress of Solitude in Downtown Gotham (North), and realized two weeks later that he might need a higher monthly bandwidth limit. Did this cause him to give up? NO! He called and he must have used one of his Jedi mind tricks because they gave him a higher monthly limit and they charged him less for it? (This was not the deal you negotiated).

We Deserve Better Deals

I realize that not all of us have a Fortess of Solitude or Jedi mind tricks to fall back on to get a better deal, but Ellen Roseman wants us to get those better deals (and wants to make sure we don’t get ripped off). If you have a chance to listen to this up beat lady talk, do it! She told some scary consumer stories, but she also gave me hope that we can all get a better deal (if we just stay persistent).

It is your right as a consumer to get the best deal that you can get.

I continue to fight to get better deals. Be polite, but also be firm, if you are a good customer. Why should only new customers get good deals? This is true for all services, not just ISPs, but Banks, and other service providers too. This is a rewrite from many years ago, but still very true.

{ 3 comments }

Changes to Disability Tax Credit

The proposed 2021 Federal Budget has possible changes to how disabilities are evaluated. Specifically, “…update the list of mental functions of everyday life that is used for assessment for the Disability Tax Credit…”. When I first read the statement, I worried this was an attempt to shrink the pool, but I have been assured this is not the case.

A portion of the statement is as follows:

To help more families and people living with disabilities access the Disability Tax Credit, and other related support measures like the Registered Disability Savings Plan and the Child Disability Benefit: 

* Budget 2021 proposes to update the list of mental functions of everyday life that is used for assessment for the Disability Tax Credit. Using terms that are more clinically relevant would make it easier to be assessed, reduce delays, and improve access to benefits.

* Budget 2021 also proposes to recognize more activities in determining time spent on life-sustaining therapy and to reduce the minimum required frequency of therapy to qualify for the Disability Tax Credit. To ensure these changes enable applicants to have a fair and proper assessment of their eligibility for the Disability Tax Credit, the government will undertake a review of these changes in 2023.

It is estimated that, as a result of these measures, an additional 45,000 people will qualify for the Disability Tax Credit, and related benefit programs linked to its eligibility, each year. This represents $376 million in additional support over five years, starting in 2021-22.

Part 3: A Resilient and Inclusive Recovery

It is the final line of that statement that makes me less paranoid about this.

Caveat Disability Tax Credit

As with previous changes, these will not come into play until after the Budget (2021) is passed by parliament. What the results of the review ends up doing, remains to be seen. My concern is still with the “…Using terms that are more clinically relevant would make it easier….” phrase. This suggests the Doctor filling in the T2201 forms will need to know the correct vernacular for the forms.

  • The RDSP Page is the Overview of all articles I have written about the RDSP (including DTC and other areas).
    • RDSP : Laying the Ground Work (first things first)
      What needs to be done BEFORE you can apply for a Registered Disability Savings Plan? A major aspect of this is the Disability Tax Credit (DTC), make sure you click on this page to get started.
    • RDSP : Working with The Account
      Now that you have succeeded getting your Disability Tax Credit (DTC) you need to open an RDSP account with a bank or such, but how is that done? It is not as easy as you might think. This page outlines many of the issues that have arisen for my family working with an RDSP account.
    • Disability Tax Related Topics
      Thanks for my RDSP and DTC work I then had to learn a great deal about the tax implications of having a disabled child.
    • Autism Specific Articles
      Being the proud Father of a child on the Autism Spectrum I also ended up writing a great deal about Autism specific things as well.

{ 1 comment }

What the Hustler Taught Me About Banking

One of my favorite movies is “The Hustler” (the original with Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason). Mr. Newman played “Fast Eddie” Felson a hustler who wants to be a success, and his goal was to beat Minnesota Fats (played by Mr. Gleason). The movie is an intricate set of stories, one of which is the thematic premise about how to deal with your victims (patsies, marks, etc.,):

The Hustler at Amazon
The Hustler at Amazon Canada

“Always leave a mark with some money in their pocket, that way they keep coming back”

The Hustler

That is how banks have done it for years. They are finding new and more exciting ways to bleed some money out of you, but not so much that you decide to bank somewhere else (also, they are all doing it, your only other option is to put it in your mattress).

The scary part is that Insurance, Telecomm Companies and most service providers have gone to this model. Bleed out as many fees as they can, until you threaten to leave.

My opinion of the banks’ thinking in this area? Let me quote Fast Eddie from the Colour of Money:

“Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.”

They aren’t earning all this extra money, they are winning it off you.

Whining?

These days, it is hard to find a service not attempting to extract extra service fees. Airlines, have gone berserk with fees, we shall see if COVID somehow reforms their fee lust.

Learn how the game is played, or you will get hustled.

This was originally written many years back, I have added a bit more to it.

{ 9 comments }

Good Friday is a day of reflection. Why is it called Good Friday? (click here to find out) It is a day of endings, but of new beginnings too. If you need a milestone to start new behaviours Easter is actually better than the New Year. In the Christian perspective Easter is the New Year.

The old problem? We still have COVID, and all the associated issues. Vaccines are now deploying, but not as fast as they should. Businesses are failing, jobs are being lost and people are dying. Amazing what you get used to, I suppose. I have not been jabbed yet, even though I am over 60, but that may happen soon? Given all the vaccinations going on, why are the numbers so bad today? People are people.

How about Bitcoin? I keep getting asked about it because I am a Technology Geek and I write this, and my answer is simple, what? I have always viewed Bitcoin as currency (at best), and I have shied away from Currency Arbitrage whenever I could. I am not investing directly in Bitcoin, although the Index Funds I hold might do something with it. What about other Cryptocurrencies? What about XRP ? It is actually being used as a currency, but no one really talks about that. Axios (on HBO) episode 6 season 4 does a segment on XRP, very interesting. There are many cryptocurrencies out there.

Tax Time is here! I have already submitted my return and got my refund. I have also realized I may not have claimed something and may need to send an update. Tax Time is a wonderful time of year, so go get it done.

The good new is the Suez Canal has been cleared, so shipping can start again. The better news is the number of Memes that are created because of it. See farther down for only a few of these classics.

Inflation (year over year February 2021) 1.1%
Bank of Canada Overnight Rate April 2nd0.25%
Unemployment Rate (as of February 2021)8.2%
Real GDP By Expenditure (Q4 2020)(quarterly change)2.3%
Population of Canada (Est January 2, 2021)38,048,738
CIBC current prime rate2.45%
BMO current prime rate2.45%
Scotiabank prime lending rate2.45%
TD prime lending rate2.45%
Tangerine prime lending rate2.45%
Some Useful Financial Data for Canadians as of April 2nd, 2021

COVID19 Data Canada

Click here to find an up to date graphic from the Government of Canada

Total Cases971,715
Total Deaths22,900
Data as of April 2nd, 2021

Past Writings

So, haven’t done one of these in a long while. I am reworking some of my older articles, and attempting to start writing a bit more often. Maybe I’ll try to become an #Influencer? 💩

  • CPP and EI for 2021, never mess with a winning topic. The deduction allowances have changed and here is where you can read about it!
  • Quick Financial Thoughts just a few financial ideas to read about.
  • A Mortgage Changes You no matter what anyone tells you. You either learn to be fiscally responsible, or you lose your home.
  • Chutzpah in Job Interviews a rewrite from before I got laid off, when I was interviewed by an interesting chap. I assume he was well intentioned, but still, don’t use a term when you can’t pronounce it correctly. Also, never correct someone interviewing you either.
  • The One Thing That Helped me Get a Job is back when I was hunting for a job and the things I learned about how to find a job.
  • Paying Off Debt is Risky ? An odd comment on Instagram (when I was trying to become an influencer) caused me to erupt here.
  • My CRA Error ERR.021 what happens when the CRA gets advice about possibly hacked accounts? The hilarity that follows, is astounding.
  • RDSP Grant Entitlement Statement 2021 for another year we can put $1000 into our son’s RDSP.
  • How do You do your Taxes? A rewrite of an older commentary on doing your taxes.
  • Property Tax Alternative idea? Property taxes are becoming more and more expensive and it is mostly due to the sky-rocketing prices of homes in major Canadian cities.
  • Advice for New Grads? Another rewrite of some notes I made for an interview, for a magazine, that no longer exists.


Easter, a time to rebuild and restart?

As I have said many times, Easter is a great time to restart things. How about those resolutions you made on January 1st?


Sobering Message From Preet B.

At the end of it, somebody gets paid

Rick Mercer’s Nasty View on Taxes

I don’t think there is a more descriptive video for Tax Time than this Rick Mercer classic.

Rick Mercer for Governor General

That looks Stuck

That is what most of us thought of…

Hoyes Nails It

Possibly the best explanation of why minimum payments on Credit Cards are not doing you much good.

Canada is #1 But Maybe Not For a Good Thing

Bubbles get Big in Canada

Random Thoughts from the Past

{ 0 comments }

%d bloggers like this: