Tax Matters: More Potpourri

By Michael Crawford

This issue of Canadian Newcomer is all about Movers & Shakers. If there is one phrase that does not apply to all things tax it would be movers and shakers; more like Plodders & Takers (of your hard earned cash). Therefore, I have no choice but to prepare a potpourri of interesting facts and information for you this month.

CPP Rule Change

In the good old days if you were between 60 to 70 years old and you were receiving CPP (Canada Pension Plan) your employer did not have to deduct and remit CPP on your behalf. Makes sense, right? Why deduct for a benefit on the one hand and pay it back to you on the other. Now, starting in January 2012, your employer will be required to deduct CPP no matter what, for individuals between the ages of 60 to 65. For taxpayers 66 to 70, employers will still have to deduct and remit CPP unless the employee files form CPT30 with the employer. So if you are 60 to 65 you will be paying into CPP no matter what. If you are 66 to 70, you will also be paying into CPP unless you get your paperwork in order! http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/pyrll/clcltng/cpp-rpc/cppchng-wh-eng.html/

New Tax Credit for Kids

You already know about the children's fitness credit for kids (if you don't, check out http://www.cnmag.ca/issue-26/618-tax-family-matters-n09/ . However, new this year, the government is allowing a deduction for artistic endeavours [activities]. From the Canada Revenue Agency's website: “Parents whose children participate in paid artistic, cultural, recreational, and developmental programs will now enjoy the same benefit as parents whose children participate in paid programs of physical activity. Our Government believes whether a child is inspired by Karen Kain, Justin Bieber, Michael J. Fox or Kurt Browning, parents should receive a tax credit to help pay for the programs that will help their children live out those dreams,” said Minister Shea.

Justin Bieber, really?

Fraud Alert

If you have ever wanted to see what a fraudulent letter allegedly from the Canada Revenue Agency looks like, go here. What makes these fakes so unsettling and unpleasant is just how real in appearance and well constructed they are. The Canada Revenue Agency provides some good information on how to protect yourself and most of their guidelines will help you avoid on-line fraud in general, not just those e-mails pretending to be from the CRA. Find these tips at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/ntcs/bwr-eng.html. I have received one or two of these fraud messages via email, and although I was immediately suspicious I still made the effort to confirm they were hoaxes. If you have any questions about the CRA anytime, call 1-800-959-8281. This is their General Enquiries Line, and if they don't have the answer they will find someone for you who does.

The Income Tax Act and other related legislation are large and complex laws that frustrate even the professionals at times. This article is intended to increase your awareness of issues that affect you and encourage you to look more closely at the ones that relate directly to your situation. You are encouraged to seek professional guidance specific to your unique situation.