Tip of the week

March 2020

T3 Trust Return Deadline (2020)

March 24/20

Usually T3 returns for December year-ends are due on March 31st, but not this year. As 2020 is a leap year the “90 days since year-end” falls on March 30th this year, not on March 31 as is the case in a non-leap year. 

Trust return filing deadlines are different than other deadlines as they are calculated by days, not by months. For example, corporate income tax returns are due 6 months after year-end. The T3 is not due three months after year-end, it is due 90 days after year-end. 

Many trusts do not owe income tax as all of the income is distributed to the beneficiaries. But why take a chance? If the trust is deemed to have made money and the return is not filed on time, there is a late filing penalty of 7% of the tax owed. File the tax return before March 30thto avoid these penalties.


Top 3 Things You Need to Tell Your Tax Preparer

March 17/20

Tax season is in full swing. We have been allowed to EFILE for a couple of weeks now so many Canadian taxpayers are dropping their paperwork off to accountants who are busy. There are a few things that you should remember to tell your tax preparer:

  1. Did you change your marital status in 2019, get married, get separated, get divorced or maybe all of that? Your marital status can affect your tax credits.
  2. Did you move, sell a house, start living in a house that you used to rent out or start renting a house that you used to live in? Any of these events need to be documented for your tax return.
  3. Did you sell anything – shares in businesses, artwork, gold, silver? Anything that you sell could lead to a gain or a loss that should be reported on your tax return. 

The more information that your tax preparer has, the better job they can do when filing your tax return. 


First Personal tax instalment of 2020

March 10/20

I know that it does not seem fair that the first personal tax instalment for 2020 is due before you have even filed your 2019 taxes, but it is the truth. March 15th is when you would make your first payment. 

You are basing your March 15th payment on the numbers you received from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or your tax preparer when you filed your 2018 tax return. So you probably don’t have to do any calculations. 

If you are confident that you are making no money in 2020 you can forgo the tax instalment, but it is pretty early in 2020 to be making that decision. Any money that you pay to CRA that it not needed to pay your income taxes will be refunded to you. So, if you have the money you should send it to CRA.


Minimum Wage is Going Up in Nova sCotia

March 3/20

The Nova Scotia government is increasing the minimum wage for all workers to $12.55 per hour beginning on April 1, 2020. This is a $1 per hour increase. They are also eliminating the lower wage for inexperienced workers. Therefore, you may not pay anyone less than $12.55 an hour even if they are untrained.  This increase represents an 8.66% increase in your wage costs, of course that is not the complete cost. An increase in wages also increases the employer’s cost for Canada Pension Plan deductions and Employment Insurance and for Workers Compensation. 

If we assume that the overall increase is about 10%, then business owners facing a 10% increase in their labour costs will have to increase their prices by 10% in order to maintain the same net income. April 1st is coming soon, so you need to recalculate your new costs and get your new prices established.