If you're like many people, you're probably waiting until April to start thinking about your taxes. However, by the time taxes are due, it's usually too late to realize tax-saving opportunities.
Now is the time to determine if there are any tax breaks you can take advantage of by acting before the end of the year. With this in mind, there are a number of tax-related questions and issues that we may need to discuss soon in order for you to get the most out of this tax year. For example:
Roger and Linda are approaching their retirement. With continuing volatility in the markets, they are concerned about what effect a market downturn in the few years leading up to or just after retirement would have on their income. They also think that GIC investments would not protect their retirement income very well from inflation.
Like more and more Canadians today, neither Roger or Linda are part of a pension plan. Becausethey will be fully responsible for their retirement income stream, it's very important to them to have a plan that can potentially replicate a pension.
The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) was introduced in the February 2008 Federal Budget and will be available January 1, 2009. It is touted by the Government of Canada as "the single most important personal savings vehicle since the introduction of the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)" in 1957. As always, there are some rules:
Must be a Canadian resident aged 18 or over. Deposit up to $5,000 per year (inflation adjusted in nearest $500 increments going forward). TFSA deposits are not deductible for income tax purposes, but investment income will not be taxed while accumulating or upon withdrawal.