2017 Year End Tax Tips
Length 3:17

Jamie Golombek, Managing Director, Tax & Estate Planning, CIBC Financial Planning and Advice

It’s hard to believe it's that time of the year already. Year end tax planning - a topic that we revisit every year. There are a couple of things that are a little bit unique about 2017 that we really want to talk about today. So first of all, this is the final year of 2017, in which someone can claim the first time donor super credit. That's an additional 25% federal donation credit, on top of the regular Federal and Provincial credits that you get for charitable donations. Now it only applies to a first time donor, so you might be thinking I don't have any one as a first time donor, we've all made donations before, but think about students, students perhaps who are graduating either from high school, or from college or university that may never have made a donation before, or if they may never have claimed it on their return because the income was so they didn't have to, they didn't pay any tax. This is a huge opportunity before the end of the year when the first time donor super credit expires to make up to a thousand dollars of charitable contributions, get an additional 25% back. So we could have very generous credits as high as almost 75% depending on the province. So that's something that's unique for 2017 because it actually expires on December 31st, 2017.

Additional year end tax deadlines

Now there are other types of payments that have to be made by the end of the year. So all charitable donations have to be made by year end to be able to get a tax receipt for the 2017 year. If you're claiming medical expenses for example, you want to make sure you can choose any 12-month period. Most people do choose a calendar year. So if there are medical expenses that you want to pay, make sure you do them by the end of the year. If you're paying interest on a loan that's used for the purpose of earning investment income, that interest is typically tax deductible. But again you've got to pay that interest by the end of the year. RRSP deadlines, we have a little bit longer. We have a couple of extra months until the end of February to make those RRSP contributions. But things like RESP contributions - if you want to get the grant for your particular child for 2017 without having to wait, that's an opportunity to do that. RDSP for disability savings plan - to get the grants and the bonds - again if you want to claim a 2017 grant without worrying about the carry forward rules, that's something that you might want to do this year.

Plan for CCPC (Canadian-controlled private corporation) tax changes

And finally, probably the hottest topic on the tax agenda recently has been the changes to small business corporation CCPC taxation, originally announced in July of 2017. We've just recently seen some amendments to those rules. So it's very important that if you are a business owner, a small business owner or perhaps a professional corporation, be sure to get some specific advice when it comes to your private company for 2017. There may be some strategies depending on your situation in which you have to take action before the end of this year to make sure that you're okay going forward.

As with all types of tax strategies, again it’s important to speak to a financial adviser. All of these strategies and many more are actually discussed in my updated report.

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