A. Tax Legislation
A Change in Direction at TaxMentor
As you all know, it has come time for us at Taxmentor to say adieu. Farewell until the next time. After over 15 years and some 200 plus monthly seminars and Webinars we have decided to shift focus. And while we will continue to offer topical Webinars and Seminars, after March 2017, our monthly Tax Update Newsletter with commentary and Webinar are no more.
Staying up to date on tax changes is of course a critical part of a public tax practice so we would like to offer our regular subscribers some PD options and some suggestions.
First, we should note that we will continue to publish links to the most important tax news each month (starting with this month) with a word or two to indicate the subject matter and its importance. This will be in the same format as we have used in the past, but without commentary. In some cases we may write up the more important news. All of this at no charge.
Your job will be to find a forum in which you can receive verifiable PD credits. As editor -in-chief, I for one still attend a monthly dinner meeting where, free from the obligations of the office, we discuss the tax issues of the day for about 2 ½ hours over dinner. And there is no reason you couldn’t form a Skype group if you are in a more remote region and unable to meet, using the TaxBriefs newsletter as your source material. All you need is one volunteer per month to do the reading and lead the group. That will get you verifiable PD. Of course, in bigger firms, the lunch and learn approach has always been a great way to get staff up to date and earn verifiable PD credits.
We note that there are some excellent tax resources on the internet, including:
- TaxMentor’s Monthly Executive Tax Briefs – Links edition
- For real keeners, I highly recommend the Tax Interpretations Website – at $750 a year for what they offer, there is no better resource material – keep in mind that the bulk of the most significant tax news is found in CRA’s Tax Interpretations, all of which are published in only one official language. Tax Interpretations has now taken on the job of translating the French TIs to English – invaluable!
- Seminars and Webinars – Taxmentor will be offering Webinars – possibly combined with in person seminars, depending on demand – with the first Webinar anticipated for May on the Topic of Trusts and Estates with more to follow on a variety of Owner-manager tax topics – practical, subject focused, and following our usual two hour format.
- CPA’s Chapters also offer lots of tax seminars that provide verifiable credits at a modest cost.
- CPA provincial associations also offer a whole variety of CPA programs across the country although these course tend to be more expensive.
We still haven’t figured out how we can assist in connecting members who want to run their own tax study sessions but if you have any suggestions or you are interested in chairing a group, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all of us at TaxMentor, I wish to thank you for your support over the years!
Bill Cooper CPA,CGA LL.B
1. 2017 Federal Budget Commentaries
2. 2017 Provincial Territorial Budgets - Deloitte
3. Budget Dates 2017
Federal – March 22, 2017
Alberta – March 16, 2017
British Columbia – February 21, 2017
Manitoba – April 11, 2017
New Brunswick – February 7, 2017
Newfoundland & Labrador – April 6, 2017
Northwest Territories – February 1, 2017
Nova Scotia – April 27, 2017
Nunavut – February 22, 2017
Ontario – TBD
Prince Edward Island – TBD
Quebec – March 28, 2017
Saskatchewan – March 22, 2017
Yukon – April 20, 2017
4. Proposed Federal Tax Legislation - Including Budgets
The Department of Finance Website links all pending/draft tax legislation on its website, including the recent Federal Budget introduced by Notice of Ways and Means Motion on the same day as the Federal Budget.
This is where you can find links to the various Notices of Ways and Means Motions and draft technical legislative proposals which have not yet become law, as well as the Department of Finance’s explanatory notes for the proposed tax changes.
For additional details on tax legislation contact the Finance official responsible for the particular piece of legislation whose contact details are typically included with each piece of Draft Legislation.
5. Personal and Corporate Tax Rates
KPMG – Tax Facts 2016 – 2017 (202 pp) current to December 30, 2016
Deloitte – Personal and Corporate Tax Rates Archive
PwC – Combined Tax Rates
6. Status of Tax Treaty Negotiations
For the Status of International Tax Treaty Negotiations on the Department of Finance website, scroll down past the yearly Notices to see the: In Force; Signed but Not Yet In Force and Under negotiation/re-negotiation details. Also included in this section of the Department of Finance website is an update on TIEA’s. There are no new Treaties or TIEA’s this month.
B. CRA's Interpretations
7. CRA Publications
CRA publishes a wide variety of technical information on the application of the Income Tax Act (Canada) referred to in Executive Tax Briefs as the “Tax Act”. Below is a list of CRA Publications and links, where available to those CRA resources, as follows:
- The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) issues income tax folios to provide technical interpretations and positions regarding provisions of the Tax Act and related legislation. The comments in a particular Folio represent the views of CRA as they relate to provisions of the Tax Act in force at the time they were made but should not be considered to be a substitute for a review of the actual wording of the Tax Act as enacted from time to time. CRA’s views are not always shared by the courts and indeed the views of the Tax Court can be superseded by the views of the Federal Court of Appeal and, ultimately, the Federal Court of Appeal. The results of the final court finding on particular questions of law where no further appeal is available are considered to have for all times since the introduction of the legislation to be the law of the land.
- It should be noted that the system of Folios is gradually being introduced to replace the former system of, now archived, Interpretation Bulletins and Technical News releases
Interpretations Bulletins (ITBs”)
Technical Interpretations (“TIs”)
- TIs are published on a regular basis by the Rulings Directorate of CRA in Ottawa in both Official languages( with no available translations) and provide by far the most current views of CRA on the interpretation of provisions of the Tax Act in a variety of situations.
- TIs are not published on CRA’s website although inquiries regarding such items may be made directly to the Rulings Directorate by e-mail to email@example.com.
- Currently, a website called Tax Interpretations is providing free access to these copyright protected materials on a limited basis – weekends and the first week of every month. To locate a specific technical interpretation, go to http://taxinterpretations.com/ and enter the number of the TI in their search box.
- We highly recommend the Tax Interpretations Website – at $750 a year for what they offer, there is no better resource material – keep in mind that the bulk of the most significant tax news is found in CRA’s Tax Interpretations, all of which are published in only one official language and are not available to the public!!! Tax Interpretations has now taken on the job of translating the French TIs to English – invaluable!
CRA Income Tax Audit Manual
- CRA’s Income Tax Audit Manual sets out the internal audit policies and procedures for CRA employees involved in income tax audits of small and medium-sized businesses.
- Access to the Income Tax Audit Manual is now provided on the Tax Interpretations website and can provide a very useful insight into the assessing positions taken by CRA’s auditors.
8. CRA Prescribed Interest Rates and Exchange Rates
CRA prescribed nterest rates can be found at the following prescribed interest rates link.
For exchange rates see:
9. GST/HST/PST Links
Executive TaxBriefs is dedicated to providing the most current monthly updates on income tax matters affecting Owner-managers. However, for your convenience this news item contains links to important GST/HST/PST resources.
CRA pages on GST/HST:
New GST/HST Forms, Guides or Releases this month:
10. Couple under the Same Roof can be Living Separate and Apart
11. If Vehicle Allowance is too Low, Employee can Include Allowance and Deduct Expense
12. New CRA Phone Service for Complex Technical Tax Issues Limited to Ontario and Quebec CPAs
13. CRA Indicates that Damages can be Eligible for a s. 216 Election
14. S. 94(3) Trust can Cause a Trust of Which it is Beneficiary to be Subject to Part XII.2 Tax
15. Usual Statute-Barring Rules Apply to Whether Partnership Income or Loss can be Redetermined
16. Writing-Off A Statute-Barred Debt Of An Employee Triggers A S. 6(15) Benefit
17. Distribution to a Partnership Comprised of Named Trust Beneficiaries Does not Qualify
18. PHSP May Consist of Two Employee - Shareholders
19. Gross Negligence Penalty Can Be Imposed Even Where No Return Is Filed
20. CRA Considers Limited Partners Can Deal At Arm’s Length With A Canadian Subsidiary
21. Professionals Sharing Payroll Expenses Permitted to Open Single Payroll Account Not a Partnership
22. CRA Provides Admin Relief Where Registrant Fails To Self-Assess Tax on Real Estate Puchase
23. Estate Can Make A Gift Qua GRE Before It Has Filed Its First Return
C. Tax Court Cases
24. Aeronautic Development – TCC finds Extreme Economic Dependence gave rise to De Facto Control
25. FCA Finds That Taxpayers Should Not Be Compelled To Disclose To CRA The Uncertain Tax Positions
D. Practitioner's Forum
26. KPMG and Tax Havens for the Rich : The Untouchables
27. The CBC's Continued Attack on the Tax Profession - Moody's Blog
28. US Limited Partnership Can Be Useful For Outbound Property Transfer From Canada
29. Naming a Corporation as a Beneficiary of a Family Trust
30. IRS To Enforce Passport Revocation
In an article in the March 2017 edition of Canadian Tax Highlights published by the Canadian Tax Foundation entitled “IRS To Enforce Passport Revocation”, James M. Bandoblu Jr. writes that “[t]he current US administration’s changes to immigration policy have garnered substantial press and criticism over the last few months. However, it is a law enacted in December 2015, during the previous administration, that will soon prevent certain US citizens from travelling on a US passport. The IRS recently announced that it is almost ready to enforce the law, which authorizes the US Department of State to revoke or deny the passport of a US citizen who has a “seriously delinquent tax debt.” The IRS indicated that it will announce on its website the implementation of the process of certifying tax debt to the State Department and will begin that process in “early 2017.””
To secure full access to the newsletters of the Canadian Tax foundation you must be a member – subscription information to this invaluable source of tax research material can be found here.
For access to the full library of Canadian Tax Foundation publications subscribe to TaxFind Online – by far the best deal in tax resources anywhere in Canada!
No serious tax practitioner should be without a membership to the CTF and a subscription to TaxFind Online.