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A University of Toronto Law professor recently launched a new website called Taxwiki.ca which is a FREE resource that aims to answer tax questions of all kinds.

Professor Benjamin Alarie who is an associate professor of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law (shout out to the T-dot lol) recently launched, with the help of his law students, a new non-commerical website (read- no ads!) called TaxWiki.ca which aims to provide accurate tax information to the Canadian public.  It’s a FREE resource that aims to answer tax questions accurately of all kinds, including information about donations and official receipts, to questions about principle residence.

Everyone knows that the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) website is confusing and not updated very well (heck, even the Officer of the Auditor General of Canada admits it!), so this new intiative is unprecedented.  I think it will change the way Canadians see taxes.  Taxes won’t be so scary anymore, and hopefully people will feel confident enough to do their own taxeswell.  They will feel empowered with tax information at their fingertips… instead of resorting to Googling “taxes Canada student loans” or something.

Taxes Pictures, Images and Photos

The content is CRA material, except that it is edited and updated by a panel of tax experts, including tax students, tax accountants, tax lawyers, tax academics to reflect the current taxation law.  They consult the Income Tax Act, the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, and even the Supreme Court of Canada.  You know that the information you’re getting is as good as gold.

Professor Alarie details the launch of the Taxwiki.ca website here on the University of Toronto blog.  He plans to add information on GST/HST on there too in the future.

I’ve already bookmarked the site and am looking forward to using it (a lot) when I do my taxes again next year. Hope you find it useful as I do!

Article comments

Valerie says:

Mother in law entered long tem care in Feb 2019 (permanent) Sister in law stayed living in the home which my mother in law owned and lived in since it was built (husband passed in 1998) As POA’s we have sold the house to use proceeds to cover mother’s care costs. Given this situation I know we can claim and Principal Residence Exemption for the Capital Gains on the house sale but there is a little confusion. Sister in law moved out OCt31/20 in order to facilitate the clearing out and set up for the house to go on the market, which it did on Nov 27/20-house sold immediately and sale closed on Jan 6, 2021-My question is this-in which year do we record the sale? when it was sold, as per paperwork, or when is finalized and the money changed hands? And, if it is when the money changed hands how can we claim a PRE in 2021 when it was only 6 days and no one was living in the house at that time. Would like some direction as to how to handle this situation considering we are coming up to filing 2020 tax returns and do not wnat my mother inlaw on the hook for any capital gains tax, especially since she bought the house in 1958 for a minimal amount and the amounf of the sale price whould provide a very large capital gains amount

Robb Engen says:

Hi Valerie, you should double check with a tax expert but my understanding is you’d use the date the house closed and money changed hands. Not sure on the principle residence exemption calculation given that your sister in law lived there briefly.

VT says:

Hi, I have a small CCPC that owns a commercial building, so collects rent but has no employees and pays the full general tax rate. My RDTOH account at the end of 2018 was considerable. When I paid 2019/20 shareholder dividends I’m told it must come out of a non eligible RDTOH account in order to claim the dividend refund. Is there not a transition opportunity to pay these dividends that have already been taxed at a high rate without now causing the shareholders to pay an extremely high rate also. This is effectively taxing the earnings at >70%. Help

Robb Engen says:

HI VT, you should connect with a tax expert to determine how best to set this up.

Brian says:

I’m 63 years old and recently retired. I’m converting my DC Pension into a LIFF and my RRSP into a RIFF to start a monthly income stream starting in Jan 2021. I’m not taking my CPP until I’m 65. My wife is 61 years of age and also recently retired. My first question is around income splitting. Can I split any of my income with her before age 65? My second question is on the Pension tax credit. Can I receive it before I’m 65? If I can income split does my wife then qualify for the credit?

Robb Engen says:

Hi Brian, you cannot split RRIF income with your spouse until you turn 65 (the recipient must be at least 65). As for the $2,000 pension tax credit, you can receive this as long as you’re withdrawing from a RRIF and not just your RRSP.

Tim says:

If I am a member of 2 DC Pension Plans with two different employers and the combined contributions from both plans (EE and ER) will exceed the maximum for the year, how is the overage dealt with? Both plans are mandatory

Robb Engen says:

Hi Tim, that’s an interesting dilemma. You cannot exceed your maximum RRSP deduction limit in a given year or you’ll face pretty stiff penalties (1% per month on the over-contribution). You need to make one or both of your DC plans aware of this so they will stop deductions at a certain point (let’s say half your RRSP deduction limit go into each plan).

Lloyd Deane says:

As a Canadian resident, if I hold shares of a US corporation in my RRSP, are the dividends paid to me considered eligible or non-eligible by the CRA?

Robb Engen says:

Hi Lloyd, neither. They’re considered foreign dividends and don’t receive any special tax treatment in Canada. In fact, your dividends will be subject to 15% foreign withholding tax.

Paul says:

Is there any tax consequence to withdrawing retirement income from my own RRSP in the same year as making a spousal RRSP contribution?

Robb Engen says:

Hi Paul, yes – any withdrawals made from your RRSP will be added to your income for that year. Your financial institution will also withhold tax of between 10% to 30% of the amount you withdraw.

You’re thinking of the attribution rules of a spousal RRSP, which state that if your spouse makes a withdrawal within three years of the contribution the withdrawal will be attributed back to you.

Michelle says:

My parents financed my home through my divorce as I didn’t qualify for a mortgage. I’ve resided there for 5 years the mortgage is up for renewal. I’ve paid the mortgage, property taxes etc the entire time. Their principal residence is bought and paid for. If we decided to sell the home, pay out the mortgage and I use the equity to purchase another home with a mortgage in my own name, would my parents have to classify the sale of my house as capital gains on their income tax returns?

Robb Engen says:

Hi Michelle, if your parents are owners on the title of the house then my understanding would be that the home is considered a second property for your parents and would be subject to capital gains when sold.

However, I’d recommend speaking with a tax accountant as there could be some nuance here with regards to a principal residence exemption since you paying the mortgage payments.

terry says:

I have just sold one of my rental properties. My Question is.. whould I be able to use my capital gains to pay off a nother rental property mortgage to avoid paying any capital gains?

Robb Engen says:

Hi Terry, unfortunately not. The capital gain will be added to your net income this and can only be deducted or offset by a capital loss either received in the previous three years or any future year.

Rob says:

I sold a rental condo. This sale created capital gains. Can I use any current and previous years’ net capital losses incurred via the sale of stocks to offset the gains earned from the sale of the property? Based on Canadian tax laws.

Robb Engen says:

Hi Rob, the CRA allows you to carry net capital losses back up to three years, and carry them forward indefinitely. So, if you had incurred capital losses prior to this year that you hadn’t claimed then you could use them to offset this year’s capital gain.

Kelly says:

I have self employment income from Alberta, but the tax return I am filing is in quebec. Do I use the schedule 8 from alberta and do cpp contributions or the form from Quebec and do qpp contributions?

reg says:

Hello Robb. Thanks for the info. Especially the link for over contributions. I appreciate all that is being done here to help us.
Thanks again Robb.

bonnie says:

I have a screen printing business, I’m wondering which category the ‘ink, emulsions, screens’ should go under….Would this be supplies or purchases (COGS)…I also just started doing ribbons and buttons….So would all these items purchased like ribbon, button parts etc….would these go under Supplies or purchases(COGS)….Thank you

Robb Engen says:

Hi Bonnie, sorry but that’s a pretty specific question for your industry that you should double check with an accountant.

Corinne F Gough says:

Hi there,
I am doing a T2 for a corporation and have found that the previous accountant has used CCA for the past few years and increased the losses each year. Is that acceptable? My understanding is that you cannot increase or create a non-capital loss, with CCA. Having said that, this year, the same corporation has a small gain. So can I use the previous year’s losses without first using CCA in the current year?

Reg. says:

Hello. I have made a contribution to my spousal RRSP larger than my allowable limit for 2019. Can my wife, whose name is on the spousal RRSP contribution receipt use some of the remaining amount of the contribution for her 2019 tax return?

Robb Engen says:

Hi Reg, no your wife cannot claim any of your contribution to a spousal RRSP. You do have a cumulative lifetime “over-contribution” limit of $2,000 where you won’t get a deduction for that amount but you also won’t be penalized for your over-contribution.

If your over-contribution exceeded $2,000 then you need to withdraw the excess amount immediately and contact the CRA to let them know you took steps to correct your mistake. There are disclosure forms available here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/rrsps-related-plans/contributing-a-rrsp-prpp/what-happens-you-over-your-rrsp-prpp-deduction-limit.html

Robb Engen says:

Hi Angela, yes that would be considered a rental property. The CRA understands that often times people will rent a place to someone they know at below market value. Make sure to respect the following rules when it comes to deducting expenses:

If you lose money because you rent a property to a person you know, for less money than you would to a person you don’t know, you cannot claim a rental loss.

When your rental expenses are consistently more than your rental income, you may not be allowed to claim a rental loss because your rental operation is not considered to be a source of income.

However, you can claim a rental loss if you are renting the property to a relative for the same rate as you would charge other tenants and you reasonably expect to make a profit.

Angela says:

If I want to buy a house for my grandchild and they will pay the mortgage and all expenses, do I have to claim it as a rental property

Stan Craig says:

We are a small sports association with about 200 members aged 4 to adult. AFAIK we have never filed a tax return, though to be honest we only looked back about 6 years. We are not registered in any way. We are wondering if this is a requirement. It has been suggested that we may be walking away from potential HST credits, at the very least.

Robb Engen says:

Hi Stan, Canadian non-profits do not need to pay income tax, but these organizations still have to file a return with the CRA. Non-profit tax filing requirements vary based on the type of organization, the value of the organization’s assets, and other factors.

Non-profits that are not classed as charities must file a T2 Corporate Income Tax Return. This form is eight pages long, but if your organization only does work in a single province or territory, you can fill out the short version of the T2 instead. The short version is only two pages.

T2s are also due six months after the last date of your organization’s fiscal year. If you file late, the CRA charges late penalties based on the amount of tax you owe. In most cases, this doesn’t apply to nonprofits, but the agency also charges a 10% penalty for unreported income, and this rule may apply to non-profits.

If the CRA owes your organization a tax refund, there is no penalty for filing late, but you must file within three years to claim your refund.

Len Richards says:

I rec’d amended T4RSP slips … I continually check my CRA Account to see if they now have these to replace the incorrect slips. They don’t … can I still use netfile to submit my return even though the amounts on the slips won’t match CRA slips. The old slips give me a refund of approx $550 but the actual refund is around $187. I will be overpaid and have to pay it back. Over 60 min wait time to ask CRA on the phone … ludicrous

Helen Eric says:

Hi. I own a duplex. Both units have been fully occupied by me and my kids and spouse since purchase of the property. We occupy both units because one would be too small. We consider all of it to be a principal residence. I understand that per the rules we are only allowed to designate only one unit. if I have documentation to prove that we inhabited both will CRA accept it?

Robb Engen says:

Hi Helen, I have not found any evidence that CRA will accept two duplex units as a single unit for the purpose of claiming the principal residence exemption from the capital realized on the sale of the duplex at a later date.

The fact that each unit has its own separate bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, civic address, and hydro meter seems to be much more significant and indicative of two separate housing units.

Laura Larose says:

I am planning a trip next year to the US. I will be there from the end of February to the middle of June. If I were to get my tax slips eg: T4’s, T5’s mailed to me, could I do my income tax via Studio Tax while I’m in the US. This is to avoid filing late.

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Lauren,

You should be able to access online tax software anywhere in the world. However, the tricky part is making sure that all your required slips and forms are mailed to your new address.

Michelle Rodgers says:

I am separated and have had a terrible and lengthy battle with a ton of legal bills. My ex and I share parenting time of our three boys half and half and there is no spousal or child support payable (we have very similar income). In 2019 we each paid half of daycare fees. My income is slightly higher than my ex. Does this mean for sure that he is the only one that can claim the child care credit? It seems so unfair that I paid for half and he gets to claim it all.

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Michelle,

Sorry to hear this. You would have to consult your lawyer and/or accountant to get an answer to this question. I hope it works out for you!

BC says:

I have included a substantial Mutual Fund re-invested dividend on a T5008 when selling the fund (Box 21 Proceeds of Disposition). I have to report the same dividend on a T3 form capital gains (Box 21 Capital Gains). I would appear I am paying tax twice on the same amount.

Should I remove the re-invested dividend from the ACB calculation?

B Chamberlain

Mike Martel says:

Can I claim interest on a rental property if the Mortgage is on my principle residence. Property purchased using the principle residence as security on the mortgage

Bruce harris says:

If I pay for my brother’s private physiotherapy can I claim it as a deduction in any way

Bob says:

I have an rrsp that was taken out years ago and the interest has been reinvested back into the rrsp but the rrsp has never been claimed on income tax. Can it be claimed after all these years?

Hank M says:

Is there such a thing as a CPP “top up” for self employed people? Would like to max of my contributions for the most benefits later even though my income is only around 32,000.

Candis says:

How much of an allowance can an employer give to an employee for moving expenses? Can they give you say $15000 taxable allowance and then you deduct your expenses on your taxes?

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Candis,

We would recommend speaking with an accountant about this.

Corey Lahey says:

  Hi, its great to have a forum like this.
To keep it short.
I make minimum wage in Canada B.C.: 13.4
I have a 120 hour work month.

So I make roughly about 1500$ in Canada, B.C. 
My boss says he pays taxes off of my income.
I also get a monthly disability compensation from my home country Iceland: roughly 2500$.
So this means that I get more income from there, and I do pay taxes there, and I am sure I am paying taxes in Iceland correctly.

– Would the fact that I get more money from Iceland change anything tax wise? (I am told that the 2 countries share tax information).
– I am currious as to know if “my boss saying he pays taxes off of my income” is enough? How would I confirm it is enough?
– Is there something else I need to do to make sure that my Canadian taxes are getting payed?

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Corey, your tax situation sounds complicated. In Canada, taxes are deducted from your pay cheque, and you should see this on your pay stub. We would advise you to speak with a chartered accountant about your tax situation. See: https://www.cpacanada.ca/en

James Richardson says:

I am a born and raised Canadian, age 68, but moved to the United States in 1981. When living and working in Canada I contributed to an RRSP. I stopped contributing when I moved to the states but left the RRSP money in my TD CanadaTrust account. Once eligible I began receiving an annual annuity. Because I am a non resident, a 15% non resident tax is withheld. I receive a pro rated CPP and OAS (because I worked and contributed 13 years beyond my 18th birthday) along with my annual annuity, however, in total, my Canadian source income amounts to under $10,000. I report my CPP, OAS and annuity on my US tax return. I can only claim a foreign tax credit on my US return. My question has to do with how I can recover by refund the non resident tax that is withheld on the annuity. I have tried filing a section 217 election where, using my calculations, I would be entitled to a 100% tax refund because the standard deduction is greater than the worldwide income I report as Taxable Income. After filing the Section 217 election tax return, CRA informed me “no additional tax was due”. They did not address why my refund was denied. Could you explain please. Thank you.

Shel says:

This year I bought shares in a couple of stocks that made good profits after I sold them. The price dropped and I bought it back, Then wanting to take the tax loss for the year I sold them. After I realized that it takes 30 days before buying it back to count for a tax loss, I bought it back. Now with the year ending, the stocks have gone up a little, but are still below the price I paid. Can I sell them now and will it count for a tax loss? Is it 30 days or 30 business days? Does it make a difference if I buy it back in 2017 or 2018?

Bought 8000 shares at 0.18. Sold at $1.70 profit of $12,160
Bought same 8000 shares a month later at $0.80
Sold 8000 at $0.40
Bought them back at the same $0.40 the same day after I realized my mistake that it requires 30 days.
Would now like to sell the 8000 at $0.45

Mindy Charles says:

What happened to the tax wiki site…I just tried finding it, doesn’t exist ???

I have a tax question: My boyfriend recently moved in with me, we have decided to keep our finances separate, I pay all the bills, the mortgage, buy the groceries, etc and we have agreed that he will give me a lump sum amount of 1000.00 every month for his share of living expenses. My question is this: do I personally have to claim this as income?

Kelly says:

I started college in 2011 but became very sick in 2012. I am now on ODSP. My student loan was forgiven in 2014 after I submitted application due to long term/permanent disability. I never even began repayment process. My CRA account indicates I still have over $7000 forwarded from tuition & books…. since 2011. Can I actually claim this, even tho my school loan was forgiven?!

Kyle says:

Yes, I can’t think of why that would be a problem Kelly.

Lloy Keeling says:

I receive CDN OAP and CPP from my days of working in Canada. (Now I am an American citizen). Does putting in my US Husband’s income on the T1 affect us adversely?

Renee says:

It’s been determined that I qualify to claim moving expenses for work. Can I claim the cost of transporting my pets via airplane to the new location along with the cost of keeping them in a kennel until my new home was ready?

Richard Hay says:

My wife made $15,000.00 dollars last year and paid no income tax and has no further deductions. My question is how much of an RRSP would we have to purchase in order not to pay income tax on her earnings. She has lots of RRSP room.

Kyle says:

Depends what province you live in Richard, but the idea would be to reduce taxable income so that she would fall into the lowest tax bracket. Have you looked into a spousal RRSP instead?

Esme says:

How can I file online when I moved from Canada in August, 2016 ??

Kyle says:

I’m not sure Esme – sorry.

carolmodra says:

Did tax’s efile with block.what is electronic filing remittance voucher ? I have a code number. Is my tax paid for?

Kyle says:

Sorry Carol, I have no idea. I would think so, but I would definitely double check to make sure my taxes were properly sent it.

Gus says:

I have a small business with business revenue that’s typically below the $30,000 threshold for GST registration. Last year I sold a piece of equipment and that sale increased the small business cash intake by $5,000 — and over the 30K ceiling. Does that mean that I’m now obligated to register?

Kyle says:

I would think it does Gus, but this is definitely a question for the CRA to answer. The problem is that if you weren’t charging GST all year, I’m not sure how you’ll remit.

Terry says:

My daughter has rental properties she furnishes. One complete unit was emptied by theft. Can she claim these loses on her taxes?

Kyle says:

Good question Terry. Unfortunately I’m just not sure. Best to contact the CRA directly. Let us know how it goes.

Josh says:


I would love to visit this resource, however it keeps bringing me to Professor Benjamin Alarie’s profile at the U of T. 🙂

Joel Pitts says:

Hi there, have a question for you. Due to certain reasons, I’d like to know how to go about filing taxes separately rather than a married/joint return.

I understand that while the taxes are indeed filed separately in theory, the fact that one states ‘married’ causes adjustments such as ‘the lower income has to claim this’ etc. I’d like to just fill out my taxes and stop there, not really concerned about the benefits of filing jointly as I want to have them filed correctly.

Thank You,

Kyle says:

It’s pretty easy Joel, just file separately. You are allowed to do that – no one will force you to take the benefits. Why would you want to give up tax return money though?

Sheher says:

I entered Canada in June 2010 as a landed immigrant and soon after, I applied for chid tax benefit. However, due to non availaibility of a job and my father’s health I had to force myself to leave Canada in two months time and went back to my home country. Due to my ignorance, I also failed to file my canadian tax return the following year (since I applied for child tax benefit). Resultantly, the child benefit got stopped as well. Afterwards, I did some research and found out that if I am not living in Canada and not filing taxes, I am not entitled to the child tax benefit. As such, I want to return the money received which are lying in my account in Canada at the moment. Also, would like to know if there is any tax implication here, and what could be the resolution.

young says:

@Sheher- Thanks for writing. I’m sorry but your situation sounds complicated. Have you tried going on the actual site; taxwiki.ca to ask? This is just a mere old blog 🙂

Baz says:

I have a question about what seems to be a Canadian success story. Looking at the Rich 100 on Canadian Business magazine, I notice that the addresses given for these zillionaires are nearly all Canadian.


I am presuming that the addresses given represent where taxes are paid.
A few seem to live where they work (mainly the US) or have gone back to their country of origin. Less than ten live in recognized tax havens. The list of any European country would be very different with many opting for places like Monaco. Unlike the US we don’t tie citizenship and tax obligations together but we do have fairly rigorous rules on residency and don’t have a domicile concept on the books. Do these differences account for our success in keeping our mega rich at home?

bonnie weiler says:

my mom was deceased in Oct 2010.. with her RIF payout she made over 90,000.00 of income for the year. is it true that she needs to repay any old age pension she received for the year 2010

young says:

@bonnie- I would try asking the taxwiki website, Bonnie 🙂 I can’t answer that question as I’m not a tax lawyer, but I’m sure tax wiki can!

Corey says:

Here’s a question nobody seems to ask.

If you are supporting an international student who is a sister or brother through marriage. How can you claim them on your taxes?

young says:

@Corey- Hm that is a good question! I am not a tax professional so won’t be able to answer that for you, but I would recommend you go to taxwiki and contact them, I’m sure they’ll be able to find an answer for you.

southern says:

I agree stick to a budget and plan for the future, it is so easy to fall into the consumer trap.

Tell their hosting company to ramp up their servers come next spring because their site sounds like it will get a ton of hits for next year’s tax season!

young says:

@multiple egg baskets- I KNOW, eh?? Maybe I should have kept it a secret so that I could get faster load time with my tax questions. =) Thanks for visiting!