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16 Last Minute Tax Tips:
- Moving to a different Province?: If you’re moving to Alberta or something, you should be cognizant of what date you actually move. December 31 is the day that the Canadian Revenue Agency will decide what you pay for your taxes. So if you are moving to a province that has LOWER taxes soon, you might get your butt over there sooner rather than later. If you’re moving to a province that has HIGHER taxes, maybe you can wait until the new year.
- Getting Married?: For all you winter wedding people, December 31 is the day the Canada Revenue Agency will take if you get married. So you can reduce your taxes that you pay for 2009 by getting your vows done before December 31.
- Car Maintenance Expenses: If you use your car for work or your business, you can deduct the expenses related to using that car (gas, oil changes, maintenance, winter tires etc.) So hurry over to your mechanic for that oil change before the end of the year to be able to include those expenses in your 2009 tax return. I’m planning to get my oil changed on Monday.
- Donate to Charity: It wasn’t a coincidence that I have been getting more letters from charitable organizations asking for my donations. Many people donate to charity at this time of the year to reduce the taxes that they owe. In B.C., if you donate any amount up to $200, you get 16% back. For any amounts OVER $200, you get 29% back. The government encourages us to donate, therefore they let us give our money tax free. So, if I were to donate a total of $250 in 2009, then the first $200 I get 16% back ($32) and then for the next $50 I get 29% back ($14.50). So if you don’t plan to donate more than $200 this year, it’s probably a better idea to lump them up all together and claim them next year. A great Canadian website that has all the CRA approved charities online is: Canada Helps It’s easy, fast, and convenient.
- 5. Realize Capital Losses: You can offset your capital gains by selling off your loser stocks. Remember that only 50% of the capital loss can apply. So to calculate the taxes you have to pay: Capital gains – capital losses= net amount x 0.50 x marginal rate. You have to do this before December 24 (a few more days! Hurry it up!) because it takes 3 days to settle a trade and December 28 is in lieu of Boxing Day in Canada.
- 6. Don’t Realize your Capital Gains until after December24: Then you can defer the capital gains tax you pay for a whole year.
- 7. Collect all of your Medical and Dental Expenses: Medical and dental expenses can be claimed for any 12 month period. So you don’t really have to rush for this one, I guess.
- Stock up on Equipment if you’re Self Employed: You can stock up on computers, stationary, business cards, etc. etc. if you’re self employed. Maybe even the iPhone if you use your phone for work. As long as the receipt is dated before December 31, you’re good to go.
- Computers yield a 100% deduction: To stimulate the sagging technology sector, the recent 2009 budget said you can deduct 100% of the cost of a computer you purchased between January 27, 2009, and before February 2011 if you are are a business owner. You don’t have to deduct the depreciation cost. I don’t think many people know about this, there’s not much buzz around it for some reason. So all you bloggers out there, submit your receipts for your computer! Better yet, buy a computer on Boxing Day and claim it! (Talk about hitting two birds with one stone!)
- Fill up that RRSP: Fill or max out your RSP room if you can to minimize the taxes that you have to fork out next year AND get a nice tax refund.
- Fill up that TFSA: Fill or max out the $5000 that was introduced this year to minimize the taxes that you have to pay.
- Home Buyers Plan: If you’re planning to buy a home before the interest rates go back up sky high, you should delay the HBP withdrawl until next year in January to delay repayment until 2012. Otherwise, you’d have to repay your HBP withdrawls in 2011.
- Home Renovation Tax Credit: The Canadian Government (bless their hearts) introduced the Home Renovation Tax Credit to stimulate the economy as well. If you spend between $1000 and $10,000 before February 1, 2010 you can get a 15% nonrefundable tax credit. The government keeps adding more things that are eligible for this tax credit. Including: Permanent installed air conditioing, driveway installation, landscaping, permanent installation of a home security system, and tree removal. I know it’s kind of last minute, but I’m sure you can get some of these things done before December 31 to reap the tax advantages for this year. Again, you have to OWN your home to be eligible for this tax credit. *sigh* there goes my home envy again.
- Claim Investment Expenses: A real easy one to get before December 31 is to sign up for a safety deposit box.
- Lastly, if possible Delay or Defer Income: If your workplace is pretty flexible with regards to your paycheck, you can ask them to delay your paycheck until the new year (you better not be living paycheck to paycheck or this won’t work!) so you don’t have to pay tax on your paycheck until next year.
There you have it. Sixteen last minute tax tips to save on your 2009 Tax Return. Good luck!
Hopefully there aren’t more than sixteen mistresses, otherwise I’d have to edit this post to include more tax tips!
Any other tried and true last minute tax tips out there?