When we started our business, we contacted small business owners and individuals and asked them what the most important service was that they desired to receive from their accountants. The overwhelming trend we noticed in the answers was that everyone wanted to maximize their tax savings and minimize their tax burden… so that is what we set out to do! We have helped our clients save / recover $4,196,482 since 2016 (when we starting tracking tax savings)!
All tax savings comes down to (1) Understanding the tax laws, and (2) proper tax planning. Here are some recent examples of ways we have helped our clients to save tax:
We assisted a corporate client to structure the sale of the shares of their business in order to receive several hundred thousand dollars of tax free proceeds. Ultimately this saved the client over $120,000 in personal tax!
We increased a client’s income from his corporation in order to allow a full claim of the child care deduction by his now lower income spouse. By increasing his income, we saved the client and his wife a combined $3,700 in personal taxes!
We recognized that a client’s prior accountant treated a certain RRSP withdrawal from 2011 as taxable when it should have been tax free. By adjusting the 2011 return we helped the client recover over $3,500 in overpaid tax!
We retroactively claimed the disability tax credit for a client for 9 years and recovered the client and his wife a combined $19,000 in overpaid tax!
Since the initial savings noted above, we have helped 5 additional tax payers to recover nearly the same amount (in some cases more) by claiming the disability tax credit!
We found that a new client’s previously filed GST returns had been filed incorrectly. Upon amending the returns, we were able to recover upwards of $7,000 in overpaid GST.
We did tax planning to split income between two spouses in order to ensure that Old Age Security would not be clawed back and that both spouses would be able to take advantage of the lower tax brackets. Overall we helped them save $8,000 in one year!
A new client came into our office with an RRSP withdrawal slip. While we were completing his taxes we realized that he had never claimed any RRSP contributions in the past. As a result, he was being double taxed on the money. We adjusted 4 years of taxes for him in order to avoid the double taxation and recover over $10,000 in over paid tax!
We helped a client set up a private health services plan (PHSP) so that medical expenses can be used as an expense in their corporation. By setting up the PHSP, the client willsave over $8,900 in combined corporate and personal taxes!
Since the Income Tax Act was introduced in 1917, the largest increase in tax occurred between the years 2015 & 2016. By staying on top of changing legislation and reporting income in 2015, rather than in 2016 when the rates increased, we were able to help our corporate client shareholders save over $450,000 (this was not for any single individual, but rather for all similar clients that took advantage of the savings).
Upon learning of a client’s plan to donate significant estate funds to a registered charity, we recommended altering the wording of the will to make full use of the donation tax credit. Depending on value of the estate on death, the additional income tax savings will range from $542,000 to $792,500!
We helped a newly graduated doctor incorporate and structure his tax affairs in such a way that between himself, his wife, and his new corporation, we helped to save them a combined $13,000 in tax over a two year period of time!
We discovered an unused loss for a client from 2006. The client has already recovered over $25,000 in personal taxes paid between 2006 and 2014 and will recover another $5,000 as the balance of the loss is applied in 2015 and 2016!
NOT BACKING DOWN FROM CRA & KNOWING THE TAX SYSTEM
An individual (otherwise not our client) came into our office having received a penalty for $5,000 for failing to report income on their personal tax return. We filed for taxpayer relief based on proposed legislation and were able to reduce the penalty from $5,000 to $1,000 – saving $4,000!
CRA applies a $2,500 per year penalty for failure to disclose foreign investments with a cost over $100,000 CAD. Given that this requirement is not well understood and is fairly recent, we have helped three different clients file voluntary disclosures of their foreign investment holdings. In all three cases CRA accepted our submission and combined the three taxpayers avoided over $30,000 in penalties for prior non-compliance.
We have started to contact CRA to ensure we are utilizing all potential tax saving opportunities available to our clients. Recently we contacted CRA to confirm a capital dividend account (an account which tracks potential tax free withdrawals from a corporation) for a client and learned through the process that the client could withdraw $17,000 more tax free than we expected. At the shareholder’s tax rate, that represented at $6,800 tax savings!