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Alliance Accounting Group Chartered Professional Accountants Inc. is a dynamic accounting firm committed to delivering exceptional client service, high quality of work and innovative solutions for our clients.

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Tax Alerts
April 17, 2021

Most taxpayers sit down to do their annual tax return, or wait to hear from their tax return preparer, with some degree of trepidation. In most cases taxpayers don’t know until their return is completed what the “bottom line” will be, and it’s usually a case of hoping for the best and fearing the worst.


Our tax system is, for the most part, a mystery to individual Canadians. The rules surrounding income tax are complicated and it can seem that for every rule there is an equal number of exceptions or qualifications. There is, however, one rule which applies to every individual taxpayer in Canada, regardless of location, income, or circumstances, and of which most Canadians are aware. That rule is that income tax owed for a year must be paid, in full, on or before April 30 of the following year. This year, that means that individual income taxes owed for 2020 must be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on or before Friday April 30, 2021. No exceptions and, absent extraordinary circumstances, no extensions.


By the time most Canadians sit down to organize their various tax slips and receipts and undertake to complete their tax return for 2020, the most significant opportunities to minimize the tax bill for the year are no longer available. Most such tax planning or saving strategies, in order to be effective for 2020, must have been implemented by the end of that calendar year. The major exception to that is, of course, the making of registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) contributions, but even that had to be done on or before March 1, 2021 in order to be deducted on the return for 2020.


When the pandemic was declared just over a year ago, the federal government announced a wide range of benefits to help mitigate the financial stress experienced by those who lost jobs or saw their hours (and income) reduced.


While the obligation to file a tax return recurs annually, that return form is never exactly the same from year to year. Tax brackets and allowable deduction and credit amounts change each year and, more significantly, new deductions are provided for and new credits allowed or eliminated.


Each year, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) publishes a statistical summary of the tax filing patterns of Canadians during the previous filing season. Those statistics for the 2020 filing season show that the vast majority of Canadian individual income tax returns — nearly 90%, or almost 28 million returns were filed online, using one or the other of the CRA’s web-based filing methods, or by telephone. The remaining 10% of returns were paper-filed.


Income tax is a big-ticket item for most retired Canadians. Especially for those who are happily free of the requirement to make mortgage payments, the annual tax bill may be the single biggest annual expenditure they are required to make. Fortunately, the Canadian tax system provides a number of tax deductions and credits available only to those over the age of 65 (like the age credit) or only to those receiving the kinds of income usually received by retirees (like the pension income credit), in order to help minimize that tax burden. And, in most cases, the availability of those credits is flagged, either on the income tax form which must be completed each spring or on the accompanying income tax guide.


Over the past month, millions of Canadians have received what was probably an unexpected (and unwelcome) communication from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), in the form of a T4A slip. That T4A slip lists the amount of pandemic benefits which were received by the individual in 2020 and represents, more significantly, the amount which must be reported on that individual’s income tax return for 2020 — and on which tax must be paid.


Two quarterly newsletters have been added—one dealing with personal issues, and one dealing with corporate issues.


December 23, 2020

In an effort to ensure our clients are informed as to how our firm is operating during this health crisis, we will be providing updates as frequently as necessary on this website.

We continue to monitor the situation daily and can make changes quickly.  We are taking this VERY SERIOUSLY.

The current measures undertaken to do our part in curbing the spread of the coronavirus are as follows:

- No member of the public will be allowed into our offices.

- Staff will continue to work out of our Hamiota and Brandon offices as normal.

- We have implemented strict social distancing procedures and all other procedures as suggested by health authorities. Anyone that is feeling ill or is at any risk will not be allowed to work in the office.

Dropping off information at any of our offices will still be available, but you should contact our office for information on how that will work in each location.  Documents that we require can be mailed to us or scanned and uploaded to our secure portal.  Again, please contact our office for specific procedures.

We are doing our diligent best to continue to serve our clients to the best of our ability.  We may have had to change how we are serving you, but our emphasis is still to continue to deliver to you the services that you require.

Our Commitment to our Staff:

Our staff has been given training in the areas of:

- maintaining safe work spaces
- minimizing prolonged (more than ten minutes), close (less than six feet) contact between co-workers
- avoiding greetings that involve touching or handshakes>- proper hand washing and cough etiquette
- instruction to remain at home and follow public health advice relating to self-monitoring and self isolation if they, or a member of their household, feels ill
- the use of facemasks when participating in ‘in-office’ meetings

If you wish to meet with one of our team members:

We invite you to contact our offices for information. We offer the following options:

- a scheduled telephone call
- a virtual meeting using Microsoft Teams

Not sure about using Teams? We have trained staff who can assist you and even do a trial run to ensure your computer, iPad or cellular phone will work for this. We have found that this works extremely well, especially for clients who normally would travel a distance.

We commit to continuing to service our clients while actively monitoring the situation to ensure health and safety for all. Although we live in uncertain times, our commitment to provide you with a high quality of work and personal service remains. We appreciate your cooperation and patience.

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