Blog: 2016 Tax Tips: For the Employed

December 13th, 2016 employed

 

From our annual Tax Tips guide, here are the tips and suggestions for the Employed for the year 2016.

Tax Tips: If you are employed

1. Reduce tax withheld at source:

  • If you will have large tax deductions available to you (e.g., RRSP contributions, tax shelters, interest, business losses, work related car expenses, or alimony), apply in advance to the CRA for a reduction of the payroll withholdings that are withheld from your salary.

2. Minimize taxable employee benefits:

  • Arrange to receive non-taxable benefits from your employer instead of taxable benefits where possible. Examples of non-taxable benefits include: employer contributions to a registered pension plan (the pension is taxable when you receive it); and contributions to a “private health services plan,” such as those covering medical expenses, hospital charges and drugs not covered by public health insurance and dental fees.
  • If you received interest-free or low-interest loans from your employer, the loans will generally result in a taxable benefit.
    • Some of the benefit can be offset by an “interest” deduction if the loans are used for certain purposes.
    • If not deductible, be sure to pay any interest payable on the loan for 2016 by January 30, 2017 to reduce or eliminate your taxable benefit.
    • Consider renegotiating any home purchase loans from your employer in order to minimize taxable benefits by “locking in” the loan at a lower prescribed interest rate for a five-year term.

Tax Tips: If your employer provides you with an automobile

4. The taxable benefit is based on original cost of the automobile and does not decrease as the car ages. Consider purchasing the car from the company by way of an interest-free loan from your employer and personally claiming depreciation on the car.

  • Avoid employer-owned vehicles costing over $30,000.
  • You can reduce the taxable benefit if your automobile is used primarily (generally, greater than 50%) for business purposes and by keeping your personal use to less than 20,000 kilometers per year.

Our annual Tax Tips can assist you in your tax planning presenting some quick ideas and strategies for you to employ. Please take the time to review your 2016 tax situation and call us for specific recommendations tailored to meet your needs.  We will be pleased to work with you on these and other tax-savings ideas.

Click here to download a full copy of the Tax Tips 2016 Guide (PDF).

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