Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative – New Grant Funds available for for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Beginning October 31, 2017 Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) will be launching the call for proposals for the Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative. The objective of WINN is to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in commercializing new technology-based products, processes and services. WINN is open to western Canadian SMEs with less than 500 employees, who have been in operation for at least one year.

Investments must support one of these clusters:

  • clean technology,
  • clean resources,
  • digital technologies,
  • advanced manufacturing,
  • value added agriculture, and
  • health/bio sciences.

WINN is a five-year federal funding initiative that provides repayable contributions to SME’s located in Western Canada. WINN complements WD’s existing programs and supports an environment where local businesses can thrive and innovate. WD will be accepting online applications from October 31, 2017 to November 29, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. MST.

WD will deliver WINN information sessions in cities across Western Canada. Each session will include a presentation on the WINN initiative, followed by a question and answer period.

To register for the nearest information session or to apply for the grant, please visit the website: http://www.wd-deo.gc.ca/eng/14857.asp

Principal Residence Exemption: New Legislation and Reporting Rules

Starting in 2016 tax year, all taxpayers are required to report basic information on their income tax return when their principle residence is sold in order to claim the principal residence exemption. The information that must be disclosed includes:

·        date of acquisition,

·        proceeds of disposition, and

·        description of the property.

The information needs to be included in Schedule 3 and filing it with the T1 Income Tax Return for the relevant year.  Schedule 3 has been modified accordingly.  Form T2091 (or Form T1255 – for a deceased individual) is still required for the designation in cases when the property was not the taxpayer’s principal residence for all of the years of ownership. This is also the case in deemed disposition situations like when a change of use occurs on the property.

If a taxpayer doesn’t make the appropriate filing, then the CRA (tax department) can impose a penalty.  The penalty is the lesser of the following amounts:

1. $8,000; or

2. $100 for each late filing month.

Planning Your Personal Taxes for 2017 – Federal Personal Tax Credits

The personal credits listed below apply for 2017:

                                                                                     Gross                              Credit (15%)

Basic personal                                                               $11,635                              $1,745

Spouse or eligible dependent(1), (2)                            $11,635                              $1,745

Canada Caregiver Credit

Infirm dependent under age 18 (3)                           $2,150                                 $322

Infirm dependent age 18+ (3)                                     $6,883                                 $1,032

Age(4)                                                                               $7,225                                $1,084

Disability                                                                        $8,113                                 $1,217

Additional disability for child under 18 (4)              $4,733                                 $710

Notes:

(1) Reduced by spouse’s net income.

(2) Enhanced by $2,150 ($322 credit) if dependent is infirm.

(3) Reduced by dependent’s net income in excess of $16,163;.

(4) The Age credit is reduced by an amount equal to 15% of an individual’s net income exceeding $36,430.

(4) Reduced if child care and attendant care expenses exceed $2,772.

Electronic Distribution of T4 Information Slips for 2017

An employer needs to issue a T4 information slip by the last day in February following the relevant calendar year.  In 2016 and in prior years, unless consent was received from the employee to receive an electronic version of the T4 slip, two paper copies of the slip had to be provided by the employer.

Beginning in 2017, an employer can now issue them electronically without having to obtain consent from the employee in advance, provided the employer provides the following:

• a secure electronic portal through which the employee can obtain access their T4 slip,

• a secure site for printing the T 4 slip, and

• an option to receive paper copies of the T4 slip, upon request.

 

Firm Seminar Recap!

Our firm had a great evening on September 21, 2017 hosting an informative seminar! Thank you to everyone who showed up! We covered tips to maximize your business and effective personal tax saving strategies.

A brief cap on the 3 fundamentals in effective personal tax saving strategies:
1) Reduce income subject to tax (Defer it!)
2) Maximize your tax deductions
3) Utilize all allowable tax credits

Remember to maximize your TFSA for absolute tax savings. Have children? Open a RESP and
start saving! Access the CPA provided Document Organizer worksheet to start your tax planning
today.

What to consider to maximize your business:
Do you have enough cash to pay expenses?
How should you time your bill payments?
What is the best way to monitor your inventory and revenue?
How much cash do you need for expansion?

For more resources please click the link here.

It was great to interact with participants and clients to discuss some of the key concepts of cash
management. There are also several accounting programs available on the market that allows you
to monitor these concepts with a variety of calculations, reports and ratios. We are certified
Quickbooks and Simply advisors. Ask any one of our professionals for more information.

Email clientportal@seniuk.com and let us know what topics you would like to learn at our next
seminar!

The CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) has an important new update affecting all Canadian Charities!

The Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) is instituting a new online service for all registered charities to:

  • file their information returns
  • update and manage account information
  • check file status
  • receive and manage correspondence online

Charities will be able to access these services through the CRA’s My Business Account portal. The My BA requires each charity to have their own unique Business Number (BN) to access these services. As a result, new BN‘s will be created and issued for all internal divisions that currently share a common BN with their head body. Letters will be automatically sent to each impacted charity, providing them with their new individual number and a Business Number Summary. This summary will show details about all CRA program accounts.

Questions and answers

When will my BN change?
All internal divisions will start to receive their new BN‘s by mail starting fall 2017 and continuing until October 2018.

Do I have to do anything to get my new number?
No. Impacted charities will automatically receive a letter listing the Business Summary of all their updated accounts, including the new number.

Will this affect my registration, registration requirements, or legal structure?
No, it should not have an impact on your registration or requirements. The steps and requirements for registration will remain the same. For further information about registration requirements see our new guidance CG-028, Head bodies and their internal divisions.

If the charity made changes to the way it was legally established, such as becoming incorporated, it must also provide the Charities Directorate with a copy of its new governing document. For more information go to Changing a charity’s legal status.

Will I need to make any changes to my governing documents?
No, you should not need to make any changes to your governing documents if you have not made any changes to the way the charity was legally established.

When do I start using my new number?
As soon as you receive notification from the CRA, you must start using your new BN.

What information do I need to change on my official donation tax receipts?
You will need to change the BN to the new one. However, if you have pre-printed receipts, you can cross out the old number and write in the new one. When you order new ones, make sure to update them with your new number.

What will happen to receipts that have already been issued with the old number?
The receipts that were issued up until the date of the new BN will be accepted. Be sure to use your new BN on all future receipts.

Will this change the way I file my T-3010?
Yes, but the only change will be that you will now be filing using your new BN.

Will I have to file my T-3010 with both BN‘s?
No. You will file a 12 month return and use only the new BN number.

Will I have to file two returns one for the start of my fiscal year up to the date of the new BN and the other from the date of the new BN to the end of my fiscal year?
No. You will not need to file a transitional or short return, you will continue to file a full 12 month return using the new BN provided.

What effects will this have on my other program accounts?
Your other program accounts should not be affected. With the letter notifying you of your new business number, you will find a Business Number Summary that will list all of your accounts. You can review it to confirm the status of your other accounts. If there are any errors you can make changes on the summary and return it to the CRA for action.

Event Invitation: September 21, 2017 Evening Seminar

This will be a great learning opportunity as well as a chance to meet our Firm’s accountants and ask any questions you may have. The seminar will feature the following timely topics:

Maximize Your Business – Presented by Laura Marcato, CPA, CA

Some of the following questions will be answered:

  • Sales are great, why don’t we have any cash?
  • Do we have enough cash to pay expenses?
  • How much cash do we need for expansion?
  • Can I free up some cash from the business?
  • How can I get customers to pay sooner?
  • Are we managing cash efficiently?

Effective Personal Tax Strategies Presented by Carrie Tsui, CPA, CA

The following issues will be covered:

  • understand tax laws
  • tax planning
  • keep detailed records
  • how to achieve tax goals
  • reduce taxable income
  • tax deductions versus tax credits
  • increase deductions
  • use tax credits

Event date:         Thursday, September 21, 2017

Event starts:       7:00 pm

Event ends:        9:00 pm

Location:             Seniuk & Company Office

Price:          Free!

**As there is limited capacity, register as soon as possible to get your seat!

* Refreshments will be provided!

To RSVP, please send an email to clientportal@seniuk.com with your contact information (name, email address, and phone number).

How An Accounting Pro Can Help Your Small Business Succeed

One of the most positive qualities that many small business owners share is a burning desire – an insatiable willingness – to “do it all.” It’s what separates entrepreneurs from employees in the first place. An employee is more than willing to set out on the path that someone else has carved for them. An entrepreneur has a need to carve a path for themselves.

Unfortunately, this mentality can also get even the most passionate small business owners into a bit of trouble – particularly when it comes to their finances. Being able to balance your own cheque book and running the finances of a small business are NOT the same thing, nor should they ever be treated as such. To that end, the importance of finding the right accounting professional to help support your small business as it continues to grow and evolve cannot be overstated enough.

There are a number of essential ways, in particular, that an accounting expert can help your small business.

When You’re Just Starting Out

Perhaps the most important role that an accounting professional will play in terms of your small business takes place when you’re just starting out. One of the most common mistakes that many business owners make is not setting the business up properly.  This involves incorporating a business, understanding what expenses are tax deductible, obtaining GST and payroll numbers, and submitting the correct remittances in a timely manner.  These are small problems that can have major ramifications when tax season rolls around. A accounting pro who is intimately involved with the makeup of your business from a basic level can help minimize any potential problems.

Along the same lines, an accounting professional can also help make sure that your accounting system is properly set up in the first place. They can make sure that you’re picking the right accounting system that actually supports your long-term goals for your business and can create a chart of accounts to offer superior visibility into money coming into and out of your organization.

The Day-to-Day Grind

Another one of the hugely invaluable ways that an accounting expert can help your small business comes by the small, yet critical, decisions they make on a daily basis. A financial expert can help give you greater visibility into cash flow (including accounts payable and accounts receivable), for example. Cash flow and other instability issues are one of the major reasons why most small businesses fail in the first place, and having the right person at your side can help you avoid them altogether.

An accounting professional can also help make sure your security controls are properly set up and executed, particularly in terms of factors like compliance.  If the security aspect of your finances is not properly accounted for, it could be putting your entire business at risk. Even one small data breach could expose the personal records of multiple clients, something that opens the door to things like lawsuits, and that could eventually close the door on everything you’ve worked so hard to build.

Other Benefits

A financial professional will also play an important role when it comes to growing your small business. Remember that both an inability to scale up as fast as you need and growing your business faster than you can sustain are additional reasons why many small businesses fail. Because such a large part of your growth and expansion pace has to do with personal finances, it stands to reason that bringing someone into the fold who can leverage their years of experience to your advantage is a very good idea.

A financial expert can help you raise money – particularly helpful if you’re getting ready to bring a new product or service to market. If you ever decide that this chapter of your life is closed and that it’s time to look for new opportunities, these professionals can also help sell your small business as well. Selling a business is a process filled with potential mistakes just waiting to happen, and the expert hand of someone who has been in this position before is something that you literally cannot put a price on. It isn’t just an investment in your organizational ability – it’s an investment in the future of your business as a whole.

Conclusion

The fact of the matter is that there really is no “one size fits all” approach to small business accounting. Every business is a little bit different, which will require a certain level of care and finesse when it comes to finances in particular. Only by consulting the help of a professional as early on in the process as possible will you be able to avoid the normal pitfalls of running a small business and create a financially stable foundation from which to work.