Blog en-us Wed, 27 Mar 2024 00:00:00 MSTimages/header.jpg A Guide to Canadian Disability Savings Plans Wed, 27 Mar 2024 00:00:00 MST
In today's world, financial planning is crucial for everyone, regardless of their circumstances. For individuals with disabilities and their families in Canada, the Canadian Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) stands as a beacon of hope and opportunity. Designed to provide long-term financial security and independence, the RDSP offers a unique avenue for accumulating savings and accessing government assistance. 


The Canadian Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a long-term savings program initiated by the Government of Canada to help individuals with disabilities and their families save for the future. Established in 2008, the RDSP is tailored to address the financial challenges faced by people with disabilities by offering a tax-deferred savings vehicle that accumulates investment income and government grants and bonds.


Key Components and Benefits:

Savings and Investment Growth: Contributions made to an RDSP grow tax-free until withdrawal, allowing savings to accumulate over time. This tax-deferred growth enables individuals to maximize their investment returns.

Government Grants and Bonds: One of the most significant advantages of the RDSP is the availability of government grants and bonds. The Canada Disability Savings Grant (CDSG) matches contributions made to the RDSP, with matching rates based on the beneficiary's family income and contribution level. Additionally, low-to-moderate-income families may qualify for the Canada Disability Savings Bond (CDSB), providing annual contributions to their RDSP without requiring any personal contributions.

Long-Term Financial Security: The RDSP is designed to provide a source of long-term financial security for individuals with disabilities, who are approved for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) by supplementing other forms of income and government assistance programs. 

Flexibility in Contributions: RDSP contributors have the flexibility to make contributions at their own pace, with no annual contribution limits. This allows families to tailor their savings strategy according to their financial circumstances and goals. Anyone can make a contribution to a RDSP for a beneficiary, with the holder's written consent. 

Lifetime Limit and Withdrawals: While there is a lifetime limit to the amount that can be contributed to an RDSP, there is no limit on the duration of the plan. Withdrawals from the RDSP are generally subject to specific rules to maintain eligibility for government grants and bonds, but they can be made at any time to support the financial needs of the beneficiary.

Eligibility and Enrollment:

To be eligible for the RDSP, individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Canadian resident
  • Be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC)
  • Be under the age of 60

Once eligibility criteria are met, individuals can open an RDSP through a participating financial institution, such as banks, credit unions, or trust companies. It's essential to research and compare different financial institutions to find one that offers suitable investment options and low fees.

The Canadian Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a powerful tool for empowering individuals with disabilities to secure their financial futures. By providing tax-deferred savings, government grants, and bonds, the RDSP offers a pathway to long-term financial security and independence. For families and caregivers, understanding the benefits and eligibility criteria of the RDSP is essential for maximizing its potential to improve the quality of life for their loved ones with disabilities. As we continue to strive for inclusivity and equal opportunities for all Canadians, the RDSP stands as a testament to the importance of financial empowerment and support for individuals with disabilities.


For more information on the Canadian Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), visit the CRA's website here.



Navigating Canadian Government Installments for Tax Owing Mon, 4 Mar 2024 00:00:00 MST

Paying taxes is an inevitable responsibility for individuals and businesses alike.

The Canadian government has established a system of installments to help streamline the process. 

Whether you're an individual or a business owner, understanding how these installments work is crucial to avoiding penalties and managing your financial obligations. In this blog post, we'll explore the Canadian government installments for tax owing and provide insights into how you can navigate this aspect of taxation.


Understanding Tax Installments:

Tax installments are periodic payments made throughout the year to prepay the income taxes that are expected to be owed before the next tax return is filed. This system is particularly relevant for individuals who don't have taxes withheld at the source, such as self-employed individuals, small business owners, and those with significant investment income. If you had to pay more than $3,000 when you filed your last tax return, you are likely required to make tax installment payments before you file your next tax return.


Who Needs to Make Tax Installments?

While it is connected to the income that doesn't have withholdings, it is only triggered when the prior year taxes payable is over $3,000.

  • Self-Employed Individuals: If you earn income that is not subject to tax withholding, such as freelance income or business profits, you may be required to make tax installments.
  • Business Owners: Corporations and certain types of partnerships may also need to make tax installments to cover their corporate income taxes.
  • Individuals with Investment Income: If you earn significant investment income that is not subject to tax withholding, you may need to make installments to cover any taxes owed.


How Are Tax Installments Calculated?

The CRA provides various methods for calculating tax installments, and it's essential to choose the one that best fits your situation. The two primary methods are:

  • No-Calculation Option: The CRA sends you a personalized installment reminder outlining the amounts and due dates. This option is suitable for individuals with stable income.
  • Calculation Option: You estimate your current-year income and taxes owing, and then calculate your installments based on these estimates. This method is preferable for those with fluctuating income.


When Are Tax Installments Due?

The timeline for corporations is tied to your fiscal year (not calendar year) and can be either monthly or quarterly, depending on their situation. Tax installments are due quarterly for individuals and the due dates are as follows:

  • March 15
  • June 15
  • September 15
  • December 15

It's important to mark these dates on your calendar to payments aren't missed.


Consequences of Missing Installments:

Failure to make tax installments on time can result in interest charges and penalties. The CRA calculates interest on overdue installments at prescribed rates, which is compounded daily and not tax deductible. Penalties may be applied in certain circumstances. To avoid these consequences, it's crucial to stay organized and fulfill your payment obligations promptly.


Tips for Managing Tax Installments:

  • Estimate Accurately: If your income fluctuates, regularly reassess your estimates to ensure your installments reflect your actual tax liability.
  • Set Aside Funds: To avoid financial strain during installment due dates, consider setting aside funds regularly in a designated account.
  • Seek Professional Advice: Tax laws can be complex, and seeking advice from a tax professional can help you navigate the installment process and ensure compliance with regulations.


Understanding and managing tax installments is an integral part of responsible financial management for individuals and businesses in Canada. By staying informed about the requirements, accurately estimating your tax liability, and making timely payments, you can fulfill your obligations to the CRA and avoid unnecessary penalties. Remember, seeking professional advice is always a prudent step to ensure compliance with the ever-changing tax landscape.


For more details, visit the Canadian Revenue website here.


For more info on this or other tax related questions,    
give me a call at 780-995-5236.  



Canadian Tax Tips: Thu, 1 Feb 2024 00:00:00 MST

It's not uncommon for taxpayers to overlook potential deductions. One such often-missed area is medical expenses. 


The Canadian tax system allows taxpayers to claim eligible medical expenses as deductions, offering a potential financial relief for those who incur substantial healthcare costs. However, the criteria for what constitutes a qualifying medical expense can be intricate, leading many taxpayers to inadvertently miss out on legitimate deductions.


Commonly Overlooked Medical Expenses:

  • Travel Expenses: Many Canadians are unaware that they can claim travel expenses related to medical treatments. If you travel a significant distance to receive necessary medical care, the costs of transportation, accommodation, and meals may be eligible for deduction.
  • Prescription Glasses and Contact Lenses: The cost of prescription eyewear, including glasses and contact lenses, is often overlooked. Canadians can claim these expenses, potentially providing relief for those with vision-related medical needs.
  • Alternative Therapies: Expenses related to alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, chiropractic services, and naturopathy, may also qualify for deductions. It's essential to keep detailed records and receipts for these services to support your claim.
  • Medical Marijuana: As the acceptance of medical marijuana grows, it's crucial to note that its costs may be eligible for tax deductions if prescribed by a medical professional. However, strict guidelines must be followed to ensure compliance with the tax laws.
  • Home Renovations for Medical Reasons: Home modifications for medical reasons, such as installing ramps, handrails, or other accessibility features, may be eligible for tax credits. Ensure you have proper documentation and professional assessments to support these claims.

What you can do:

  • Keep Detailed Records: Maintaining organized records of all medical expenses is crucial. This includes receipts, invoices, and any supporting documentation. Having a comprehensive record can make the tax filing process smoother and increase the likelihood of claiming eligible deductions.
  • Consult a Tax Professional: Given the complexity of Canadian tax laws, consulting with a tax professional is a wise move. They can provide personalized advice, ensuring you maximize your eligible deductions while staying compliant with the tax regulations.
  • Stay Informed: Tax laws are subject to change, and staying informed about updates and amendments is essential. Regularly check official sources and consider subscribing to newsletters or updates from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to stay current. 

Keep in mind that if you claim these things through an insurance plan at work, only the portion that you have to pay, is claimable. However, any private insurance premiums you pay, may be eligible medical expenses, too.


There is a minimum amount of medical expenses you must have before you can claim anything. The minimum amount is either 3% of your net income as reported on your tax return, or $2,635 (for 2023), whichever is lower. The medical expense credit is then based on the eligible expenses paid above that minimum threshold.


By understanding the often-overlooked deductions and staying proactive in record-keeping, Canadians can potentially ease the financial burden of medical costs while remaining in compliance with the country's tax laws. Don't let these opportunities slip through the cracks - explore the possibilities and ensure you're making the most of the available tax benefits for medical expenses.


For more info on this or other tax related questions,    
give me a call at 780-995-5236.