Tax Savings - Seven Tips for Individuals

bhushan by bhushan pandey

Published Tue, Jul 25th 2017, 15:34 | Fitness


A large number of my clients asks me about what forms of tax savings can life insurance policies provide. What I keep telling them that while life insurance is a major tool for these purposes, there are other ways in which a Canadian individual can save and optimize long-term financial planning

1. Loans to family members - you have the option of lending money to your family in a low tax bracket for the purposes of investments. What you need to keep in mind to charge an interest at the CRA prescribed rate (5 percent at the time of writing) - as long as you will keep this rate there will be no attribution back to you on the earned income. The outcome depends on the yield of the investment, under certain conditions a rather big tax saving is possible.

2. Invest inheritance in separate names - a spouse with a lower income who receives an inheritance should be investing it in a separate account, so any investment return is taxed solely in the lower income spouse's hands. Investing it in joint accounts would result in higher taxing.

3. Spousal RRSP contributions - a higher income-earning spouse should contribute to a spousal RRSP in the name of the spouse with a lower income (the annuitant), with the goal of having both RRSPs equal in contribution amounts. The spouse with the higher income has the option to use the RRSP deduction now to reduce income taxes, while the lower tax bracket spouse will pay income tax on the RRSP withdrawals in the future.

4. RESP Contributions - This is a good way to post-secondary education savings for your children and achieving income-splitting at the same time. The contributions are not deductible to you, but the investment grows tax-free - the future withdrawals are taxed as income to the student at a time when he presumably has only a minimal income (i.e., in a low tax bracket). As a result of this, the income tax paid is very low.

5. Donate - consider making a donation to publicly-traded securities with accrued capital gains to a registered charitable organization instead of donating cash. Tax Saving is payable on the capital gains which haven't been realized yet by donating listed shares to a charitable organization. Under these circumstances, the charity receives a larger amount than it would have if you were to have first sold the shares and then donated the proceeds after paying taxes on the capital gain. You will receive a donation tax receipt, and hence a tax credit, for the full market value of the shares, while paying no capital gains tax on this disposition.

6. Employing your spouse and children - if you own a business (either incorporated or as a sole proprietor), consider paying a salary to your spouse and children. Note that the salary must be reasonable and in line with the services they perform. CPP contributions are not required for children under the age of 18. EI deductions should be discussed with your tax adviser. Minors, even with no taxable income for the year, should still file tax returns in order to build up RRSP contribution room based on their salary. These can be used for future income tax deductions.

7. Interest deductibility - interest paid on a home mortgage and car loans are not deductible under standard circumstance, while interest on loans used to earn business or investment income is. Therefore, try to ensure that all loans you take out are for a purpose which allows deduction. For example, if you have excess funds that you would like to invest, pay off your mortgage first, and only take out a loan for investment purposes later.