Another year, another tax return
As we all know, taxes just never go away (sigh!). And at Oaken, every time we ring in the New Year, we also start getting ready for the new tax season. This means we’ve been extra busy lately, doing our part to make sure you can complete your tax return as easily as possible.
New portfolio statements
One of the ways we’ve done so is by improving your year-end statements. Instead of receiving a different statement for every type of investment you hold, you’ll now receive a single statement for your entire portfolio, so that every investment will be shown in one place. And now that we have two separate issuers, these will also be organized accordingly to show which investments are held under Home Trust, and which are held under Home Bank. We think you’ll like this new format, because it will give you a complete overview of your investments and earnings, as well as cut down on the paper you need to keep track of.
Your 2016 taxes are due on April 30, 2017. However, because that date falls on a Sunday this year, the Canada Revenue Agency considers returns that are filed or postmarked by Monday, May 1 to be on time.
To make sure you’ll have all of the necessary paperwork you need from us, our mailing schedule for year-end statements and tax receipts is as follows:
|T5 (Statement of Investment Income)||January 25|
|2016 RSP Contribution Receipts||February 1|
|2016 year-end portfolio statements||February 10|
|T4 RIF (Statement of Income from a Retirement Income Fund)||February 17|
|T4 RSP (Statement of Retirement Savings Plan Income)||February 17|
|T4A TFSA (Retirement and Annuity Income)||February 22|
|NR4 Interest (Statement of Amounts Paid or Credited to Non-Residents of Canada)||February 22|
|NR4 RSP & RIF (Statement of Income from a Retirement Income Fund)||February 22|
|RL3 (Investment Income)||February 22|
|RL2 (Retirement and Annuity Income)||February 22|
|2016 RSP Contribution Receipts (First 60 Days)||March 15|
You should expect to receive these items within two weeks of the mailing dates indicated in the table above, but it will more likely be sooner than that.
Finally, just a reminder that we only issue receipts for interest amounts of $50 or more.
Another tax season, another TFSA contribution
On January 1, the Government of Canada gave you its annual holiday gift—another $5,500 in TFSA contribution room!
This is a gift that keeps on giving, and we strongly recommend all our customers to consider taking advantage of it. We assume you’re probably familiar with the ins and outs of TFSAs by now, but just in case, here’s a refresher on the basics:
- Every penny earned in a TFSA is tax-free, which means you don’t ever pay tax on dividends, capital gains or any other income your TFSA generates.
- If you have unused contribution room from previous years, it will be added to your current year’s contribution room, and that will keep rolling over every year until you use up all your room.
- If you make a withdrawal in any given year, that amount is added to your unused contribution room which means you can recontribute it, but you’ll have to wait until the next calendar year to do so.
- With the $5,500 contribution limit for 2017, the cumulative total limit since TFSAs were introduced in 2009 is now $52,000.
Another quarter, another winner
As we often remind you in these pages, we always welcome visitors to our Oaken stores in both Toronto and Calgary. The coffee and tea are brewing, our staff are ready to chat, and we have lots of great resources to help you plant for the future.
We also hold a quarterly draw from among the many visitors who drop by and enter their name. This past holiday season was made all the merrier for Angie Hunter of Calgary, who stopped by in October, and is now the proud owner of a brand new $500 Oaken GIC. Congratulations, Angie!
Feel free to visit our stores at any time during business hours to enter for our next quarterly draw, which will be made in early April. We also run a separate draw at the various events that we attend, the next one being the Vancouver ZoomerShow at the Vancouver Convention Centre on March 11 & 12.
Another month, another round of blog posts
Our Oaken Blog keeps rolling on into the new year, and in fact we’ve added three more articles over the past month or two.
In December, we wrote about a topic that concerns every Canadian: the aging of our society. We’re facing a “perfect storm” of demographic and economic circumstances that will put enormous pressure on our fiscal future. First of all, the Baby Boomer generation (those born between 1945 and 1965) is heading into retirement. Second, the fertility rate of Canadian women has dropped significantly since the 1960s. And third, we’re all living longer than Canadians did a generation or two ago. All that adds up to lower government revenues and higher government costs, for such things as health care, pensions and old-age security. This will pose quite a conundrum for us to solve in the not-too-distant future.
Earlier this month, our post highlighted the high interest savings account (HISA)—a powerful savings tool that is often overlooked. There are five great advantages to a HISA, which offers the same advantages as a regular savings account but with a higher return. A HISA provides great flexibility, since you can access your funds at any time without paying a penalty. And HISAs that you open with financial institutions like Oaken are eligible for up to $100,000 coverage through CDIC. A HISA also lets you set up an emergency fund for those rainy days, as well as plan for the long term in regards to HISAs which are also TFSA-eligible. Finally, HISAs can give you the discipline you need to achieve your savings goals, because they can be set up with a regular auto-deposit, a way of paying yourself first that gets you into the savings habit.
More recently, we added a timely post about income-splitting for spousal RSPs. This is a topic of perennial interest to many of our readers, as spousal RSPs can help you reduce your overall tax burden. Essentially, the higher-income spouse pays into the lower-income spouse’s RSP, and gets a tax credit based on his or her higher income. The savings also accrue at the other end, when it comes time to withdraw income from the RSP. At that time, the lower-income spouse will be paying taxes at a lower rate, adding to overall savings.
As always, our blog articles go into much greater detail than we’ve outlined here. You can read each of them in full by clicking the links above, or by visiting our main Oaken Blog page.
Another Oaken Update, another reading list
Get a jump on a better 2017 with this set of quick reads…
- Jamie Golombek of the Financial Post on why low inflation is keeping the TFSA contribution limit down.
- CTV’s Chief Financial Commentator, Pattie Lovett-Reid, with a handy 12-month guide to year-round financial fitness.
- This short article on handling the winter blues includes an audio interview with a psychologist specializing in seasonal affective disorder.