Year End Tax Tips

Written by David Wickenberg CA, CFP on Dec. 7, 2017

Review our year end tax tips to discover a number of perfectly valid actions you may still be able to take before the end of the year to cut your taxes and to optimize your wealth management planning.

As tax planning specialists, we at KWB can help you decide exactly what to do, when to do it, and what not to do. Why overpay your taxes?

As you turned the calendar from November to December, you may have considered the year as good as done.  Many business owners will spend the next few weeks reflecting on the last year and making plans for the upcoming year.  But December should be a month of action – not merely a month of reflection and planning.  December is the time to act on crucial year-end tax and wealth planning strategies and to optimize your plans using these year end tax tips.

Here are our top 9 year end tax tips to help you optimize your tax and wealth management plans for the year:

  • Tax-loss selling.  Even out accrued losses with capital gains by selling off investments that accrued losses throughout the year.
  • Registered Savings Plans contributions.  It is crucial to be aware of contribution deadlines and application deadlines for the various retirement and savings plans.
  • Reviewing asset allocation. Specifically, reviewing allocation between non-registered investments and registered investments and ensuring that you do not have any prohibited investments.
  • Contributing to Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) or Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSPs).  It is important to identify whether the maximum contribution has to be made in the current year or what part of that contribution can be carried over into future years.
  • Ensuring certain payments are made by December 31.  Charitable contributions and other expenses need to be paid by the end of the year to claim a tax deduction for that year.  But also, prepayments and accelerated purchases of business assets can be made to claim all or at least part of the tax deduction in the current year.
  • Get organized. Trying to find all your slips the day before the tax deadline is never a good thing. If you haven’t already started an envelope or folder to hold all your tax slips and receipts, then do so now. You can still procrastinate a little, but at least all your slips will be in one spot and you won’t miss claiming any.
  • If you work in a business that usually pays year-end bonuses, be aware that an employer can generally give an employee gifts and awards worth $500 per year without triggering any tax consequences for the employee, providing it is a non-cash gift. Okay, it might seem a little strange to give an iPad or snowboard as a business gift, but keep in mind that the same $500 given in cash would be fully taxable.
  • If you own your own business, it’s important to sit down with us and figure out the best combination of salary and dividends to pay yourself, because these two forms of income are taxed differently. Under certain circumstances, your spouse and children could also be part of the equation, and this could be an advantage if they are in a lower tax bracket (which is usually the case for children, at least).
  • If you work for yourself or own a small business and you’re thinking of buying equipment, it’s advantageous to note that you can still claim half of the usual amortization in the current year, even if the equipment is acquired and put into service in the last few days of the year.

For more detailed information about year end tax tips please call KWB at 780-466-6204 or email us by clicking here.

Thanks to David Wickenberg of KWB Chartered Accountants for providing much of this content

 

 

David Wickenberg, CA, CFP

David Wickenberg CA, CFP

Partner

David grew up in Edmonton and after going to McNally High School enrolled at the University of Alberta in 1983. David initially enrolled in general sciences in order to have some flexibility in deciding what career path to follow. Teaching, computer science and business were all considerations but it was the flexibility and potential of a business career that led David to the faculty of business. An accounting major appealed to David in his final year since it provided the opportunity to interact with many different people and fulfill his desire to teach others what he knows.

David received his B.Comm from the University of Alberta in 1987 and was awarded his CA designation in 1990. After articling with KPMG he worked for two years in industry. First as a lending officer at a trust company and then at a large retailer as CFO.
David began his own practice in 1992 and after 4 years on his own merged his practice with Gary Koehli’s to form Koehli Wickenberg now KWB LLP. David received his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation in 1997 and uses that knowledge to provide full service plans that merge company and personal strategies.

David is married and has two children.

David has previously served on the board of Deal Generator, an initiative of EDE. He also served on the Board of the CKUA Radio Foundation and was the vice-chair for 2005 and 2006 and chair of the planning committee during that same time. It was during his term as chair of the planning committee that he helped develop the first full strategic plan for CKUA. David continues to be a strong supporter of CKUA.

When he’s not preparing tax plans and managing the business, David loves to play basketball or squash and also spend lots of time with his family.

David's Contact Information

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