Today we are going to touch on a few of the pieces of information that you need to know about different categories of assets and how they are taxed.
One thing that is important to note is that in Canada we do not have inheritance taxes, however some jurisdictions around the world do, and that may or may not apply to certain Canadian residents, depending on where assets are held.
We are going to talk specifically about Canadian resident, Canadian assets today. We are going to discuss Non-Registered Assets, Registered Accounts, and some things to be aware of with beneficiary designations on those accounts if applicable.
Many provinces and territories do apply probate fees to estates; and taxation for everybody, whether or not probate fees apply, is a really important topic to start thinking about for yourself and for your family.
On death, assets in a Non-Registered account are deemed disposed the day of death. And this will often trigger capital gains or capital losses, or both. And taxation on these gains or losses are going to be applied at the level of the estate of the individual that is deceased. Capital losses, if those are applicable, can actually be applied to any income in the year of death, and potentially other years, so speak to your accountant about that. Capital losses can be used against other forms of income, not just capital gains.
Registered accounts are eligible for beneficiaries to be designated. Many people choose to designate beneficiaries that will receive the proceeds of their registered account at death. If a rollover provision is available, such as to a spouse, there is no taxation that needs to be addressed at the time of the deceased’s passing, as the assets in the registered account will essentially rollover to the spouse at the time of death. If the beneficiary of the registered account is not the spouse or eligible for a rollover, the registered assets will still be provided to the beneficiary in full, however it is very important to note that taxation does still occur on the full value of the registered account, and at the level of the deceased.
For example, if the registered account, for round numbers is worth $100,000 on the date of death, and there are two beneficiaries for which the rollover does not apply – each beneficiary will receive $50,000, and the estate still needs to pay tax on the $100,000 of deemed income for the deceased. Keep that in mind when you apply your beneficiary designations to the registered account.
A Tax-Free Savings Account can have both a successor-holder named, which can only be one’s spouse, as well as contingent beneficiaries. It is not common that people consider adding contingent beneficiaries to a Tax-Free Savings Account if their spouse is named successor-holder already; however, we have seen many circumstances where one loses testamentary capacity later in life and their successor-holder is deceased (their spouse is deceased), and we can then no longer name or add beneficiaries to their Tax-Free Savings Account. So do consider this, and review your own designations for those accounts to ensure that your estate and beneficiary designations are up to date and where you would like them to be. Of course, a Tax-Free Savings Account does not have tax applied, so if beneficiary designations have been elected, the dollars in the Tax-Free Savings Account will be distributed accordingly with no taxation necessary at any point.
Estate planning is very complex and we have just touched on a couple of issues today. There is a lot more to it and all estate planning should be considered in the context of your goals and your objectives.
Please reach out to us, we are happy to connect you with a lawyer and answer any questions that we are able to help you with. Learn more about our estate planning services here.
The following is general tax filing information that may or may not apply to you.
Our clients will be receiving a tax package from their Portfolio Management team onlyif you have a Non-Registered account and there was activity in your Non-Registered account(s) in 2022. If you do not have a Non-Registered account you should not expect to receive this.
The tax package includes a Statement of Annual Management Fees, Foreign Asset Report, and a Realized Gain & Loss Report for Non-Registered accounts if there was any activity in 2022. You will need the Gain & Loss Report to pair with your T5008 tax slip that you will receive from your Custodian. The Gain & Loss Report provides the book value of activity in the account, while the T5008 provides the proceeds of disposition. Please provide both documents to your tax preparer. If there was no activity in your Non-Registered account or you do not have a Non-Registered account, you will not receive these forms.
Special Reporting: Our Portfolio Managers may invest in certain holdings which have a different type of reporting. The distributions for Non-Registered accounts that contain these holdings are reported on CRA Form T3 and/or T5013. These forms are expected to be sent out near the end of March. Your Portfolio Manager advises you to wait until after March to file your return to ensure you receive all necessary slips.
Note that if you have made an RRSP or Spousal RRSP contribution in the first 60 days of 2023, the deadline for mailing these slips is the end of March.
Please ensure you have received all necessary slips before filing your 2022 tax return. If you are signed up for online access with NBIN and have your preferences set to electronic delivery, your tax slips are available online only. Therefore, you will need to login to your account to check for tax slips as there will not be a hard copy mailed.
This will serve as a friendly reminder of the contribution limits and cut-off dates for RRSP and TFSA contributions if you are planning to make one this year and have not already done so.
The cut-off date for your RRSP contributions to count toward reducing your income for 2022 is Wednesday, March 1, 2023. The contribution limit for the 2022 taxation year was 18% of your taxable income up to a maximum of $29,210, whichever is less. The contribution limit for the 2023 taxation year is a maximum of $30,780. If you have unused contribution room from previous years, you may utilize this room as well.
If you would like to contribute to a TFSA for 2023 the limit is $6,500 for the year, unless you have not maxed out your contributions. The maximum one could have deposited into their TFSA account since 2009 is $88,000 as of 2023.
Our clients can make contributions through one of the following methods:
Transfer from Non-Registered Account: If you have a Non-Registered account set-up with enough funds in it, you can simply send us an e-mail indicating the amount you would like transferred from this account to your RRSP or TFSA.
Online Banking Transfer (Bill Payment): Add your Custodian (“Credential Securities” or “National Bank Independent Network” / “NBIN” – note it may show up as either, depending on your bank) as a “Payee” through your online banking and enter your account number as the bill account number. If you need assistance finding your account number or are unsure who your Custodian is, please contact our office. If you choose this method, please also notify us with the amount you are contributing, so we can have your Portfolio Manager watch for it.
EFT from your Bank: You will just need to sign an EFT form if you have not already done so, which allows your Custodian (Credential or NBIN) to take the money directly out of your account with your consent. Once you have signed the form, we will require an email from you indicating the one-time amount you are authorizing them to withdraw from your bank account and which account (RRSP or TFSA) you would like it deposited to.
If you have any questions or would like to book a video or phone appointment to review your accounts, please contact our office at 780-490-4200.
Today we’re talking about another common question from clients – what is a RIF and how does it work?
A RIF is simply a conversion from your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to a Registered Retirement Income Fund. So the income version of the tax sheltering that you receive from a registered account. A RIF is set up so you can continue to enjoy growth on your assets without paying tax as the assets grow.
Of course, you are going to be taxed when you take money out of your RIF. So how does that work?
You have to convert your RRSP to a RIF at age 71, and you must begin to draw income out of the RIF at age 72.
You can convert to a RIF prior to that if you choose to. You can also convert partially to a RIF from your RRSP account if you choose to, which can be a great way for you to use the pension tax credit for example.
So how much do you take out of a RIF when it’s time to convert? You have to take out a designated amount that’s specified by the Government as a percentage of your assets. Your assets will be calculated on December 31 of the previous calendar year and a percentage applied to it based on what CRA determines. This will give the minimum amount that you have to take out of your RIF once it’s in RIF format. You can always take more out of your RIF if you choose.
When you take money out of your RIF, it is taxed as ordinary income. The RIF minimum will not be taxed immediately, but you need to consider it in your tax planning for the year. Anything over and above RIF minimum will incur a withholding tax, and that portion will be taxed as you go. You can ask to have your RIF minimum taxed as you go as well, but it’s not automatic.
Another common question we get asked is whether you are taxed twice on a RIF? And the answer to that is absolutely not.
When you make a contribution to your RRSP in your working years, typically you are at a much higher income than you are in your retirement years. Often this means you get a great tax benefit throughout your working career to make those RRSP contributions. Following that up, you pay a much lower rate of tax when you draw that money out from your RIF.
So are you taxed on your RIF? Absolutely, but you’re certainly not double-taxed. And typically, you are seeing a significant benefit in terms of tax planning from your working career to your retirement years.
If you have any questions about how your RIF fits into your financial plan, please contact your advisor or give us a call.
As 2022 comes to a close, it is an excellent time to review your finances and plan for the year ahead. Here are 5 financial boxes you should check off before the year ends.
1 – Take advantage of your company benefits.
Most employer sponsored health plans turn over at the calendar year end. If you have benefits remaining, be sure to schedule some time to get that massage, see your physiotherapist or arrange the dental cleaning you’ve been putting off. Now is a great time to review your coverage overall, and start planning for next year especially if you’re not quite sure what your coverage provides. Bonus: Pull out your life, disability, and any other insurance coverage you hold. Review your beneficiaries, the amounts of the coverage, and when/how it would pay out. Contact your financial planner to help you determine if you have what you need.
2 – Review your registered contributions and your income for the year.
You have until the end of February of the following calendar year to contribute to your RRSP or a spousal RRSP to reduce your taxable income for the current calendar year. Talk to your financial planner who can help you optimize this.
3 – Review your fixed expenses, recurring expenses and your borrowing costs.
Sitting down at least once/year to look at your financial commitments can help put your finances into perspective. Borrowing costs have increased dramatically for some in 2022, and now is a great time to make sure you’re compensating for these increases in your variable spend or elsewhere if necessary. Bonus: set a calendar reminder to review your cash flow quarterly.
4 – Consider your goals for next year plus the next few.
Determine how much those goals might cost. Sit down with your financial planner to help you find the best source of money to tap into to achieve these goals.
5 – Make a plan for charitable contributions.
Review who you’ve donated to and if you want to make further donations for the calendar year. Donations should be complete by the end of December to use for the current calendar year income or saved for future years. If you have securities that have appreciated, consider a donation of securities in-kind. Bonus: Review the profiles of the organizations you donate to at charityintelligence.ca.
If you need assistance with any of these financial planning items before year-end, please reach out to us.