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.
As we approach the end of the year, some clients may have questions about capital gains and losses that have occurred in their portfolio.
Watch this video to understand what capital gains and losses are and how they may impact your taxes.
Today we are discussing capital gains and losses.
Capital gains and losses are in reference to a taxable account and today we are discussing them as they relate to stocks, although capital property is another variety of property that they can apply to.
Capital gains and losses occur when you dispose of a stock at higher or lower than your adjusted cost base (ACB).
Your adjusted cost base (ACB) is the total price that you have paid for your stock. In addition, you can add some of the cost that you had to acquire the stock, such as commissions, to the adjusted cost base.
A capital gain occurs when you sell your stock for more than your adjusted cost base. A capital loss occurs when you sell your stock for less than the adjusted cost base.
Let’s say you paid $100 for your stock and you sell it for $150. You would have a capital gain of $50 – the difference between your sale price, and in this example, your adjusted cost base.
Halfof the $50 is taxable, so $25 would be taxable for you in the year that you dispose of the security.
Conversely a capital loss would happen if you sold your security for $75.
You’ve incurred a loss of $25 and halfof that – $12.50,can be used to reduce any capital gains that you’ve experienced in the year that you’ve sold your security, three years prior, or essentially indefinitely going forward.
Capital gains and losses are in reference to a taxable account (Non-Registered Accounts). They do not apply to Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) or Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs).
Capital gains and losses can be used for tax planning, so please reach out to our team if you have a tax planning situation that you need assistance with. Learn more about the tax planning services we provide here. If you have any further questions about capital gains and losses, contact us here.
One of the objectives of estate planning is to review and minimize potential taxes on your remaining assets.
Lets review how some common assets (RRSP/RIFs, TFSAs, Non-Registered Accounts, and Principal Residences) are taxed upon death.
RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) / RIF (Retirement Income Fund)
The accounts can be left to a spouse as a named beneficiary. This transaction will generate a tax slip, but this is not a taxable event. The spouse can receive the proceeds of the RRSP/RIF.
In some circumstances, the RRSP/RIF could also pass to a dependent child without triggering tax.
TFSA (Tax-Free Savings Account)
No tax and no reporting is necessary.
If a spouse is named as the successor owner, the full value of the TFSA can become the spouse’s with no tax impact (even if the successor owner spouse may have no TFSA room available).
You can name beneficiaries such as children, and the assets would be provided once appropriate legal requirements are met after death.
Death is a taxable disposition and all assets are deemed disposed on the date of death (meaning they are considered sold). The applicable gain or loss must be considered and tax paid.
No tax is owing on the sale of a principal residence, however it must be noted when filing taxes that the property was deemed disposed.
If you have a question pertaining to your specific financial situation or need some assistance with estate planning, please reach out and our financial advisors would be happy to assist you. You can learn more about the estate planning services we provide here.
We often get asked what the differences are between a TFSA (Tax-Free Savings Account) and RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) account.
We’ve put together this summary to review the primary differences and rules pertaining to each account. If you have any questions, please reach out to us here.
TFSA (Tax-Free Savings Account):
There is no deduction available, but no tax on withdrawals
TFSA contribution limit is cumulative, less contributions; withdrawals provide room back (including growth) in the new calendar year
Can be used for short-term savings, mid-long term, and estate planning
Can name spouse as successor owner, and beneficiaries for estate planning
Withdrawals do not generate a tax slips; drawing money out does not impact income-tested benefits
You must be 18 years old in order to open a TFSA, and can contribute and withdraw based on the plan rules for your lifetime
Can invest using many of the same types of investments as within an RRSP or Non-Registered account
You might be required to pay non-resident withholding tax on US situated investments
There is no need at any time to convert your TFSA to an income plan, it can be held as-is until your death if desired
RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan):
Deduction provided against T4 earnings; suitable if you are earning employment income, not dividends
Contribution room is limited to 18% of previous years’ earned income, less adjustments for pension contributions, up to a maximum specified by CRA each year. Accumulates if you don’t use it
Access available through the Home Buyers Plan or Lifelong Learning Plan without immediate tax consequences
Naming beneficiaries on an RRSP other than your spouse can have unintended tax consequences and it’s important to speak with your Financial Planner, Accountant, and Lawyer to determine your best course of action
Withdrawals are taxed as ordinary income
On death, an RRSP may be eligible for a “spousal rollover”, shifting taxation of the RRSP to the death of the recipient spouse
When withdrawing from RRSP assets once retired, most individuals are in a lower tax-bracket than during their working years which could result in favourable tax outcomes
Depending on your situation, a spousal RRSP could be used to accomplish long-term income splitting
You must convert your RRSP to a RRIF (Registered Retirement Income Fund) by age 71, and you must begin to withdraw a CRA mandated minimum at age 72
Both TFSA & RRSP Accounts:
You can’t deduct interest costs related to borrowing to invest in either a TFSA or RRSP
You can’t deduct investment management fees in either a TFSA or RRSP
You can’t claim a capital loss in either a TFSA or RRSP
Please reach out to us for further information regarding these accounts, or if you have a specific question pertaining to your individual situation.