COVID-19 and your 2019 tax year filings

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has officially extended this year’s filing deadline for personal income tax to June 1, 2020.
Taxpayer will have until September 1, 2020 to pay their 2019 tax owing.

For more CRA information and updates, please go to https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency.html

For tax measures to help support Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic, please go to https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update.html

In this unprecedented times, please stay safe and well by:
– practising social distancing by keeping at least 2 meters apart from each other;
– correctly washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
– don’t touch your face, nose and eyes;
– supporting your loved ones, friends and community by staying connected virtually;
– self isolate if you don’t feel well. Contact your health care provider by phone. Do not just show up at your doctor’s office, clinic or local hospital.

Lastly, a shout out and kudos to all the front line workers (including health, paramedics, police, fire fighters, supply chain workers, politicians of all stripes at all levels of government) who are working hard to keep us safe, fed and healthy.

Please take care of yourselves and do what you can in your community. We’re all in this together.

Beware of CRA phone scams

It can be financially devastating when one falls for one of these scams. Especially seniors today, who still are the most vulnerable to be taken by scammers. Trusting Canadians have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars, often to overseas scammers, believing that they are being threatened by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for outstanding tax bills.

First and foremost, know that CRA will never leave threatening phone messages. They will also never demand immediate payment by Western Union, e-transfer, prepaid credit card, bitcoin or any form of gift cards from popular retailers (ie: Amazon, Apple, etc).

If in doubt with the legitamacy of the call, check by calling CRA directly. Their official phone numbers are listed on their website. Their current toll free number is 1-800-959-8281. Here is the link to CRA’s website https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/corporate/contact-information/telephone-numbers.html#h1.

And don’t worry, they will never threaten you with police intervention or jail time over the phone.

Beware of CRA scams!

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has posted some warnings on scams whereby thousands of unsuspecting Canadians have fallen prey to and lost millions of dollars to scammers.

Check out the government’s website for more information and how to protect yourself – click here. Here are some important points mentioned by CRA on its website –

1) By phone, CRA will never

  • ask for information about your passport, health card, or driver’s license
  • demand immediate payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards from retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, or others
  • use aggressive language or threaten you with arrest or sending the police
  • leave voicemails that are threatening or give personal or financial information

2) By email, CRA will never

  • give or ask for personal or financial information by email and ask you to click on a link
  • email you a link asking you to fill in an online form with personal or financial details
  • send you an email with a link to your refund
  • demand immediate payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards from retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, or others
  • threaten you with arrest or a prison sentence

3) By mail, CRA will never

  • set up a meeting with you in a public place to take a payment
  • demand immediate payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards from retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, or others
  • threaten you with arrest or a prison sentence

4) CRA never uses text messages or instant messaging such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to communicate with taxpayers under any circumstance. If a taxpayer receives text or instant messages claiming to be from the CRA, they are scams!

5) Other useful information on scammers posing as CRA employees. Check out this CRA’s website link – click here.

TFSA accumulated savings, RRSP and tax tips – 2019 update

Here’s another update of my previous posts on TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account) accumulation.
Since 2009, one can contribute to a TFSA and any investment income earned is tax free.

I’ve dropped the assumed annual return from 4%  to a conservative 3% due to recent decline and uncertainty in the markets.  Even with this reduced drop over the plan’s life-to-date, and assuming the maximum is contributed each year at the beginning of each year, one can still expect to have over $75,000 by the end of 2019! The magic of compounding and accumulation.

Here’s the link – 2019Jan-TFSA savings accumulation

Chartered Professional Accountants of BC (CPABC) is committed to providing resources to assist individuals and businesses prepare their income tax returns, invest in RRSPs, and plan their finances.   As a service to the public, here’s the link to its latest RRSP and other useful tax tips.