Dealing with Fraudulent Phone Calls

Fraudsters are getting smart and finding new ways to scare people and extort money out of them. We just need to be smarter.

The technology that is being used is sophisticated and advanced. Phone masking is now being used to make phone calls. This technology allows the fraudsters to call and make it look like a call is being made from a number that you know. They are also well researched and have gained enough information to make the call look legitimate

Recently there have been instances where Softron clients have been called by fraudsters and it looked like on their caller ID that the phone call was from a Softron Office.

Here are a few attributes of fraudulent phone calls:

  • It may appear a call from a business like Softron, a government office like CRA or RCMP or even a family member or friend
  • Phone call will always be about how you are in default or deep legal trouble.
  • Fraudsters try to intimidate by threatening arrests and using strong language.
  • The solution always is immediate payment of money.
  • The mode of payment offered is prepaid credit cards, online payment systems like paypal or even dropping cash in some scenarios.

Demanding payments through credit card or paypal is a clear red flag. The following are a few facts that you need to remember:

  • Softron, CRA or no other organization will ever call you and threaten you with an arrest.
  • No legitimate organization demands payments through pre-paid credits cards
  • All owings or payments are always demanded through written notices and letters.
  • We at Softron may only contact our clients via phone regarding an on-going tax filing service we are providing or general messages about the launch of new tax or location details.

What can you do if you receive a phone call:

  • Hang up
  • If you are sure that it was a fraudulent phone call, report it at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm
  • If you are not sure about whether the call was fraudulent or not, hang up and call back the organization you received the call from. This will protect you against a fraudulent call using phone masking technology.
  • Softron can be contacted at 905-273-4444
  • CRA can be contacted at 1800-959-8281

Did you ride the bitcoin wave in 2017? Time to pay taxes

The digital currencies have emerged as a new asset class in 2017. While they have been around for a few years, the gains in the value of digital currencies were spectacular in 2017. Also, the number of digital currencies has increased manifold. It’s not just about bitcoin. A new crypto currency is being launched almost daily. Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple are few prominent ones.

Having said that, a lot of people made money by trading crypto currencies in 2017 and now it’s time to pay their taxes. We discuss the following situations where you will be liable to pay taxes:

Buying and Selling Cryptocurrencies

  • If you bought a cryptocurrency with Canadian Dollars and sold it at a profit in Canadian Dollars, this transaction will need to be reported as capital gain
  • If you complete these transactions in US dollars, all transactions need to be converted in US dollars and gain/loss will be reported on your tax return

Trading Within Cryptocurrencies

As mentioned earlier, there is a plethora of cryptocurrencies available today. But not all currencies can be bought with CAD or USD as this is how the crypto currency exchanges are set up at this time.

When one crypto currency is used to purchase another currency, barter transaction rules apply for such transactions. So, you will need to know the cost of purchase in CAD for such transactions. Let’s assume you bought 10 ethers for 1 bitcoin. The transaction will be recorded as price of 10 ethers in CAD. We will also need to know the price of 10 ethers in CAD at the time of sale to determine whether profit was made in this transaction or loss.

Purchasing with Crypto

Well, it’s a currency after all and the purpose of the currency is to exchange it for products and services. The barter transaction rules apply here as well. So, if you buy a digital coin for $10.00. Its value increases to $20.00 and then you end up buying a USB drive online by paying that one digital coin. The CAD value of the USB drive is $20.00. In this case, the purchase of USB transaction will have to be reported and a tax will be paid on the increased value of digital coin.

As described above, the transactions can be really complicated and confusing. Also, there is lack of proper reporting statements from the informal exchanges where these currencies are traded. Currency conversions also add to the complication. We at Softron have been studying the tax implications related to Crypto currencies and understand the digital currency market.

Call 905-273-4444 today and let the best handle your taxes!

Know your Tax Credits

Today we discuss the tax credits that you should be discussing with your accountant before you finalize your 2016 taxes. The rule is simple. The more you know about tax credits means that discuss more with your tax professional and thus pay less in taxes.

Here are the credits that you may be eligible to claim this tax season:

Moving Expenses

If you moved this year for a new job, make sure tor take a record of all your expenses to your accountant as he can claim moving expenses on your tax return.

Medical Expenses:

While it is common knowledge that Canadian taxpayers can claim medical expenses on their returns but it is important to know what expenses you can claim. A lot of people miss out on the travellers’ medical insurance that they buy when travelling abroad.

You can also claim expenses incurred on fertility treatments that are otherwise not covered by any insurance plan.

Home Renovation Expenses for Seniors and People with Disability:

If you are a senior or already approved for disability tax credit, you can claim any expenses incurred for increasing the accessibility in your house. This includes expenses like stair lifts.

Credits for Teachers

Starting 2016, teachers can claim expenses incurred on supplies for school up to $1000. So, if you are a certified teacher or early childhood educator, make sure you take advantage of this tax credit.

We at Softron, have trained our professional staff to ensure that we do not miss any tax credits for all our clients. It is always more expensive to miss out on tax credits than paying a professional who can save you the most on taxes

Call 905-273-4444 or visit www.softrontax.com/location to finalize your taxes.

Federal Budget 2017: Investors happy but Uber and Alcohol gets Costlier

The 2nd Federal budget was tabled today by the Liberal Party of Canada. The debt as expected is growing and the fiscal deficit expected to reach $28.5 billion this year.

The highlights that will impact your taxes are discussed below:

No change to Capital Gains – Rumors were afloat before the budget that the inclusion rate for Capital Gains Tax will increase and this had the investor community in Canada worried.

Public Transit Tax Credit Abolished – Starting July 1, 2017, the public transit credit will be abolished. This will increase the tax bill for public transit riders

Caregiver Credit Simplified– The caregiver credit has been simplified and increased up to $6,883 who are providing care to their loved ones. This credit can now also be claimed if your loved one does not reside with you.

Disability Tax Credit Simplified – The Disability Tax Credit certificate could only be completed y a Doctor until now. Starting 23rd March, 2017, you can even ask your nurse to fill out the DTC application.

Uber gets costlier – All Uber drivers will now be required to take GST numbers as required by other taxi drivers irrespective of the sales they make and this will increase the cost of rides for their passengers

Alcohol get Costlier too: Looks like you will have to spend a little bit more for the Friday night hang out with friends. The tax on Alcohol has increased by 2%. So, costlier drinks and costlier Uber ride to get home after the party.

EI premiums Increased: The EI premiums have increased by 5 cents for every $100 of insurable earnings. However, people who go to school or for a skills training will continue to get their EI premiums under the new rules.

Canada Savings Bond phased out: As Canada celebrates its 150th year, the good old Canada Savings Bond will be phased out as the demand for the investment product was extremely low.

So over all the investors will be happy although taxes will increase for public transit riders and uber users.

Deadline Rush: Is it worth investing in RRSPs?

RRSP deadline is 1st March this year and everybody is busy investing money in RRSPS to save up on taxes.

Yes, you save on taxes right away by claiming the RRSP deduction on your income but the big question is that does it help us in long term?

With RRSPs, the answer can be both yes or no and it depends on your situation. Retirement planning is now one of the most critical aspects of financial planning in Canada as more than 50% of retirees do not have enough in pensions today and are collecting Guaranteed Income Supplement.

The benefits of RRSP investing are as follows:

• They are a great investing tool if you are saving for your retirement and you do not have a Company pension plan

• RRSPs can be a great savings tool for younger people who are saving to buy a house. At the time of buying a house, funds can be withdrawn tax-free under the Home buyer’s plan

• RRSPs are great tax planning tool where you can invest in years when you have higher income and you withdraw in years when your income will be lower. So ideally you save money when your are paying tax in a higher tax bracket and pay tax on a lower tax bracket in later years

However, RRSPs do not serve as a great tax planning tool if you good pension plans from your employer as there is a good chance that you will end up paying taxes in higher tax bracket even when you retire.

So yes, the one size fits all policy does not work with RRSPs. You should discuss your RRSP investments with a tax planning expert before you take any step.

Call Softron Tax today at 905-273-4444 to discuss your tax planning needs.