Retirement and Estate Planning

It’s Important. It’s Urgent!

We at Softron Tax service a full range of clients starting from first time taxpayer students to retired senior citizens. One thing is true for every one of our clients. They all have to retire one day and nobody is going to escape death. A lot of people fail to understand the importance and urgency of this financial issue of their life and there is a reason behind it. It is most likely not affecting your life today.

Retirement planning is about financial security of the future years and estate planning relates to wealth distribution after an individual’s death. Therefore, these financial matters are never perceived urgent but just like Rome was not built in a day, substantial retirement funds and estates are also built with years of planning and investments.

A good retirement plan includes a financial provision for all the contingencies that may occur in the retirement years like heath care costs and increased costs of living. It is of utmost importance that regular long-term investments are made into retirement funds with a concrete plan on when an individual wants to retire and what kind of lifestyle is desired in retirement.

An estate plan is of great importance as well because if the estate is not planned well ahead of time, it could push the family members of a deceased into long legal battles and the wishes of the deceased may not be fulfilled. Also poorly transferred estates can attract large amounts of tax and substantially decrease the actual benefit for the beneficiaries. A well written Will can save an individual and his family, thousands of tax dollars and time.

Softron Tax has taken the initiative and launched a Trust and Estate Planning Course – a first of its kind in the industry. It covers all the essentials of retirement planning, estate planning and taxation of trusts. A candidate who successfully completes the course can confidently create Wills, Power of Attorneys and file T3 returns. It is a great course for every Canadian resident as the course material will make you think about your future goals and set you on the path of retirement and estate planning. The details of the course can be viewed at

As I said that Retirement and Estate Planning is both urgent and important. So plan ahead and do it right!!

Tax Treasures: Top Five things that taxpayers fail to claim

The tax season is over and most of us have filed our taxes for year 2014.  When it comes to doing taxes, a lot of us are always short on time or lack information on what can be claimed. Therefore now is a good time to sit back and revisit your taxes and see if there is something that you missed that could have saved you money. A Canadian taxpayer can file an adjustment to their tax return any time for tax returns filed in last 10 years. So if you missed something, there is always an option of filing an adjustment on your returns.

The following are a few things that taxpayers generally fail to claim:

Moving Expenses:

A taxpayer can claim moving expenses if he has moved and established a new home in order to work or run a business at a new location. Eligible moving expenses include car/truck rentals, fuel costs, meals and lodging expenses and other expenses that are incurred during the process of moving. The minimum qualifying distance is 40 kilometers in order to claim moving expenses.

Parents and Grandparents:

A taxpayer can claim a caregiver amount if he has his or his spouse’s or common law’s parent or grandparent living in the same dwelling and the taxpayer is providing in-home care to the dependent parents or grandparents. The parent or grandparent has to be above 65 years of age.

Tuition Expenses:

If a taxpayer has gone to an education institution for an academic course and paid fees in the tax year, he can claim an education amount. This amount can also be transferred to a spouse, designated to a parent or carried forward for use in future years if the student did not make taxable income during the year. It is very common that students do not make taxable income while they are studying and therefore fail to understand the importance of claiming their tuition expenses. While the tuition expenses can be carried forward for any number of years, they have to be claimed in the year the tuition was paid and school was attended.

RRSP contributions:

It is fairly common knowledge that any money contributed to RRSP accounts reduces taxable income. However as we know that RRSP year starts from March and runs into the first 60 days of the next year, all financial institutions issue two tax receipts for each RRSP account. The first is for contributions in the “remainder of the tax year” and the second receipt is for “First 60 days of next tax year”.  A lot of  taxpayers who have set up an automatic monthly or biweekly contribution end up missing the second receipt as they file the taxes in February or simply miss the second receipt. This generally happens if the taxes are filed without professional help.

Charitable Donations:

If a taxpayer or taxpayer’s spouse or common law partner made a gift of money or other property to certain charitable institutions, he may be able to claim a no refundable tax credit. The maximum donation claim can be up to the limit of 75% of the net income of taxpayer. Also the donations can be carried forward up to five years.

So if you or your spouse have missed any of the above, it is highly recommended that you should see a professional such as Softron Tax and get your return assessed again.

Lets do it Right !!