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Growing Your Niche Practice

Dale Barrett has a clear vision for his tax law firm: he wants it to be a place that takes the fear of taxes out of clients. After articling at Tory’s, he started Barrett Tax Law in 2008. A former software engineer, he was drawn to tax law because of the need for affordable tax advisory services. Read more…

Five tips to help small business owners survive tax time

It’s no secret that small-business owners put in long hours. A typical day can include anything from hiring new employees to overseeing marketing campaigns and even cleaning out a rank staff room fridge.

With so many responsibilities gobbling up an entrepreneur’s time, no wonder Statistics Canada data shows that more than 40 per cent of owners work 50 or more hours a week – while just 6 per cent of employees work that amount. Read more…

Collecting HST and GST is a big pain for small business

For most small-business owners it’s probably safe to say that collecting taxes on behalf of the government can be a nuisance.

“These are in the category that are called ‘trust monies,’” said Dale Barrett, of Toronto-based Barrett Tax Law, “and the Canada Revenue Agency goes crazy over trust monies.”

What’s more, the legislation related to the harmonized sales tax and the goods and services tax is complex, and it’s easy to make costly mistakes. Here are the seven most common HST/GST errors. Read more…

Ten common mistakes that make tax time worse

Tax time is a headache for most people, but if you are running a small business, it can be even more so. An error, even an honest one, has the potential to raise the ire of Canada Revenue Agency auditors. That could cost entrepreneurs time, stress and money while they would rather be concentrating on running their businesses.

Here are 10 common mistakes that small business owners tend to make.

Failing to keep an accurate log of a vehicle: “It’s one of the areas the CRA loves to audit,” said Toronto-based tax lawyer Dale Barrett, author of Tax Survival for Canadians: Stand Up to the CRA. Read more…

Free (or nearly so) resources for small-business tax season

Free is always good, especially when it comes to professional advice during tax season. A variety of government bodies, associations and websites offer help gratis or for minimal cost, just when your business needs it most. Here are some of the resources available to help you get it right.

Canadian Tax Foundation: This non-profit research organization analyzes personal, corporate and international tax and government-finance matters. It publishes a broad selection of analysis and commentary on current issues in Canadian and international case law, tax policy and finance. Read More…

Taxman wants Royal Bank’s Panama Papers client list


The Royal Bank of Canada should be ordered to reveal the identities of clients with “relationships or connections” to the Panamanian law firm at the centre of a global offshore tax haven scandal, according to a federal court application by the Minister of National Revenue.

The striking request filed in court on May 4 seeks an order under the Income Tax Act compelling RBC, the country’s largest bank, to provide the sensitive client information in response to revelations published by the Toronto Star and the CBC/Radio-Canada last month in the Panama Papers investigation. Read more…

Earn extra income this year through Uber or Airbnb? Remember to report it – 680 News


OTTAWA – People who drove for a ride-hailing service like Uber or rented out their homes through Airbnb last year earned extra income, and that needs to be reported come tax time.

“When you decide to put up the post for a room in your house or your cottage or in fact if you happen to sign up with Uber and be a driver, you’ve got I think an approach to earn income or money,” said Paul Woolford, a tax partner at KPMG. Read more…

Uber drivers often unaware of tax obligations – CBCNEWS


It’s been said there’s no such thing as a free ride and, at tax time, that’s as true for Uber drivers as it is for their passengers.

The controversial app-based ride-hailing service, and its competitor Lyft, are a source of income for tens of thousands of Canadians. But some of them are operating under some misconceptions, tax experts say.

The most common misconception is that their earnings are tax-free. Read More…

Want to avoid an audit? Why major changes in your tax return attract CRA attention – Global News


OTTAWA – Even if people have done nothing wrong, there is little that can compare with the dread that an audit by the Canada Revenue Agency can cause.

Tax experts say big changes in a return or claims that seem unusual for someone with a particular job or living in a certain neighbourhood can increase the chances of an audit. Read More…

Big changes or things out of the ordinary increase chances of audit, experts say – Brandon Sun


OTTAWA – Even if people have done nothing wrong, there is little that can compare with the dread that an audit by the Canada Revenue Agency can cause.

Tax experts say big changes in a return or claims that seem unusual for someone with a particular job or living in a certain neighbourhood can increase the chances of an audit.

“There’s an umbrella of things that if they are found on your tax return they are going to put up a red flag and possibly trigger an audit,” said Dale Barrett, a tax lawyer and principal at Barrett Tax Law. Read More…

The Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption: Plan ahead – Ottawa Business Journal

People often ask me about the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption (the “LCGE”), which for the 2015 tax year is $813,600, and many just assume that any capital gain can be covered under the exemption.

Actually, the LCGE allows one to dispose of Qualified Farm Property, Qualified Fishing Property, or shares of a Qualified Small Business Corporation and not pay any capital gains tax on the first $813,600.  And as the wording suggests, there are qualifications. Read More…

The Nasty Net Worth Audit – Ottawa Business Journal 

While most people run for cover when they learn they are being audited, what many don’t realize is that they should be even more fearful of the increasingly prevalent “Net Worth” audit.

Generally an audit begins with a boilerplate letter providing a laundry list of documents to be produced – from vehicle logs to receipts, statements, and invoices. Read More…