Tidbits Podcast

Bite-sized morsels for your tax and business
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Aug 18, 2016

When dealing with matters at work, most people would likely say they try to handle things with a professional, mature mindset. However, it could be possible that this highly structured way of trying to manage things could be stifling the creativity and more erratic thought processes that could be used to create a stand-out business model.

Aug 16, 2016

In 2013, the government decided to give an extra credit to those who are donating for the first time, or hadn’t donated for quite a few years. This was done in order to encourage people to donate to charities, and allow charities to do more for the people, rather than government doing everything for them. At least until 2017, then who knows if this credit will exist at all.

Aug 14, 2016

Back in the days of pink bubblegum and hula hoops, a junior high school kid from a rural neighbourhood was contemplating ways in which to invest and earn money.  In due course, he followed his yearning with a very shrewd action.  With his entrepreneurial spirit intact, he bicycled down to the small, rural town’s local general store and bought up the town’s entire supply of pink bubblegum.  In turn, he made continued attempts to resell the pink bubblegum to kids in the neighbourhood hiking the price to allow him to realize a profit.

Well, the other neighbourhood kids understood the concept of price gouging and were not receptive to purchasing pink bubblegum at inflated prices.  Suffice it to say the idea went over like a lead balloon.  Though the kids suffered a week-long withdrawal from chewing pink bubblegum, they effectively boycotted sales by the entrepreneur and in no time at all prices and supply returned to normal.  In fact, the whole affair ended with the entrepreneur apprehensive to depart his parent’s home for weeks after being branded the town traitor who created the bubblegum famine in the first place.

Aug 14, 2016

The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) program began in 2009. It is a way for individuals who are 18 and older and who have a valid social insurance number to set money aside tax-free throughout their lifetime. Contributions to a TFSA are not deductible for income tax purposes. Any amount contributed as well as any income earned in the account (for example, investment income and capital gains) is generally tax-free, even when it is withdrawn.  Administrative or other fees in relation to TFSA and any interest or money borrowed to contribute to a TFSA are also not deductible. 

Aug 4, 2016

Age is no barrier for being an entrepreneur in today's world. As a small group of youngsters is showing, if you have a good idea and know how to execute it, you are most likely to succeed. There are several lessons adults can learn from the following young entrepreneurs.

You are never too young or too old to start a business. There are lessons to be learned from every successful entrepreneur, even the youngest ones. Let these junior executives inspire you to start creating your own story.

Aug 2, 2016

The Canada child tax benefit (CCTB), the national child benefit supplement (NCBS), and the universal child care benefit (UCCB) are all being replaced by the Canada child benefit (CCB). It is thought having just one credit based on income is the better way to go. This new CCB is effective July 1st, 2016 and the first payment will be paid out on July 20th.

Jul 28, 2016

You’ve started a business a few months ago, and to save money you worked on your own books. Now, you’re coming up to a deadline for a government remittance or tax time and you’re not really sure if you’ve been doing the bookkeeping correctly. You don’t want to wait until the deadline, and then find out it’s all wrong and needs to be redone. Or, your accountant just redoes it and gives you a huge bill.

Jul 26, 2016

Dealing with all this government stuff can be a real pain in the you-know-what at times. Payroll is one of those programs where Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) can get real cranky when it’s not done right, and fine you even for a day late. There are a couple of things that can happen when remitting your payments. You under-remitted, over-remitted, or paid the wrong account. Let’s talk about remittance methods first.

Jul 26, 2016

It is common among entrepreneurs to focus on the day-to-day operations of their business especially if they are just starting out. However, when the business has run smoothly for a while, it becomes imperative for the owner to continuously review the performance of his home business, measure its progress, and assess the potentials for growth and expansion. If you are a home business owner, make it a practice to appraise your business performance at least quarterly and conduct a more in-depth evaluation yearly. The process allows you to compare how your home business actually fared to your business plan, identify areas that could be improved, and develop new strategies that can help you meet your goals.

Jul 26, 2016

Every year Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), adjust returns for various reasons, and many of the adjustments are because you, the taxpayer, didn’t respond to their requests for more information, or the information you did submit was incorrect according to what they’ve received from your employer, etc. Here’s just a few tips on how to reduce the number of adjustments CRA could make on your return.

Jul 14, 2016

The smart entrepreneur needs new ideas to improve the small business. One way to reinvent a small business is to read the buzz of business experts on websites like Experts offer new insights you might adapt to your company’s situation. This article uses the idea of becoming an expense reduction analyst to suggest how you can revisit your business plan.  

Jul 12, 2016

As summer is upon us, business slows down a bit, and we take time to relax, it may also be a good time to think about your taxes. Yeah, I know. It’s summer, I don’t want to think about that yet. But, hear me out. The first half of the year is gone, and you have a good idea how it went, so from this you can project what the rest of the year is going to be. With this projection, you can estimate what your tax bill will be. Why? So, you’re not shocked come April of the next year with how much you owe. Instead, you’ll be like, yeah that’s what we thought and you have the funds to pay the bills.

When we’re talking about taxes, we’re including the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) in these calculations, because as a self-employed person you pay your taxes and CPP at the same time.

Jul 7, 2016

A good way of managing your business is to think of it as crossing a road. You don't just cross without assessing the road first; you stop, look, and listen. By implementing these techniques, you're arming yourself with tools that will ensure your business's success.

     • Stop doing unnecessary tasks

     • Stop micromanaging

     • Look and define what success is for you and your business

     • Look at what the competition is doing

     • Listen to your customers

     • Listen to your Intuition

Jul 7, 2016

Canada’s tax system is based on self-assessment, therefore, every once in a while the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) must conduct reviews or audits to ensure you’re filing correctly. Each year, the CRA conducts a number of review activities that promote awareness of and compliance with the laws it administers. These reviews are an important part of the compliance activities CRA undertakes in order to maintain the Canadian public's confidence in as well as the integrity of the Canadian tax system.

Jun 30, 2016

If you are running a home business, it is not enough that you know how much sales you are making. Your sales do not make you any richer; your profits do. Therefore, learn how to analyze your income statement to better understand the profitability of your operations and determine how you can improve your bottom line.

Jun 29, 2016

As a small business owner you are allowed to deduct your automobile expenses when you use your vehicle for the business. Your allowed deduction is based on the kilometers driven for the business in the year, and your total kilometers driving during your fiscal year.

You must keep a log book of your business trips with the date, destination, purpose, and kilometers driven. To keep track of your total kilometers driven for the year, note your odometer reading on the 1st day of each fiscal year before you go anywhere, and this reading gets subtracted from last year’s reading to be your total kilometers driven for the year.

Jun 23, 2016

As a small business owner you are allowed to deduct your automobile expenses when you use your vehicle for the business. Your allowed deduction is based on the kilometers driven for the business in the year, and your total kilometers driving during your fiscal year.

You must keep a log book of your business trips with the date, destination, purpose, and kilometers driven. To keep track of your total kilometers driven for the year, note your odometer reading on the 1st day of each fiscal year before you go anywhere, and this reading gets subtracted from last year’s reading to be your total kilometers driven for the year.

Jun 21, 2016

For someone with a disability or for those caring for someone with one, the government has many different kinds of credits and deductions available. Those are:

  • Disability tax credit
  • Medical expenses
  • Disability supports deduction
  • Child disability benefit
  • Registered disability savings plan
Jun 16, 2016

When it comes to managing inventory, companies must match their approach to their business model, their customers’ order patterns, and the requirements of the market they service. Otherwise, the company not only risks alienating its customers, and losing business, but also risks the potential for holding obsolete and outdated inventory. Instead of matching their approach to their market, companies often go with something they believe will work based on something they’ve seen works elsewhere. It’s this critical mistake that not only raises costs, but leads to companies either buying too much, or too little inventory. Given these two extremes, what are the criteria companies must address in order to decide upon their approach to inventory?

Jun 14, 2016

I get this question a lot. People who are married usually just assume that they have to file together as they’re married, and that’s correct. However, those living together, but not married, must also state their marital status to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). And, you must file as common-law if you are in a relationship with the person you’re sharing accommodation.

So why does marital status matter? Your marital status affects your child and family benefits. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) uses your family net income to calculate them, so they may change when your marital status changes.

Jun 9, 2016

Can sales actually be measured the same way cycle times are analyzed and reduced in manufacturing? While it’s true that cycle time analysis is often relegated to increasing production throughput, it is also applicable to reducing the time needed to close on opportunities and win business. A lower sales cycle time means a company will invoice sooner, get paid faster, and have a higher inventory turnover rate, thereby reducing the daily cost of money. Understanding the benefit of lowering the sales cycle, how do businesses go about reducing the time it takes to secure business?

Jun 7, 2016

The government is making many changes in the child and family benefits that people receive as non-refundable tax credits and refundable tax credits on their taxes. They are also changing the monthly stipend that people receive for having kids under the age of 16.

Based on proposed legislation, a new Canada child benefit (CCB) will replace the universal child care benefit (UCCB) and the Canada child tax benefit (CCTB) in July 2016. The Canada child benefit (CCB) will be a tax-free monthly payment based on adjusted family net income.

If you now receive the UCCB or the CCTB or both, you do not need to apply for the new CCB. However, you and your spouse or common-law partner, if applicable, must file a 2015 income tax and benefit return, even if you don’t have income, so the CRA can calculate your payment.

The CRA will issue the last regular UCCB and CCTB payments on June 20, 2016. The CRA will issue the first CCB payment on July 20, 2016. If the CRA currently deposits your payments into your bank account, this will continue. If you don’t have direct deposit, it is highly recommended that you do. CRA will eventually stop issuing cheques in the very near future.

Jun 3, 2016

The business cycle is important for business owners because the ups and downs in the economy affect the ability of a business to stay afloat financially. Changes in the business cycle are measured against long-term trends.

This article offers an introduction to why managers and business owners need to understand the business cycle and a list of six questions that business owners should consider regularly to keep their pulse on the business cycle. Following changes in economic factors such as supply and demand in the local, regional, national, and global economies is essential for sound business planning.

Jun 3, 2016

After you have determined that you are an employer, a trustee or a payer and have opened a payroll program account, you have to calculate the CPP contributions, EI premiums, and income tax deductions based on the amounts you pay your employees. You also have to calculate your share. You should hold these amounts in trust for the Receiver General in a separate account from your operating business account.

May 26, 2016

Many business proprietors have little involvement with the daily operation of their enterprise, while others are so involved they become numb to how it is actually perceived by their consumer base. But by stepping back and interacting with your business as a customer, you can gain valuable insight into how to best maximize the experience of every shopper.

If you have experienced your business at ground-level for a long period of time, taking a week or two off before acting as a customer will give you time to free your mind from any preconceived ideas you have about your business. When acting as a customer, keep in mind any first impressions you may have. Also, consider how the layout and overall presentation of your business interferes with the ability of your employees to run it smoothly and efficiently. Keep note and consider changing any design elements that impede your ability to get what you want done as a customer to your satisfaction.

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