Tidbits Podcast

Bite-sized morsels for your tax and business
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Oct 6, 2016

Every business starts with an idea, but not every idea is the basis for a viable business. Choosing the right idea and then transforming it into a successful business is both an art and a science. It is also a complex, convoluted process at which few people excel.

Nevertheless, there are some truly successful serial entrepreneurs. They agree on certain key recommendations. Here are six tips for transforming your idea into a business reality.

Oct 4, 2016

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), our glorious tax collectors, are on a push to go completely digital in the very near future. Part of that has been getting taxpayers to get their refunds via direct deposit, and paying any monies owed via online banking. They’ve also been pushing to get people to apply for My Account, which allows you to track your refund, view or change your return, check your benefit and credit payments, view your RRSP limit, set up direct deposit, and so much more.


Oct 2, 2016

It's a widely quoted statistic that eight out of ten business ventures close within the first 18 months. No one sets out in business with the idea of failure, but if you want to avoid becoming part of that statistic, it's vital to know the most common reasons for a business to go under so that you can steer clear of making the same mistakes.

Oct 2, 2016

You’ve heard so much about all these people buying stuff in China from Alibaba, and making some money on the side or starting a new business. What you may not realize is that you need an Import-Export account business number in order to do so. You need this account even if you don’t think your sales will be over $30,000. Now, if you’re just buying stuff for yourself then you don’t need to register. We won’t get into how to import goods into Canada in this post.

Oct 2, 2016

Entrepreneurs understand that starting a business can be scary but exhilarating at the same time. No matter what industry you're in, getting your business off the ground and dealing with competitors can be difficult. Whether you've already started your business or are about to launch, here are some tips to help your business rise above the rest

Oct 2, 2016

We’re getting a little sciencey with this Tidbits post, but don’t worry, we’ll keep it simple (lord knows I need to do that). So what is Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) [pronounced ‘shred’] Tax incentive program? It’s a federal government tax incentive program administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that encourages Canadian businesses of all sizes, and in all sectors to conduct research and development (R&D) in Canada. It is the largest single source of federal government support for industrial R&D. The SR&ED Program gives claimants cash refunds and / or tax credits for their expenditures on eligible R&D work done in Canada.

Sep 15, 2016

Most small business owners and marketing managers remain fixated on their website's ranking in the big search engines. They know that local search helps grow businesses, and they also know that the major search engines have features that attract people who research local companies on the internet. Still, many of these companies cannot enjoy the true benefits of local search because they don't fully understand what it means. In other words, too many marketers don't know how customers are likely to find them online.

Local search does not just mean searches on the largest search engines. By learning how potential customers find information about businesses, marketers can attract more business from shoppers who research purchase decisions with their computers and smartphones. In turn, the businesses should enjoy a better return on their efforts to attract customers from their communities and neighborhoods.

Sep 13, 2016

The government back in 2009, figured that first-time home buyers were disadvantaged to those that already had a home, and may or may not be able to get into their first home easily. They developed the Home Buyers’ Amount and on your 2014 and 2015 income tax filing you could claim an amount up to $5,000. I have a feeling this credit will go way of the dodo and disappear in the next couple of years.

You can claim an amount of $5,000 for the purchase of a qualifying home acquired in the prior tax year, if both of the following apply: 1) you or your spouse or common-law partner acquired a qualifying home; and 2) you did not live in another home owned by you or your spouse or common-law partner in the year of acquisition or in any of the four preceding years (first-time home buyer).

Sep 8, 2016

Advances in computer technology have made it possible for businesses to be more productive, and to get more done with fewer resources. Investing in a high-performance information technology system can provide businesses across the spectrum with a variety of important benefits, including better sharing of information, more informed decision-making and greater productivity.

Sep 6, 2016

You’ve got a great opportunity in another country, and looking at leaving Canada. This can affect you for taxes, as well as retirement, purposes; we’ll only discuss tax purposes. We’ll look at when you are considered a non-resident by Canada Revenue Agency, and what you need to do.

Sep 1, 2016

Starting a new business is always a challenging experience, particularly if it's your first business venture. Fear of failure and financial worries can cause added stress, but your chances of success are greatly increased by choosing the right business idea. If you haven't yet decided on the type of business you want to run, answer these five questions to help you choose the right idea.

Aug 30, 2016

It’s come to that time of year again, Summer! For a kid, the greatest time of the year with no school and a chance to hang with friends. For a parent, a slow agonizing death. Okay, maybe not that, but it can be a pain for parents as the kids are always ‘bored’. So, many parents send their kids off to camp for a least a period during the summer. For many parents this can be a big expense, however, there is some relief from the government in the form of a tax deduction.

Summer camps fall under the Child Care Expenses Deduction, on form T778. This includes day camps and day sports schools where the primary goal of the camp is to care for children (an institution offering a sports study program is not a sports school); or boarding schools, overnight sports schools, or camps where lodging is involved.

Aug 28, 2016

Congratulations! You've worked hard, set up your own business and now you are your own boss. You're enjoying the rewards of a great income as fruitage of all your well-spent time, energy, and money. There's just one thing missing. What about time off? Not just a day here or a day there. What about a real vacation? How can a solopreneur like yourself actually take a vacation away from business?

Here are some important thoughts to consider before deciding whether you should or should not step away from the demands of your business, whether it's online, offline, or a mix of both.

Aug 28, 2016

Investors tend to be delighted by a winning year in the markets until they get clobbered by a big income tax bill.  While taxes aren’t completely avoidable, there are a number of strategies you can use to minimize them.

You can save money on your taxes by carefully considering the type of investment you purchase, the times when you buy or sell it, and whether you hold it in registered (RRSP or TFSA) or non-registered account.  By saving money on your taxes, you increase your total returns.  Remember, though, that you’re in the market to make money.  Never let tax considerations keep you from selling a stock whose best days are over. 

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.  

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