Tax Services CPAs in Niagara Region Stay on Top of Tax Changes

Death and Taxes: Only One Can be Minimized!

Jones & O’Connell LLP, is a St. Catharines-based firm of Chartered Professional Accountants that conducts business throughout the Niagara Region. Employing a team-based approach, the firm works with clients ranging from unincorporated businesses to publicly traded companies – as well as individuals. Jones & O’Connell LLP, guides clients through a full range of tax planning and preparation, with the goal of minimizing tax liabilities while maximizing cash flow and keeping clients on track to their financial goals.

The firm’s approach is proactive rather than reactive – staying up-to-date on new tax laws and legislation in a constantly changing fiscal climate.

Income tax optimization services include:

  • Personal tax preparation;
  • Investment portfolio review for tax optimization (capital gains and losses);
  • Tax shelter analysis;
  • Personal tax planning;
  • Estate planning;
  • Business succession planning.

Tax Considerations for Working at Home...

The earlier reference to a changing fiscal climate has never been truer than in the current era. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected almost every aspect of people’s lives, including their job. There are tax implications – and benefits – connected with that.

One of the greatest changes in recent months has involved working from home. Home offices were once the preserve of the self-employed. However, the pandemic has sent many waged employees’ home to work, too. The move is not without cost to the employee – new furniture may be required, internet access upgraded and so on. The good news is that the tax rules have been adjusted to deal with this new state of affairs. Waged employees can begin deducting their new home office space - once they have satisfied one of two criteria.

First, the home space must be the area where the waged employee mainly spends 50% of his or her work time. (‘Mainly’ is defined of more than 50% of work time.)

The second route to deductibility arises when the workspace conducted there is to only earn employment income – a designated space - and used regularly and on a continuing basis in the course of employment duties.

If either criterion is met, a range of costs become deductible, including percentages of the employee’s hydro and heating bills, as well as home maintenance. For employees working on commission there is an even broader share of costs eligible.

Keeping it Current with Blogs

The website of the St. Catharines firm of Jones & O’Connell LLP, includes a blog section that outlines the tax implications of the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). It notes that unemployment is not a criterion for receiving CERB benefits – an employee can be laid off or working with reduced hours, be quarantined or be a caregiver.

The CERB is taxable income – but not taxed at the payment stage and will need to be calculated and paid at the time of next year’s return.

Another blog entry deals with RRIF withdrawals, noting an important update to them, in light of how stock market volatility has adversely affected portfolios.

Unusual times, with many fiscal challenges and tax implications. The tax services of a CPA firm in Niagara can help residents cope – and prosper.