Nova Scotia budget

October 15th, 2009

Well, it’s better late than never. I finally got myself to read up on the Nova Scotia budget that was released in September. I’m not going to post all the details. If you want to read about them, you can head over to the Finance website.

One of the more interesting items was the introduction of the Graduate Retention Rebate. Students who graduate from university in 2009 and following years will be able to claim a $15,000 rebate, payable over 6 years in $2,500 amounts. Students will, of course, need to remain living in Nova Scotia in order to claim the rebate.

College and certificate graduates will qualify to claim a $7,500 rebate, payable over six years in $1,250 instalments.

The rebate will be applied for on your personal tax return.

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Interesting website

October 13th, 2009

OK, so a month or two ago I said I didn’t care much for negative websites, but here’s another one that is a real eye-opener. Check it out here.

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Canada Revenue Agency announced today that charities will now have access to the My Business Account Service.  The My Business Account service is one of the most useful tools that CRA has come up with.  It allows businesses to view and file their tax info online, including payroll, GST/HST, and corporate. Charities should definitely consider registering.  For more info, go to

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Capital Gains – Part 2

October 9th, 2009

Ned and Charlene are worried. ¬†They want to go on their Alaska cruise, but are afraid that too much of the sale of their house will go to the tax man. ¬†In this article we’ll continue from where we left off, to see just how much they could owe in capital gain taxes.

First, it’s important for Ned and Charlene to understand a few things about capital gains. ¬†We’ve already discussed what a capital gain is (selling price less the purchase price.) ¬†But what they didn’t know is that one half of a capital gain is exempt from tax. ¬†That’s right; it’s just simply not taxed. ¬†Pretty good deal actually.

Better yet, the sale of your principle residence is almost always tax free. ¬†You can sell your main residence without paying any tax at all. ¬†Up to one half of a hectare (just over one acre) of the land surrounding the house can also be sold tax free. ¬†Any excess land “not necessary for use and enjoyment of the house” is taxable.

In Ned and Charlene’s case, they have 6 acres of land. ¬†They will need to pay tax on the capital gain of roughly 5 acres. ¬†They are very pleased to hear that they won’t need to pay any tax on the sale of the house, however! ¬†After consulting their original purchase documents, they calculate that five acres of land cost them $4,500 back when they bought the place 18 years ago. ¬†Their real estate agent tells them that the selling price of this land today will be $11,500.

So if we take the sale price of $11,500, subtract the purchase price of $4,500, that gives us a capital gain of $7,000, on the land.  One half of this is not taxed, leaving them with a total taxable capital gain of only $3,500!  Assuming their income tax rate is 40%, their total income tax bill on the sale of their property will be only $1,400.

Ned and Charlene are very pleased.  Not only have they already booked their Alaska cruise, they are taking their 11 grandchildren out on the Harbour Hopper as well!

Please be advised:  While I really hope this article helped capital gains make sense, it is based on simplified information, and meant for illustration purposes only.  It is not intended to be used as an actual reference in calculating capital gains.

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