Some people wonder – can you claim your graduate retention rebate first, and hold all or part of your tuition and education tax credits until after the 6 year retention rebate expires?  To which I can only respond:  I wish.

The real answer is no, you can’t.  You are required to use your tuition credits first, which is a bit disappointing, because many graduating students have sizeable carryforwards of tuition costs.  It often takes several years to “sop up” these tuition carryforwards.  By the time they are used up, you’ve already eaten up some or all of the 6 years of the retention rebate.  This means you don’t get the full benefit of the graduate retention rebate.

The best way around this is to transfer the maximum allowable portion of your tuition and eduction tax credits to someone else (and then hope they share the tax savings with you!) …… but you can only do this in the year you receive the credits.  You can’t transfer carryforward amounts.


Filed under: Personal Tax by David Boese No Comments »

ROE Web Service

September 8th, 2012

Following is my article that appeared in the recent Business First publication…… I consider it my personal mission in life to get more businesses to use the ROE Web service!


Do you ever wonder if life would be easier without technology?  Wouldn’t it be better if you never had to wonder why your computer didn’t recognize your print driver?  Or if you never had to worry about Windows freezing during the most critical part of your day?   Have you ever fantasized tossing a rebellious piece of computer hardware off an overpass?

Computer technology gets a bad rap too often – after all, it’s easy to take out your frustrations on your computer.  I’d really like to take a couple of minutes to quickly tell you how technology can make your life a wee bit easier,  especially if you are an owner or the payroll administrator of a small or medium sized business.

Most businesses have at least one employee.  At some point or other, and for a variety of reasons, most employees need to be issued a Record of Employment form, also known as the ROE form, layoff paper, separation paper, etc.  As the name suggests, the ROE form is given to an employee when there is an interruption in his earnings, whether due to a lack of work, a sickness, or whatever.  I’ve never met a person yet who truly enjoyed doing one of these forms on paper.   And that brings me to the real point of this article:  preparing Record of Employment forms using technology.

The new online system is such an improvement over the paper forms, it makes preparing ROE forms almost fun.  The biggest challenge is getting set up.  You need to visit a Service Canada Centre as part of the registration process.  I’ll quickly outline the registration steps here, and then I’ll go on to talk about how the new system works.

  1. You download and complete a Registration Form available on the Service Canada website (just do an internet search for “roe web registration.”
  2. Visit your nearest Service Canada centre.  Bring along your Registration Form and two pieces of ID.
  3. Service Canada will then create your ROE Web account and mail you your activation code.

Once you begin to use the ROE Web service, you’ll see why it’s such an improvement.  The web service will perform validation steps, to avoid some of the more common calculation mistakes.  That means you’ll get fewer follow-up phone calls from Service Canada officers!  When you submit the ROE, your worker can retrieve it quickly when they apply for Employment Insurance benefits.  This makes it easier for them to apply for their EI, and can help avoid delays in receiving their benefits.  If, after you submit the ROE, you find you made a mistake you can even correct it online.

Probably best of all, if you use accounting software such as Simply Accounting or QuickBooks, you can export the payroll information directly to the ROE Web service.  As long as your payroll numbers are accurate in your software, you can have even a complex ROE done in a matter of minutes!

So again, if you are an employer still using the old paper ROE forms, make this a priority.  Go to the Service Canada’s website, download that Registration Form, and take the first step to efficient ROE forms.

Filed under: Other tips by David Boese No Comments »