Did you know you were able to defer taking your Old Age Security past the age 65? ¬†It really only makes sense if you working, and you stand to lose a large portion of your OAS to taxes. ¬†If this is the situation you find yourself in, consider deferring the OAS until your income drops. ¬†You can defer it up to the age 65. ¬†Each month you defer it, you get a “bonus” for doing so.

Head over to Service Canada’s Q&A website for more details.

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TFSA or RRSP?


August 17th, 2012

One common tax question I get is this: should I put money into a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) or a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)? ¬†There is of course no easy answer, and I won’t even pretend to answer that question in a blog post. ¬†It’s best answered on an individual basis.

There are some things you just can’t make a TFSA do that an RRSP does quite nicely, and there are some problems that an RRSP can create that a TFSA will never do to you. ¬†So the best place to start is to learn the differences between the two plans. ¬†If you want some basic advice, start off here:

http://www.tfsa.gc.ca/tfsarrsp-eng.html

I’m going to say one more thing: ¬†if you think you may someday qualify for what is called the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) from Old Age Security, consider investing through the TFSA. ¬†Why? ¬†Because withdrawals from your TFSA account won’t affect your Supplement. ¬†You have no idea how many seniors say to me: ¬†“I would never have invested any money in an RRSP if I’d known how it would affect my Supplement

Now, the government of Canada really,¬†really doesn’t want you to plan your retirement around the Supplement – after all, the Supplement is there to protect the lower income seniors. ¬†But if you think the Supplement is in your future, consider avoiding the RRSP and go with the TFSA.

Qualifying for even a small Supplement brings with it a whole raft of other goodies (lower cost Senior’s PharmaCare, municipal property tax rebates, provincial heating rebates in Nova Scotia, etc.) ¬†So while the government of Canada doesn’t want you to build your retirement fund around the Supplement, you might be tempted to do so anyway.

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This is a reminder for Nova Scotia seniors, who are receiving the Old Age Security Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).

Tax Refund for Seniors receiving Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)

In the 2010-11 provincial budget, the Minister of Finance committed to a new program to help low income seniors make ends meet. The program provides a refund of the provincial income taxes paid by seniors who receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).

In total, about $9 million will be returned to about 18,000 seniors this year.

The Department of Finance used information from 2010 tax returns to assess eligibility and process the refund. The program is in accordance with new regulations under the Income Tax Act.

Seniors do not have to apply for this refund, but they must file their tax return each year.

Individuals who did not file a return in this taxation year, but who are eligible, can still receive the refund when they file their tax return.

If you have questions about this tax refund, please call 1-800-670-4357.

http://www.gov.ns.ca/finance/en/home/taxation/personalincometax/seniorsgis.aspx

If you are a senior who currently received the base Old Age Security pension, you may be entitled to the GIS.  You can check by going to the this link.

http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/isp/oas/tabrates/tabmain.shtml

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Age Amount


February 23rd, 2010

Face it, everyone. ¬†There’s no use denying that there ARE advantages to being older. ¬†For example, in a hostage situation, you’re the first one to be released. ¬† And at tax time, you get to claim a larger personal exemption than most of the rest of us.

For 2009 taxes, you are now able to claim an age amount of $6,408, up $1,000 from last year.  You can claim the full Age Amount if you are 65 or over at any time in the year, and if your net income is not greater than $32,312.  If your income is more than that, the Age Amount is gradually phased out.

Learn more about the Age Amount at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/bdgt/2009/fqgmnt-eng.html

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