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Opinion

Our country has lost its way

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  • March 7, 2019 – Red Deer, AB

    Opinion from Terry Loewen

    Canada has lost its way in so many different areas. I’m not sure what the brave men and women that fought 2 world wars would be thinking right now, but I’m sure they wouldn’t be impressed and probably heart broken!

    I’m not sure how this country has become so divisive in such a short period of time, but it is extremely concerning to me. There is plenty of room to disagree and debate with each other, but this pure hate is something I’ve never seen in my 48 years on this earth. It seems people have fallen so far right or so far left, there is no common ground. I believe all common sense has vanished and I consider common sense one of the most important tool per see that one can use in most situations. Whether its business, personal, political, environmental or any other decisions you may make or think about, common sense will usually lead you to the right answer.

    Whether it is in Canada or the U.S., people are throwing absolute non-sense ideas around, trying to persuade their Countrymen to come to their far tilted side and its wrong in my opinion. If you believe full-heartedly that Climate Change is a major issue, fine, but do your research and come up with a sensible solution. Don’t come out as a leader and say no more fossil fuels in 10 years and no more cattle! If you believe that the Oil Sands in Alberta are an issue, then do your research on the project and come up with solutions rather than just protest its existence.

    All parts of Canada have major challenges, whether its economical, social, environmental or anything else, that need to be addressed. Being stubborn and divisive is not going to help the best interests of society. Let’s come together as a nation and show empathy to one another, use common sense, find common ground.  Find and implement solutions! That’s what Canada is about. Not what is happening right now.

    What is disgraceful is the actions of our leaders! They have taken an Oath to do what’s in the best interest of the people they serve, and may I remind them, pay their salary. They may belong to a political party and I understand that parties have certain beliefs, but that doesn’t mean every belief is a fit for your Constituents! They are to vote what is best for their people, not their party! That is what they took the Oath to do and if they don’t do it, they should be thrown out of office. Yes, there are times that the people don’t have all the facts and may not understand all the issues, but not many and certainly not all are that way.

    The very fact that there are Premier’s and a Prime Minister in this Country that are not only NOT following the Oath they’ve taken, but they are outright lying to the people they serve. Its frankly extremely insulting! For them to think they can stand up in public and try and shove so many untruthful remarks to us Canadians down our throats is repulsive.

    The Prime Minister is now using the words “erosion of trust”! He’s not talking about himself if you can belief that? The situation that is at the forefront now is should the government let a company off the hook for illegal activities to save jobs? Are we in a corrupt country? It seems like a dream to me that this is the basis of this most recent lie and deception of the people of Canada. The answer is extremely simple, NO! NO, it is not alright to give a free pass to a company on illegal activity. It sets precedent for every other company in this country to do the same thing. As well, if the government is going to protect 9000 jobs for this company, it damn well better protect every other job in Canada, big or small! We all know this isn’t possible so follow the laws. Its unbelievable that the people in power, that are responsible to make and uphold the laws are trying to give free passes to people breaking the law. UNBELIEVABLE!

    It is truly time for the people of this Country to stand up and take our rights back to fair and honest representation. I don’t have all the solutions, but I believe if someone is sworn into office and they are dishonest and corrupt in anyway, they should be removed from power immediately and put in jail! This isn’t a case of a person going to work and not doing their job, this is outright criminal in my opinion.

    In conclusion, it’s time for our leaders to come clean, do what’s right for all provinces and territories; all Canadians.  Let’s get on with rebuilding this Country that millions of human beings gave their life for. I’ve always been extremely proud to say I’m a Canadian, but right now I’m embarrassed! Enough self interest and everyone from the top down, need to use some common sense and get this Country back to being Proud, Strong and Free.


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    Opinion

    Budget 2019 – Poor wording requires 2 ex-spouses within 5 years for Home Buyers Plan

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  • This is one of those rare times I hope I am wrong in my interpretation, and look forward to being proven wrong by my professional colleagues.

    On March 19, 2019 the federal government tabled its election-year budget. One of the newest and strangest provisions is the ability for people going through a separation or divorce to potentially have access to their RRSP under the Home Buyers Plan.

    Now in my article and podcast entitled: “Escape Room – The NEW Small Business Tax Game – Family Edition” with respect to the Tax On Split Income (TOSI) rules, I made a tongue in cheek argument that people will be better off if they split, because then the TOSI rules won’t apply.

    In keeping with the divorce theme, beginning in the year of hindsight, 2020, the federal government is giving you an incentive to split up and get your own place.

    However, there are a few hoops:

    On page 402 of the budget, under new paragraph 146.01(2.1)(a), at the time of your RRSP withdrawal under the Home Buyers Plan, you must make sure that:

    • – the home you are buying is not the current home you are living in and you are disposing of the interest in the current home within two years; or
    • – you are buying out your former spouse in your current home; and

    you need to:

    • be living separate and apart from your spouse or common-law partner;
    • have been living separate and apart for a period of at least 90 days (markdown October 3, 2019 on the calendar),
    • began living separate and apart from your spouse or common-law partner, this year, or any time in the previous 4 years (ok, you don’t have to wait for October); and…

    …here is where the tabled proposed legislation gets messy.

    Proposed subparagraph 146.01(2.1)(a)(ii) refers to where the individual

    • wouldn’t be entitled to the home buyers plan because of living with a previous spouse in the past 4 years that isn’t the current spouse they are separating from

    “(ii) in the absence of this subsection, the individual would not have a regular eligible amount because of the application of paragraph (f) of that definition in respect of a spouse or common-law partner other than the spouse referred to in clauses (i)(A) to (C), and…”

    The problem with the wording of this provision, is that it is written in the affirmative by the legislators using the word “and”. This means, you must be able to answer “true” to all the tests for the entire paragraph to apply.

    The way I read this, the only way to answer “true” to this subparagraph is if you have a second spouse (ie: spouse other than the spouse referred to) that you shared a home with and you split from in the past four years.

    If you have a second spouse that you shared a home with in the past four years, then “paragraph (f)” in the definition of “regular eligible amount” would apply and the answer would be “true”.

    If the answer is “true” you can then get access to your RRSP Home Buyers Plan.

    If you don’t have a second spouse then, even though “paragraph (f)” might be met, the phrase “spouse other than the spouse referred to” would not be met, and therefore the answer would be “false”.

    This would, in turn, cause the entire logic test of the provision to be “false” and so you would not be able to take out a “regular eligible amount” from your RRSP for the Home Buyers plan because you do not meet the provisions.

    If my interpretation is correct then I would really be curious as to what part of the economy they are trying to stimulate.

    In my opinion the legislation could be fixed with a simple edit:

    “(ii) in the absence of this subsection, the individual would not have a regular eligible amount because of the application of paragraph (f) of that definition in respect of:

    (A) a spouse or common-law partner; or

    (B) a spouse or common-law partner other than the spouse referred to in clauses (i)(A) to (C); and…”


    Cory G. Litzenberger, CPA, CMA, CFP, C.Mgr is the President & Founder of CGL Strategic Business & Tax Advisors; you can find out more about Cory’s biography at http://www.CGLtax.ca/Litzenberger-Cory.html


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    Opinion

    Budget 2019 – Don’t spend your new Canada Training Credit just yet

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  • On March 19, 2019, the federal government tabled its election-year budget. One of the new provisions is a refundable credit called the Canada Training Credit. However, the $250 credit won’t even be available until you file your 2020 income tax return in April of 2021.

    Further, if you are born in 1995 or later, you won’t qualify yet. If you were born in 1954 or earlier, you would never be eligible.

    In addition, the maximum benefit you can receive is $5,000 in a lifetime (which will take 20 years to get at $250 a year) and the benefit can only be used to a maximum of 50% of eligible tuition costs.

    So let’s consider the following scenario:

    It is 2019 – you are 25 years of age making $27,000 a year and file your taxes every year.

    You decide to take advantage of this credit and enroll in your first semester of schooling in the fall of 2023.
    According to Statistics Canada, the average Canadian undergraduate pays $3,419 per semester.

    So, you take time off work to go to school full-time in the fall, thus reducing your income by 1/3 in the year to $18,000.

    Under the current 2019 rules, you would only have $39 in federal income tax. This amount is low because the tuition credits reduce your taxes.

    By 2023, you have built up a “pool” of $250 per year after you turned 26, and believe you have a $1,000 pool available for that year.

    When you file your 2023 return the $1,000 is triggered as a refundable tax credit. But you won’t be getting $961 back ($1,000 – 39).

    Here’s the catch:

    The $1,000 pool reduces the amount you can claim for tuition credits as well, which changes the tax owing to $189 Federal income tax. Meaning the $1,000 pool that you waited for is reduced by 15% by the time you pay it out.

    Cash in jeans: $811.

    But what if the course you decided to go into begins in January of 2023? You go for the January-April semester, work from May-August, and attend school September-December.

    Using the same $27,000 – your income is now reduced by 2/3 while attending full time. Your income is only $9,000 as a result of the May-August period.

    Your tuition (possibly paid through student loans) is $6,838 for the year.

    Your tax is now zero because even before tuition credits you are below the Basic Personal Amount in your earnings.

    Does this mean you get the full $1,000?

    No.

    Because your income is less than $10,000 in 2023, you don’t get the $250 for that year. As such, you only get $750, and your tuition credits available for carryforward are reduced by $750 as well, thus having a future negative impact on tax of $112.50.

    Net result: $637.50 cash in jeans

    What if you are a parent that decides to stay home with the kids until they are in school full time and go back to school in 2023?
    Unfortunately, because you did not make more than $10,000 a year in any of the years, you get zero.

    What if you were laid off, collecting regular EI benefits, and decide to go back to school?
    Regular EI Benefits don’t qualify for the $10,000 income calculation. As a result, unless you had special EI benefits like parental leave or earned income from another source greater than $10,000, you don’t qualify.

    What if you were self-employed through a small business corporation and paid yourself dividends instead of wages and then decided to upgrade your training?
    Your dividend income does not qualify, and so you are not eligible for amounts to be added to the pool.

    So assuming you qualify, and you wait the four years to build up a pool of $1,000 (remember that the $1,000 is only a net $850 because of the reduction in tuition credits). That same Statistics Canada report says that tuition is increasing at 3.3% per year. That means by you waiting four years so you can get the Net $850 means your annual tuition has likely increased from $6,838 to $7,786 ($948).

    You waited four years, and the tax amount you receive won’t even cover the inflationary price increase on tuition.

    In Conclusion

    • Those that do qualify won’t see anything until April 2021; the actual net amount of what they will see is only $212.50; and their annual tuition will likely have increased by $225.65.
    • Students under the age of 25 will see nothing;
    • People over the age of 25 that don’t have more than $10,000 of income will see nothing;
    • Seniors will see nothing;
    • Parents looking to re-enter the workforce will see nothing; and
    • People who have been laid off and have less than $10,000 of non-EI income will see nothing.

    Seems like a lot of complex legislation for nothing.


    Cory G. Litzenberger, CPA, CMA, CFP, C.Mgr is the President & Founder of CGL Strategic Business & Tax Advisors; you can find out more about Cory’s biography at http://www.CGLtax.ca/Litzenberger-Cory.html


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    march, 2019

    fri8mar - 30aprmar 85:30 pmapr 30Real Estate Dinner Theatre5:30 pm - (april 30) 10:00 pm

    sat23mar10:00 am- 4:00 pmLet Them Be Little Market10:00 am - 4:00 pm

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    sat23mar8:00 pm- 10:30 pmA Night at the Movies8:00 pm - 10:30 pm

    sat23mar8:00 pm- 8:00 pmA Night at the Movies8:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    sat30mar - 31mar 3010:00 ammar 319th Annual Central Alberta Family Expo10:00 am - 5:00 pm (31)

    sat30mar1:00 pm- 4:00 pmMAGSaturday @ the MuseumMAGnificent Saturdays welcomes all ages and abilities to participate in a fun art project every week! 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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