Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tax-Saving Tips

Tax-Saving Tips

No one likes to pay more taxes than they have to-but when was the last time you checked to make
sure you're taking full advantage of all the tax-saving opportunities that are available to you?

Here are a few ways that you could be saving on your taxes. This information is provided by our friends at Manulife Financial.

Deductions can help reduce your taxable income. The following outlines some different types of deductions that could help save you more.

- RRSP contributions: RRSP contributions can be deducted (up to the contribution limit)
- Investment expenses: You can deduct fees paid to manage or administer your non-registered investments.
- Daycare expenses: You can deduct qualifying child care expenses paid so you or your spouse can earn income, to go to school or conduct research.
- Relocation: You can claim moving expenses if you moved at least 40KM closer to your place of work, or school.

Tax credits work to reduce your taxes payable and can be received on the following.

- Are you a first time home buyer?  You could qualify for the First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit-worth up to $750.
- Medical expenses: You can claim eligible medical expenses for yourself, your spouse and dependent children under age 18-that were not paid for by a provincial or private plan.
- Do you give to charity? Donations over $200 receive a more generous credit, so consider pooling your donations with your spouse.
- Are you a student? If so, you can claim your tuition, textbooks and interest paid on student loans.
- Transit: If you pay monthly transit fees (i.e: bus pass)  you can claim the cost.
- Pension income: The first $2,000 of eligible pension income qualifies for the income tax credit.

If you have more questions about how you can save on your taxes, contact us today. We are here to help!


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Tax Return Checklist

With the this years Tax deadline (April 30th 2016) fast approaching, we want to ensure that you have everything you need to file. What exactly do you need to file your taxes? The following checklist has been complied by our friends at Manulife Financial to help you better prepare for filling your taxes. Do you have everything on the list?

If you have questions regarding anything on this checklist don't hesitate to contact us. We are here to help!

Don't forget-this years Tax deadline is May 2nd 2016.

Friday, April 8, 2016

10 Traits To Look For In An Employee Benefits Advisor

As a result of the Affordable Care Act, employers are now looking for their advisors to do more than just provide them with a quote. To help us get an idea of what you are looking for EBN (Employee Benefits News) has complied a list of the top 10 things that employers look for when searching out an employee benefits advisors. Which ones hit the top of your list?

1. Tenure: An advisor who has been in business for a reasonably long time. Tenure provides a sense of reassurance that the advisor has witnessed changes in the industry and can better relate to your specific business.

2. Vision: Someone who sees the bigger picture while still able to maintain a realistic scope of vision.

3. Market Commitment: You need an advisor who has a commitment and deep domain knowledge of your industry and business size. A business with 200 employees will want to work with someone adept with mid-sized employers.

4. Communication: Seek out an advisor that can easily communicate complex issues in the simplest terms.

5. Independence: A quality advisor will have positive, strong relationships with insurance carriers.

6. Technology: It is no longer enough to know benefit plans, pricing, underwriting, features, claims or great communication methods; these have become givens. A top advisor will know reliable technologies, which will help with the employee life cycle.

7. Strategic Alliances: A truly valuable benefit advisor knows what is within their own discipline, and when to call in a specialist. 

8. Data: Look for an employee benefits advisor who recognizes valuable data.

9. Creativity: There is a difference between vision and creativity. Vision refers to identifying the trends of the industry, while creativity is coming up with new ways of dealing with trends. Pursue an advisor that can do both.

10. Challenge-Challenge-Challenge: A really good advisor will always challenge the "way we've always done it" conversations (considering an outside-the-box- option). Always look for someone who is willing to challenge insurance companies, their own thinking,  the client's thinking and the way it's always been done.

To read the full article click here

If you have any questions regarding your benefits plan-contact us today- we are everything you're looking for in a benefits advisor.