Did you know about CRA’s TIPS line?

Did you know that the timing and amounts of various payments and benefits, such as the Canada Child Benefit or the GST/HST Credit, can be obtained by calling the CRA’s TIPS line at 1-800-267-6999?

You can also:
• Request personalized remittance vouchers and proof of income statements
• Find out the status of your T1 return when your refund will be processed
• Get general information on RRSPs and TFSAs and find out how much room you have to contribute as of January 1 of the current year
• Get general tax information for individuals or businesses

To use the service, you will need to provide:
• Your social insurance number
• Your birthdate
• The total income you entered on line 150 of your recent tax return
• Your postal code.

Uber Drivers: Registration for GST/HST

Most businesses must register for a GST/HST account (and therefore collect and remit GST/HST as appropriate) if they earn revenues from worldwide taxable supplies greater than $30,000 within the previous four consecutive quarters, or exceed the $30,000 threshold in a single calendar quarter. However, a special rule applies to self-employed “taxi businesses” which requires them to register regardless of the quantum of revenues.

There has been some uncertainty as to whether drivers of ride-sharing services, such as Uber, are considered “taxi businesses”.

The 2017 Federal Budget ended this uncertainty. It proposed that, effective July 1, 2017, ride-sharing services will be defined as a “taxi business” for GST/HST purposes and therefore will be required to charge and remit GST/HST. More specifically, a “taxi business” will now include all persons engaged in a business of transporting passengers for fares by motor vehicle within a municipality and its environs where the transportation is arranged for or coordinated through an electronic platform or system, such as a mobile application or website.

Drivers of ride-sharing services should consider registering for GST/HST.

Sharing Economy: Know Your Tax Obligations

On March 17, 2017, CRA released a Tax Tip reminding those involved in the sharing economy to ensure that they comply with relevant income tax and GST/HST obligations. All income earned through sharing economy activities should be reported.

CRA identified five key sectors, being accommodation sharing, ride sharing, music and video streaming, online staffing, and peer/crowdfunding.

CRA also noted that it is co-operating with industries, the provinces, and the territories to identify and address areas where the tax system and compliance might be affected.

If you are involved in the sharing economy, ensure you are compliant with your tax obligations.

Leave Of Absence: There Are Tax Consequences

A deferred salary leave plan (DSLP) permits an employee to fund, through salary deferrals, a leave of absence from their employment. Generally, salary deferrals are included in income when the amounts are earned. However, if certain conditions are met under a DSLP, the employment income is taxed when the amounts are received.

In a December 19, 2016 French Technical Interpretation, CRA opined that the requirements of a DSLP must be met when the plan is entered into and throughout the duration of the plan. One requirement is that the employee return to their employment after the leave of absence for a period that is not less than the leave period.

If, when entering into the agreement, the parties expect the employee to cease employment during the plan, it would not qualify as a DSLP. In this case, the deferred amounts would be included in the employee’s income when earned.

On the other hand, if, at the time the agreement is made, it is clear that the employee will meet all the requirements, being temporarily out of work during the period should not, in and of itself, prohibit an employee from participating in a DSLP.

Consider a deferred salary leave plan as an option for key employees wishing to take a leave of absence.