Jordan Cahill is a Chartered Accountant (CA) and Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) with a bachelor degree in business from Simon Fraser University. He articled at a national CA firm in Vancouver,BC and previously held a position at the Canada Revenue Agency as a business auditor.
CPA BC Fall Summit- Professional Development
Cahill CPA values continued education and professional development, and that's why we are always looking for ways to stay current in the latest accounting, business, and finance information. This week we attended the CPA BC Fall summit in Whistler, British Columbia. Along with networking with leading professionals in a variety of fields, myself (Jordan), Matthew, and Tony attended a variety of informative sessions. It was interesting to learn about some of the current issues in income tax, along with the harsh reality of money laundering and fraud in Canada & the impact it has on our economy. We learned some very practical new approaches to cyber security and office software, and also got a deeper look into ethics and professionalism in our field.
We are a firm that values staying current, up to date, and at the top of our game. It's also important to us to be informed with what's going on economically & politically, in order to best serve our clients in all their tax & finance needs. And as always, all our Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA's) continue to keep up with their professional development points (PD) as required for our certification.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask us!
Teaching Your Kids About Money
It’s back to school, and that got us thinking about… well, school! Ever heard someone say, “Why didn’t they teach us that in school!?” I find this often revolves around money- when we start getting adult responsibilities and we realize we don’t quite know all there is to know about finances!
So, how can you help your own children learn about money in a practical and age-appropriate way? We certainly aren’t going to answer this question in ONE blog post, but I hope to share a few tips that might be useful, along with some great resources to consider for further reading.
Talk about Money:
This may sound really simple, but wherever possible, talk about money in daily situations. For example, if you’re at Walmart and your child asks for that gigantic Lego set that costs $168….. that’s a great time to talk about the cost of things! Open up the conversation around how many hours someone has to work to make that much money. Or, how many of something else you could buy with $168 (for example, groceries, clothing, or gas for your car). It’s important that children start learning about numbers and prices, so they gain an understanding & appreciation for earning & buying. Keep the conversation positive, but realistic. You can also start introducing great vocabulary words like sale, tax, more & less, saving, discount, etc. “Wow- those apples are on sale! That’s a great deal- we will choose those ones today.” At an early age, start introducing the proper terminology for denominations of money. Let them help you count out coins or bills when paying, or chat about the amounts on the screen when paying at a till.
When you find the time is right for your child, introducing the concept of receiving a “paycheck” is important. There are differing opinions on whether this allowance should be “earned” by doing chores. Some believe that working to receive this allowance is key, and if they don’t do their chores for the week, they will not get their allowance that week (or they will receive less). Other families feel that chores/housework is just part of participating in family life, so they don’t assign a price to these jobs. Instead, the allowance is simply given on a determined day each week, regardless of chores done. Whichever method you choose, the purpose should be the same: they receive a weekly amount, so that they can learn the importance of saving, the value of money, and the “reward” of spending it on something you want. This changes slightly as kids get older and they take on a part-time job. However, as parents, YOUR job remains the same- guide them and keep the discussion open.
Teach them to Save:
In an age-appropriate way, teach your child to save some of their money. Whether that’s their allowance, part-time job, or birthday/holiday money, teach them to put some aside. Our instinct at a young age is to spend it. We receive an amount, and we want to spend it all (and spend it now). There are different ideas on how much to save, so you decide what feels right for your family. It might be 10% goes right into a bank account (or piggy bank!), and the rest is yours to spend. This helps young kids especially see that a very small amount is saved each time, and the rest is theirs to spend. This is a great way to start teaching about saving in a positive way! We’ve also seen families with a 1,2,3 system- the 1st part is saved, the 2nd part is given, and the 3rd part is spent. Many families find this system helpful, and instills both a habit of saving & giving. Friends of ours do this with their children’s weekly allowance, and the “giving” portion is set aside to purchase items for a Christmas hamper for a family in need. Whatever method you choose, help create the habit early of saving.
There are so many great tips out there about teaching your children about money, finances, saving, and more! The biggest and most important thing we can leave you with today is to keep the conversation open & positive. Talk about money often, and talk about it in a positive way. Use real-life experiences and activities to chat about financial topics and vocabulary. Help your children be responsible and informed about money- it will provide them with a great start for their future!
Some Recommended Reading:
“The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money”- by Ron Lieber
“Money Still Doesn’t Grow on Trees”- by Neale Godfrey
“Rich Dad, Poor Dad”- by Robert T. Kiyosaki
*These are some books we’ve either read, or been recommended, but we do not necessarily support all the opinions mentioned in these books.
And for kids:
“Three Little Piggy Banks”- by Pamela George (Talks about the 1,2,3 system we mentioned!)
“Little Critter: Just Saving my Money”- by Mercer Myer (our kids personal favourite!)
“The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Money”- by Stan & Jan Berenstain
Co-written by Jordan & Crystal Cahill. Crystal has been a teacher since 2010, and Crystal & Jordan are parents of two young children.
BC Businesses: 5 Billion Dollars in EXTRA tax since 2013
Small businesses are feeling it. That's the consensus after a recent report looked into how the tax changes have impacted businesses in BC over the last six years. The Business Council of BC (the BCBC), who did the report, estimated that BC Businesses are paying almost 5 Billion dollars in additional taxes than they were in 2013.
The largest tax increase to businesses- the failed shift to the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)- which they estimate accounts for about 3 Billion dollars in additional sales tax. The second largest- the introduction of the Employer Health Tax (EHT) which will eliminate MSP premiums by 2020. Additionally, increases in corporate tax rates, rising carbon tax, taxes on fuel, etc. have also contributed to the overall burden on BC businesses.
So, the results show that these tax changes clearly impact BC businesses. Cahill CPA is watching these changes closely to see how we can better help your business minimize losses. Every time there are tax changes, we have to look carefully at your bookkeeping and year ends to make sure we are accounting for these changes and looking for ways to save you money. This is why having an accountant is so important- we know about these changes, and we know how we can help you and your business. If you have any questions about these specific tax changes, or have noticed something new or different recently with your business, don’t hesitate to call us.
Cahill CPA- we focus on your accounting, so you can focus on what YOU do best!
To read the original report published by Hayley Woodin on August 1, 2019:
Or the updated report, published by PIQUE magazine on August 6, 2019:
Cahill CPA, North Shore’s favourite Accountant.
Servicing North Vancouver & West Vancouver for over 5 years, and with over 35 years of experience in Accounting & Finance.
Canadian Families with Children under 18
If you are a Canadian with young children, you may have recently received mail from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regarding the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) and the BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit (BCECTB). Wow- that’s a mouthful! Let’s break it down….
The Canada Child Benefit (CCB)
A tax-free payment to families with children aged 0-17.This most recent notice included a separate information brochure that stated: “Starting in July 2019, the CCB will be raised for a second time to keep up with the cost of living. That means that this month you may notice your CCB payment has increased.” As of July 2019, The maximum annual benefit has increased to $6,639 per child under age 6 and to $5,602 per child age 6 through 17.
Some of our clients have noticed a difference in their entitlement from year to year, so make sure to read your notice carefully. It may be due to a change in income or marital status, age of your child (ex. Over the age of 6), number of children in your care or a recent move. It is rare, but in some cases, it could be an error. If you need clarification, log in to your CRA “My Account” to access your personal information or feel free to contact our office to look into it for you.
There is also a helpful online calculator through CRA, available here. It will help calculate what you should be receiving each month based on a number of questions.
BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit (BCECTB)
If you have a child under the age of 6, and you are eligible, you will receive an additional monthly tax-free payment from the Canadian government. This payment is calculated based on your income, marital status, and province/territory of residence. They will specifically look at your family net income from the previous year (in this case, 2018).
Two other areas CRA provided information on:
BC Healthy Kids Program
If you are already on MSP, you can use this program to receive additional coverage related to your child’s basic dental services, prescription eyeglasses, hearing aids, etc. For all children under 19 years old who are already covered under MSP. For more information, visit www.gov.bc.ca
Canada Learning Bond
If your family has a low income and an eligible child born in 2004 or later, the Canadian government could deposti the Canada Learning Bond into an RESP for your child up to the age of 15. In total, your child could recieve up to $2000 in a tax-free RESP to use towards post-secondary education. You can also add money to an RESP for your child up to the age of 17, and the Candian government will add between 20-40% of your contribution (to a max of $7,200).
As always, feel free to ask us if you have any questions regarding your child’s education savings, RESP contributions, or any of these government benefits/savings/etc.
Saving Small Businesses in Vancouver
So, it’s all speculation and “talks” at this point, but did you hear that the City of Vancouver is seeking provincial approval to change the way some small businesses are taxed?
This comes as a new initiative to try and address the tax increases that have negatively impacted local small businesses.
According to a recent article in the Globe & Mail, “The plan essentially clears municipalities to reduce the massive property taxes that small businesses, as well as those engaged in the arts, culture and non-profit sectors, can face on potential development.” When giving an example, Mayor Kennedy Stewart cited the example of a two-storey building with a mom- and-pop business on the first floor. “If that building is rezoned for, say, a 12-storey building, what happens is the value of that building goes up and so does the tax assessment,” he said. The increase is passed on to the small businesses. “That’s where you hear these stories of 200- or 300- or 400-per-cent tax increases without any warning.” The mayor said the split assessment would mean small businesses would maintain their tax at the same level as before the development, with the new tax load redistributed among all businesses across the city.
If these “ideas” become a reality, it will be a Canadian first. And ultimately, it could save many of these small businesses that really make Vancouver the unique, vibrant, and community-centered city it is.
Two people quoted in the Globe & Mail article, Lisa Dominato and Aaron Aerts, both felt it would be a very important step in saving local, small businesses.
Lisa Dominato of the Non-Partisan Association:. “Independent small businesses are critical to a strong local economy. The creation of a new commercial sub-class will reduce the tax burden on small-business tenants and support their long- term viability."
Aaron Aerts of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business: “It can provide targeted and significant tax relief to those small business hit hardest by skyrocketing property taxes.”
Not sure how this plan will work in reality, or how it will impact other businesses/sectors in our community, but the fact that there are open discussions on how we can save small, local businesses is a step in the right direction.
Have an opinion? Feel free to check out our instagram, and join the discussion! @Cahill_CPA
For the full article, written by Ian Bailey, click here.
Update: BC Speculation & Vacancy Tax
Did you ever wonder what came out of that BC Speculation & Vacancy Tax? All the information homeowners had to go online and fill out before the March 31st deadline?
Well, the latest reports have come out. More than 12,000 homeowners were required to pay the tax, which was due on July 2nd. The BC Government announced that this tax will deliver more than $100 million dollars "towards British Columbia's housing crisis."
According to the BC Government, those paying the tax are made up of:
- -foreign owners, approximately 38%
- -satellite families, 27%
- -Canadians living outside B.C., 13%
- -BC residents, 20%
- -Corporations or trusts, 2%
Minister of Finance Carole James said "the tax is a key component to the province's 30-point plan to restore housing affordability in B.C."
If you have any questions about this tax, or any other new tax changes that may impact you & your return, feel free to contact us.
To all our clients, we would like to inform you that we are changing our website domain from www.cahillpro.com to www.cahillcpa.ca. This official change will take place on July 11th, 2019. For all future visits to our website, please use the new domain www.CahillCPA.ca. It is available to visit now, and will be used exclusively after July 11th.
For more news/updates such as this, as well as tax & financial information, company & staff news, local events, and more- please connect with us on social media! We love connecting with our clients and their businesses through social media, so please follow us on:
Recruitment Agencies, and Why to Use One!
Have you ever used a recruitment agency to either find yourself a job, or find an employee for your company? If so, you’ll probably know about the invaluable resources, expertise, and experience they have to offer when searching for the perfect fit for you or your company.
We have had the pleasure of working with Express Employment Professionals for a number of years, and are always impressed with their results! As University students, my wife and I both found great jobs through Express, gaining experience in a variety of fields and positions (and, of course, helping to pay for tuition!). Now as a business owner, it has all come full circle! We now hire employees for our own company, and have found some great new team members for our growing office.
We’ve worked with Brent Pollington at Express Vancouver for the past few years, and have been so impressed with him and his team. With over 8 years of experience in recruiting, Brent truly knows how to find the right fit for your company.
From Brent- “When we search for professional candidates, we're looking for more than just a list of abilities. We're evaluating leadership skills, personal strengths, and background experiences. By the time you're ready to meet the top candidates, you won't be interviewing for qualifications, and you’ll be ready to select the person who best fits your team.”
This couldn’t be more true! They have saved us time screening and interviewing multiple candidates, and we get a narrowed down group of top potential employees. Express knows our business and our company, and helps find people who will not only be a great asset to our business, but who will also work well within our team.
Whether you are looking for a new job or to hire employees for your own business, we highly recommend Express.
For more information about Brent, visit him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brentpollington/
For more information about Express for your business, check out:
Our friend and mortgage broker Steve Ennis sent out his newsletter this week, filled with some great information regarding the latest politics surrounding money laundering in BC. You’ve probably heard that last week, BC Premier John Horgan finally announced a public inquiry into money laundering in Vancouver. It’s a hot topic in the news, and Steve gives a great breakdown on how this specifically impacts bankers and mortgage brokers.
If you’re interested in learning a bit more about this specific side of money laundering, and how the province is working to prevent it, read some of the below quotes from his newsletter. For great information and tips on an ongoing basis, sign up for his e-newsletter by emailing:
Below is a breakdown, quoted from Steve’s newsletter, on his experience with Anti-Money Laundering Regulations from the banker and mortgage broker’s perspective.
As a Banker:
- The Suspicious Transaction Form – As a bank employee if you see anyone performing a transaction “outside of regular banking behavior”, then you are required to fill out this form and send it to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (“FINTRAC”). It was understood that they forward it on to the RCMP for further investigation;
- Large Cash Transaction Form – If a client deposits more than $10,000 in cash in a 24 hour period, you have to fill out this form for FINTRAC. If they deposit $9,999 one day, then $9,999 the next, then $9,999 the next… that would be considered “suspicious” (see form above);
- No lending institutions would ever finance a Casino, a strip bar, or a white label ATM machine. Why? Because they are considered incredibly high risk for money laundering given the amount of cash involved. Watch any Hollywood movie made in the 1980s/90s involving a casino and you’ll see what I mean!
- Annual compliance training - Bank employees have to take online training and pass a test confirming they have the skills to identify and combat money laundering. Your boss would come down on you hard if you went past the deadline without taking the mandatory exam;
- Anti-Money Laundering (AML) departments. Every bank has a large department dedicated strictly to monitoring bank accounts for any kind of suspicious electronic transactions. Incoming wires from Iran? Any business dealing with foreign exchange? These would get flagged on a regular basis, requiring a significant amount of due diligence to satisfy.
As a broker…
- I have to fill out consent forms, disclosure forms, and conflict of interest forms on every deal, and have the client sign them before they are considered complete;
- I have to confirm most down payments have been in a client’s accounts for 90 days before closing;
- For any cash coming in from abroad, you have to collect bank statements in order to follow it from the source through all intermediary banks into the country and its ultimate destination.
My point with this exercise is that there are many regulatory bodies constantly monitoring any and all transactions that happen in this province, with more regulations being put on regular British Columbians all the time (a great example is the stress-test requirement implemented in January 2018 reducing regular Vancouverites affordability by approximately 20%). We have been closely monitoring money laundering, yet it has been going on right under our noses? How is this possible? Severe Incompetence, Willful Blindness, or Corruption?
Thanks for reading- let us know if you have any hot topics or questions you would like us to tackle on our blog!
When will I receive my refund?
Another great “frequently asked question” from our clients the past few weeks! If you are expecting a refund from your return, here’s some details about when and how you will receive your refund.
According to the Canada Revenue website, individuals should expect to receive their refund (or notice of assessment) within two weeks of receiving your return. Because we file your return online through CRA, this process is faster than the 8 weeks that it takes when you file a paper return.
Tip: When you sign up for direct deposit with CRA, you may even receive your refund faster.
To check the status of your refund, use Canada Revenue Agency “My Account” service (more details on our previous blog) or call the Telerefund number at 1-800-959-1956. If calling by phone, make sure to have all your necessary documents ready for security purposes:
- your social insurance number
- your month and year of birth
- the total income you entered on line 150 of your 2017 return (if you are calling before May 1)
- the total income you entered on line 150 of your 2018 return (if you are calling on or after May 1)
When your refund might take longer than 2 weeks:
If you are selected for a more detailed review or your return is not sent prior to the April 30th deadline, this process will take longer. Cahill CPA works closely with our clients and CRA to ensure that your return is completed correctly and filed promptly. If you have any questions about correspondence from CRA, please let us know.
When CRA might hold your refund:
- owe or are about to owe a balance
- have a garnishment order under the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act
- have certain other outstanding federal, provincial, or territorial government debts, such as student loans, employment insurance and social assistance benefit overpayments, immigration loans, and training allowance overpayments
- have any outstanding GST/HST returns from a sole proprietorship or partnership
- have a refund of $2 or less
How you will recieve your refund:
You will recieve your refund by mail, unless you have previously signed up for direct deposit through CRA.
- If you are receiving a refund, it will come approximately 2 weeks from when it has been FILED with CRA. So not necessarily 2 weeks from when you dropped off your documents to our office- we try to be as quick as possible during this busy season, but we do need time to ensure a correct, professional filing of your return.
- Not everyone receives a refund- although that would be nice! If you have any questions about why you owe money to CRA or why your refund is a different amount than you expected, our accountants would be happy to go over your return with you.
Source: Canada Revenue Agency Website “Refunds”