Tax Planning is far more than just saving up for your taxes, or keeping your fingers crossed you’ll receive a tax refund so you can buy that coveted something. Tax Planning is about being fiscally strategic, and using the rules in the Income Tax Act to pay the least amount of tax possible while maintaining compliance with the law. For most people, the single largest expenditure in their life will be income tax. Take for example a person earning $125,000 per year. Based on 2016’s tax rates and some reasonable assumptions, they would pay $33,962 of tax in one year. Take that over a working career of 30 years, and that’s $1,018,860 of personal income taxes…yikes! Proper (and legal!) tax planning can significantly reduce the amount of tax you pay.
Diving into tax planning takes knowledge and organization – the overall goal is to manage your effective rate of tax, and to keep that rate as low as possible. We have created a chart to help you understand where your effective rate of tax currently sits to give you a baseline to work from. Using the chart, find your income in the column called “Personal Income – Wages” and see what your effective rate of tax is (the column on the far right). A healthy tax plan has an effective rate of tax around 20%.
To improve your effective rate of tax, at Kent Accounting & Tax, we start by using the basic concept to defer, deduct and divide income where possible.
Defer: Do you have the ability to defer income so that it is earned over many years, as opposed to in a single year?
Deduct: Have you been using all of your deduction opportunities, like RRSP’s, capital gain exemptions, small business deductions or others?
Divide: Have you considered dividing your income between trustworthy family members (for example, if you earn $200,000 a year in your small business, can you share that income between yourself and your spouse, so that you both make $100,000 a year and have lower overall taxes?)
At Kent Accounting, we ask questions that lead to solutions – contact us today for more advice on how to optimize your tax planning opportunities.
While there are many straight forward tax planning opportunities, it’s not as easy as shifting figures from one column to another. The law on tax planning is complex and difficult to understand Make sure you’re making the right moves for tax planning – book a consultation with Kent Accounting.
You may think that you have followed the letter of the law when creating your tax plan, but even the CRA can get confused. Even more frustrating is that the CRA rules change on an annual basis, and as accountants, it’s our job to stay educated and up to date on changes. Incorrectly assessed taxes can lead to issues with your tax planning, making it even more important to work with a qualified accountant. Let Kent Accounting take care of the minutia of tax planning.
The more time you invest in building a strong tax planning strategy, the lower your effective tax rate can be and the more you can save. If you pay 20% tax instead of 25% tax over the term of your career, the amount of money left on the table is staggering. If you were to save $25,000 per year, from age 35 to 55, and invest those savings at 6%, you would have $974,818 of extra money to spend in retirement. To get started on your Tax Planning Strategy, contact Kent Accounting & Tax today.
Disclaimer: tax rules change frequently and can depend on your individual circumstances. The above is not to be relied upon as tax advice and is meant for information purposes only. Please consult a tax professional.