Do You Recognize These Six Tax Changes for 2018?

Do You Recognize These Six Tax Changes for 2018?

Have you ever heard of the term Fear of missing out (aka FOMO)?

FOMO is part of the reason why most of us are so addicted to social media. We’re worried that we’re missing out something, which for the most part, is nothing.

This is especially serious when it comes down to parenting.

Kids don’t come with a manual. 

Proud mommy moment: Robin was showing mommy what she could make with the magnetic building blocks at Family day celebration 

I try my best to parent my kids to the best of my ability.

When it comes down to academic and extra curricular activities, we have no clue. 

We talked to our neighbors who are both teachers.  The school that our kids go to is one of the best in the area according to them.

When my friends around me are all sending their kids to Montessori and private schools, I also have a bit of FOMO going on internally. 

Am I doing the right thing to my kids?

Are my kids missing out on something?

Some kids are sent to different tutoring programs, such as Kumon and Spirit of Math. 

When I was flipping through the binder from Spirit of Math, I thought I was looking at my Grade 13 OAC Finite questions! 

One of the questions was – what is the sum of all odd numbers under 20?

Another question was – how many different handshakes are there when there are 6 girls shaking each other’s hands?

These are the questions that were meant for a little girl who just turned 7 in January. 

It made me feel a bit inadequate myself, someone who graduated with a Math major from the University of Waterloo. I could barely do these math questions myself.

FOMO with my kids – if I don’t send my kids to these math tutoring, would my kids be missing out on the learning opportunity?

Worse yet – am I a bad parent if I don’t send them to these programs?

Sending them to these programs mean a 3 afternoons’ commitment.  This is on top of their Chinese school on Saturday and the soccer program on Tuesday. 

Sending them to these programs also means that I will be absent from work for these 3 afternoons.  (Well, but I’m a parent, I shouldn’t be selfish… ahhhh!)

These internal dialogues were on my mind for weeks, until I started listening to the book called Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control by Ned Johnson and William Stixrud.

This doesn’t mean that the kids are in charge and there’s no discipline involved.  It just means that the kids are given more responsibility to control things that happen in their lives.

When you have control in your life, you are happy.  It’s true for kids, it’s true for adults. 

One of the items that the kids should take responsibility for is their academic and schooling.  Another idea is to detach our traditional view of success in school equates to success in life. 😊

This book made me feel better about my kids (together with my laziness to ship them around every where), but it will be a constant uphill battle.

Only parents can relate.

Now onto this week’s topic, what’s new for your 2018 tax return filing that you may find interesting:

  • No more public transit amount – it was terminated as of July 1 of 2017.  No credit can be claimed in 2018.
  • First time donor credit gets a “super credit” when they made their first donation – this credit has been removed. 
  • A new credit called Climate Action Incentive (CAI) is now available for specific provinces including Ontario.  It is introduced to rebate some proceeds from the Federal pollution pricing system to residents. 
  • Tax on split income is now in effect.  This means that for small business trying to split income with their adult children, you may be charged at the highest income tax rate for the person receiving the income.
  • Accelerated Business Investment – this essentially allows the taxpayer to claim more capital cost allowance at the beginning.  For example, for equipment (such as fridge, stove, AC that you purchased), you can normally claim 10% of the purchased cost in the first year of acquisition as a deduction.  Under the new rules, if the equipment was purchased after Nov 20, 2018, you can claim 30% in the first year.  So for those who acquired properties between Nov 20 to Dec 31, you may be eligible to claim a higher amount of capital cost allowance.
  • In Ontario, the tuition and education amount are no longer available.  It ended at the end of the 2017 taxation year.   This does not mean that you, as parents, don’t get to claim the tuition and education amount.

Just for the record, tax planning is done ahead of time, even before a property is purchased so we can position you in the most tax advantageous way.  

Until next time, happy Canadian Real Estate Investing.

Cherry Chan, CPA, CA

Your Real Estate Accountant

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