“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'! ”

Audrey Hepburn

“Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending.”

Carl Bard

“It's better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret”

Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Business Advisory, Personal and Corporate Taxes, Business Start-Up, Bookkeeping

News You Need to Know

Accounting For Aging and Retired Canadians

Posted November 26, 2018

When people get older and retire, their accounting needs change, but their need for an accounting company doesn’t disappear. Accounting for elderly people is due to become a large part of what any accounting company can do for its clients.

As of 2018, 15% of Canadians are seniors (age 65+), and 29% are Baby Boomers, who are just hitting retirement age.

Per Monster.com, “With the oldest Baby Boomers hitting their 60s, a multibillion-dollar niche in accounting is developing to help seniors and their adult children plan for the future care of those who can no longer live independently.”

Older people have different financial goals and concerns than younger people. Retired people might be concerned about outliving their money, and are more focused on financial planning now and in the near future, rather than the distant future.

People of retirement age may also be looking at selling real estate and divesting themselves of assets to provide funds to live on. They are also more concerned about their estates, and having their money and assets being divided up exactly the way they want them to be after their death.

Retirement-age people tend to use healthcare more often, and for more expensive or involved procedures. This could be a facet of their financial picture; they might be looking at improving their health insurance situation, or even looking at doing financial planning for medical tourism (travelling to other countries to have procedures done).

Retired people also become Snowbirds—Canadians who spend a large part of the cold months in a sunnier climate like Arizona or Florida. Snowbirds have particular financial needs as well; they may need their bills taken care of for them in Canada while they’re away, and their tax situations might be more complicated with partial residency or real estate holdings in a foreign country.

Here’s a video with regards to whether or not you can afford to retire. This should give you some sense of where you stand and what you may need to discuss with your accountant.

Accounting firms can provide a number of services to retired clients, so they don’t need to get these services from multiple providers. This is a great benefit to older people, who may not have any interest in spending more time than they have to on their accounting/financial needs, and don’t want to have to deal with multiple companies. Shaw and Associates might be the only accounting company you need as you age.

Contact Shaw & Associates Chartered Accountants for accounting help you can count on. One complimentary meeting with us will put you and your business on a more profitable and positive path.


Why Develop a Relationship with Shaw & Associates

Posted October 29, 2018

The relationship you develop with your accounting company can be one of the most important relationships you have when you are running a business. A healthy accounting relationship is based on trust and confidence.

You need to trust that your accountants are handling your business in a professional, competent way, and you need to be confident that we are not only doing your day-to-day accounting correctly, but we are also going above and beyond in looking out for more opportunities for your business.

Trust and Confidence

Trust and confidence come from knowing your accounting team, and feeling assured that we know you, and we know your business. Customers who work with Shelly Shaw and her associates appreciate the responsiveness and professionalism that we bring to our customer interactions, as well as our knowledge of accounting principles and practices.

Not “Just Another Client”

When you develop relationships with everyone at Shaw, you’re not just another client to Shaw & Associates. The people working on your accounting will know you and your business, and be able to give you good, personalized advice based on your individual situation and your unique preferences.

You won’t get a, “I’m sorry, we can’t do that” attitude from Shelly and her team. Because we know you and your business, we will work with you to find ways to achieve your goals.

Shaw & Associates Are Available and Responsive

Also important is how approachable, available, and responsive everyone is at Shaw & Associates. When you need answers to accounting questions, you usually need them in a hurry.

No one wants to have a question that goes unanswered and leaves your business in limbo while your expert takes a lengthy time getting back to you. Shelly and her team make client inquiries a priority.

A Customer Endorsement

customer endorsement: “Shelly and her team are awesome! As a controller for a small business, former employee of one of the largest accounting firms in the world and now as a financial adviser with Investors Group, I have worked with many accountants and when I run into clients who work with Shelly it always makes my job easier! Highly recommend Shaw and associates.”

Contact Shaw & Associates Chartered Accountants for accounting help you can count on. One complimentary meeting with us will put you and your business on a more profitable and positive path.


Changes to Deductions for Your 2017 Income Tax

Posted October 22, 2018

There have been a number of changes to income tax deductions for the 2017 tax year, which will continue to apply for 2018. Let’s take a look at a few of the lesser-known changes here.

Caregiver Expense Deduction

Three previous credits, the caregiver credit, the family caregiver credit, and the credit for infirm dependants over 18, have been replaced by the Canada caregiver credit. The maximum claim amount for the new amalgamated credit has been increased to $6,883 for 2017 (and potentially higher for 2018).

As noted on the Government of Canada website, the credit is similar to the previous three credits that it is replacing except for one notable exception—if you are supporting a parent or grandparent over 65 who is living with you, you cannot claim the caregiver credit unless that parent or grandparent is infirm.

Deployed Military Salaries Exempt from Income Tax

Also on Canada.ca, as part of Canada’s new Defence Policy to improve how Canadian military personnel are treated, Canadian Armed Forces personnel who are on active deployment will now have their incomes exempt from income taxes while they are on deployment. Police officers who have been deployed on designated international missions will also be included in this income tax exemption.

Disability Tax Credit

Canadian citizens with a severe and/or prolonged mental or physical disability have been able to claim a disability tax credit in the past. This tax credit has had a change as well, in that nurse practitioners have been added to the list of medical personnel who are able to certify the disability application form, Form T2201 (the Disability Tax Credit Certificate).

Public Transit Expense Deduction

As of July 1, 2017, Canadians will no longer be able to claim a deduction for transit passes. The federal government has indicated that it will be considering other ways to encourage Canadians to use transit other than the underutilized public transit expense deduction.

Contact Shaw & Associates Chartered Accountants to help you with unusual tax credit questions. One complimentary meeting with us will put you and your business on a more profitable and positive path.


Hiring an Accounting Company To Protect Against Malicious Prosecution

Posted October 4, 2018

One big reason to have an accounting firm take care of your business’ money is to keep you protected from wrongful prosecution. 

Although the Canada Revenue Agency is usually good about only going after people who have broken the law, sometimes they make mistakes, such as in a case recently described in canadianaccountant.com.

The story is about Tony and Helen Samaroo, a hard-working immigrant couple who did not trust Canadian banks, so they kept their savings in cash for decades. Because the older Canadian $100 bill was due to be discontinued, they proceeded to deposit their cash savings in banks. The CRA took the position that large cash deposits are unreported income, with no allowance for any other explanation.

What is unusual in this case is the lengths to which the CRA investigator went to try to convict the Samaroos of tax evasion, and the extreme actions he took to create this outcome.

As noted in the article, “The recent ruling by the BC Supreme Court to award $1.7 million for malicious prosecution by the Canada Revenue Agency to a Vancouver Island couple was met with satisfaction by many Canadian tax accountants and lawyers.

“In 2008 they [the Samaroos] were charged with 21 counts of tax evasion for allegedly skimming $1.7 million from the business.” 

They were found not guilty of these charges, and the CRA was subsequently found guilty of malicious prosecution in their pursuit of these defendants. In the judgement against the CRA, “Justice Punnett found that the conduct of the CRA “must be denounced. It affected the reputations of the plaintiffs, their professional lives and their family lives. It involved the concealment of exculpatory evidence. It involved the power imbalance of the State over the individual. It violated fundamental rights and was highly reprehensible.””

The Samaroos were not comfortable with doing their own accounting, and hired an accounting firm to do their bookkeeping, do their income taxes for them, and submit their GST and PST remittances. 

Because they had professionals working for them, these professionals were able to prove that they had not evaded taxes and skimmed money from their businesses, and that the case created by the CRA was not accurate or valid. Indeed, not only were the CRA’s charges found to be unjustified, but the CRA employee was found to have acted unprofessionally in his pursuit of this couple.

This is of course an extreme case. It does, however, serve to highlight how important it is to have a professional accounting company like Shaw & Associates handling your books, finances, and taxes. Not only do they keep your business running smoothly day-to-day by taking care of your finances, but they are an invaluable resource in your corner should the CRA ever become interested in your business.

Contact Shaw & Associates Chartered Accountants to give you peace of mind about the accuracy of your books. One complimentary meeting with us will put you and your business on a more profitable and positive path.


Getting to Know Shaw and Associates – A Very Happy New Client

Posted September 21, 2018

Hiring Shaw & Associates Chartered Accountants means more than just getting your taxes done once a year. We are dedicated to providing our clients with top quality service that goes above and beyond expectations!

Shaw & Associates recently did a thorough review of the previous bookkeeping for a new client. We and the new client were astonished to find out that they owed $25,000 to the Canada Revenue Agency for GST. It was clear that this could not be correct, and we were able to quickly find the issue (sales were not entered correctly and the GST had been double entered, making it look like there was still a large amount owing). 

While sorting through the GST issues, we discovered that not only did the client not owe the additional GST, but there were also GST credits available that hadn’t been claimed back!

Shaw & Associates was able to go above and beyond for this new client in helping them integrate their point-of-sale system with their accounting software as well. This is a fairly easy task when you know what you’re doing, but it was not a high priority for a business owner who just wanted to run their business effectively. 

We made it a goal of ours to get this done for the client, to help them run their business more efficiently, and also provide excellent service for the client because helping clients is what we do.

When you’re running a business, it is crucial that you get responses to your accounting questions and concerns right away. At Shaw & Associates, we understand this and make it a priority to respond to phone calls and emails quickly. Our business is helping your business, and when you need our expertise, you need it when you need it!

This new client was also impressed with Shaw & Associates in our ability to help them find the most beneficial way to pay themselves. As a business owner, you can choose how to pay yourself (salary, dividends, or shareholder loan, for some examples), with advantages and disadvantages for each option. We were able to go over these options with our client and figure out what would work best for him and his business.

Contact Shaw & Associates Chartered Accountants to help you manage your finances more effectively. One complimentary meeting with us will put you and your business on a more profitable and positive path.


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