Archive for April, 2009

Small tax deductions you might miss

April 13, 2009


I’m just about finished with our taxes and found that we had three small tax deductions for 2008 that would have been easily missed if I weren’t paying more attention. These deductions are small enough on their own (less than $100, often less than $50) but they might add up to a significant amount.

Public Transit amount

The cost of monthly bus passes can be claimed as a non-refundable tax credit on line 364. CRA advises to keep the passes and receipts, in case they ask to see them.

Children’s fitness amount

If your child is enrolled in an eligible sports program, you can claim a non-refundable tax credit up to $500 per child (worth a maximum of $75) on Line 365.

Safe deposit box charges

Safe deposit charges qualifies as a tax deduction under Carrying charges and interest expenses (Line 221) if you use it to hold securities or other investments.

You may want to check out CRA’s webpage on tax credits or deductions you may be eligible for. If you have already filed your taxes but missed some deductions, it may be worthwhile to file an amendment.

New look and feel

April 10, 2009


I hope you’ve noticed that the blog’s look has changed slightly. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section. I think the new look and feel is a huge improvement and though I’ve tested the site on Firefox 3.0, Internet Explorer 7.0 and Safari 3.2, it is inevitable that you’ll find bugs in the site. If you do, please let me know in the comments and I’ll try and fix it ASAP. Also, if you are a RSS or email subscriber, would you mind visiting the website and providing your feedback. Thank you.

There will be no post on Good Friday and Easter Monday. Happy Easter everyone!

Register on Canadian Money Forum

If you haven’t done so already, consider checking out and registering with the new Canadian Money Forum, a platform for free-wheeling discussions on personal finances. As an added bonus, newly registered members (register here) have a chance of winning one of eight (8) $25 Chapters / gift cards. But hurry, the giveaway closes today (Friday, April 10, 2009) at 8 p.m. EDT.

When gurus gather…

April 9, 2009


On Tuesday, some 1500 people attended an event titled “A night with the bears” to hear the views of Nouriel Roubini a.k.a. Dr. Doom, Meredith Whitney, Ian Gordon and Eric Sprott (whose company organized the event). These gurus are now enjoying widespread acclaim for their bearish views, the most extreme of which is probably Mr. Gordon, who is putting a target of 1,000 on the Dow and cheerfully forecasts that the gloomy economic situation will be with us until 2020.

I have no idea if these gurus have it right but the cautionary example of Elaine Garzarelli, who famously called the 1987 crash, should be kept in mind. Derek DeCloet points out how many of her subsequent calls turned out:

In 1996, on CNBC, she again urged investors to sell. Stocks were overvalued, she said. They were dangerous.

The Dow doubled over the next four years (then it crashed). After that, she got bullish, which worked for a long time. Her advice going into last year? “More of the same, a great 2008,” she told one newspaper. Among her top picks were Home Depot and Lehman.

and concludes…

So by all means, listen to what the bears have to say. But also consider the possibility that they might miss it when the economy turns, and that their worst-case scenarios – their bet against the resilience of capitalism – might be wrong.