Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tabled the Federal Budget in Parliament today. Unlike previous budgets, there is nothing concrete to report but there are some interesting measures that may impact your pocketbook.
Another Budget, Another Tax Credit
Budget 2013 introduces a new temporary tax credit called the First-time Donor’s Super Credit (FDSC). A first-time donor is an individual (or her spouse or common-law partner) who has not claimed the Charitable Donations Tax Credit (CDTC) or FDSC in any taxation year after 2007. The first-time donor will be allowed to claim a 25 percent tax credit on up to $1,000 of donations once in 2013 or a subsequent tax year before 2018.
Deduction for Safety Deposit Boxes Eliminated
Currently, tax payers are allowed to deduct expense incurred for renting a safety deposit box provided they use it to store and protect papers relating to the portfolio. These days most records are available in electronic form and the importance of paper copies is declining. Therefore, starting in Financial Year 2014, the cost renting safety deposit boxes cannot be deducted as a carrying charge on the income tax return.
Increase in Tax on Non-Eligible Dividends
A non-eligible dividend refers to income received from corporations that are not taxed at the general corporate rate (such as private, small business corporations). If all you receive are mostly dividends from Canadian public companies, this measure will not impact you.
Budget 2013 proposes to reduce the gross-up factor applicable to non-eligible dividends from 25 percent to 18 percent. The Dividend Tax Credit will change from 2/3 of the previous gross-up amount to 13/18 of the new gross-up. The combined effect of this measure will increase the personal tax rate on non-eligible dividends received from corporations. (Note: KPMG reported that the net result of this measure will increase the federal effective tax rate on non-eligible dividends to 21.22 percent from 19.58 percent).
Crackdown on Charitable Donation Tax Shelters
It appears that Budget 2013 is proposing measures that may turn out to be final nail in the coffin of Charitable Donation Tax Shelters. First, the Budget proposes to extend the reassessment period for a participant in a tax shelter by three years to six years. Second, the Budget permits CRA to collect 50 percent of the any tax, interest or penalties resulting from a reassessment of a participant in a tax shelter even if a notice of objection is filed.
Hasta La Vista to Labour-Sponsored Venture Capital Funds
Labour-Sponsored Venture Capital Funds have, in general, turned out to be a poor investment for Canadians. Therefore, it is heartening to see that Budget 2013 is proposing to eliminate the 15 percent Federal Tax Credit for investments of up to $5,000 in Labour-Sponsored Venture Capital Funds gradually by 2017.
There are other interesting measures in the Budget regarding reporting requirements for foreign assets that we will take a look at in future posts. Meanwhile, if you are looking for some bedtime reading, you can find the entire Budget 2013 document here.