Howard Halpern

About Howard Halpern

Howard Halpern CPA (Canada), CA, CPA (USA), CFP, TEP, has spent over thirty years providing financial management, strategic business planning and tax advice to closely held business, professional service providers, and high-income taxpayers.

How to Fix Your Business


Do you remember your first day in business?  Since then, you’ve sacrificed a lot for your business, worked long hours, and maybe even borrowed money.  The business was doing OK and you took home a good income.

Today, things might have changed.  Expenses may be rising and you may now find yourself between a rock and a hard place.  You’ve been borrowing money, stretching creditors and looking for a solution, but nothing seems to work.  You have to avoid going through stages of drifting and denial and quickly act to “fix” the business before problems get worse and it is too […]

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Your Wealth and Independence


Exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and managing stress effectively can help you maintain a positive mind and healthy body. For many Canadians, though, doing so on a daily basis is a big challenge.  The link between stress and health has long intrigued workplace health providers, employers, doctors and scientists. Stress, which is a fact of life, can be difficult to control and can have serious physical and mental health consequences.

So, what tops the list of stressors for Canadians? You may have already guessed: Finances!

People worry and fret about their financial situation constantly, with some years being worse than others. […]

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Why Tax Planning is Important


Most people either don’t do any advanced planning or they wait until the last minute to try and do something about reducing their taxes. Advanced tax planning is the process of projecting your tax liability ahead of time, and reviewing your situation to uncover tax minimization strategies that can reduce your current or future tax liabilities.

By planning ahead and being proactive, you open a plethora of options to reduce your taxes. Many options are not available to you when the time comes to actually file your tax returns. So the 3 Reasons You Should Prioritize Tax Planning are as follows:

TAX TIP  […]

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Important Tax Facts


The Fraser Institute is the top think-tank in Canada for the tenth straight year and ranks in the top 25 among all think-tanks worldwide, according to the University of Pennsylvania’s Global Go-To Think Tanks Index.

As we near end of summer 2018, here are some interesting and important tax facts Canadians should understand and consider:

The total tax bill for the average Canadian family will exceed $35,000 in 2018, or 42.5 per cent of their income—more than what the average family spends on housing, food and clothing combined.
While the federal government has claimed it “cut taxes for middle-class Canadians everywhere,” the reality […]

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What Meal and Entertainment Costs Can You Deduct?



Most of the time, the maximum that you can claim for meals and entertainment expenses is 50% of the lesser of: (a) the actual cost you incur, or (b) an amount that is “reasonable”.

Also, there are special rules for foot and bicycle couriers, and if you are a long-haul truck driver who is eligible for higher deduction rates.

TAX TIP      If your business is registered for GST/HST, you can only claim an ITC input tax credit for the portion of the expenses that are deductible for income tax purposes. For most meals and entertainment costs, the ITC would only be […]

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Is the TFSA for You?


To encourage saving, the federal government introduced the TFSA Tax-Free Savings Account in 2009.  In some ways, the TFSA mirrors the RRSP and RESP in that there is an annual contribution limit but contributions are not tax-deductible.  A TFSA therefore lets you grow tax-free investment income such as interest, dividends and capital gains and is a great way to set aside money throughout your lifetime.

Individuals 18 years of age and older may contribute a specified maximum amount each year to a TFSA. Your TFSA contribution room is the maximum amount that you can contribute to your TFSA.  Unused contribution room […]

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How Tax Audits Work


Our CPA firm regularly accepts new clients who have been notified by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that they will be audited for their business or home income taxes or HST Harmonized Sales Tax.

The CRA tax auditor will either review your records at his/her government office (“CRA office audit”) or at your home or office (“field audit”).

TAX TIP        If you are selected for a tax audit, it is absolutely essential that you contact your Chartered Professional Accountant because it is very dangerous for a taxpayer to handle a tax audit alone without representation. Our CPA firm will assess the situation prior […]

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Only 28 Days Left


There are only 28 days left for you to pay your 2017 personal tax.  April 30th is your tax payment deadline.  The time to reduce your tax bill is now! Be sure to file your 2017 Personal Tax Return now to avoid costly penalties.

Please enjoy viewing this month’s Tax Tips below and please feel free to contact us for professional assistance or to answer any of your questions.

It’s not what you earn…it’s what you keep!  We will show you how your personal customized tax strategy will save you money.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau delivered the majority Liberal government’s third Federal Budget on […]

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Only 60 Days Left to Save Money


Many tax savings tips are listed below and you have 60 days left to save on your 2017 personal income tax by contacting us now to arrange your free, no-obligation, strictly confidential FinancialCHECKUP™.

To get your free 2017 TAX RETURN ORGANIZER™ please contact us. Now more than ever you need to know that you are paying the least amount of tax.

TAX TIP          Cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, is digital currency which is essentially electronic money that is created using computer algorithms. Gains or losses from selling or buying digital currencies must be reported on your tax return and may be on account of […]

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How To Save 2017 Income Tax


We are proud to present our updated annual 2017 TAX RETURN ORGANIZER™, your indispensable reference guide to help you save money by reducing the amount you pay in income taxes. Click here to read and print it.

TAX TIP         If you provide care to a critically ill or injured adult family member, you can access a new benefit of up to 15 weeks. Immediate and extended family members of children who are critically ill can now access a new benefit of up to 35 weeks, that was previously only available to parents. Parents can now choose the option that best meets their family’s needs: Standard Parental Benefits (12 months) or Extended […]

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