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.

Avoiding Tax Audits


It’s every taxpayer’s worst nightmare: a notification from CRA Canada Revenue Agency that you are going to be audited. CRA sends more than 30,000 such letters a year. You are right to be afraid because it is often a time-consuming and costly process to deal with. Tax audits generally stretch through several months but could last years in more complicated cases.  Make sure you hire a Chartered Professional Accountant. Even simple audits are full of traps and pitfalls and, if you attempt this so-called simple work on your own, it is very easy to make mistakes and then regret it […]

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Proposed Tax Changes


On July 18, 2017, the Honourable Bill Morneau, federal Minister of Finance, issued draft legislation which, if passed, will significantly change tax planning for Canadian private companies and their shareholders.

He released proposed changes to three areas of tax planning used by private corporations: income sprinkling, holding passive investments in a private corporation and converting income into capital gains.

TAX TIP      When it comes to tax, it’s all about the details. Knowing the rules and regulations, what qualifies and what doesn’t, and how to structure your business most effectively. We are focused on every facet of tax. We have the in-depth […]

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Only 4 Months Left to Plan


We hope you had a safe and enjoyable summer.  There are only 4 months left to plan! The 2017 calendar year is quickly coming to a close.  September is here, the summer has come to an end and the leaves are beginning to change colour.  Change is inevitable, just like the weather. The best part about change is that it often is great, like the creative tax and financial planning services we offer our business and individual clients.

Remember to Purchase Your Eligible Assets Before Year-End 

Whether you own a business or are an employee, the following is some money-saving advice regarding […]

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When is a Business Expense Deductible?


There are generally two main tests that all expenditures must meet in order for you to be able to deduct them for business purposes:

Was the expenditure made for the purpose of earning taxable income?
Was the expenditure reasonable in the circumstances?

If the expenditure was not made to earn taxable income, you will not be able to deduct the expense.

TAX TIP        Fixed assets such as land, buildings, vehicles, machinery and equipment, computers, etc. are not fully deductible in the year you purchase them.  These items will be recorded on your Balance Sheet as assets.  For accounting and tax purposes, you can write […]

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When You Transfer Title in Property


If you are the sole owner of a property, and you transfer title of the property into joint ownership with another person, you may be deemed to have disposed of your share at fair market value (unless the joint owner is your spouse).   You would have to report this “sale” on your personal tax return and pay the income tax.  The new joint owner would have a deemed purchase at the same amount.  Of course, it is a question of fact whether there has been an actual change in beneficial ownership.

TAX TIP        If a rental property is purchased, the […]

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Your Compensation


If you are an employee, you can receive an employment benefit or allowance in cash (such as a meal allowance) or in a manner other than cash (such as a parking space or a gift).

Depending on the type of benefit or allowance and the reason it is given, you may, or may not, have to include the value in your employment income which may save you considerable tax.

Most employers and employees do not take the time to work out the best compensation, tax and business planning possible.  It is therefore crucial for you to plan and have a good idea […]

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Federal Budget 2017


On March 22, 2017 Finance Minister Bill Morneau presented his second Budget. The Budget focused on closing tax loopholes and cracking down on tax evasion.  Briefly, here are some of the proposed new Personal Tax and Business Tax measures:

Personal Tax Measures

New Canada Caregiver Credit will replace the Infirm Dependent Credit, Caregiver Credit and Family Caregiver Tax Credit
Tuition Tax Credit will apply to occupational skills courses below post-secondary level at college or university
Medical Expense Tax Credit will now include fertility-related expenses
Public Transit Tax Credit will be eliminated effective June 30, 2017
Disability Tax Credit eligibility can be certified by nurse practitioners
First-Time Charitable […]

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Top 6 Tax Tips


There are only 34 days left for you to pay your 2016 personal tax.  May 1st is your tax payment deadline.  The time to reduce your tax bill is now! Be sure to file your 2016 Personal Tax Return now to avoid costly penalties.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled many tax changes in the new federal budget last week on March 22, 2017. These tax measures will impact you personally and also your business. In next month’s Tax & Financial eNewsletter we will explain how they will affect you. Rapidly changing tax legislation means our personal and business tax planning advice will save you […]

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Only 61 Days Left


You still have 61 days to save on your 2016 personal income tax by contacting us now to arrange your free, no-obligation, strictly confidential FinancialCHECKUP™.

To get your free 2016 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     If you rent out a portion of your home, you may have to report a taxable capital gain on your personal tax return. When there is a change in use of real estate, either from income-producing to personal-use (e.g., principal residence or cottage/second home), or from personal-use to income-producing, there […]

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How to Save 2016 Income Tax


We are proud to present our updated annual 2016 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       Remember that, when you pay CPP and EI premiums on the salary of your child’s nanny, they are eligible to be deducted as child care expenses provided the salary or wage paid to your nanny meets the criteria in Section 63. Child care expenses are amounts incurred for the purpose of providing child care services for an eligible child. Eligible expenses can include babysitting, nursery day care or camp or boarding school. To ensure you maximize […]

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