Kreston powers forward in China.
Over 60 delegates from mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan were in attendance this year, reflecting the network’s recent growth in the region.
The conference was opened by key note speaker Madam Xiao Hong Chen, the Secretary General of the Tianjin Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the business programme included new and existing member firm updates, service line breakouts and business development and networking sessions.
Edmond Chan, Asia Pacific Regional Secretary commented:
“It was excellent to see so many of our existing and new members attend in Tianjin. The conference offered an opportunity for members to discuss strategy and look at future collaboration between the firms in Kreston China. On behalf of Kreston International, I would like to thank our hosts at Tianjin Guangxin CPAs who organised the event”.
Kreston CEO Jon Lisby added:
“We have recruited several member firms in recent years which has raised our profile considerably in the region. We now have representation in over 40 major cities across China and The International Accounting Bulletin’s China survey reports Kreston’s advance in the 2015 national ranking from 10th to 7th . The Chinese Institute of CPAs has released its Top 100 firm survey and it includes 8 Kreston members in the listing”.
The conference concluded with a sightseeing tour of the local area and farewell dinner.
Kreston International had strong representation at the Forum of Firms (FoF) India meeting on 2 September in Mumbai. The event, which focused on ‘audit quality – at the forefront in the face of change’ was attended by over 60 partners from FoF network firms in India including representatives from 3 Kreston member firms.
Andrew Collier, Kreston’s Director of Quality and Professional Standards, was invited as a result of his membership of the Transnational Auditors Committee at IFAC and his responsibility for reporting to the Forum of Firms on Regulatory developments in the Asia Pacific Region.
Andrew presented on ‘Practical Issues on Auditing, Fair Value and Revenue Recognition and Challenges in Providing Assurance on information other than financial statements’.
Brendan Murtagh, Partner at Kreston member firm LHM Casey McGrath was also in attendance in his capacity as a member of the IAASB and provided an update on upcoming developments in International Standards.
“The meeting was a great opportunity for members to network and to gain a greater understanding of the significant challenges faced by professional firms in India as a result of significant changes to the Regulatory regime. The Forum of Firms is committed to improving audit quality both globally and through in country activities such as the India meetings. Kreston’s involvement demonstrates an increased recognition of our standing as a global network”.
Kreston International is a global network of independent accounting firms with the reputation for providing trusted compliance and advisory services to entrepreneurial business in the SME and Mid-Market sectors
CRA has issued revised guidelines for the T1135 for this year only (see link to CRA release). Specifically, a taxpayer who held specified foreign property in an account with a Canadian registered securities dealer (as defined in subsection 248(1) of the Income Tax Act) may now report the combined value of all such property at the end of the tax year, rather than reporting the details of each property. This combined value should be included in Category 6 of Form T1135, “Other property outside of Canada.” If a taxpayer chooses to use the 2013 transitional reporting method, the taxpayer must use this reporting method for all accounts with Canadian registered securities dealers.
This is not the complete relief that taxpayers / preparers were looking for. What still needs to be looked out for is when a taxpayer holds foreign investments in a Canadian broker account. If no T5 or T3 is issued on any particular security during the year, disclosure of these investments are still required to be reported on form T1135. The typical example of this is holding US securities that are held for capital gains type income.
Tim Laceby, Senior Tax Manager at Kreston GTA
We’re entering that time of year where individuals are looking for strategies to minimize the tax burden at April 30. Below are a few of those strategies to consider.
Pension Splitting and Tax Credits
If you’re between the age of 65 and 69, consider converting some of your RRSP to a RRIF before the mandatory deadline. This opens up two opportunities. First is the ability to split some of this pension income with a spouse, taking advantage of potential lower tax brackets. Second, there is a pension tax credit that becomes available only after receiving income from a RRIF or other pension income.
Simply maximizing your RRSP contributions to the available limit is not always the best strategy. A more effective plan may involve paying down high interest debt, contributing to a TFSA which has no taxes when withdrawn in the future, contributing to an RESP, or potentially investing in an unregistered account all together. These decisions need to be based on other factors such as the need for cash now and in the future, the stage of career and expected tax brackets in the future, etc.
As a beneficiary of an inheritance, your first inclination may be to request that the assets be distributed as soon as possible. However, the estate has three years where income is taxed at the same graduated personal tax rates as an individual. By leaving the inheritance in the estate and letting it earn income, there is the opportunity to have that income taxed at significantly lower rates. Prior to proposed changes from the recent federal budget, it was possible for a beneficiary of a testamentary trust to take advantage of graduated personal tax rates within the estate/trust indefinitely. The recent changes to the income tax act have limited this to three years for an estate, however if you are a beneficiary that is eligible for the disability tax credit, the proposed changes permit the graduated personal tax rates to continue indefinitely for the testamentary trust.
Prescribed Rate Loans
Interest rates prescribed by Canada Revenue Agency have never been lower. Currently they are at 1%. One way of taking advantage of this is to transfer income generating assets to a spouse or child in exchange for an interest bearing loan. The loan will create income to the lender at the 1% prescribed rate and that rate of 1% (if made before March 31, 2014) will remain at 1% for the duration of the loan. Meanwhile as long as the interest is paid and reported as income, the recipient of the loan can generate income on the transferred assets which are taxed in their hands at the presumed lower tax bracket rates that they fall under. If you are considering making a prescribed rate loan to a minor child, consider using a family trust as minors cannot be held liable for debts. Care needs to be taken to structure it properly to ensure the investments don’t fall under the Kiddie Tax rules.
Tim Laceby, CPA, CA
Senior Tax Manager, Kreston GTA
On February 11, 2014, the Federal Government released its budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year ending March 2015.
The following are some of the changes the government has proposed:
Personal Tax Measures
Adoption Expense Tax Credit
The 2014 budget proposes to increase the maximum amount of eligible adoption expenses to $15,000 per child for 2014.
Medical Expense Tax Credit
The 2014 budget proposes to add the following to the list of expenses eligible for the medical expense tax credit:
1) Expenses paid for the design of an individualized therapy plan if the cost of the therapy would be eligible for the medical expense tax credit.
2 Certain expenses paid for Service animals specially trained to assist an individual in managing their severe diabetes.
Search and Rescue Volunteers Tax Credit
The 2014 budget proposes to add a non-refundable tax credit of 15% of $2,000 for search and rescue volunteers subject to specific restrictions.
Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for Flow-Through Share Investors
The 2014 budget proposes to extend eligibility for the Mineral exploration Tax Credit for one year to agreements entered into before March 31, 2015.
Farming and Fishing Business
The 2014 budget proposes to extend eligibility for the intergenerational rollover and the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption to property of an individual (also available to the shares of a family corporation or an interest in a family partnership) used principally in a combination of farming and fishing whereas before it was only available to property used principally in either fishing or farming.
Tax Deferral for Farmers who dispose of breeding livestock due to specific environmental conditions
The 2014 budget proposes to extend the currently available deferral to bees and all types of horses that are over 12 months of age and kept for breeding purposes.
Amateur Athlete Trusts
The 2014 budget proposes to allow income that is contributed to an amateur athlete trust to qualify as earned income for the purposes of the RRSP contribution limit.
Pension Transfer Limits
The 2014 budget proposes to allow for a couple of additional situations that may permit the tax free transfer of funds from a pension plan to an RRSP.
GST/HST Credit Administration
The 2014 budget proposes to eliminate the application requirement for the GST/HST tax credit and instead allow the Canada Revenue Agency to do it automatically.
Tax on Split Income
The 2014 budget proposes to change the definition of “split income” to include income that is directly or indirectly paid or allocated to a minor from a trust or partnership if the income is earned from a business or a rental property and a person related to the minor is actively engaged in the business.
Graduated Rate Taxation of Trusts and Estates
The 2014 budget proposes to eliminate the graduated tax rates currently available to testamentary trust subject to 2 exceptions.
Non Resident Trusts
The 2014 budget proposes to eliminate the 60-month exemption, available to newly resident Canadians ,from the deemed residence rules which may apply to treat a non-resident trust as a resident of Canada.
For full details on the budget, please go to http://www.budget.gc.ca/2014/home-accueil-eng.html
Jim Sandiford, Partner at Kreston GTA, speaks at the Special Council Meeting for Community Recognition 2014 on January 29.
The City of Markham held a special council meeting for community recognition this evening. The honourable Mayor Frank Scarpitti presided over the evening awards ceremony.
Many groups and individuals were recognized for their achievements in excellence in the areas of broadcasting, sports, volunteering, community and service clubs.
Jim Sandiford, Partner at Kreston GTA, at the Community Recognition Awards 2014 on January 29. The honourable Mayor Frank Scarpitti presided over the evening awards ceremony.