EI Premium Changes

September 15, 2014

On Sept 11, 2014 Joe Oliver announced changes to the EI program next year. They amount to similar savings under the EI new hires program but access to the new rates are limited to employers with less than $15,000/year in EI deductions (employers of less than 15-20 employees). The proposed changes take effect on January 1, 2015. Beneath all the rhetoric you may have read in the news, perhaps you’ve wondered what this means to you directly. Here’s what the numbers boil down to in terms of dollars saved:

EI Premiums

Annual wages

Employee's portion EI

Employer's portion EI

























The proposed savings amount to a 0.392% reduction in payroll costs. Consequently, I cannot recommend hiring any new staff, as our beloved government is suggesting you do, and spending $20-40,000/year because you will save $98-157 on their EI premiums.

I applaud any reduction in tax. But I cannot use these numbers to justify making a poor business decision.

The headline should be that you will save about $100 per year per employee that pays EI premiums (i.e. not the owners, who are EI exempt). So the small business they are targeting will save between $100-$1,500 in 2015, depending on number of employees. Will we take that? Absolutely. Should that make you go out and hire a new employee? Absolutely not.

The only reason you should hire more staff is because you recognize an increase in the demand for your product or service in the marketplace. This is economics 101. If you are able to manage servicing your existing clientele plus projected growth over the next 3 months with your existing staff, why would you hire additional staff? If there is a shortfall between the time it takes to deliver your product or service and the expectation of your customer or your growth expectations are such that your current staff will be overwhelmed by the increase in demand, then consider hiring additional staff.

To quote a line from a famous 90’s movie – show me the money! If the demand or growth is there, add employees. If not, don’t look to a 0.392% reduction in payroll costs to justify a new hire.


Internet Presence? CRA wants to know!

June 2, 2014
With little to no publicity, the CRA has introduced another filing requirement for tax returns filed after April 8th, 2014 for the 2013 tax year and forward. If your business makes use of the internet in any way to earn income, you must fill in a special section of the T2125 business return or a Schedule 88 with your corporate tax return. The form requests information concerning up to 5 web sites you have a presence on and an estimate of how much of your gross revenue is derived from the inte...
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2013 AgriStability changes

January 10, 2014

2013 AgriStability Program Year Changes

The Growing Forward 2 policy framework agreement comes into effect for the 2013 program year. Under this new agreement, a number of changes were introduced for the AgriStability program including a reduced program fee, 70% margin coverage, harmonized compensation rate for both positive and negative declines, and a reference margin limit. Read about the changes

Existing program parameters as outlined below remain in place for the 2012 and prior program y...

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Taxpayer relief available for businesses affected by power outages due to severe weather conditions in Ontario

January 10, 2014
This was sent out yesterday by the Canada Revenue Agency:

January 9, 2014 - Ottawa - Canada Revenue Agency

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, today reminded businesses that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) taxpayer relief provisions are available to those that have been unable to meet their tax obligations because of the recent power outages in Quebec, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada.

Affected businesses can apply to have interest or penalties or b...

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Back To School!

August 29, 2013
Tax Matters for Students:

  • Post-Secondary Scholarships, bursary and fellowship income is fully exempt from tax when received in connection with a program for which the student will get an education amount tax credit (any accredited Canadian college or university).
  • Where the scholarship or bursary is not from an accredited institution, the first $500 is exempt.
  • Tuition Fees are fully deductible if they total more than $100 and are paid to a post-secondary educational institution in Canada (*some i...

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Tax savings for tradespersons!

February 1, 2013

Did you know?

If you were an employed tradesperson in 2012 (including an eligible apprentice mechanic), you may be able to deduct up to $500 of the cost of eligible tools bought to earn your employment income.

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Automobile Expense Benefit Increase!

January 6, 2013
So, in typical contradictory fashion, the CRA has updated their Auto Expense Benefit rates to adjust for inflation. This means if you drive a company vehicle you will have a greater income inclusion (and more taxes to pay) in 2012 & 2013 than you did in 2011. However, the upper limits for interest or lease payments you can deduct with regards to passenger vehicles remains the exact same. The bottom line is where it benefits them, they've recognized inflation. Where it does not benefit them, t...
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Take care when making donations

December 13, 2012
The CRA is investigation many charitable organizations in Canada. While most are legitimate, every year dozens of organizations are having their charters revoked for various reasons. If you have donated to one of the revoked organizations you will have your donation refused upon review.

The following information is now available on the CRA Web site:

Tax tip: Donate wisely: Take time to learn about a charity before you donate

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New payroll tables!

December 13, 2012
The January 1, 2013, edition of the Payroll Deductions Online Calculator (PDOC) is now available on the CRA Web site at:

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Changes to GAINS Benefit Rate Tables

October 1, 2012

Benefit period: October 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012

The GAINS rate tables have been updated to provide a ready reference of OAS/GIS/GAINS payments at specified levels of private income, depending on a senior's status e.g. single or couple.

Guaranteed Income Level

  • Single pensioners: $1,366.94 monthly ($16,403.28 annually)

  • Qualified couples, per person: $1,117.96 monthly ($13,415.52 annually)

View the GAINS Benefit Rate Tables at:


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Ontario Trillium Benefit

July 6, 2012

A lot of people have been asking me about this one. Starting July 10th 2012, the Ontario Trillium Benefit combines, into one monthly payment, the Ontario Sales Tax Credit, the Ontario Energy & Property Tax Credit and the Northern Ontario Energy Credit. If you had received any of the 3 tax credits that have been rolled into the new Ontario Trillium Benefit your money will be coming to you every month starting July 10th, 2012.

Generally, people are upset about receiving this cheque monthly. The ...

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Ontario Sales tax Transition Benefit

June 29, 2012

The deadline to apply for the third payment of the Ontario Sales Tax Transition Benefit is June 30, 2012.


You must file your 2010 tax return by June 30, 2012 to apply for the last payment!

The Ontario Sales Tax Transition Benefit was introduced as a temporary measure, providing $4 billion to help Ontarians adjust to the HST, which came into effect on July 1, 2010.

Eligible families (including single parents) receive up to $335 and eligible single people receive up to $100 from the third a...

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Canada Revenue Agency discontinues TELEFILE service

June 28, 2012

Ottawa, Ontario, June 27, 2012... The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced that it is discontinuing its TELEFILE service.

TELEFILE is a telephone-based service that allows individuals to file simple tax returns over the phone. Use of this service has declined, on average, by 10 per cent every year as taxpayers move to other channels, such as the CRA’s secure, convenient online services. In fact, between 2011 and 2012, use of the service declined by 12.3 per cent.

Only 1.2% of all tax returns...

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