My name is Mark Goodfield. Welcome to The Blunt Bean Counter ™, a blog that shares my thoughts on income taxes, finance and the psychology of money. I am a Chartered Professional Accountant and a partner with a National Accounting Firm in Toronto. This blog is meant for everyone, but in particular for high net worth individuals and owners of private corporations. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are written solely in my personal capacity and cannot be attributed to the accounting firm with which I am affiliated. My posts are blunt, opinionated and even have a twist of humor/sarcasm. You've been warned.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Gone Golfing

Today will be my last blog post until September. I have decided to take a summer sabbatical from blogging (despite the protestations of my marketing manager who tells me I am breaking every marketing rule in the book by stopping cold for two months).

The BBC at Bigwin Golf Club

The reasons for my sabbatical are threefold:
  1. My wife bought me guitar lessons (Father's Day 2012); something I always wanted to try and I have yet to use one lesson. I hope to start these lessons in the summer or at least in the early fall.
  2. In addition to writing my blog on a weekly basis, I have been attempting to write a book since September. However, to date, all I have is a proposal for a book publisher should I decide not to self-publish, an introduction and two chapters. Thus, I would like to see if I can get some more traction writing the book (subject to how many golf games I can get in). The book, if it is ever completed, is not on tax, although it is financial in nature. Many of the proposed chapters are based on feedback I have gotten from readers to various blogs I have posted.
  3. Since the inception of my blog, I have typically written my blogs at home in my spare time, which has been problematic given I have been very busy at my real job over the last year and a bit. Consequently, I have not been getting enough down time and need a bit of a break. Starting in September, I hope to write many of my blogs during my work week (don't tell my partners this).  
Thus, whether you needed to know or not, those are my reasons for taking a break. Have a good summer and see you in September.

Revised T1135 Foreign Income Verification Form

 

I cannot leave in good conscious without first commenting on the revised  T1135 Foreign Income Verification Form ("T1135"). In the March 2013 Federal Budget, the CRA stated it would be revising the T1135 form to provide more specific information. Well they certainly have. Taxpayer's and their accountants will not be pleased with all the detail required. Here is a link to the new form.

The increased reporting requirements include:
  • The name of the specific foreign bank/financial institution holding funds outside Canada
  • For each foreign property identified on the T1135, the maximum funds/cost amount for the property during the year and cost amount at the end of the year (the old form only required the cost amount at the end of the year if at anytime in the year you exceeded the threshold) 
  • For each foreign property identified on the T1135, the income and capital gain/loss generated (the old form asked for total income or gains from all foreign property in one lump sum)
  • Specific country where each foreign property is located (the old form had pre-defined groupings based on each continent for all the property on an aggregate basis)
This reporting is not only more onerous and potentially more costly (higher accounting fees), information such as the maximum funds or cost amount held during the year will often be impractical to determine. There is one important saving grace to these rules. If the income for a foreign property is reported on a T3 or T5, the details do not have to be reported. This will exempt most U.S. or foreign stocks held with Canadian brokerages; but the details for property held outside Canadian institutions will be burdensome.

The blogs posted on The Blunt Bean Counter provide information of a general nature. These posts should not be considered specific advice; as each reader's personal financial situation is unique and fact specific. Please contact a professional advisor prior to implementing or acting upon any of the information contained in one of the blogs.