The audit

One consequence of the masses kicking Devil Harper to the curb and elevating the Hot-One-With-Tats to power is a ravenous CRA. Given that the Libs will be spending at least $100 billion more than they’re taking in – despite fatter taxes on the wealthy – the hunt’s on for revenue. Everywhere. The revenue agency has now been mandated to act like a knee-capping heavy.

Days ago we debated what this might mean now that residential real estate sales must be registered with the feds, making it way easier to nab flippers, speckers and (soon) amateur landlords. How long do you have to live in a place for it to be a tax-exempt personal residence? The answer: whatever the CRA says it is. So there.

Now the guns are being reloaded for TFSA “abuse.” That has David worried.

“I’m curious,” he writes, “the CRA has been targeting people who have been successful in investment in their TFSA.  Obviously this is a strange set of rules, as they are determining from what I can see that if you are successful with high returns you must be carrying on a business and working backwards from that (tax grab).  I read that there’s a case before the courts to determine what constitutes speculative investment, and “too many trades” etc….this would affect anybody who is successful in their TFSA and lives in fear of the tax man! (I have some venture stocks that are about to explode and don’t want to suffer an audit) It is quite terrifying to me that my TFSA could be invalidated because I was successful at taking a riskier investment that didn’t go bust. Do you have any info on this one?”

It’s true. This crackdown started a few years ago, and has recently been flipped into overdrive. Anyone with substantially more than the $52,000 in accumulated contribution room in their TFSA can expect their account to be flagged. And people doing lots of trades, owning speculative equities or with financial training or designations are even more likely to be scrutinized. Maybe audited – a painful process in which you not only have to prove your innocence, but pay for it.

So what gives? What does this prime minister have against trying to get ahead using your tax-free account? First he almost halved the allowable limit (at $5,500 it’s become pathetic compared to the $25,000 UK taxpayers can invest in a similar account annually). Now he’s unleashing the bad dogs. Is this called for?

Ottawa modified the Income Tax Act to bring the hammer down on anyone the government decides has been “carrying on a business” within their TFSA. If that’s the verdict, profits made inside the account are suddenly fully taxable, added to your income and Hoovered at your marginal rate.

Over the last year a blizzard of reassessments have been mailed to people who may or may not be trying to make a living by trading heavily (and successfully) within their tax-free accounts. The primary targets have been taxpayers with too-fat TFSA balances, and expert knowledge or skills in the securities industry, like (shudder) investment advisors. The CRA can go right back to 2009 and audit every single trade, always retaining the right to disallow the tax-free status.

But if you’re not an investment advisor (whom women naturally cannot keep their hands off) don’t relax yet. The CRA hunt for TFSA criminals has been widened. So, should David be worried?

Ironically, there’s case law to support frequent trading and the holding of speculative stocks with an RRSP or a RRIF. It seems you can do just about anything you want within those registered accounts without being accused of running a securities business, but not the new one.

Here’s what Ottawa has identified as indications of TFSA abuse:

  • Frequent trading within your account (if you day trade, you’re probably 100% certain to face an audit at some point)
  • Knowledge of securities markets, as a banker, financial advisor, accountant or someone who’s completed related professional courses
  • Time spent trading (as opposed to working and sending your money to Ottawa)
  • Owning and trading speculative securities, like penny stocks
  • People who make regular income through a job in the banking or financial sector.
  • Anyone with too much money in their TFSA. How much is too much? Guess.

It you receive a Notice of Reassessment, what should you do?

After you call you Mom and eat 4-6 Tums, then immediately file a Notice of Objection. Here it is. Get that into the mail within 90 days of receiving the NOA. Then call your accountant, if you paid the guy to file your income tax return, since he’ll have some experience in dealing with the auditor who may be assigned your case. And get a lawyer, if the dollars involved merit that expense. You could end up in tax court, and just might win. But don’t get too excited at the prospect.

The main message here is that everybody should expect a far more aggressive, mean, unforgiving and hungry CRA in the years ahead, as the government’s appetite for spending exceeds its ability to pay for it.

Sometimes you actually get what you vote for.


#1 For those about to flop... on 04.02.17 at 3:31 pm

And so ,my fellow Canadians,ask not what this blog can do for you …ask what you can do for this blog…

John Flopper Kennedy.


#2 Original dave on 04.02.17 at 3:32 pm

Alright smoking man, you’ve been quite good. You say your place will go up another $400k but in 2018 it’s all over. How sour do things get in 2018 and beyond (in your opinion)

#3 The Fat Lady on 04.02.17 at 3:46 pm

And Ryan Lewenza says “It’s not so bad”……

Looks like he might be drinking the “Trudeau Kool-Aid” himself.

#4 William on 04.02.17 at 3:50 pm

I only have about 70K in my TFSA. I hold only index funds, and they just spit out dividends, tax free, which get re-invested monthly in a TD eseries fund. This is a drop in the bucket in terms of my investable assets (1.4 million) and the equity in my Vancouver home (1.1 million). I am a millenial just trying to save money for the future. Are the libtards that desperate to steal more money from us that they would tax the only remaining tax shelter? (The RRSP is not a tax shelter and living in my home is not considered a tax shelter, it IS shelter). Listen up, libtards, the more I invest, and the more income I get, the less I need to rely on the government to fund my retirement. What is it that these losers don’t get?

The government has also eliminated the tax credit for the bus pass, which was a nice perk for those of us who take transit and can’t be bothered to drive or keep up with the Joneses. All libtards are thieves who really don’t want to see people be successful.

#5 [email protected] on 04.02.17 at 4:14 pm

Garth, are we going to see more how to live in your car/in a tiny home/survival eat squirrel meat type of articles this year?

#6 Popeye the Sailor Man on 04.02.17 at 4:27 pm

So if a finance guy is being singled out because he has a higher risk tolerance and knowledge how is this fair.

Compare this to other scenarios.

A Marine Engineer or Mate buys a poorly maintained boat for 10K and puts 10K into it with some sweat equity and now has a boat worth 40K or more. Then uses it for 10 years and sells it for 20K later or even 30K on a privet sale.

A contractor buys his own house lives in it for 5 years finishes the basement, adds a deck, fence, heated Garage ect and sales it for 100K more than he has into it.

A Lawyer filling out much of his own legal papers to save 10K.

An accountant runs a business and does not hire an accountant to do the books and files there own taxes to save 10K.

A carpenter builds a shed or garage on his personal property. Cost 10K VS rise in value 20K (200k in Vancouver …kidding)

A mechanic fixing up a classic car cost 30K value 90K dives it for 5-10 years.

THE POINT______________________

The point is there is lots of skills that people have that they can find ways to benefit from that allow for a higher standard of living or even to make a buck so why pick on the finance guy and what he does in his TFSA.

I’m an educated investor and a Marine Engineer by trade and I have made some investments that have paid off big time in my RRSP, some penny stocks, and venture capital funds in BC. I have also made a few crap investments that went to ZERO. The risk reward becomes out of balance if the CRA can go after someone because there bet went in there faver.

Investment in equity’s is a cornerstone to our way of life and is available to all.

Any way hope this made sense.

#7 leebow on 04.02.17 at 4:37 pm

Now, this is economystics. You have to understand that by doing so they reduce the risk that some people take.

What is risk? Risk is uncertainty. Before, if one was to buy a penny stock, there were two possibilities – one profits, or loses money. Two opposite outcomes, high uncertainty, high risk.

Now if you lose, you lose, but if you win, then they take it away from you and you also lose. Low uncertainty, low risk.

Genius worthy of the Riksbank prize.

#8 Millenial on 04.02.17 at 4:42 pm

And let the TFSA brag-fest begin. FYI, I got $45,181.43 in my TFSA, that’s DOWN 15.5%.

*takes a bow*

#9 common sense on 04.02.17 at 5:04 pm

So…..Unlike the USA if you LOSE money trading , it is counted towards your income….but in Canada, if you take a risk and lose, too bad charlie BUT if you win, give us some?

And yet another reason if your not high income, why work your butt off or take risks.

#10 Smoking Man on 04.02.17 at 5:08 pm

I’ve said this over and over on here.

You can’t beat CRA. I got audited in the early 90s got caught, fines and penalties. Took me five years to pay it off.

It was my first business I didn’t know what I was doing. They could care less. Emptied my bank accounts. Once your on the shit list. Expect an audit every 2 years. No matter how clean you are.

Now if you want to make tax free investment income can’t see any point sharing your risk.

You need a partner, preferably a relative you can trust that lives on one of those tax free islands who can place bets for you. You can’t have anything in your name other that a contract with your partner that’s in your lawyers vault.

When you go fetch it when it’s time to retire. You can’t come back to Canada.

#11 *NAKED APE* on 04.02.17 at 5:09 pm

Just ran the numbers on a hypothetical scenario for me and I’m not an experienced investor. A few years back, I could have allotted 9K to 300K shares in an IPO offering for a local medical MJ operation in my TFSA. Today, that one transaction would be north of $765K. No doubt a target by the CRA even though I have had no ‘insider trading’ experience.

What’s the point of a TFSA if the CRA is constantly looking at you? Why even bother with that risk?

#12 Millmech on 04.02.17 at 5:14 pm

They are setting a precedent and will be trying to go after all those people because CRA now peruses kijiji and all those other sights looking for anyone making a buck and not paying their”fair share”(personal residence capital gains exemption will most likely be on the first $500,000,anything after that,well,your well off and can afford a tax on that “income”.)

#13 GFC v2.0 on 04.02.17 at 5:14 pm

“…..The Federal Court of Canada has admonished lawyers for KPMG and the Canada Revenue Agency over yet another delay in a slow-moving court action that began more than three years ago….”
“…..KPMG had been ordered to provide key documents by May 13. However, when CBC News asked the court for those records, the court realized that the accounting firm failed to meet its deadline — and that lawyers for the CRA went along with it. No reason was apparently given for the failure to meet the deadline….”

No worries, just become a wealthy KPMG off-shore tax dodger and T2 and the CRA will leave you alone. In fact, they might even let your case go dormant.

For the rest of us hard-working middle class types, be afraid….be very afraid.

#14 GFC v2.0 on 04.02.17 at 5:20 pm

#10 Smoking Man on 04.02.17 at 5:08 pm

No worries. Every day I see skinny, 2-storey, faux-stone, starter castles popping up all over Long Branch after the memory-filled blue-collar bungalows have been razed to the ground. Then the bully bids begin.

You’ll be fine.

#15 GFC v2.0 on 04.02.17 at 5:37 pm

“…A common trick for misleading customers, according to Elford, is the banking industry’s use of the term “financial advisor” — spelled with an “o.”…He says “advisor” is an unregulated title that anyone can use, whereas the title “adviser” — spelled with an “e” — can only be used if the employee has a fiduciary responsibility to the client…..The Ontario Securities Commission confirms that “adviser” is a legal term under securities law that describes a person or company that is registered to give advice about securities, whereas “advisor” is not….”

Any truth to the above, G.T.? If so, which vowel due you and your colleagues subscribe to?

#16 common sense on 04.02.17 at 5:43 pm

Just watched a very uplifting (SARCASM) video on the increase of deaths for wasp men 45-54 in the USA due to economic conditions and a basic lack of hope.

No worries. Canada’s rate is actually declining in comparison but as the USA usually leads, we will likely be sure to follow….just raise those rates another .50%

#17 Old Salt on 04.02.17 at 5:46 pm

After sifting through all the tax statements today to give to the account I read this cheery post…. I guess it’s time to back-up all the TFSA statements and confirmations to be prepared to demonstrate I’m not a trader.

#18 none on 04.02.17 at 5:58 pm

This post wins ‘most disingenuous award’. I mean yeash Garth, I don’t think you fooled to many with this one.

Liberals ‘almost halved TFSA room’ come on… show history a bit of respect.

Ten grand to $5,500. What did I get wrong? — Garth

#19 im not buyin' what dey sellin' on 04.02.17 at 6:00 pm

‘The law’s fuzzy, elastic and pliable. There’s no legislated period of time that qualifies a house as a principal residence,’

The words of the former Minister in charge of CRA?

time to re write the tax code and remove
‘in most cases’
‘if we think it was your intention when you bought the house’ blah blah

eastern block soviet Europe was more straight forward, wait a minute, the folks who ran that show all came here

everything cra has announced since oct 3 will result in fewer listings, which will result in higher prices

#20 Land of inequality on 04.02.17 at 6:09 pm

Why should the wealthy pay taxes. The crap government should just continue its war on the young. Perhaps inter-generational mortgages are the key to owning a home in the land of inequality.

From what I can tell every Canadian under the age of 30 just want arrogant greedy boomers to die already.

Tax speculators tax money launderers tax wealthy immigrants on entry and for the love of gods tax corporate profit at the same rate they tax my income.

Why are people in one age category “arrogant and greedy”? What a puerile comment. — Garth

#21 Linda on 04.02.17 at 6:20 pm

So CRA is going after ‘too successful’ TFSA’s. Maybe I should have kept the funds in the orange guy’s shorts after all…..

#22 No part of the club on 04.02.17 at 6:27 pm

GFC v2.0 on 04.02.17 at 5:14 pm
“…..The Federal Court of Canada has admonished lawyers for KPMG and the Canada Revenue Agency over yet another delay in a slow-moving court action that began more than three years ago….”
“…..KPMG had been ordered to provide key documents by May 13. However, when CBC News asked the court for those records, the court realized that the accounting firm failed to meet its deadline — and that lawyers for the CRA went along with it. No reason was apparently given for the failure to meet the deadline….”

No worries, just become a wealthy KPMG off-shore tax dodger and T2 and the CRA will leave you alone. In fact, they might even let your case go dormant.

For the rest of us hard-working middle class types, be afraid….be very afraid.


Once again KPMG is part of the Good old 100% Canadian club and nothing will happen to them. When you are part of that club you can break the laws at will and you will be hooked up with VP or CEO jobs for life. You will never have to work or worry about money since the club will connect you to jobs. Just ask Tim Hudak how he became CEO. It’s a joke but its not funny unless you are part of the club.

#23 Figure it out on 04.02.17 at 6:36 pm

“Ironically, there’s case law to support frequent trading and the holding of speculative stocks with an RRSP or a RRIF. It seems you can do just about anything you want within those registered accounts without being accused of running a securities business, but not the new one.”

Maybe because in an RRSP or RRIF, you’re still partners with Ottawa, which will tax your gains eventually, and so hopes you make as much money as possible?

You and I have a different view of Canada. You see a vast middle/upper-middle class, mostly paying their taxes, and a handful of tax dodgers and foreign money launderers.

I see a vast class of people at the upper end who are CONSTANTLY trying to dodge tax. Gosh, let’s invent “corporate class” mutual funds, so the big guy can defer for decades the capital gains that the little guy has to pay tax on every time he rebalances. Tax shelters where you can get a $25,000 receipt for a $5,000 donation — with letters from the tax lawyers saying it looks skookum. And a thousand other schemes of various dubiousity which sapped the system of taxes for years or decades before they get shut down. How many pros who specialize in these schemes work in Scotia Tower?

And on the bottom end, so screwed is the lower middle class with the bank fee screwings, the “you’re an independent contractor, not an employee, but if you can’t work the hours we say, your’re fired,” the gig economy and the side hustles, that they’ve set up a cash economy largely outside the purview of what us pros measure as GDP. Best line recently: [A]n artisan based in Guelph, Ont., who also uses Square Reader. I thought, ‘Why are they doing this? What are they looking for?’ Every artisan uses Square. Is the Canadian government going after artisans?”

So giddyup, all you middle class people between the rich tax dodgers and the cash-money underclass — you’re paying for everything.

I hand over 54% of my earnings to the government, and employ 19 people backstopped by the rest. Where do I fit into your victimized world view? — Garth

#24 Old Dog on 04.02.17 at 6:38 pm

So Canuckers, you elected a part time drama teacher who promised to run $10 billion dollar infrastructure debts, change the way you elect representatives, and legalize marijuana. For some reason you thought this qualified him to run your country. What could possibly go wrong with this scenario? I think you’ve been smoking too much MJ.

#25 OttawaMike on 04.02.17 at 6:51 pm

You mean Harper ordering the audit of non right wing charities that were critical of his regime?

There I fixed today’s blog post for you by providing balance.

“National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier has said that two dozen political activity audits of charities launched under the Harper government’s tenure will continue.” There, I just fixed your comment for you. — Garth

#26 I'm Not Poloz on 04.02.17 at 6:53 pm

Trudeau needs that $$$$$$$$$$$ to spend on feminist pet projects such as funding overseas abortions for teenage “girls” who are 18 and 19-teen years old.

Trudeau proclaimed to the world “I am a Feminist”, encouraging women like Lena McLaren from Globe & Mail that she doesn’t “Need No man”, because in 2007 she can get drunk at Chung’s House party, and then she later went into his infant son’s bedroom to strip nude to “breastfeed” him without his consent.

Trudeau is a feminist who “legally” needs to steal your wealth,either by taxation, or Poloz 50-cent Loonie hyper-inflation, while forcing you to work for free under a 0.50 Loonie, while the feminist Professors in the Greater Toronto Area tell students that they are “oppressed” in their Professor job at university in the Sunshine List.

We should all be feminists, not. Emmett Till was the effect of feminism. You should read up on the dark side of history of feminism in the USA and Canada.

Wait and see until every feminist in the Liberal Federal government claim that they are oppressed stealing your taxpayer dollar!

#27 Tim on 04.02.17 at 7:08 pm

MoneySense magazine has an amusing article on the largest TFSAs they could find.

The largest was over $1 million over two accounts, held by a Kelowna, B.C. couple that invested in in a single penny stock when the company was about to go bankrupt, and it then recovered.

quote: “These are all speculative bets that have absolutely no basis in sound financial planning,” Shafik admits. “It’s gambling and, frankly, I should have zero in my TFSA. But when it comes to investing, I’d rather be lucky than good.”

#28 Figure it out on 04.02.17 at 7:13 pm

#6 Popeye the Sailor Man — “A Marine Engineer or Mate buys a poorly maintained boat for 10K and puts 10K into it with some sweat equity and now has a boat worth 40K …”

But the money grows exponentually, whereas sweat equity accumulation of capital does not, unless you start employing people for your hobby, which makes it harder to defend as a hobby.

The money guy can turn $200k into $400k with the same effort/skill/whatever it took to turn 100 into 200. But you can’t fix up a 55′ boat as quickly as you fixed up the 40′. And even if you could, if you eventually parlayed your labours into a 200′ RO-RO ferry or a 70′ trawler, Revenue might well be looking at YOU with the same hairy eyeball it reserves for serial real estate flippers and penny stock TFSA plungers.

#29 Tony on 04.02.17 at 7:18 pm

Will likely be challenged in tax court (already has) then when someone with substantial net worth challenges it in the Supreme Court of course it will be shot down in flames and the CRA will have to pay back everyone in Canada they fleeced with interest. Russia and communist countries wouldn’t even stoop this low. The people who lose their shirt day trading in their TFSA balances out the ones who do well. It’s simply a matter of numbers and a zero sum game.

#30 Poly on 04.02.17 at 7:23 pm

Applies in Canada too?

#31 not 1st on 04.02.17 at 7:34 pm

Garth, why dont you just admit that the govt is never going to leave those accounts alone. Today its trading, tomorrow its large sums to target and then a withdrawl penalty to boot.

Never ever rely on any govt program to take care of you. This goes for CPP, OAS and now TFSAs.

Convert it to gold and carry it to the caymans.

#32 JPG on 04.02.17 at 7:40 pm

If the CRA doesn’t have any money they could start by fixing the real estate money laudering in Canada. Yes we made it to the top 4! Go Canada go! Can we beat Australia and the UK and become the top destination for real estate money laundering?
And for those who say the foreign money doesn’t matter that much (There are a few of those hanging around here…): maybe that’s because crimimals tend to hide their crimimal activities?

For those with any doubts read this and ask that our governments go after criminals before going after ordinary taxpayers.

#33 not 1st on 04.02.17 at 7:44 pm

I hand over 54% of my earnings to the government,….
— Garth

Garth, just one word. incorporation. Thought you financial types would know that one.

Advisors are not allowed to operate through an incorporation, bearing personal liability for their professional activities. — Garth

#34 Teve on 04.02.17 at 7:45 pm

Im gonna just quit work and retire early and grow potatoes!
Is that still legal?

#35 while you were asleep on 04.02.17 at 7:46 pm

China’s ambassador to Canada, Lu Shaye, told the Globe and Mail that Beijing is seeking full access to Canada’s economy ahead of free trade talks, a move that could result in Chinese state-owned companies bringing their own employees to work on projects in Canada. Charles Burton, an associate political science professor at Brock University, said bringing their own workers abroad is “normal practice” for Chinese companies. “It’s not as if [the Chinese] would be asking something of Canada that they don’t expect from other countries,” he said.

Lu said that his government wants to avoid discussions of human rights issues, fearing it could become a “bargaining chip” in negotiations. Additionally, anticipating what has become an increasingly regular response by sovereign governments to China’s money-laundering disguised as M&A ambitions, the ambassador said China’s government would interpreted any attempt by Ottawa to block takeovers of Canadian companies on national security grounds as protectionism.


#36 suburban coyote and pup on 04.02.17 at 8:05 pm

Great post Garth, especially link to CRA for objection process. Offtopic question… friends went to a Scott Mcgillvary Keyspire event last week, sounded very sketchy ie $20,000 fee and annual dues of $500 for TM real estate pumping propaganda…any concise rebuttals I could say to them ( I tell everyone i know to read your blog)


Get new friends. Those ones are pooched. — Garth

#37 Keith on 04.02.17 at 8:07 pm

@23 Garth

“I hand over 54% of my earnings to the government, and employ 19 people backstopped by the rest. Where do I fit into your victimized world view? — Garth”

Only on the margin. And if any of your earnings are taxed at 54% after employing the legal tax avoidance afforded to high earning Canadians, you are making dope money.

Don’t even know what that means. But you could have said, thank you. — Garth

#38 OKD on 04.02.17 at 8:09 pm

Thanks for commenting back to #23.
I’m a small business owner, pay >50% tax, and employ a dozen people with their annual payroll ~$900k.
For the life of me I can’t understand all of the victimhood mentality that seems to be out there.
Not getting where you want to go in life? Work harder.
I’ve been driving today listening to a CBC Cross Country Check Up podcast from a week ago re: housing and can’t believe how all of the callers’ various plates of logical spaghetti all shared the same conclusion – the government needs to give them all more money, more subsidies, or both.

#39 not 1st on 04.02.17 at 8:10 pm

#35 while you were asleep on 04.02.17 at 7:46 pm


This is simply how desperate we have become to get investment to keep our socialist haven going. Basically, we have gutted investment so bad that the only way resources can be developed is a foreign entity extract them and use their own people to do it.

Maybe Ryan can still edit his post from a few days ago.

#40 Big Dipper on 04.02.17 at 8:19 pm

What a bunch of fear monitoring, hyper partisan garbage.

Did you notice the S in TFSA? Stands for SAVINGS. If it was tax free income it would have been TFIA.


Then why are “retirement” savings accounts allowed to fund house down payments? Silly boy. — Garth

#41 Andrew Woburn on 04.02.17 at 8:27 pm

The ‘Don Cherry’ of economic statistics: Debt to income makes a lot of noise but does it really matter? | Financial Post

#42 GB on 04.02.17 at 8:28 pm

“Sometimes you actually get what you vote for.”-Garth

And thank goodness for that!

#43 Andrew Woburn on 04.02.17 at 8:32 pm

Interesting post about the move to electric power and autonomy in cars.

“However, it’s also useful, and perhaps more challenging, to think about the second and third order consequences of these two technology changes. Moving to electric means much more than replacing the gas tank with a battery, and moving to autonomy means much more than ending accidents. Quite what those consequences would be is much harder to predict: as the saying goes, it was easy to predict mass car ownership but hard to predict Wal-mart, and the broader consequences of the move to electric and autonomy will come in some very widely-spread industries, in complex interlocked ways. Still, we can at least point to where some of the changes might come. I can’t tell you what will happen to car repairs, commercial real-estate or buses – I’m not an expert on any of those, and neither can anyone who is – but I can suggest that something will happen, and probably something big.”

#44 The Greater Cauliflower on 04.02.17 at 8:34 pm

Show me yours and I’ll show you mine.

Can we do a straw poll where everyone discloses what their TFSA balance is? (Brag fest or pity party)

#45 Barb on 04.02.17 at 8:39 pm

#12 Millmech on 04.02.17 at 5:14 pm

… “CRA now peruses kijiji ”

If true, this is sad, very sad.
Reminds me of hearing years ago that someone suggested people holding garage sales should pay tax.

#46 Bob on 04.02.17 at 8:40 pm

The days where people depended on themselves are long gone…get used to it everyone. All we are left with are the whiners and complainers and rent seekers.

Garth, nice job supporting your fellow Canadians with your tax load. Not tired yet?

#47 For those about to flop... on 04.02.17 at 8:42 pm

Guys like MF and myself are smart.

We keep our TFSA’s ticking along only marginally higher than GIC’s

No chance of getting audited…


#48 Liberal plan to reduce real estate prices? on 04.02.17 at 8:44 pm

#35 while you were asleep on 04.02.17 at 7:46 pm

Beijing is seeking full access to Canada’s economy ahead of free trade talks, a move that could result in Chinese state-owned companies bringing their own employees to work on projects in Canada.

So basically when I finally want to bulldoze my current house, I can hire a Chinese architect firm, get the house materials shipped to Toronto, along with the Chinese workers, who could live in a container home while they are assembling the new house?

At the fraction of the cost what Canadian architects, construction companies, etc. would charge me?

Maybe that’s the plan of the Liberal government to bring real estate prices under control?

#49 Figure it out on 04.02.17 at 8:51 pm

“I hand over 54% of my earnings to the government…”

Sorry, old bean. Wish you’d earned less?

Hardly. Just disproving the meme that people with good incomes are all cheats. The problem is not that the government taxes too little, it spends too much. — Garth

#50 Debtslavecreator on 04.02.17 at 8:55 pm

The system continues to progress exactly as a neoliberal system should. Governments are used as weapons by the elite – it is the worst of left wing fascism fused with the worst of the classic right wing fascism
Think of these politicians and the system they’ve created as communists who love large global corporations
They’ve used junk monetary policy and government policies to financialize the RE market and created the greatest debt based Ponzi scheme in history
The funny money has fooled the average person into thinking they’re rich when in fact they’re having most of their earnings from work / business taxed away and transferred to the corporate elite
The politicians have borrowed and spent beyond comprehension
Now they are using their collection agency to take everything they can because they know most will pay and most who want to fight back cannot afford a lawyer
The tax policy has become designed to leave you with little defence against the growing and inevitable theft of whatever net worth you have left
This use of legislation to complete the mask d control fraud is simply a natural step -look to Europe for a great example of what these crooks are up to. Their goal of implementing the UN’s agenda 2030 is on track
The G20 has become the de facto shadow global government and they are coordinating policies so that as massively indebted governments increase taxes massively and print money in the next collapse so as to further take more private wealth to keep the jig going
As more and more people realize what is happening they will have no where to go unless they go to a non g20 country which most will not
The CRA is not to be messed with- they are extremely dangerous and I fear for me and my children as many innocent people will be left penniless for no fault of their own. CRA audit staff are rated partially based on how many dollars they get from their files so they have every incentive to inflate the amount they force you to pay
Do not use Tax preparing services such as HR block
Use only a good CPA and be very conservative . Do not mess with them

#51 Keith on 04.02.17 at 8:55 pm

@Garth #37

You and others in your income class could say thank you to the many Canadians whose entire pay check goes for taxes and consumption of goods and services in the local economy, creating local jobs and economic activity and profits for business owners. Mostly what I hear is I’m a super creative source of jobs, downtrodden by socialist ideals writ as public policy, tax me lighter again and again or I’ll leave this socialist paradise. If Canada sucks so bad, leave. Immigrants are beating down the doors and will happily pay the freight for a civilized society.

#52 Chaddywack on 04.02.17 at 8:59 pm


#53 Prairieboy43 on 04.02.17 at 9:01 pm

Liberals better do cost/benefit analysis. Cost Billion to implement this policing, vs the five hundred million they will retireive. Cannot believe Eastern Canadians fell for this guy.


#54 the other white meat(pork) on 04.02.17 at 9:10 pm

Garth: “Ironically, there’s case law to support frequent trading and the holding of speculative stocks with an RRSP or a RRIF. It seems you can do just about anything you want within those registered accounts without being accused of running a securities business, but not the new one.”

Every one of those speculative dollars made is taxed at your marginal rate upon withdrawal. Knock yourselves out boys, trade away and hope you don’t lose because those losses are trapped in that account and can’t be applied against your taxable income.

Something tells me the guy in your story has done a little more that just get lucky at the Bay Street craps table, and thought he was getting away with it. Looks like he might not, and will have to pay his taxes, just like the rest of us. If he’s working on insider information, it might be a lot worse than that.

I’m not wild about PM Selfie either, but at least he is trying to find revenue to back his spending. What was Stephen “won’t tax income trusts” Harper’s plan?

#55 Bobby13 on 04.02.17 at 9:12 pm

It’s looking more like an us against them scenario ever more so. Ballooning budget deficits needs attention where better to get it than from you’re cattle in the pasture which are being milked dry.

#56 Pete from St. cesaire on 04.02.17 at 9:23 pm

Garth, are we going to see more how to live in your car/in a tiny home/survival eat squirrel meat type of articles this year?
As people get more frugal, the govt will start imposing penalties on that behaviour.
Small cheap apartment = benefit/doesn’t use enough of your income/windfall for you (taxable)
35 year old car = Additional registration tax to offset ‘pollution’
Running your home on solar power = income (taxable)
Have a garden = income (taxable)
etc etc etc……

BTW, TFSA’s were designed as a trap. It’s just starting to show now.

#57 Frank on 04.02.17 at 9:23 pm

I hate these posts because “fair” taxes mean something different to different people. The more to make the less high taxes seem fair, the less you make the more fair it seems to get more social services.

It’s subjective. What isn’t subjective is that income equality is increasing at a fast pace. It’s mainly thanks to globalization. The ability to save money by moving jobs to a place where the labour is 1/10th the price benefits the poor rural Chinese person a bit, hurts the middle-class worker in Canada but greatly benefits the business owner capable of coordinating the global effort. That’s why those with wealth are outstripping those without. They’re the only ones with the ability to span the globe.

#58 acdel on 04.02.17 at 9:41 pm

#38 OKD

You’ve done well for yourself congrats but you are missing the message. We ( well most of us ) DO NOT want more from the government, we want less of them in our lives, pay a fair sum to keep this great country together but enough of the nick picking us to death with all these hidden taxes, user fees, etc while they get a great expense account and golden handshake pension on a account of us tax payers and really for what? The choices that they make and we are forced to pay for. They do not work harder then the average worker out there!!!

#59 I'm stupid on 04.02.17 at 9:45 pm

Hardly. Just disproving the meme that people with good incomes are all cheats. The problem is not that the government taxes too little, it spends too much. — Garth

I agree that the gov’t spends too much. To be fair every govt employee receives a living wage it’s just that there are too many govt employees. The private sector on the other hand doesn’t always pay a living wage.

The economy can’t run without the army of minimum wage employees. I don’t claim to know what the right solution is but I know it’s a problem. A city of Toronto employee makes at least double the minimum wage and they work no harder than a sandwich maker at subway. Most of these jobs should be occupied by students but in our service economy (manufacturing left Canada along time ago) the poor occupy them. It’s really sad to see a person in their 40s making minimum wage.

#60 BMC on 04.02.17 at 9:52 pm

The more they take, the more they regulate, the more they impede the spending of people and businesses.

In a country that garners significant revenue from federal and provincial goods and services taxes they seem to be caught in their own vicious circle

#61 Nemesis on 04.02.17 at 9:57 pm

“The problem is not that the government taxes too little, it spends too much.” — GartholomewVIII

#HistoricallySpeaking… #ThereArePrecedents…

[NoteToGT: Any resemblance to recent Liberal “cash-for-access” fundraisers is, naturally, purely co-incidental.]

#62 Trojan House on 04.02.17 at 9:58 pm

Again, this is nothing new. Virtually every government throughout history, when going broke, finds new ways to squeeze money out of its citizens.

Most revolutions are started based on government “stealing” from its people to pay off the huge debts they accumulate. Public pensions also play a big part of this problem.

Although here in Canada we’ve been indoctrinated to believe taxation is a great thing no matter how high it gets. I don’t see a revolution here for a long time, if ever because you know…

I like paying more than my fair share!

#63 NoName on 04.02.17 at 9:59 pm

#47 For those about to flop… on 04.02.17 at 8:42 pm

Guys like MF and myself are smart.

We keep our TFSA’s ticking along only marginally higher than GIC’s

No chance of getting audited…



You guys just wait, can get, hopefully not, lot worse than audit, as gov. get more and more desperate for new revenue sources it can mandate that, tfsa hold in portion (best case scenario) of balance in negative yields gov bonds, or worse full balance…

But on another hand good thing is that kanadians will able to go to work stoned, so wont bother them that much, because slanted semi is making killing.

Oh Canada…

#64 For those about to flop... on 04.02.17 at 9:59 pm

This one is not Pink Pollen yet ,but I will share it partly because of the large numbers involved and partly because this segment of the market has collapsed and it is more than likely to be featured again.

These guys were speculating when they forked out 5 m for this 84 build in May 2016.
It was assessed at a little over 3 m at the time and despite a dramatic rise in assessed value they still over paid by a vast amount.

They might be alright, but trying to sell a 33 y.o house for the best part of a million over the bloated 2016 assessment has got me thinking I will be revisiting this case when it is officially Pink Pollen.

Might be in the summer,when it will be Pink Lemonade…


4006 w 34th ave Vancouver

Jan 23:$5,680,000
Apr 1: $5,580,000
Change: – 100000.00 -2%

#65 Mrs Hubris on 04.02.17 at 10:07 pm

Add non-prime or alt-A (new and jolly terms for ‘sub-prime’) bundled bonds to taxes and Home Capital, and yesterday’s sunny post is up there with the three monkeys of the West Coast – and bank economists (but of course)… hear no…see no…speak no…..

“Banks are marketing what could be one of Canada’s first nonprime residential mortgage-backed securities deals since the global financial crisis.

National Bank of Canada has held discussions with investors about a bond backed by a pool of residential mortgages just below prime-credit quality, Derek Norton, MCAP Corp.’s chief executive officer, said. The so-called alt-A mortgages are originated by MCAP, one of Canada’s largest alternative mortgage-financing companies.

The deal comes amid concern that Canada’s housing market is in a bubble, driven by soaring prices particularly in Toronto and Vancouver. Although the country escaped the worst of the 2008 financial crisis, Canada’s non-bank short-term commercial paper market backed by residential mortgages collapsed in August 2007 amid the U.S. subprime meltdown.”

Also interesting to see the parallels drawn between Canadian and Chinese debt levels. I’m failing to see ‘sunny days’ as yet …..

“As we learned from Richard Vague in The Next Economic Disaster private sector debt is much more important in predicting a financial crisis than government debt. Two metrics make good predictors of a coming crisis — the absolute level of debt being greater than 150% of GDP and the pace of growth in the ratio of debt to GDP. Vague contends that a growth rate exceeding 18 percentage points in that ratio in five years is the trigger for a crisis. Those two conditions are easily met in China today, as they were in Canada and Australia recently also.”

But then again, there’s always marijuana….

#66 Smoking Man on 04.02.17 at 10:13 pm

Libralism is the illness of victimoligy. Turns you into a theif and criminal.

Once you tie the rope of the victim around your neck you will never make money less of cource you become a politician. Then it’s revenge time. Equality as they call it.

I’m in a bit of a predicament at the moment with cash flow. I’ve made some bad bets, said stupid shit on line, insured I’ll never work again in a sector I enjoyed.

But it’s my fault. No one else’s.

If I blamed others my chance for a rebound, zero. Seeing a new opportunity to take advance of would not exist. I would be to busy feeling sorry for myself making card board signs and looking for a place to protest.

That’s not me. I’m a adventure lover and risk taker, gambling man, on to the next thing.

54% tax is highway robbery. Dr tax comes. Exit stage left doing VBA which I enjoy.

Buy a general store somewhere in a small town.

Dr Smoking Man
PhD Herdonomics

#67 Herb on 04.02.17 at 10:15 pm

Having fought (and won) a three-year battle with CRA, I make so bold as to pass on some notes I wrote after the event on how to fight CRA.

Review and Objection Stages

1. Make sure that your case is “tenable or arguable” in Tax Court. You know the facts and evidence you could produce better than anyone.

2. Consider whether you need and can afford a tax lawyer. A tax lawyer will have the experience and expertise you lack, but he may cost you more than the amount at issue. Given common sense, enough personal time, internet access and hard work, you can do it by yourself.

3. Find and study court judgments in similar cases through the Canadian Legal Information Institute website – This step will show you the arguments presented, evidence used, statute and case law applied, and outcome in similar cases. Do this as soon as CRA disagrees with you at the audit stage to see if you would have a chance in court and should continue the fight.

4. Do not expect CRA to give up in Review or Audit, no matter what you submit. The auditor will maintain the CRA position, ignore case law, and may even ignore any errors of fact he has made. Expect a reassessment confirming the audit results.

5. If you still feel you have a case, file an Objection to this new reassessment. The CRA Appeals Officer assigned to review your objections also will maintain the position CRA has taken. However, any errors of fact made by the auditor will be corrected by the appeals officer if you point out the evidence. Case law still will not be considered by CRA.

6. Demand copies of all documents, working papers and third-party information used by CRA in the Review and Audit. This will indicate the evidence that CRA might use. If they have not used third parties, get them to say so. Also demand copies of the precedent cases CRA has relied on – if it has ignored case law, that will be a fact the court may not like. You are entitled to all of this information under P148(E) Rev. 14 – Objection and Appeal Rights Under the Income Tax Act. Be relentless – CRA is.

7. The Taxpayers Bill of Rights is not observed by CRA. Use it nevertheless to show your determination and document your attempts to straighten out the matter.

8. Appeal to the Taxpayers Ombudsman if you are not getting the information or results you feel entitled to. While the Ombudsman has no power to compel CRA to act, he will launch an inquiry that will ensure a higher level review of your case and its handling within CRA. At the least your Appeal to the Ombudsman will show that you mean business and document another attempt at resolution.

9. Keep copies of all correspondence, and make and keep notes of all meetings and telephone conversations with CRA.

10. Do not be surprised if your objections are ignored and the reassessment is confirmed. You now must pay up or file an Appeal to the Tax Court of Canada.

If there is interest, I can continue with how to prepare for the Appeal tomorrow.

#68 NS Guy on 04.02.17 at 10:20 pm

Bombardier, due to the public outcry, will postpone part of the compensation to its top 5 executives.

Two lessons to be learned:

1. Complaining and protesting sometimes pays off.

2. Justin, the Boy Wonder, approved the massive executive compensation increases with taxpayer money, with no strings attached. He pretends to favour the middle class, but he’s really just a sycophant of the 1%. Remember that during the next election. Are there any bi-elections coming up?

#69 Figure it out on 04.02.17 at 10:30 pm


I don’t want to imply that all the rich are all cheating. Life goes better for me when I assuming honest actions and intentions from most people, most of the time. I’m sure many, like me, pay their taxes honestly.

BUT about 8% of global financial assets are in tax havens. And certain global real estate markets, including parts of two in Canada, have effectively become part of that tax haven system. Even if most people aren’t cheating, if the few that are have a lot of money, that’s a lot of cheating on a dollar weighted basis.

A percentage (small, I hope) of the Canadian rich are avoiding a lot of tax, and Canadian real estate is in turn a haven for offshore money (some of it Canadian, in a roundabout way, no doubt).

Given that most Canadian government spending is on healthcare, education, pensions, anti poverty programs and infrastructure, and given how those are likely to grow given our demographics, I don’t see a lot of room to cut the fat without amputations in the coming decades.

Our choices are to shrink the welfare state, stanch tax leakage, or force ever more of the burden onto a beleaguered middle class and wealthy-but-onshore class. I don’t see much of an appetite for options 1 or 2 in current governments, and I didn’t see it in the former Harper government, either.

Finally, I think that the combination of the drumbeat of revelations about offshore cash and our Canadian money laundromat, coupled with the monied set’s constant complaint about tax levels is absolutely corrosive. People read it, and I suspect that the logical conclusion to “taxes are too high” + “many are cheating” + “the government wastes money and spends too much” is that many people rationalise their own cheating. I realise that *I* am part of the problem in this respect. But it leads to bad places, like Italy, or Greece. Beautiful, sunny first world places where everybody cheats and the government can’t keep the lights on.

You said the other day that we don’t tax assets, we tax income. That got me thinking. Because of course at most time in history, it was the assets that were taxed. The king didn’t want an accounting, he wanted you to provide 300 armed men. And you, in turn, expected so many bushels per acre from your peasants as tax. Income was too easy to cheat on, so assets were taxed.

Exports and imports were taxed because it was easy to tax at choke points.

And then we went through a brief experiment where income was taxed instead of capital. And you can see what’s happened. All manner of strategies to convert income to capital gains, to buy back shares rather than pay dividends, all manner of corporate finance to optimise capital structures and international corporate structures for tax considerations, and the list goes on. Just look at the tax rate differences between large American companies who do all their business in the US, and the global ones.

It isn’t inconceivable that governments will go back to taxing capital. You know what they say: When something can’t continue forever, it won’t.

#70 Managed TSFA on 04.02.17 at 10:33 pm

Garth, what if your TSFA is succesfully and entirely managed by yout financial advisor? Will I get penalized as well?

#71 T-Rev on 04.02.17 at 10:37 pm

This post couldn’t have been more timely…finished up at the accountant’s Friday. Learned a few things. Maybe by the time I’m 50 I’ll have learned enough to help my kids know better.

First, posted my first ever Capital Loss- $10,000 investment in a tech startup that after three years of struggle finally went bust in 2016. At the time I invested I knew it was risky, but figured any loss would be treated like the opposite of a gain- apply the 50% rule, and deduct it from income. Nope. A loss can only be offset against a capital gain. So that sucked. Guess I’ll need to pursue some non-registered investments in the next seven years so I’ve got something to offset against.

Second, accountant mentioned to me (not sure if she was embellishing) that in recent years, the average return has been $1,700. This year’s running average: $300. She echoed everything you mentioned above Gartho plus what I’m reading in the comments section. They are coming for your money.

What upsets me, and worries me, the most is how much this government is focussed on punishing risk, entrepreuneralism, and investment while rewarding conformity and safety. That only works until there’s no one left driving society forward, which won’t take long if industriousness is so heavily penalized. Good way to make your nation crumble. Glad there’s an election coming up in a few more years; problem is the CPC is adrift and without a captain anywhere on the ship.

Also, #26 I’m Not Poloz- Your nonsensical misogynist rants are wearisome. Are social justice warriors the unfortunate price we pay for a progressive society? Yep. They’re as bad, in the opposite way, as you. But feminism is not SJW. Get off the hate-train. You’re a terrible person and I still don’t like you. Your beliefs are hateful and frankly wrong. Maybe try some therapy? Maybe try interacting with some intelligent, capable women in everyday life? I dunno man, but I’m tired of your posts.

#72 NS Guy on 04.02.17 at 10:42 pm

China Wants Full Access To Canadian Economy

Be afraid, very afraid. Once the Boy Wonder and his limousine Liberals sign a “Free Trade” deal with China, our country will be nothing more than a colony of that country.

#73 Smoking Man on 04.02.17 at 10:43 pm

What I find extremely interesting. I got the CEOS of the big five banks on my linkedin.

They are synced up on trigger words.

Climate change

Now let’s look at how our kids have been educated in school. Those words re enforce good vibs with the kids. 3/4 of millenials would take a cut in pay to work for a socially responsible firm.

So they pump out the trigger words and the idiots line up for free internship and servatude. The kids know somewhere in there programed heads something wrong here. But don’t dare speak out for fear of the mob.

That’s the machine my bitches. It’s not an accedent. It’s planned and exicuted on a global scale with 20 or so years of planning.

Millenials, look in the mirror, love what you see and exploite your mind fd peers. There is no hope for them.

Million dollar bungees in Shlong Branch.

Rediculos. Never under estamate the power of communism. And those that teach it.

That’s why this Nictonite gave Trump the white house.

Entrupenurs so under rated in today’s world.

#74 Ace Goodheart on 04.02.17 at 11:30 pm

#68 NS Guy:

“2. Justin, the Boy Wonder, approved the massive executive compensation increases with taxpayer money, with no strings attached. He pretends to favour the middle class, but he’s really just a sycophant of the 1%. Remember that during the next election. Are there any bi-elections coming up?”

We are constantly being screwed, over and over again, by the “high ups” in our society, who favour each other and just shift the money back and forth between themselves, while taxing the rest of us back into the stone ages.

This is just a fact of life in a “country” (weird relative concept that only works in North America) where the folks on the land have gradually lost their rights due to “safety” concerns, dealing with a species (ie humans) who do not live forever.

What the major religions did to peeps back in the day, North American governments do now.

If you want to find the money, do the same thing that our ancestors did, follow the family ties. We are governed by the children of the wealthy.

What I do is I f*%k them back. I was not born wealthy. I left home at age 17 (got tired of being a punching bag and figured that things couldn’t possibly be worse). But what I learned was, the wealthy all have a principal flaw that you can use to get at them, and that is family ties.

So when you are being cleaned out by CRA and being taxed to death and you watch your tax money going to “friends and family”, do what I do. Invest. You know your government is run by the children of the wealthy. So figure out the family connections, and then put your money where you figure the government cash will flow. Nine times out of ten, you clean up. I make back more than I pay. Examine the family ties. That is the fatal flaw of these people, they cannot think outside of that box.

You and me, we fight to survive, we act according to what we can figure out and we don’t worry about whether we offend someone related to us, because they are all just strugglers like we are and there is no point. The wealthy are not like that. They won’t offend a family tie. They are religious about it. Figure out how things are set up and you can profit from that intelligence.

You need help. — Garth

#75 Contrarian Coyote on 04.02.17 at 11:48 pm

Re: the TFSA limits, have any of the CPC leadership candidates mentioned anything about increasing the limits if elected?

#76 I'm Not Poloz, RE: To T-Rev Feminist. on 04.02.17 at 11:48 pm

#71 T-Rev on 04.02.17 at 10:37 pm

Also, #26 I’m Not Poloz- Your nonsensical misogynist rants are wearisome. Are social justice warriors the unfortunate price we pay for a progressive society? Yep. They’re as bad, in the opposite way, as you. But feminism is not SJW. Get off the hate-train. You’re a terrible person and I still don’t like you. Your beliefs are hateful and frankly wrong. Maybe try some therapy? Maybe try interacting with some intelligent, capable women in everyday life? I dunno man, but I’m tired of your posts.

Poloz does not approve because feminist businesses always create a Loss.

You don’t have to read them you know, unless you’re advocating for censorship, which is an SJW theme.

Mamie Till was a Black woman who greatly benefited from feminist ideology in Jim Crow America (sarc. alert).

Feminism is SJW and racism combined. Unless pointing out racism is “misogynist” too.

What a ridiculous world we live in. There is the legalization of euthanasia for example, which some people can greatly benefit from that medical procedure for the good of society. Did your doctor every suggest such treatment?

Margaret Sanger was a feminist too. She opened Planned Parenthood because she wanted to exterminate the non-white population.

These are proven facts, not fake news. Feminist is an agenda, and Justin Trudeau is a Feminist who is a hypocrite because he axed the Transit Federal Tax Credit. Not every Canadian drives Tesla’s and teach at university or work as a Sunshine List bureaucrat.

#77 Self Directed on 04.02.17 at 11:55 pm

#64 flop
Sorry, I can’t relate to a 100k price drop on a 5 million dollar house. Chances are, the owners of that house would laugh if they found out we were blogging about their “inevitable” demise… even if they lose some of their initial investment…cuz they don’t care. They are millionaires.

If you can’t find pink snow in middle class housing, then face it, the market never crashed.

#78 Karl hungus on 04.03.17 at 12:14 am

Garth, I’m guessing this is worth a post on its own :

#79 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 04.03.17 at 12:41 am

Interesting interview article in one of Kelowna’s lifestyle rags. Al Stober is a VERY successful developer in the Valley with significant “Landmark” real estate holdings. In the interview Stober says one of his greatest regrets is not having bought more real estate.

Check it out on page 27 of the link below…

#80 Poly on 04.03.17 at 12:54 am

#67 Herb…

Thanks for write-up.

Looking forward to your post on the appeal

#81 Rd on 04.03.17 at 1:19 am


#82 NV Land lord on 04.03.17 at 1:37 am

I have been learning to invest and trade by using the TFSA account (sex and sizzle account as one friend calls it) as it’s supposedly, tax free. I figured I could use it to learn how trading works! So I’m up 5% then down 2%. Lots of trades… The banks should pay taxes on the income I’m giving them (the cost of each trade is exorbitant)

#83 Nicely Said #57 Frank on 04.03.17 at 1:47 am

And with that Globalization money comes the “Panama Papers” wealthy Tax Evaders and their detritus of Accounting, Banking and Legal Firms that fall over themselves to cater to them.

No tears shed here for the CRA going after scum like this [incl. the detritus enablers]; instead, I applaud it.


#10 Smoking Man, same here on the NOAs. Mercifully, I am 2-0-1 vs. CRA. All you need is some research skills on the Canadian Tax Code [and time] and they were not that hard to beat and Millennials, this was before the Internet was useful for such matters.


Tax evading scum aside, you have to wonder how Lord Selfie can justify such an extreme CRA tax shakedown and then turn around and pledge $650 million in funding for women’s sexual and reproductive health rights around the world to prove he is a feminist?

Sorry, but what a “Divine Right of Kings” horses ass [with my tax dollars, and not my consent].

#84 yupkime on 04.03.17 at 1:57 am

#64 flop
Apart from the fact that a $5 million dollar house only pays $10,000 annual property tax why hasn’t anyone proposed a property tax system like in California where it is set at time of purchase and rises by inflation factors every year after.

So long time home owners are relatively protected and new buyers pay an updated amount that reflects the current tax rate?

Google says …

Under California’s tax system, the assessed value of most property is based on its purchase price. Below, we describe the process county assessors use to determine the value of local “real property” (land, buildings, and other permanent structures). This is followed by an explanation of how assessors determine the value of “personal property” (property not affixed to land or structures, such as computers, boats, airplanes, and business equipment) and “state assessed property” (certain business properties that cross county boundaries).

Local Real Property Is Assessed at Acquisition Value and Adjusted Upward Each Year. The process that county assessors use to determine the value of real property was established by Proposition 13. Under this system, when real property is purchased, the county assessor assigns it an assessed value that is equal to its purchase price, or “acquisition value.” Each year thereafter, the property’s assessed value increases by 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. This process continues until the property is sold, at which point the county assessor again assigns it an assessed value equal to its most recent purchase price. In other words, a property’s assessed value resets to market value (what a willing buyer would pay for it) when it is sold. (As shown in Figure 2, voters have approved various constitutional amendments that exclude certain property transfers from triggering this reassessment.)

etc …

#85 The dude on 04.03.17 at 2:05 am

This seems very reasonable to me. If the TFSA is intended as a savings and investment platform designed to help people enter and stay in the middle class, then it’s obviously abusive to hide a business inside of it in order to avoid income taxes. That’s not what it’s for. It’s not a small business tax deduction or something, it’s a way for regular Canadians to have a little tax break on some saving and investing without needing a ton of upfront capital or having to hire a tax expert to help them find loopholes. The strict size limit is a feature, not a bug. It’s designed to ensure the tax break goes to those entering the middle class from the bottom, not those who hope to escape the middle class through the top.

IMO you’re really pushing the line on the whole avoidance vs evasion thing, Garth. Every day your anti-tax rants turn more extreme.

And worst of all, you seem to have a problem with any kind of enforcement whatsoever. If you value the rule of law you should lobby for changes in the law, not for weak enforcement.

#86 jane24 on 04.03.17 at 2:34 am

When I moved from Canada to England in 1992 I was very surprised at the different tax systems. The British one is so simple. The Canadian one so complex and obviously costly to run.

If you are an employee in GB the you never have to file a return ever. Your boss remits your tax due and that is it. System helped along with the fact there are no tax exemptions just a huge £11,000 or $18,000 basic personal exception for everyone. This takes the majority of the working population out of the tax return system. Simple and low cost. No tax consultants.

If like me you have other sources of income or RE properties let out then you do have to file but the return and system is again dead easy. A child could do it. It is 5 pages long, I just counted, and they require no supporting docs. I just did most of my 2016/17 tax return in about one hour.

Since Canada’s govt systems are so complex and their need for tax revenues now so extreme, I would worry about RSSP and TFSA accounts in that country as the govt knows what you have. It will indeed be hard in the future for the govt to keep its hands off it too.

#87 Tonyw on 04.03.17 at 3:14 am

Greetings from the UK this morning.
Actually the TFSA/ISA annual amount has just been increased to 20,000 GBP per individual which is around $34,000 CAD at current exchange rates. Not too shabby!

#88 BillyBob on 04.03.17 at 4:14 am

#51 Keith on 04.02.17 at 8:55 pm
@Garth #37

You and others in your income class could say thank you to the many Canadians whose entire pay check goes for taxes and consumption of goods and services in the local economy, creating local jobs and economic activity and profits for business owners. Mostly what I hear is I’m a super creative source of jobs, downtrodden by socialist ideals writ as public policy, tax me lighter again and again or I’ll leave this socialist paradise. If Canada sucks so bad, leave. Immigrants are beating down the doors and will happily pay the freight for a civilized society.


I try to keep my postings of gratitude for leaving Canada to a minimum, as no one likes to hear others gloat. But posts like this one are too tempting to ignore.

Many of us HAVE left, Keith. Canada is small potatoes on the world stage. And we are amused by your rantings. I think every socialist who ever went before you has said variations of the same thing. It’s the fatal flaw of such systems: confusing equality of opportunity with equality of outcome. Sorry, but everyone is NOT equal.

If you think the main source of desperation for immigrants to come to Canada is because they’re eager to help pay for a “civilized society”, you’re delusional. Ultimately, people act in their own self-interest, period. Immigrants are eager to come to Canada because they hope to improve their own situation, not that of others. And there’s nothing wrong with that, all immigrants hope for a better life – after all, if it was so great where they were, why did they leave?

It’s the same reason some, like myself, are going in the other direction, as well. And if the wealthy haven’t physically left, much of their wealth quietly has. The harder the government tries to squeeze, the more slips through their fingers.

When those who leave take their wealth with them, and those who arrive have little, eventually you will have a problem. Like perhaps, the government takes in less than it spends.

Is that happening yet?

Canada is racing from socialist tendencies, to plain vanilla communism. Tired, failed policies long-discredited in places with actual history longer than the eye-blink of 150 years. The Canadian immigrants who fled these systems are dying off, to be replaced by younger generations who embrace them. Eventually, they will learn, to their sorrow, that attempting to make everyone “equal” is impossible, there will be revolt, and the cycle will begin again.

It’s always the same.

#89 Canadian Progressive Conservatives on 04.03.17 at 5:07 am

People keep saying “Progressive Conservatives”, as though they forgot that Harper injected a dose of religious right into the party when Mulroney and Campbell sailed the ship into the ground.

The federal PCs have been gone for over 20 years now.

Now it’s a party who cares more about regurgitating U.S. touchy-feely rhetoric about small government, crapping on science and environment stewardship, expanding military spending and telling people what they should do in their bedrooms.

For those in Toronto who want to remember PC rule… among other things, they cancelled the Toronto subway expansion and leased out the 407 for 99 years. …and O’Leary is consulting with Harris on federal conservative leadership… Ugh. I had hope for him.

Why can’t we get any good leaders in Canada?

#90 Lithium is the next oil on 04.03.17 at 5:43 am

The principle of prudent investor is being applied to the TFSA which means that you should not invest in speculative stocks. This works for a Trust however a person should be allowed the right to chose their risk tolerance as the only person they could end up hurting is themselves. Now, a couple of speculative stocks I have invested in is Nemaska and Nano One Materials. Both of these companies were penny stocks but are on the road to prosperous companies. The government has invested Millions into these companies. Are we to assume the government is not being prudent with our tax dollars? No, as they have done their due diligence and have made their investment decision based on facts as I did. Their investment decision also influenced my decision and I am happy to earn a 200% return.

#91 Pepito on 04.03.17 at 6:37 am

#67 Herb on 04.02.17 at 10:15 pm
Having fought (and won) a three-year battle with CRA, I make so bold as to pass on some notes I wrote after the event on how to fight CRA.

Yes, please do post your outline of how you prepared for the appeal, Herb. Your post is most interesting and gives hope that it is possible to fight the CRA, and win.

#92 Sam on 04.03.17 at 6:55 am

HERB @ 67,
thank you for sharing, I hope to never need it (I am a simpleton on this board), would be interesting to read the second half

#93 A Reply to #7 leebow on 04.03.17 at 7:34 am

Do we now have three economystics in our midst? Isn’t economysticism unlawful, or is it just awful?

We opened up neoclassical economics by just a hair to let in behavioural economics, and now look what’s happened!

#94 unbalanced on 04.03.17 at 7:44 am

A very interesting read. Thank you. The majority of people are just trying to get and stay ahead in life. No matter if you have your money in RRSP,RIFF, TFSA or whatever. Be successful and watch your OAS be clawed back. Bailout Bombardier. Give bonuses to CEO’s. I keep telling myself what a wonderful place I live in. I wonder what Mulroney and the Bronfmans think about all this tinkering? Oh yea! It wasn’t applied when they were around.

#95 Another Deckchair on 04.03.17 at 7:58 am

#87 BillyBob;

Well written.

If people would open their eyes, they would see that we are NOT all equal.

Those who have strengths in areas that the world needs will do well.

Those who don’t will complain that the system is not fair, and that we should re-distribute everything to make it fair.

I saw the destruction first-hand of what happens when the “re-distribute” people took over an organization; these people had NO CLUE about what really went on, and, naturally, those who actually had real skills have moved to different venues, and are thriving, while the old organization is a shell with beautiful furniture now, but no substance.

#96 A Reply to #50 Debtslavecreator on 04.03.17 at 8:04 am

You wrote, “Do not use tax prepar[ation] services such as H&R Block. Use only a good CPA and be very conservative. Do not mess with them.”

Haven’t you heard? H&R Block has teamed up with IBM Watson. (Interesting.)

#97 TurnerNation on 04.03.17 at 8:13 am

Confiscations (via taxation)of TSFAs – if you make “too much” money for Kanada. Our elite have better ways, see: BBD.B

Down with the bourgeois. Report any rich looking people to your block captain at once, Komrade. They must be hoarding wealth. Pay your share!

#98 Mr Happy on 04.03.17 at 8:18 am

#27 Tim on 04.02.17 at 7:08 pm
MoneySense magazine has an amusing article on the largest TFSAs they could find.

The largest was over $1 million over two accounts, held by a Kelowna, B.C. couple that invested in in a single penny stock when the company was about to go bankrupt, and it then recovered.

Ya, but the couple said they were going to hold that stock long term…it is down to a dollar from a high of 6 bucks! That million is gone…

Bulls and Bears make money….but pigs get slaughtered!

#99 jess on 04.03.17 at 8:24 am

Credit Suisse embroiled in major global tax evasion probe (31 Mar 2017)
UK raids as Dutch prosecutors launch tax evasion investigation (31 Mar 2017)
Dutch raids target ‘tax evaders’ in Europe and Australia
in 2014 pleaded guilty and was fined $2.6 billion by U.S. authorities over charges it helped wealthy Americans evade taxes. It has also settled tax dodging cases in Italy and Germany.

“We have also implemented the Dutch and French voluntary tax disclosure programs and exited non-compliant clients. In addition, Credit Suisse has implemented the Automated Exchange of Information for its European locations (starting in April 2017). The same will apply for European individual clients served from Switzerland from 2018.”

The real estate market has long provided a way for individuals to secretly launder or invest stolen money and other illicitly gained funds… The countries analysed in this study – Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States – have committed in different forums, such as through the FATF and the Group of 20 (G20), to do more to prevent and curb money laundering and terrorist-financing, including by regulating gatekeepers, such as real estate agents, lawyers and accountants, who may act as facilitators in transactions that can enable money laundering.

This report identifies the main problems related to real estate and money laundering in these four countries and finds that, despite international commitments, current rules and practices are inadequate to mitigate the risks and detect

#100 TurnerNation on 04.03.17 at 8:31 am

^ That’s TFSA…I have one.

Are homes an ‘economic weapon’ (I see debtsavecreators’ post above too).

A million dollar hit to your pocket book for a family to live. Check out this 1960s interior – they should leave basement untouched – a retro shrine!

#101 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.03.17 at 8:33 am

@#20 Land of Infants
“From what I can tell every Canadian under the age of 30 just want arrogant greedy boomers to die already….”

So that you can inheirit their money and postpone reality in the big bad world……..take another “humanities” course at university…that’ll help. Sigh.
Sorry, but I’m donating all my cash for scholarships to the CRA school of Audit to help create legions of “new Canadians” that hate the lazy , priviledged “old canadian” that dont know how good they actually have it…..
Boomer revenge from the grave…………no need to thank me and I’ll let myself out.

#102 leebow on 04.03.17 at 8:35 am

#93 A Reply to #7 leebow

I am a mere student not deserving the high title of an Economystic. Just standing on the shoulders of giants. The great theoretician – Economystic himself.

But what is theory without practice? Useless.

Nothing would be possible without of the two great practitioners – Justin Trudeau and Bill Morneau. Right at this moment they are sitting at their desks in Ottawa. Thinking about the precise science of Economystics, you and your money.

#103 Rosie D on 04.03.17 at 8:56 am

To #67 Herb on 04.02.17 at 10:15 pm

I am interested to know your process how you went in Appeal.
Thanks for your help and clear explanations.

#104 suburban coyote and pup on 04.03.17 at 9:00 am

herb 67.. yes please it would be really informative if you could share your story and the appeal process, sounds like a David and Goliath undertaking.


#105 Victor V on 04.03.17 at 9:06 am

Toronto home bidding wars so fierce that homebuyers are skipping inspections

#106 neo on 04.03.17 at 9:16 am

Hmmmmm. According to, looking at the average, median and HPI price graphs for cities across the GTA. Milton was the first to start rolling over March 2nd. The rest of the GTA started rolling over March 21st. Time will tell if this is a pause or the top.

#107 Londoner on 04.03.17 at 9:18 am

“at $5,500 it’s become pathetic compared to the $25,000 UK taxpayers can invest in a similar account annually”

Glad you finally mentioned it but, in a few days, the 2017-18 limit will increase to £20k, which is more like $33k CAD.

Yes, I am aware of the looming increase. Just didn’t want to drive readers insane. — Garth

#108 Tony on 04.03.17 at 9:41 am

Re: #106 neo on 04.03.17 at 9:16 am

We’ll know soon in the Ontario budget speech. If they put part of the onus on the banks like in most other countries that would break the real estate market in the GTA. The other would be a foreigners’ tax but it would have a lesser effect than it did in Vancouver. A third way but not likely would be to cap the builders increases in prices for new homes. Free educational literature for the public on how ponzi’s work and end would also help.

#109 traderJim on 04.03.17 at 10:06 am

When I was in the financial advice world I had a client with an $18 million RRSP.

He was himself in the financial world of course.

Still, very hard to see how he managed it. Well, that was the era of Bre-X etc., so I guess if you were close to the game you could win big in penny stocks, which he had done and cashed out.

#110 traderJim on 04.03.17 at 10:14 am

I am always early, I buy too early, sell too early, call for crashes too early.

Pretty sure I am also early (but correct) in going on strike.

All of the productive class going on strike is the only way that governments will ever get away from tax and spend. The system is just ‘designed’ for it and there is no way to stop it except to de-fund it.

I mean, half the comments on this blog complain that not enough taxes are paid.

Of course, the complainers always think someone else is not paying enough, but the sentiment is still there that the more taxes there are, the better things will be.

Six decades of proof to the opposite doesn’t seem to mean anything to these people.

So I am now going to the dark side and hoping for the minimum income scam.

Come on, send me a check for doing nothing! I deserve it, I swear.

#111 crossbordershopper on 04.03.17 at 10:18 am

simple stay poor, stay canadian, you dont have to work t hard to do that.
i love socialism, i do nothing and money arrives, street that are clean, coffee with friends this morning as the hard working people go to work every day.
dont worry, the goverment lets you play with your money for a while till we pressure the goverment to give it to us.
simple as that. spending time in florida

#112 CL on 04.03.17 at 10:21 am

This should be an “A-HA” moment for everyone, including Garth, who has just discovered by this post what a TFSA really is, and always was meant to be which is to capitalize the banks.

No shocker that if you’ve made over $1 tax free dollar in the account the government will be all over it to discourage it. People with just a little financial know how will just throw in the towel and close the useless account. The rest of the illiterates will keep it afloat with their “savings”.

The Canadian government help it’s citizens? really? why start now.

#113 Raging Ranter on 04.03.17 at 10:27 am

This isn’t about a crackdown on the inappropriate use of the TFSA. This is about setting the table to eliminate the TFSA.

Here’s what’s going to happen: The CRA will conduct so many TFSA audits, fight so many court cases, and create so much frustration on the part of TFSA account holders, making an absolute mess of so many Canadians’ investment strategies and finances in the process, that the Liberals will have the excuse they need to eliminate the TFSA entirely.

Picture Trudeau with his most earnest face (i.e. not his selfie face, the one he adopts when he’s pretending to say something important):

It is now clear that the TFSA has become a major source of frustration and confusion for the Canadian taxpayers. Thousands of Canadians have ended up getting audited, with some winding up in court, due to the confusion surrounding this poorly designed savings vehicle. Worse, the evidence shows that the vast majority of tax savings resulting from the TFSA flow to the very richest Canadians. Canadians have made it clear they do not want this frustration to continue. We have therefore decided to eliminate this unfair, overly-complicated and ill-conceived tax shelter.

He’ll throw in some kind of sop, like increasing RRSP contribution limit from 18% to 18.5%, or some equally inconsequential offering to placate some of his softer supporters (his rabid supporters will need no placating, they’ll be too busy cheering), but the TFSA will be gone. Don’t believe me? Stick around a couple more years. He’s done nothing but attack the TFSA since he got in. And it hasn’t hurt him politically. Why on earth would he stop now?

#114 Red Knave on 04.03.17 at 11:12 am

@Herb #67
Yes, please share the rest of your story.

#115 Herb on 04.03.17 at 11:21 am

Continuing yesterday’s “How to Fight CRA” at #67, the Appeal to the Tax Court of Canada stage –

11. You must observe all deadlines, steps and forms required under the rules and procedures specified on the TCC website. You and CRA – now represented by lawyers of the Tax Litigation Section of the Department of Justice – are dealing with a court, and bone-headedness and bull-headedness, either by CRA or by you, will not work here. Although the judge may be sympathetic to your self-representation, his hands are tied by the applicable law and the facts and evidence before him. Missing a deadline or procedural requirement may result in a finding against you.

12. Prepare the Appeal carefully. Be realistic in what you allege and can prove. Include all the arguments you have, refer to the applicable sections of the Income Tax Act and the precedent cases that support you. Cast a wide net without being irrelevant: cite any CRA publication that backs your position, challenge the meaning of language used by CRA, point out any mistakes CRA has made, as well as your attempts to resolve the disagreement.

13. The Respondent (Dept of Justice) will file a Reply to your Appeal. Expect this to reject the points you have made and to demand proof in court for everything.

14. File an Answer to the Reply if the latter has any inconsistencies or other vulnerable points.

15. Be aware that the Appeal, Reply and Answer will be read by the court to prepare for the case. Give them the attention and care they deserve.

16. You are now in a legal minuet with Justice starting, with the exchange of Lists of Documents you and they have that pertain to the case. This will be followed by Examination for Discovery to clarify facts and the evidence. Consider a written examination on your part since it is cheaper, demonstrates your willingness to keep costs down, may cast weaknesses or inconsistencies in CRA’s case in concrete, and will buy you more time, as well as the chance to pose Further Questions.

17. You now have the chance to examine each other’s documents on the Lists and see the potential evidence. You will see whether Justice has you dead to rights. In any case, this will prevent “trial by ambush” in which previously unknown evidence is sprung on you.

18. The court will ask you and Justice for a status report and an indication of when you would be ready for trial. After consulting each other, you and Justice jointly will advise the court, which will set a Hearing date. You now have a deadline to get your ducks lined up.

19. There is the possibility of Motions and Pre-trial Conferences that you or Justice might use if they promise an advantage. Do not abuse the court’s time or procedures unless you must to pry information out of Justice.

20. The court has an interest in settling the case without the cost and effort of a hearing (and written judgment!). At some time, you and Justice must explore the possibility of a compromise and a settlement out of court.

21. If you and Justice cannot reach agreement, you must proceed to a hearing and prepare for it in accordance with the Informal or General procedure applicable to the amount at issue in your case. This will be a full-blown trial with evidence and witnesses if necessary. If you have a good case, arguable legal points and well-documented evidence, you may be able to avoid this.

22. In my case (General Procedure), Justice caved the week before our hearing date, inviting me down for a meeting that I had been requesting for months. They opened with “We don’t want to go to Court”, proposed that we settle, then prodded me with some detailed questions. I had brought a 3-inch binder clearly labelled “Appellant’s Documents in Evidence” with me, and showed them a couple of items to support my replies to their questions. Finally, they asked for any concession I might be prepared to make, accepted the bone I offered them, and proposed a settlement that gave me more than any judge strictly applying the Income Tax Act would have. I had a good case, had evidence to back it up, had done my legal research, and even could have pointed out a few things that neither the CRA nor Justice would have been eager to have aired before a judge. I also took the trouble to attend a hearing of another case a few weeks before my hearing date to see what actually happens in the Tax Court of Canada.

#116 Keith on 04.03.17 at 11:34 am

@#88 BillyBob

For a long time, if you are motivated solely by money you will leave Canada. Nothing new in that. The wealthiest Canadians have names like Irving and Weston and they were the pioneer superrich. Pretty tough to get in that class today in Canada.

People don’t always act in their own self interest, that rational economic actor argument is bunk. Being attractive to wealthy/capital is a mugs game where you are a sellout economy that joins in a race to the bottom. Sound familiar?

We used to get good union jobs in extraction and processing in exchange for selling out our natural resources. Capital, technology and globalization have put paid to many of those jobs, and in a few decades they will be gone. The service sector that replaced them is a low wage ghetto – that is the challenge. It’s not taxation that hurts most Canadians, it’s forty years of frozen household income with two income earners now in the workforce.

The wealthy have rarely had it better in Canada, the 1% in B.C. is up a cool 39k this century – in provincial income tax cuts alone. If that’s not good enough, then leave.

Canada only has 40 million people out of 7 billion on the planet. The fear mongering of the wealthy will leave, the best and brightest will leave, the creators will leave, big whoop. Plenty to take their place in a global economy.

Heading towards communism, what a joke – name me a major private business confiscated by legislation by a Canadian government in the last forty years. Taxation and regulation do not equal communism.

#117 traderJim on 04.03.17 at 11:47 am

Even the vehemently anti-Trump Bloomberg News has to admit it looks bad for Obama’s top advisor Rice to be asking for Trump associates to be ‘unmasked’.

But I’m sure she did this fascist surveillance totally on her own without Obama knowing a thing.

#118 all over the map on 04.03.17 at 11:49 am

This government is all over the map. Has no clue how to run the country except to make ‘hip’ announcements and pursue the taxation of everything under the sun only so that the bloated apparatschick in every Province and in Ottawa can be supported.

Well, the truth is that .gov salaries and public incomes in Canada are higher than anywhere and their benefits are unsustainable.

Private sector works their collective asses of, doesn’t afford to take much time off if any and gets shafted and harassed by the .gov sector every which way they turn.

What is this “great country” this and “great country” that talk all about.

Unless you are not on the public payroll in this country, you are a 2nd class citizen and your life expectancy is lower by default.

How “great” is that?

#119 NoName on 04.03.17 at 11:59 am

I knew all this, but every once in a while I wonder, when I buy something from Amazon is it because I got small reminder form Bozos, or because I made consius desition…

And Jeff Bezos of Amazon, in a letter to shareholders in April 2015, declared that Amazon sellers have a significant business advantage because “through our Selling Coach program, we generate a steady stream of automated machine-learned ‘nudges’ (more than 70 million in a typical week).” It is hard to imagine that these 70 million nudges leave Amazon customers with the full freedom to reverse, after conscious reflection, the direction in which they are being nudged.

#120 Some questons for Herb on 04.03.17 at 12:02 pm

Thanks Herb.

Some questions if you don’t mind answering:
1) Was it worth it? I.e. your time spent + winnings you got to keep vs. paying it to the CRA right away?
2) Did your ‘trouble’ start with a huge win followed by the CRA audit?
3) What did you trade – penny stocks, options, or something else?
4) How many trades did you do?
5) Were you able to use your legal win going forward as a CRA deterrent so to speak?
6) What would’ve been tax lawyer cost (estimate) had you employed one?
7) Last but not least, do you happen to know criteria that trigger CRA TFSA audit?

Feel free to add anything that can help us follow rules. Thanks in advance for your answers.

#121 Your Conscience on 04.03.17 at 12:08 pm

I’m not sure that I want a forgiving and friendly CRA. A tax system with a lax enforcement regime that allows for rampant abuse seems like a bigger problem than upsetting some folks who are using their personal TFSA in a way that -looks- like an abuse of the system.

#122 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.03.17 at 12:11 pm

@#115 Herb
Well done.
Chalk one up for the “little guy”.

#123 Iron Mike on 04.03.17 at 12:14 pm

Keith: what do you mean by this: …and if any of your earnings are taxed at 54% after employing the legal tax avoidance afforded to high earning Canadians…

I am genuinely curious.

#124 good news on 04.03.17 at 12:17 pm

I just maxxed out my TFSA today.

Full $52,000 contribution limit reached.


in other words.. never paying TAX on the savings and the appreciation of such savings.

annually 2%, 8%, 16%, 32% … there is NO LIMIT

there are no rules on when the withdrawal from said account has to be declared as income.

T2 can SUCK IT!

His predecessor had our best interest at heart and he protected the banks balance sheets in the process.

#125 Old Dog on 04.03.17 at 12:24 pm

A few facts:
The top 10% of Canadian earners pay 54% of federal and provincial tax.
Canada’s top personal income tax rate is sixth highest among 34 industrialized countries and second highest among G7 countries, behind only France.
So lets bad mouth and chase all these people out of Canada, shall we. Some of the people that blog here just seem so clueless.

#126 Victor V on 04.03.17 at 12:41 pm

This madness can end. Don’t vote Liberal in the next election and odds of keeping and growing your TFSA will go up.

#127 John Smith on 04.03.17 at 1:15 pm

“Anyone with too much money in their TFSA.”

Garth, can you provide a reference to the CRA bulletin or the news article which itemizes these bullet points you referenced, including this line above?

“and has recently been flipped into overdrive.”

And can you provide a reference to a news article or CRA bulletin for the dramatic increase, per this quote above also. Thanks.

Not your librarian. — Garth

#128 jess on 04.03.17 at 2:01 pm

She built a £35m empire on a £100 loan – but now Karen Millen’s gone bust after a £6m tax dodge.

“If she’d paid the tax she owed at the time, she wouldn’t have been in this mess,’ says chartered accountant and political economist Richard Murphy. ‘It’s just greed that makes the wealthy invest in these schemes, then it comes back to haunt them. I’ve got no sympathy. Where is the rest of her money? Has she spent it?’

Read more:

#129 jess on 04.03.17 at 2:29 pm

subway bombings in russia,-50-hurt?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP

#130 Eks dee Sipal on 04.03.17 at 2:40 pm

Keith, thanks for the refreshingly balanced commentary. Garth, you’ve got to let go of the extreme political ideology sometimes. And this is coming from me. – XD

#131 jess on 04.03.17 at 2:55 pm

Ryerson University’s president has apologized for a student film that took a critical look at the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario.

As Niagara Falls [2017] – Short Documentary

#132 Bobby on 04.03.17 at 3:31 pm

An interesting read. I have had my own issues with CRA. I always file my taxes with a leading national accounting yet one year they came calling saying they had a supposed ruling and I owed them lots of money.
What I encountered was mindnumbing incompetence, blatant lies and they seemed to make up the rules as they went along. What they hope is that you will be intimidated and pay. Google W5 and their special on CRA from a number of years ago. Their aggressive tactics have ruined marriages and had a profound impact on people’s health, for no good reason.
In the end, after filing a formal complaint they backed away and haven’t bothered me since. Since that episode I had, I don’t hesitate to file a complaint now, always ask to speak to a supervisor and now find the level of service much improved. They hate to be held to account.
I would be the first to support a formal inquiry into CRA. Many in that organization should be fired.

#133 leebow on 04.03.17 at 3:57 pm

#131 jess

It’s not as bad as they show. Not very good, but not that bad either.

The whole region is screwed. For Niagara Falls specifically, it is a combination of crookery, being stuck between jurisdictions (Niagara Parks, municipalities) and losers, both private and elected.

Clifton Hill is an absolute 100% kitsch in dire need of revitalizing fire. A perfect example of market failure.

But there is a good chance that things will improve.

#134 Capital Changes on 04.03.17 at 4:11 pm

Nothing to look at here people. No tangible influence of foreign capital on the market or anything.

Look – theres a squirrel!

Lets just focus on rates and supply and CMHC and financial literacy for the young and increased down payments and tighter lending criteria…. :)


‘A Chinese property tycoon linked to a massive banking scandal in China’s industrial north is at the centre of more than $500 million in B.C. property deals, a joint investigation by Postmedia and global due diligence firm IPSA International shows.’

#135 Herb on 04.03.17 at 4:14 pm

#120 Some questions for yours truly,

1) “Was it worth it?” I asked myself that many times while doing it. CRA was not my hobby before I started, but it turned into that for the duration. We were fighting over about $30,000 due, which I paid before going into the Appeal to TCC, then got back with interest after the settlement was approved by the court. Not letting CRA get away with incompetence, insouciance and deliberate ignorance provided good motivation, so from that point of view, it really was worth it. I also learned a lot.

2) to 4) inclusive. Stocks were not involved. The issue was a major renovation of a rental property, and whether the expenses were on current account (my approach) or capital (CRA’s opinion). There is a whole body of case law, much of which was not to CRA’s liking and therefore just ignored. I studied something like 120 cases and listed the key items and cases in my objection, but CRA carried on without as much as a nod.

5) CRA hasn’t bothered with me since, but I expect they will again at some point (especially after reading my comments about them.) I keep documentation at the ready and my tax returns on the level, so they’re welcome to try again.

6) A tax lawyer would have cost $450/hr and would have taken about 100 hours – without any guarantee of success. That’s why I was my own lawyer (accepting the possibility that I had a fool for a client.)

7) What triggered my case was that the income tax return reviewed was a significant outlier. I expected that, so had my documentation ready. What I was not ready for was that CRA was not prepared to listen to reason. Live and learn.

#136 Barb on 04.03.17 at 4:35 pm

To Herb re explanation:
Congrats on your well-researched and superbly-defended “charge” at CRA. That’s a fine stallion you rode into battle.
And thank you.

#137 Smoking Man on 04.03.17 at 4:50 pm

#2 Original dave on 04.02.17 at 3:32 pm
Alright smoking man, you’ve been quite good. You say your place will go up another $400k but in 2018 it’s all over. How sour do things get in 2018 and beyond (in your opinion)

Once prices hit. I’m crazy not to sell and retire somewhere warm. Listings will explode. The buyers will smell blood. And wait, then some discounting from sellers. Many sellers will refuse to sell at a discount and pull listings. Right around when Poloz starts tightening in 2018.

The market will start a slow decline and prices will end up about were they are today.

Now T2 and company or the ontario budget might change that trajectory. Who knows. But I can’t see anything drastic from ontario with an election next year were they are as popular as a great white shark is to a surfer.

Problem is Toronto is booming with jobs and everyone is comming here for work. No supply.

#138 Victor V on 04.03.17 at 5:03 pm

New survey shows Canadians turning part of their homes into Airbnb units to cover their mortgage

#139 genbizx on 04.03.17 at 5:05 pm

@keith #51

and become some of the biggest tax cheaters…i see it in my hood…

#140 Keith on 04.03.17 at 5:52 pm

@#123. Whining about high tax rates is the very definition of a first world problem. Whining about tax rates in a country like Canada where income and wealth inequality are growing at unprecedented, comes across as well, really vicious whining.

When someone like Garth states in writing “I hand over
54% of my earnings” I get annoyed. No one in Canada pays 54% of their earnings in income tax. Some people pay 54% on the next dollar they earn, because they are taxed at the top MARGINAL rate. It’s annoying because there are a lot of Canadians who believe that if you earn $100,000, you pay 54,000 in tax. You know, those people who say I don’t want to work overtime because I’ll be pushed into a higher tax bracket.

Studies show that the vast majority of people in Canada pay about 1/3 of their income in taxes. Lower earners pay less in income taxes, but get smoked on fees. Higher earners will employ legal avoidance schemes to reduce the tax paid.

I have no doubt that Garth employs a professional accountant if not a tax lawyer to deal with his business affairs. If he is earning enough money to have income eligible to be taxed at 54%, he is a very high income earner.

As I said earlier, in B.C. provincial income tax cuts alone this century amount to $39,0000 for a 1% income earner. Add in federal income tax cuts from the Harper government, I’m sure he was pretty generous as well. The tax cuts alone would add up to the after tax income of a median wage earner in this province. Not bad.

#141 Bezengy on 04.03.17 at 6:23 pm

Been there, done that. I fought the law and, well, you know who won. What really pissed me off is how your appeal goes into a black hole, no one to argue or debate with, just a letter that eventually comes in the mail 18 months later. So belittling. Anyway, I moved on, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice….you know how this one ends too!

#142 Alice on 04.03.17 at 6:38 pm

“Knowledge of securities markets, as a banker, financial advisor, accountant or someone who’s completed related professional courses”

How is that a sign that you need an audit? Banking is one of our countries largest industries. Out of curiosity, you ever been audited Garth?

#143 Too bad it wasn't TFSA trading on 04.03.17 at 9:56 pm

Thanks Herb. I was hoping, as most likely other people were too, that your victory was in the trading area, but sharing your story is appreciated nonetheless. Anyone knows of some TFSA-trading legal cases that won?

#144 Iron Mike on 04.04.17 at 12:31 pm

Keith I am still curious to know how you arrived at this statement: Higher earners will employ legal avoidance schemes to reduce the tax paid.

Like what?

#145 Dups on 04.04.17 at 12:46 pm

The 1% in Canada works for the Gov. Great, keep it up!

#146 Armando on 04.04.17 at 11:25 pm

My God! A beautiful country with ample natural resources, yet run by a Marxist psycho! Reminds of Venezuela, but with much more courteous citizens.