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   DID YOU KNOW...

   ENERGY COSTS
On October 6, 2005 - 2005-066 - The Department of Finance introduced Federal measures to offset higher energy costs including payment of $250 to families entitled to receive the National Child Benefit in January, 2006; $250 to senior couples where both spouses are entitled to receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) in January, 2006; and $125 to single seniors entitled to receive the GIS in January, 2006.

A person must have filed a 2004 income tax return before they qualify for the Energy Cost Benefit. Also, if you have never applied for the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB), you must complete the CCTB application (RC66) to register your children.

For more information call 1-800- OCANADA.

 
   Editorís Comment
The Alberta Resource Rebate of $400 will be paid to every Albertan 18 years of age or over at December 31, 2005.

Children under age 18 get the rebate via the primary caregiver listed for the Canada Child Tax Benefit.

The 2004 Personal Tax Return must be filed by December 31, 2006.


   NATURAL RESOURCES CANADA
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will provide assistance through the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP). Single, row and semi-detached housing may be eligible for financial assistance of between $3,500 and $5,000 for energy retrofits such as draft-proofing, heating system upgrades and window replacements if the house was built prior to 1980.

To qualify, the household must meet certain household income requirements. For example, a four-person household with two children residing in Hamilton with a household income of $44,500 or less would be eligible for assistance. The same household would have to earn $34,000 or less if they resided in Kamloops because of the lower cost of housing in that market.

Funding will also be provided for multiple- unit buildings and rooming houses of between $1,000 and $1,500 per unit.

The program will be available in January, 2006.

For details contact Grace Thrasher, CMHC, 1-613-748-2375 or see Energy Efficiency Incentives for Homes and Buildings


   SALE TO U.S. PURCHASER

Where a Canadian individual is about to sell shares of a Canadian corporation to a U.S. person, if the corporation is converted to an Unlimited Liability Corporation (ULC) before the sale, the sale may be viewed as an asset acquisition for U.S. purposes even though it is a share sale for Canadian purposes. Therefore, the U.S. purchaser would receive flow-through advantages while the Canadian vendor would still be eligible for capital gains treatment.

Alberta and Nova Scotia Corporation Acts currently provide for ULCs. We understand that other provinces (including British Columbia and Ontario) are considering similar legislation.

Caution: Specialized expertise is needed.

   GUARANTEED INCOME SUPPLEMENTS

In the past, over 200,000 elderly taxpayers missed out on claiming approximately $300 million in Supplemental Old Age Security benefits because they have not applied for them. This information comes from Statistics Canada.

Since 2002, Social Development Canada has been using tax returns to identify and contact persons who may have not claimed the low-income supplement, even though they qualify.

First-time applicants and those wishing to be reconsidered after losing eligibility and those not filing a tax return must submit an application directly to Social Development Canada.

   CAREGIVERS
The Federal Government mentioned that it will be announcing the expansion of the Employment Insurance (EI) program for caregivers of dying persons.

Currently, persons caring for dying persons must be a direct kin, such as a spouse, child or parent to qualify for EI payments.

   CHILD SUPPORT - THE 40% RULE
In a November 10, 2005 Supreme Court case, the Court ruled that a divorced father cannot automatically reduce his child support if he spends greater than 40% of the time with his child.

In this case, the Supreme Court noted that increased time spent with the child does not necessarily mean that there has to be lower child support payments.

   ARREARS
In a November 1, 2005 Tax Court of Canada case, the taxpayer was in arrears on spousal and child support and made a lump-sum payment of $25,000 which released him from any past and future obligations arising from the arrears.

   Taxpayer Loses
The Court found that this was a capital payment in settlement of all amounts payable. It is not deductible to the payor.

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