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US tax changes

As most readers know, Canada’s system of taxation is one that will tax based upon residency. To the extent that you are a resident of Canada, you will generally pay Canadian income tax on your worldwide sources of income. To the extent that you are a non-resident of Canada, only certain types of income (such as Canadian source income or dispositions of taxable Canadian property) will be subject to Canadian income tax. Most of the countries in the world have a similar system of taxation as that in Canada where the primary tax basis is that of residency.

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Small change to the eligible dividend rules

On July 14, 2008, The Department of Finance released a package of proposals to amend the Income Tax Act for various measures. Included in the package was a small amendment that proposes to tinker with the eligible dividend rules.

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Capital gains vs. income

One of the more common income tax matters that Moodys LLP Tax Advisors advises on is whether or not a disposition (or a proposed disposition) of property will result in a capital gain (half of which is taxable), or will be fully taxed as income. Taxpayers often take for granted that dispositions of property will be treated as capital gains.

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Supreme Court decision: McLarty – Contingent liabilities

On May 22, 2008, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in the McLarty matter. The issue before the Court was whether Mr. McLarty’s liability under a promissory note that was owing by him upon the acquisition of a certain oil and gas property was an absolute as opposed to a contingent liability. To the extent that the promissory note was a contingent liability, no deduction would be allowed by Mr. McLarty for such portion of the otherwise oil and gas expense deduction. The other matter before the Court was whether or not McLarty was dealing at arm’s length with the vendor when he acquired the property. To the extent that he was not dealing in an arm’s length fashion with the vendor then the acquisition of such property would be required to be made at fair market value which the CRA had argued was much less than its original acquisition price.

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Personal tax season over

Yes! It’s over! As a tax practitioner, many people who talk to me during April will often comment that I must be very busy since this is “harvest season”. While there’s no doubt that many tax practioners are often busy in April, Moodys’ practice does not focus on personal tax preparation.

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Restrictive covenants

Much of our firm’s day-to-day tax planning and research involves issues surrounding the purchase and sale of businesses. Such purchase and sales will often involve the acquisition and/or granting of a restrictive covenant. In many cases, the granting of the restrictive covenant could be as simple as the vendor agreeing not to compete with the purchaser’s business for a limited period of time in a specified geographical area.

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Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)

As mentioned in the first blog entry of February 29, 2008, the February 26, 2008 Federal Budget introduced the TFSA. The new TFSAs appear to be similarly modeled after “Roth IRAs” that exist in the US. On the surface, the introduction of this vehicle does not appear to be all that earth shattering. However, upon a closer look, some significant planning may be able to be done.

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The Federal Budget

Well, welcome to the first edition of Moodys LLP Tax Advisors blog entries. We hope this entry is the first of many where many difficult tax issues are translated into plain English and any breaking news is quickly released onto the blog. Accordingly, we encourage you to come back and visit us often.

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