Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Budget Proposals - January 27, 2009

As you know, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty delivered his federal budget on Tuesday in Ottawa.

This budget has a few items that could affect your financial plan and present additional opportunities. In case you haven't had a chance to review the media coverage, I thought you would appreciate a quick overview of the federal budget.

For small business owners: The government plans to increase the amount of small business income eligible for a reduced 11% federal tax rate from the current $400,000 to $500,000 retroactive to January 1, 2009.
RRSPs, RRIFs and estate planning: There will income tax provisions to recognize a decrease in the value of RRSP or RRIF investments that occur after the annuitant's death and before they are distributed to beneficiaries.
RRIF withdrawal reductions: There will be a one-time 25% reduction in the mandatory withdrawals of RRIFs for the 2008 taxation year. s
Senior age credit increase: The government increased the age credit amount by $1,000 for a total of $6,408.
Home renovation tax credit: Planning to upgrade or retrofit your home? This new credit, effective between January 28, 2009 and February 1, 2010, allows you to claim 15% on the portion of eligible expenditures exceeding $1,000, but not more than $10,000, for a maximum tax credit of $1,350.

First-time homebuyer's: An increase in the amount first-time homebuyers can withdraw from their RRSPs to purchase or build a home — from $20,000 to $25,000. It also proposes to establish a first-time homebuyer's tax credit which could amount to $750 worth of savings on closing costs.

I hope you find these highlights useful. If you'd like to discuss these and other federal budget initiatives and how they affect your financial plan, please don't hesitate to contact me at 416-806-5478.