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Market Commentary

February 2019

With tax season fast approaching, this month we have included a tax document overview and schedule we hope you find helpful in addition to our regularly monthly message on the markets.

March 2019

This month we include an often overlooked part of estate planning as well as our regularly monthly message on the markets.

April 2019

As the April 30 tax deadline approaches, attached are some reminders to help ensure you’re prepared to file your personal income tax return, and that you maximize your tax savings. It’s important that you have all required tax documents before you prepare your return, otherwise you may be required to file an amendment.

May 2019

Unforeseen events, such as illness, disability or death, can have a devastating impact on a family and their financial future. Insurance is an important part of our comprehensive wealth management process, and helps provide financial protection against the unexpected.

June 2019

Insurance is generally thought of as a risk management tool; however, for a business owner or incorporated professional, insurance can provide multiple benefits, including the potential for significant tax savings.

July 2019

Protecting your family’s wealth is a key priority to ensure you are prepared to meet your current and future financial goals and commitments. This article discusses several considerations that can help to safeguard and enhance your wealth.

August 2019

Knowing how the tax rules affect your investments is essential to maximize your after-tax return. Keeping up to date on changes to the tax rules may open up new opportunities that could affect how your financial affairs should be structured.

September 2019

As the new school year begins, many students are preparing to take the next big step in their educational journey by heading off to university, college, or another continuing education program aligned with their interests and career aspirations.This article provides information on how, and when, to withdraw funds from an RESP, as well as information on qualifying educational institutions and programs. In situations where the RESP beneficiary decides not to pursue postsecondary studies or leaves before completing a qualifying program, the subscriber of the plan must decide what to do with the money that has accumulated in the RESP.

October 2019

We’re living in a digital world where, increasingly, routine tasks are conducted online and important information is stored digitally. Digital assets include, but are not limited to, online accounts (e.g., social media, email, eCommerce, banking and investment), loyalty programs, cloud storage, domain names, and website content. Until recently, the idea of leaving a digital inheritance wasn’t generally a consideration for most people, but not anymore. In fact, it’s become a necessity when preparing your estate plan

November 2019

The benefits of making a charitable donation are countless – from helping those in need to the personal satisfaction of giving back to the causes that are important to us. Charitable giving also makes good sense from a tax perspective. With proper planning, you can reduce your total income tax liability and maximize the value of your donation.

December 2019

Charitable giving is an important wealth planning consideration for many Canadians. While making a cash donation to charity is a common gifting strategy, Canadians often ask, “How can I do more?” By considering one of the life insurance strategies in the attached document, you can often magnify the benefits of your donation dollar compared to a traditional cash donation.

January 2020

Like many Canadians, making the world a better place and creating a legacy aligned to your personal values, beliefs and convictions is an important wealth planning priority. Establishing a private foundation can help you achieve these priorities and give meaning and structure to your philanthropic goals. It can also help you to pass these values on to your children and grandchildren,by involving them and other family members in your giving strategy and family legacy.

February 2020

Couples commonly hold property as Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship (“JTWROS”). In certain circumstances, there are several benefits to this ownership structure. However, JTWROS ownership for couples may not always be appropriate if one of the spouses wishes to benefit children of a previous relationship, other family members, friends, charities or other beneficiaries. The attached article shows the pros and cons of owning property JTWROS.

January 2018

Included is an article on estate preservation and also our thoughts on equity markets following U.S. corporate tax cuts.

February 2018

Included is an article on insurance options and also our thoughts on equity markets following recent activity.

March 2018

Included is an article on digital security and also our thoughts on equity markets.

April 2018

Included is an article on estate planning and also our thoughts on financial markets.

May 2018

Included is an article on Women and Wealth and also our thoughts on financial markets.

June 2018

As many of our clients have recently, or soon-to-be, graduated students, in this month’s note we include an article on Financial Considerations for Recent Graduates as well as our regular piece on financial markets.

July 2018

Included in this month is information on banking on both sides of the border as well as our market commentary.

August 2018

This month's commentary highlights Tax Tips for Investors, updated to include changes from the 2018 Federal and Provincial budgets. We also include our thoughts on the markets.

September 2018

In this month's commentary, we highlight an article on taking money out of an RESP and also include our thoughts on the market.

November 2018

This month in our commentary we include an article on year-end financial planning tips and also as always, our thoughts on the markets.

October 2018

Below is our regular monthly message on the markets (which hits on many of the same themes that you will see in your individualized performance emails), along with information on our new secure email system.

December 2018

This month in our commentary we include an article on U.S. taxes for Canadian snowbirds and also our thoughts on the markets.

January 2019

Below we include our regularly monthly message on the markets (which follows the same themes as our quarterly performance emails) along with a 2019 Personal Tax Calendar to help with your tax planning for the year ahead.

Education and Knowledge

Net Worth - Summer 2021

One in four Canadians find themselves members of the “Sandwich Generation”—those juggling the needs of both children and aging parents. The good news is, with a little financial planning, you can ease this transition while still protecting your own retirement plans. Here are a few suggestions on how to handle this challenging time.

Net Worth - Spring 2019

On March 19, Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled the Liberal Government’s fourth Federal Budget entitled “Investing in the Middle Class”. The key themes of the Budget include housing, training, pharmacare, secure retirement and tax fairness and integrity.

Net Worth - Winter 2019

As you consider your financial priorities for the coming year, here are some financial resolutions that could help you save taxes, protect your portfolio, and position you for financial success in 2020.

Net Worth - Spring 2020

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, on March 18, 2020 the federal government announced an initial economic proposal that included many significant fiscal and tax measures. Since this date, several of these measures have been enacted into law and additional measures proposed to boost the amount of support to Canadians and businesses. The aid package includes a deferral of certain tax return filing deadlines, deferral of certain personal and corporate tax liabilities, a 25% reduction in the required 2020 RRIF minimum withdrawals and wage subsidies for Canadian businesses.

Net Worth - Summer 2020

A potential strategy used by owners of family businesses to transfer wealth or implement a succession plan to manage the tax liabilities on a transfer or death is to “freeze” the value of their shareholdings during lifetime.

Net Worth - Fall 2020

While there are rules governing gifts other than cash, you can contribute almost any property of value, such as securities, RRSPs, RRIFs, life insurance benefits and real estate to a registered charity. In particular, special tax incentives are provided to donations of appreciated publicly-traded securities.

Net Worth - Winter 2020

It’s important to take the time now to get advice and information from your BMO Private Wealth professional, to help you with important financial decisions and your overall wealth management plan for the year ahead. As you consider your financial priorities for the coming year, here are some financial and tax planning resolutions that could help you save taxes, protect your portfolio, and position you for financial success in 2021.

Net Worth - Spring 2021

For many Canadians spring signals the arrival of their income tax refund from the Canada Revenue Agency (the “CRA”), or Revenu Québec (“RQ”) if you also file your taxes in Quebec. If you’re receiving a tax refund based on your 2020 income tax return, it may be worthwhile meeting with your BMO Private Wealth financial professional to discuss how you can maximize the use of these funds, such as repaying non-deductible debt, or making/catching up on your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (“RRSP”), Tax-Free Savings Account (“TFSA”), or Registered Education Savings Plan (“RESP”) contributions

Net Worth - Spring 2015

In this issue of Net Worth, topics covered include the value of a financial plan, your income tax refund, and newe rules in the most recent federal budget that affect your estate plan.

Net Worth - Summer 2015

My Summer Newsletter is now available. This quarter features an in depth, 2015 Federal Budget review and the advantages of designating a beneficiary.

Net Worth - Summer 2016

In this month's issue: • Do you have a retirement game plan? • Personal Holding Companies - Taxation of Investment Income.

Net Worth - Fall 2016

In this issue of net worth: education planning, navigating your retirement income streams, relocation to the United States, and Executor vs. Trustee.

Net Worth - Spring 2017

In this issue of net worth: 2017 Federal Budget Summary and Tax Filing Updates

Net Worth - Summer 2017

In this issue of net worth: Complex family dynamics call for clear and effective estate planning, Love and Marriage and... Contracts, and Who will take care of my pets when I die?

Net Worth - Summer 2018

In this issue of net worth: make better investment choices by understanding and reducing bias and US Estate Tax - Impact to Canadians of recent US Tax Reform.

NetWorth - Fall 2018

In this issue of net worth: creating wealth through business improvements and 2018 year-end tax planning tips.

Net Worth - Winter 2018

A windfall can be defined as the unexpected or unplanned acquisition of financial assets that alters the recipient’s financial position. This can be a welcome surprise, but the pressure of managing and dealing with a significant amount of money can also be an unforeseen burden.

Estate & Succession Planning

Support For Executors

Organizing a loved one or close friend’s life is not a simple task. Understanding that grief can make even the simplest things seem difficult, BMO Trust Company can assist you with the duties and financial tasks that are required of the Executor.

Estate Planning Family Meeting Guide

At the core of an effective and successful estate plan is open communication among everyone involved so that there is an understanding of your intentions and wishes.

Some Ramifications of Appointing an Executor Who is a Non-Resident of Canada

As you engage in the estate planning process, an important decision that you will need to make is who the executor1 of your estate will be.

Top 10 Reasons to Consider a Corporate Executor

Choosing the right Executor is a very important step in the estate planning process.

Good Reasons to Trust Testamentary Trusts

Organizing a loved one or close friend’s life is not a simple task. Understanding that grief can make even the simplest things seem difficult, BMO Trust Company can assist you with the duties and financial tasks that are required of the Executor.

Executor's Task List

Executors are responsible for a variety of tasks ranging from funeral arrangements to filing income tax returns with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), to the final distribution of estate assets.

Appointing a Corporate Executor

Achieving your personal and financial goals takes careful planning and expertise. One element of your wealth management strategy should be your estate plan.

Planning For The Family Vacation Property

Many Canadians know the joys of owning a cottage, cabin or chalet, and wish to pass the ownership and enjoyment of the family vacation property to the next generation.

Estate Preservation

Many Canadians are concerned about their financial security in retirement and preserving the value of their estates for the next generation. It’s a common and understandable situation.

The Mighty Power of Attorney

A comprehensive estate plan addresses important issues related to your property that impact you and your family throughout your lifetime, as well as after your death. Such comprehensive planning includes addressing your potential incapacity during your lifetime. The granting of authority to someone else to manage all of your financial affairs, and property worldwide, while you are unable to make decisions regarding the management of your property and financial affairs, is critical related to your property and financial affairs.

Managing Your Wealth

Wealth Themes

Wealth Themes is a monthly compilation of timely articles and tools from our experts and other BMO Financial Group partners.

Wealth Planning Facts & Figures

This is a helpful resource summarizing important tax, retirement and estate planning information.

Tax Planning Strategies

Wealth Planning Facts & Figures 2019

The 2019 Wealth Planning Facts and Figures provides important tax, retirement and estate planning information to help you stay informed.

Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIF)

Selecting the right retirement income option for your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is one of the most important financial and estate planning decisions you’ll make.

Update on Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, on March 18, 2020, the Federal government announced an initial economic proposal that included many significant fiscal and tax measures. Since this date, several measures have been enacted into law and additional measures proposed to boost the amount of support to Canadians and businesses. The aid package includes a deferral of certain tax return filing deadlines, deferral of certain personal and corporate tax liabilities, a 25% reduction in required 2020 RRIF minimum withdrawals and wage subsidies for Canadian businesses.

Taxation of Employee Stock Options

A common incentive program provided by Canadian employers is a stock option plan. These programs grant employees (including directors) the right to acquire a set number of shares of the employer (or parent) company at a fixed price (“exercise price”) within a set timeframe. The intention of these programs is to align employee/ employer interests by providing a long-term incentive in which employees benefit from the success of their employer, and likewise, employers benefit from long-term, loyal employees. This publication provides an overview of the Canadian tax implications of stock options issued to employees who are resident in Canada for tax purposes.1

Claiming Home Office Expenses on Your 2020 Personal Income Tax Return

As noted in our publication, Update on Canada’s Covid-19 Economic Response Plan, the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) will allow employees to claim up to $400 in expenses incurred as a result of working from home in 2020 due to COVID-19, without the need to track detailed expenses. The allowable amount is based on the amount of time spent working from home and does not require a signed form from employers. Alternatively, employees with larger claims for home office expenses can still choose to use the existing Detailed Method (modified for 2020) to calculate their home office expenses deduction. For Quebec tax filers, Revenu Québec (“RQ”) has paralleled these Federal changes for Quebec provincial income tax purposes for 2020.

Spending to Immunity and Beyond

Canada's federal government budget for FY21.22, the first official such document in 25 months, is a wide-ranging and ambitious document. Given the huge build-up ahead of the budget, perhaps the one surprise is the absence of any big surprises in the plan. Clocking in at a bulky 724 pages, this is a highly detailed budget that sets the stage for post-pandemic policy in Canada or, if necessary, has all the makings of an election platform.

Wealth Planning Facts & Figures 2021

The 2019 Wealth Planning Facts and Figures provides important tax, retirement and estate planning information to help you stay informed.

The CRA’s Foreign Reporting Requirements

Since Canada represents only a small portion of the world’s capitalization, it may make sense to include some foreign investments in your portfolio. However, it is important to understand Canadian and other foreign tax implications of owning investments outside of Canada.

Tax Tips For Investors

Knowing how the tax rules affect your investments is essential. Tax strategies that you should consider such as income splitting, charitable giving and estate planning.

Canadian Snowbirds and U.S. Income Tax

Although Canadian snowbirds reside in the U.S. for only a part of the year, there is the potential of being considered a U.S. resident and, in turn, having to pay U.S. income tax on the same basis as a permanent U.S. resident. This article outlines how the U.S. government determines whether you are a resident for income tax purposes; namely, it covers the criteria for meeting the Substantial Presence Test, Closer Connection Exception and the Canada U.S. Income Tax Treaty Tie-Breaker Rules.

General

Registered Account Payment Schedule (ie. RRIF)

Details on RRIFs and the mandatory minimum income schedule

Wills that Work

This brochure provides an overview of why a Will is important and what you need to consider when drafting your Will.

US Citizens Living in Canada

This publication outlines some of the significant US tax issues that can arise for US citizens (including Green Card holders) who are Canadian residents for income tax purposes.

Tax and Estate Consequences of Investing in U.S.

As a Canadian resident you pay Canadian income taxes on your worldwide investment income. Since Canada represents only a small percentage of the world markets, it makes sense that your portfolio includes some foreign securities. If you own U.S. securities such as stocks issued by a U.S. corporation or real property located in the U.S., you may also have to pay U.S. income and estate tax. It is important to note that even though some U.S. securities also trade on a Canadian stock exchange, those securities are still considered U.S. property and the withholding and estate tax rules will apply. However, there are ways to take advantage of reduced U.S. withholding taxes on certain securities, and general planning techniques to minimize your U.S. estate tax.

Canadian Ownership of U.S. Real Property

This article briefly outlines the Canadian and US income and estate tax implications for a Canadian resident (who is not a US citizen or Green Card holder) who purchases US real property as a vacation property, and includes a summary of potential ownership structures when considering a US real property purchase. A discussion of strategies related to the ownership of US real property for the purposes of generating rental income is beyond the scope of this article; however, some US income tax considerations with respect to earning rental income and the sale of the property are provided at the end of the article.

Probate Fees & Taxes

Although common in many countries, there are currently no estate taxes or succession duties in Canada. Instead, Canadians may be liable for personal income taxes as well as probate costs on death. Read on...

US Estate Tax for Canadians

As a Canadian resident you pay Canadian income taxes on your worldwide investment income. Since Canada represents only a small percentage of the world markets, it makes sense that your portfolio includes some foreign securities. If you own U.S. securities such as stocks issued by a U.S. corporation or real property located in the U.S., you may also have to pay U.S. income and estate tax. It is important to note that even though some U.S. securities also trade on a Canadian stock exchange, those securities are still considered U.S. property and the withholding and estate tax rules will apply. However, there are ways to take advantage of reduced U.S. withholding taxes on certain securities, and general planning techniques to minimize your U.S. estate tax.

How Investment Income is Taxed

When it comes to investment income, all is not equal after tax. Knowing how tax rules affect your investments is essential in order to maximize your after tax return. This publication explains the taxation of investment income held in a taxable account as it pertains to an individual resident in Canada.

Eligible Dividends

Given the changes in the taxation of dividend income over the last few years, you should revisit the taxation of all investment income, including interest, dividends and capital gains. If you compare the different tax rates on these sources of investment income, it’s clear that not all investment income is equal on an after-tax basis. However, even tax-conscious investors may not appreciate how changes to the taxation of eligible dividends may impact their after-tax returns. This report provides an overview on the taxation of eligible dividends, in light of recent changes.

CRAs Foreign Reporting Requirements

Since Canada represents only a small portion of the world’s capitalization it may make sense to include some foreign investments in your portfolio. However, it is important to understand Canadian and other foreign tax implications of owning investments outside of Canada. For example, there may be withholding and estate tax implications for Canadians investing in foreign securities. Another important Canadian tax implication is the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) foreign reporting requirement for Canadian residents.

Tax Tips for Investors

Knowing how the tax rules affect your investments is essential to maximize your after-tax return. Keeping up to date on changes to the tax rules may open up new opportunities that could affect how your financial affairs should be structured. This edition of Tax Tips for Investors (updated to include proposals introduced in the 2014 Federal Budget and reflecting 2014 federal and provincial tax rates) provides you with ideas that you may want to incorporate into your wealth management strategy. As always, we recommend that you consult an independent tax professional to determine whether any of these tips would be appropriate for your particular situation and to ensure the proper implementation of any tax strategies.

Wealth Management is a Family Affair

The range of services available to you as a client of Hassan Fox Wealth Management

Tax Planning for the Family Business

The rules are very complex regarding tax planning fo rthe family buisness and only a general discussion is provided here. As with all tax planning, professional advice is critical to understand the specific implications in your situation.

Executor's Task List

Executors are responsible for a variety of tasks ranging from funeral arrangements to filing income tax returns with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), to the final distribution of estate assets. If you are appointed Executor, our Task List will provide you with some guidance by describing the types of duties you will be required to perform.

In a Time of Loss

Sorting through someone’s life and legacy is not a simple matter. BMO Financial Group can assist with this responsibility should you require legal counsel or accounting services. We can provide guidance to help you in finding local professionals in the areas of estate settlement and litigation.

Financial Planning Questionairre

A template to organize your current finanical affairs, detail your future goals and facilitate the process of creating your retirement plan together with us.

Continuing Power of Attorney for Property

A Continuing Power of Attorney for Property (often referred to as a POA) is an important part of estate and succession planning. When planning for incapacity, granting a POA to a spouse, adult child, family member, friend or a corporate trustee, can provide you with peace of mind knowing that in the event of your incapacity to make decisions and manage your financial affairs, there will be a trusted substitute decision maker (attorney) who is authorized to manage your financial affairs on your behalf. Read on...

Tax Planning for an Inheritance & Trusts

Having a valid Will and keeping it up-to-date is important. A valid Will enables you to protect the value of your assets, choose the manner and timeline in which your estate will be divided and to whom. If you die without a valid Will, the rules of intestacy would govern the administration of your estate and the distribution of your assets. In that case, your assets may pass to individuals who are not your intended beneficiaries. Read On...

Estate Information Organizer

The Estate Information Organizer is a document you can use to assemble and record important information such as the location of legal documents and details of insurance policies, assets, liabilities and financial advisors.

Locked-in Retirement Accounts

Details on various locked in account and the mandatory minimum and allowable maximum income schedules.

Pension Income Splitting For Couples

The pension income splitting rules provide an effective yet simple strategy to lower family taxes. See the attached report for additional information.

Moving Your U.S. Retirement Plan to Canada

As a Canadian resident, transferring your U.S. retirement plan into a Canadian Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is possible, as long as you are under the age of 71 – since transferring such a plan to a RRIF is not permitted. And, while transferring won’t impact your current RRSP contribution room, there are both U.S. and Canadian income tax issues to consider.

BMO Nesbitt Burns Gateway®

This article provides an overview of the information and tools available through Gateway. A key feature of Gateway is the ability to access your BMO Nesbitt Burns account statements and trade confirmations electronically by signing up for eDocuments.

Financial Considerations Across Life Stages

Whether you’re a young professional, married with a family, or are nearing/in retirement, your financial priorities will vary depending on your personal situation and stage of life. This article highlights relative investment and insurance options for three major life stages – starting out, the peak earning years, and approaching retirement.

Family Philanthropy – Benefitting the community and the family

There are two advantages to family philanthropy – the benefits that accrue to the community from the generosity of wealthy families and the value that accrues to the families themselves.

2018 Federal Budget Review

On February 27, Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled the Liberal government's third Federal Budget entitled "Equity + Growth: A Strong Middle Class" which continues with many of the themes of previous budgets, including an undertaking of a gender-based analysis in developing any budget proposals.