CB Blog

CB Blog

September 13, 2017 by Jason Melo

Non-resident / U.S. companies doing business in Canada

In many cases, foreign companies doing business in Canada are in need of additional expertise to effectively navigate the Canadian tax system. Specifically, U.S. companies find themselves confronting a tax environment that is very different from their domestic system. When doing business in Canada, here are some of the key tax considerations foreign companies should be prepared to navigate.

September 6, 2017 by John Clausen, Michael Rose

A quick guide to platform acquisitions

When growing through mergers and acquisitions, there are generally two distinct types of acquisitions: (1) the platform acquisition and (2) subsequent one-off acquisitions. When a company expands into a new market, the expansion often comes in the form of a platform acquisition, the initial acquisition that a private equity group makes to enter an industry with the intent to roll up (or acquire) other companies in an industry. (One-off acquisitions consist of companies within an industry in which the buyer already operates.) The acquiring company entering the new market usually seeks a business with an already sizeable operations base, which then becomes the platform from which to launch further expansion. The term “platform acquisition” originates from the private equity sector, where platform investments are very common.

August 29, 2017 by Shauntelle Hoffman

Issues facing Canadians selling U.S. real estate

Canadians selling U.S. real estate face a number of challenges, most notably the difficulty in finding someone with special training on this topic. Given the high U.S. dollar, many Canadians are now looking to dispose of their U.S. property, but not many advisors have carefully researched this topic and developed the expertise necessary to help with these sales. As a result, the escrow agent, the real estate agent and the accountant you deal with may offer conflicting advice. In order to make sense of their perspectives and cope with the limited expertise available, be sure to keep the following issues in mind when selling U.S. real estate.

July 31, 2017 by Leanne Alexander

Using replacement property to defer capital gains on farmland

With replacement property rules, you can purchase farmland to replace a previous piece of farmland sold – as long as it’s used in the same (or a similar) business – and elect to defer any capital gain that might be incurred. Replacement might occur for the following reasons:

(a) farmers swap land with neighbours due to proximity to their farm business
(b) land is expropriated by government bodies and farmers find replacement land to continue their operations
(c) succession planning

July 24, 2017 by Rosa Maria Iuliano

HST challenges physicians face

Many doctors work their entire career without needing to collect HST for their services, but there can be many exceptions to this rule. For a medical service to be exempt from HST, (a) it must be rendered to a particular individual, (b) the doctor must be licensed under the laws of the province to practise the profession of medicine (or dentistry), (c) it must be a consultative, diagnostic or other health care service that is a qualifying health care supply and (d) it must not be a cosmetic service supply, nor a supply in respect of a cosmetic service supply not meant for medical or reconstructive purposes. Doctors doing work outside these paramaters should keep the following HST rules in mind.

July 10, 2017 by Jay Anstey

Small businesses, you need these financial controls

Most small business owners aren’t aware there are financial controls they should be putting in place, but if they operate a business without them, they may be vulnerable to a number of risks, including fraud and lost profits. To ensure that no problems are overlooked, small business owners need to learn to think from an auditor’s POV. They need to rely on the kinds of tests an auditor would implement and have their business manager perform those tests. Here are some of the key risk areas to keep in mind.

July 5, 2017 by Terry Booth

Financing options for early stage tech companies

If you are trying to find financing for an early stage tech company, you’ve got three main options: government grants, equity investment, and/or bank loans. In most cases, companies try to survive off government grants and maybe some equity funding from friends and family for at least the first two years. The criteria are different when trying to get equity investors involved as opposed to a bank. Traditionally, banks want to see at least two years of business history before seriously considering financing. On the other hand, angel investors don’t really care how long you have been in business. They tend to be more concerned about how much traction you’ve been able to achieve with your customers. With that in mind, here’s a closer look at the financing options available.

May 23, 2017 by Greg Hemstad

Business advisory: Bridging the gap for success

Traditionally, accounting firms have focused on providing assurance and taxation services for their small business clients. Discussions often center on historical results. While these are useful and an important base discussion to have, we also want our clients to be looking forward, actively planning and pursuing their future. This is the bridge that business advisory builds to take clients to the next level.

May 15, 2017 by Jennifer Hollis

Salary vs. dividend for medical professionals

For medical practitioners, the choice between salary or dividends is usually a conflicted one. The general sense is that the grass is greener on the other side. As tax rates change both federally and provincially, it’s necessary to consider the pros and cons of each option, as well as other aspects of pay, such as retirement savings, in order to make sure the right strategy is implemented.

Here is a closer look at some of the key issues involved.

May 10, 2017 by John Clausen

Negotiation strategies for selling your business

Negotiating the sale of your business isn’t easy. The ability to negotiate is vital when entering into a merger and acquisition (M&A) transaction. However, it’s difficult to stay objective when parting with a company you’ve dedicated years of your life to. For many people, this is an emotional process. It’s important to enter M&A negotiations with an understanding of your priorities for your future and the future of your company. Keep the following strategies in mind and you are far more likely to get the deal you’re hoping for.

May 3, 2017 by Sara Detweiler

It’s never too early to crisis-proof your business

From fires to the destructive floods in Alberta, we have experienced a variety of unexpected disasters in recent years. People often think something like this will never happen to them, but we’ve seen that anyone can be affected. Statistics show that small businesses are often not prepared for emergencies and rarely think about disaster recovery – in the same way many people postpone writing a will or planning their funeral.

March 6, 2017 by Janet Currie

Incorporating a proprietorship business

When an individual operates a business without having a corporation it’s referred to as a proprietorship business. But when is the right time to incorporate?

If there’s income in your business that you don’t need to spend personally every year, you should seriously consider incorporating. Not only will you potentially limit liability and protect personal assets, but the tax rates for a corporation are lower. You can also leave money in the corporation for many years and get tax savings that way. 

February 16, 2017 by Bill Camden

Strategies for Dealing with the New SBD Rules

Some taxpayers utilize corporate groups, which have been structured to multiply their access to the small business deduction (SBD). The SBD allows a company to pay a lower tax rate on the first $500,000 of income each year. Access to the SBD is sometimes limited as it must be shared by associated corporations and corporate partners. To avoid having to share the SBD, some businesses that naturally work in groups, have structured their affairs in a way that allows more than one $500,000 small business deduction. In reaction to this multiplication strategy, the government introduced legislation in the 2016 federal budget to end the effectiveness of such structures and, in effect, increase tax rates for companies in such groups.

January 19, 2017 by Peter Spratt

The changing face of workplace harassment

In 2010, the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Ontario) was amended to include the definitions of workplace harassment and workplace violence, as well as associated requirements for employers. Prior to that, harassment fell under the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) and was limited to the prohibited grounds as defined by the OHRC. However, since 2010, employees have had another avenue to bring forward concerns about workplace harassment and violence: the OH&S Act. 

January 10, 2017 by Tyna Jallet

Protecting seniors from fraud

As the baby boom generation ages, the balance of young and old is shifting, resulting in a disproportionate number of seniors. This is a new phenomenon, one that has made the complicated problems facing the elderly more prevalent than ever before. One area that is often overlooked when people consider caring for seniors is their financial needs and the ways that they are vulnerable to fraud. Committed by strangers, as well as unscrupulous friends and family members, this activity could include the illegal theft and misuse of a senior’s money or property and the concealing of assets that belong to the elderly individual. If you are a friend, family member or advisor assisting a senior, be sure to take the time to protect them from the many risks they are facing.

December 27, 2016 by Mark Mooney

5 lessons to make inclusive leadership work

To me, inclusive leadership, means consensus building – so that every member of your team feels like they’re part of the process. But it’s never as simple as it looks. For instance, it can be easier to achieve consensus with just a few partners, but the bigger you get, the more difficult and time-consuming the process gets. With that in mind, here are some key lessons to remember when implementing inclusive strategies.

December 21, 2016 by Ryan Kitchen

The advantages of leasing farm equipment

Historically, farmers running successful businesses have preferred buying equipment to leasing, as it allows them to own assets with value that they can sell in the future. Many farmers also believe there is a stigma associated with leasing, as it suggests that that they can’t afford to buy farm equipment and, therefore, don’t have a healthy farm. However, there are many overlooked advantages to leasing, rather than buying. For farmers who are struggling to obtain financing – or simply want to consider the alternatives – leasing is usually a viable option.

December 16, 2016 by Jim McEvoy

Multinational companies, minimize pesky (higher) U.S. taxes

For multinationals with branches in both Canada and the United States, there’s one big tax challenge that’s impossible to ignore: U.S. tax rates are generally higher than Canadian tax rates. Companies wrestling with this issue are always looking for ways to reduce U.S. income and maximize Canadian income (within the existing rules), lowering their overall tax burden. Some strategies include financing, transfer pricing, inter-company charges, and reducing tax liability through tax planning. To make the most of these options, it’s important to take the following steps.