CB Blog

CB Blog

September 12, 2018 by Rosa Maria Iuliano

How to remain compliant when not acting at arm’s length

For tax purposes, the Canadian Revenue Agency requires businesses to complete all transactions at fair market value, but some businesses find themselves making special arrangements with family, friends or others. By not acting at arm’s length, they may wind up with understated revenue, overstated expenses and/or unrecorded tax liabilities. Any error in this area is subject to reassessment, which can be an extremely expensive process.

August 15, 2018 by Carl Hooper

6 key considerations when purchasing a dental practice

In recent years, there has been a surge in the buying and selling of dental practices. The inherent goodwill of a practice, the move towards regional and national consolidation and the availability of 100 per cent financing make the decision to buy that much more attractive. In addition, a high percentage of dentists are approaching retirement and looking to monetize their well-established practice, making investing in an existing practice a viable option for new dentists. With so much riding on this investment, the decision to purchase a practice can be overwhelming. To simplify the process, dentists should focus on these six key issues.

July 18, 2018 by Janet Foster

Every strong business starts with a strong transition

For anyone making the transition to self-employment, deciding whether to incorporate is a major decision. From a tax perspective, you should generally start thinking about incorporating when you have substantial funds that will be reinvested in the business annually and not need to be drawn out for personal use. A corporation enjoys lower tax rates for funds left inside the corporation. While some try to determine what level of income justifies incorporation, viable cases can be made for and against, whether your net income is $75,000 or $200,000. Sometimes people think there’s a magic number, but there really isn’t. This is a personal decision that has a unique impact on every business.  

May 16, 2018 by Kari Viglasky

Modern leadership qualities you need to succeed

There’s a war for talent all over the world. Baby Boomers are rapidly retiring, and we have a severe labour shortage in Canada. As a result, the new generation of younger employees is becoming more and more empowered. They can decide where they work, when they work, how long they work, what they wear to work and how much you pay them to work.

April 27, 2018 by Michael Brown, Sheldon Taylor

The tax implications of cryptocurrency

Although cryptocurrencies have existed since Bitcoin emerged in 2009, this medium of exchange has experienced a massive surge in popularity in recent months. Offering a wide range of opportunities (and risks), cryptocurrencies have inspired a great deal of confusion due to their unique properties.

January 31, 2018 by Peter Hobb

How to avoid conflict in a family business

Running a business involves many moving parts, which makes conflict unavoidable. However, the conflict within a family-owned business is more complicated than conflict between non-related employees because the line between business and personal relationships is blurred. There is a deeper connection between family members, which can bring heightened emotion to disagreements and conflict. When dealing with discord in a family business, the resolution needs to consider both the potential impact on family relationships outside of the business and the potential impact on business performance. 

January 4, 2018 by Bob Boser

Tax reporting has changed for principal residence sales

If you sell property, you are required to report the sale in your tax return. However, if the property you sell is your principal residence, the gain you realize on the sale is not taxable, as there is an exemption on the gain realized on a principal residence. In the past, Canada Revenue Agency’s administrative policy was that you did not have to include the sale in your tax return if the property was your principal residence for all years it was owned. This policy changed in 2016, and CRA now requires everyone to report the sale in their tax return. While the sale of a principal residence is still tax free, there is a penalty if you fail to report the sale.

December 29, 2017 by Mario Patenaude, Tammie M. Sorensen

Use evidence-based HR to grow your organization

Human resources managers tend to be most concerned with acquiring staff, the exit of workers from the organization, training and development, the administration of pay plans, benefits and other traditional HR issues. What this emphasis overlooks is the overall strategy of the business, and how effective an HR team can be at supporting or enabling that strategy.

December 6, 2017 by Christin Giebelhaus

3 key disclosure areas in your year-end financial statements

If you are a controller or CFO preparing your year-end financial statements for shareholders, regulators and lending institutions, there are several disclosure items you should carefully consider. Over the last several years, accounting and securities regulatory bodies have had a great deal to say about this subject. The following three areas are especially significant.

December 6, 2017 by Michael Barclay

Overcome succession challenges facing your family business

Canada's succession planning rules can make it less costly from a taxation standpoint to sell a family business to a third party than to a family member. However, this depends on how the deal is structured. Typically, when you transfer to a family member, there is some sort of discount and freeze on the shares. For instance, if parents take back preferential shares and the next generation buys common shares at a relatively nominal value, this turns the proceeds for parents into dividend income, as opposed to capital gains. 

November 9, 2017 by Denise Jones

Improving the financial literacy of board members

For board members, understanding the organization’s financial position is a necessity for effective oversight, as well as a fiduciary duty. But when it comes to the financial discussions, we see many board members “zone out.” Without an appropriate level of understanding, the right questions may never be asked, potentially putting the organization at financial risk. Management and board leadership need to collaborate to ensure all board members have at least a basic understanding of how the numbers work, the relevant metrics and the reasons they are important for the organization.

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.