This article originally was published a few years ago but I decided to pull it out of the archives (with a few modifications) due to its relevance for this year.
I was watching the tax segment on BNN last night and they highlighted some year end tax strategies to take advantage of.
Here is a summary of some year end tax tips for 2014:
- Tax Loss Selling. If you have taxable capital gains this year in your non-registered account, you may want to sell some of your losing stocks. Why? The realized losses will offset your gains, thus reducing your taxable amount. Capital losses can also be carried back against capital gains accrued in the previous 3 years and carried forward indefinitely. Make sure you do this by December 24th though as it takes 3 days to settle your trade. Another note is that the markets close early on Christmas Eve, so trade accordingly.
- Be Patient when Taking Stock Profits. If you want to take profits in a stock, wait until the new year. That way, you’ll have a year of tax deferral.
- Charitable Donations. You have until Dec 31 to make your charitable donations in order for it to count under the 2014 tax year. Also when you file your taxes next year, make sure you file all the donations under one person. Here is an article on how the donation tax credit works.
- Donate Stock instead of Cash to Charities. It may be a bit late for this now because of processing time, but if you donate stock to a charity instead of cash you’ll get tax bonuses. The tax regulations now state that stock donated to a charity will not face any capital gains taxes AND the contributor will receive a tax receipt for the amount donated. Check out my article on “Charitable Donation Tax Credit Strategies” for more information on how to maximize this tax rule.
- Organize your Paper Work. If you are diligent with organizing your tax paperwork, it’s soon time to separate your 2014 receipts/paperwork from your upcoming 2015. What I typically do is clear out the filing cabinet at the end of the year and put all tax paperwork into large envelopes. This comes in handy when filing income taxes before the income tax deadline in April.
- Moving your TFSA – If you are considering moving your TFSA to another institution, December is a great time to do it. Why? Say you have a TFSA with a high interest rate savings account, but you’re now looking to move the money into a low cost trading account. The drawback is that there could be fees associated with transferring funds directly from one institution to another. In addition, if you contribute to a TFSA then withdraw and redeposit the funds in the same year, you could possibly over contribute and face hefty penalties. To avoid the dreaded fees and over contribution rules, simply withdraw the funds from the institution in December to maximize interest gains then wait until the new year to deposit the funds into a trading account. Problem solved!
- Private Corporation Dividends – For you business owners out there, if you expect to have a personal tax refund this year, you may want to pay yourself a dividend to as a way to pull money out of the company without paying tax out of pocket. We pay enough out of the company to reduce our personal tax refund to close to $0. Alternatively, if a dividend would result in personal tax payable, consider holding off until January as you would have another full year before paying the taxes due.
If you have any tax tips to share, please add them to the comments.