“Welcome to the PlanEasy blog! We make personal finance easy.

Thanks for visiting.”

– Owen

Do I Have To File Taxes? No, But You Should! Here’s Why…

Do I Have To File Taxes? No, But You Should! Here’s Why…

Do you have to file taxes each year? Technically no, if you meet certain criteria, but you probably should anyway.

Filing taxes doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many great tools and resources that can help make filing taxes easy. But the longer you put it off the more difficult it will become. So even if you don’t need to file it’s a good idea to do it every year.

Technically the government doesn’t force you to file taxes unless you meet certain criteria. If the government owes you money in the form of a tax refund then they’re happy to hold onto that money for you indefinitely. As you’ll see below, there are certain criteria that the government looks at when determining if you need to file a tax return or not.

But even though you may not NEED to file a tax return you probably should. There are many good reasons to file your tax return each year.

Not filing a tax return may mean that you’re leaving money on the table, not just in the form of a tax refund but also the potential government benefits that you may be eligible for.

read more
New Parents Guide To Setting Up An RESP

New Parents Guide To Setting Up An RESP

Congratulations! You’re starting a family or have already started a family and through all the craziness of raising children you’re also thinking about setting up an RESP. That’s fantastic!

As a new parent you now get access to a special tax advantaged account called the RESP and it comes with some special features that all parents should take advantage of.

As the name implies, the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is meant to help parents (or relatives) save for a child’s post-secondary education.

There are a few benefits to the RESP that make it attractive to parents. One is that investments inside the RESP are able to grow tax free. The second is that contributions receive a matching grant of up to 20% or $500 per year, whichever is lower. Plus there are even extra grants and learning bonds available for lower income families.

But with all the attractive features of an RESP there are also some restrictions. These restrictions can sometimes be worrisome for parents and cause them to avoid setting up an RESP for their children. In this post we’ll explain what an RESP is, what you’ll need to set one up, some of the terminology you’ll encounter, and finally how to withdraw from your RESP in the future.

read more
How RRSP Contributions Affect Your Government Benefits

How RRSP Contributions Affect Your Government Benefits

RRSP contributions can be a great tool to help manage your income taxes before and after retirement. They can also be a great tool to help manage your government benefits in a similar way. RRSP contributions affect government benefits like the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), Ontario Child Benefit (OCB), Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), GST/HST Credit, Ontario Sales Tax Credit etc etc.

What many people may not realize is that most government benefits have a “claw back” rate that acts like a tax rate. If you earn more income the “clawback” rate will reduce your government benefits. But the opposite also happens, if you make an RRSP contribution and your income goes down, then this “clawback” rate will work in reverse and it will increase your government benefits!

There are a couple situations where RRSP contributions can have a BIG effect on government benefits. Let’s take a look at two real life examples.

One example is a senior who is receiving GIS benefits. We’re going to plan some strategic RRSP contributions to help them maximize their GIS benefits. This is counter-intuitive, we’re always told that TFSAs are best for low-income individuals, but in this case we can use RRSP contributions strategically to maximize GIS.

The second example is a young family with three children. They’re receiving the Canada Child Benefit and the Ontario Child Benefit and we’re going to plan some strategic RRSP contributions to help them maximize their family benefits.

read more

Owen Winkelmolen

Fee-for-service financial planner and founder of PlanEasy.ca

“Welcome to the PlanEasy blog! We make personal finance easy.

Thanks for visiting.”

– Owen

New blog posts weekly!

Tax planning, benefit optimization, budgeting, family planning, retirement planning and more...

Do I Have To File Taxes? No, But You Should! Here’s Why…

Do I Have To File Taxes? No, But You Should! Here’s Why…

Do you have to file taxes each year? Technically no, if you meet certain criteria, but you probably should anyway.

Filing taxes doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many great tools and resources that can help make filing taxes easy. But the longer you put it off the more difficult it will become. So even if you don’t need to file it’s a good idea to do it every year.

Technically the government doesn’t force you to file taxes unless you meet certain criteria. If the government owes you money in the form of a tax refund then they’re happy to hold onto that money for you indefinitely. As you’ll see below, there are certain criteria that the government looks at when determining if you need to file a tax return or not.

But even though you may not NEED to file a tax return you probably should. There are many good reasons to file your tax return each year.

Not filing a tax return may mean that you’re leaving money on the table, not just in the form of a tax refund but also the potential government benefits that you may be eligible for.

read more
New Parents Guide To Setting Up An RESP

New Parents Guide To Setting Up An RESP

Congratulations! You’re starting a family or have already started a family and through all the craziness of raising children you’re also thinking about setting up an RESP. That’s fantastic!

As a new parent you now get access to a special tax advantaged account called the RESP and it comes with some special features that all parents should take advantage of.

As the name implies, the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is meant to help parents (or relatives) save for a child’s post-secondary education.

There are a few benefits to the RESP that make it attractive to parents. One is that investments inside the RESP are able to grow tax free. The second is that contributions receive a matching grant of up to 20% or $500 per year, whichever is lower. Plus there are even extra grants and learning bonds available for lower income families.

But with all the attractive features of an RESP there are also some restrictions. These restrictions can sometimes be worrisome for parents and cause them to avoid setting up an RESP for their children. In this post we’ll explain what an RESP is, what you’ll need to set one up, some of the terminology you’ll encounter, and finally how to withdraw from your RESP in the future.

read more
How RRSP Contributions Affect Your Government Benefits

How RRSP Contributions Affect Your Government Benefits

RRSP contributions can be a great tool to help manage your income taxes before and after retirement. They can also be a great tool to help manage your government benefits in a similar way. RRSP contributions affect government benefits like the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), Ontario Child Benefit (OCB), Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), GST/HST Credit, Ontario Sales Tax Credit etc etc.

What many people may not realize is that most government benefits have a “claw back” rate that acts like a tax rate. If you earn more income the “clawback” rate will reduce your government benefits. But the opposite also happens, if you make an RRSP contribution and your income goes down, then this “clawback” rate will work in reverse and it will increase your government benefits!

There are a couple situations where RRSP contributions can have a BIG effect on government benefits. Let’s take a look at two real life examples.

One example is a senior who is receiving GIS benefits. We’re going to plan some strategic RRSP contributions to help them maximize their GIS benefits. This is counter-intuitive, we’re always told that TFSAs are best for low-income individuals, but in this case we can use RRSP contributions strategically to maximize GIS.

The second example is a young family with three children. They’re receiving the Canada Child Benefit and the Ontario Child Benefit and we’re going to plan some strategic RRSP contributions to help them maximize their family benefits.

read more

New blog posts weekly!

Tax planning, benefit optimization, budgeting, family planning, retirement planning and more...

New blog posts weekly!

Tax planning, benefit optimization, budgeting, family planning, retirement planning and more...

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