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  Overtaxing the rich: The debate rages on
TIM CESTNICK  

Friday, May 22, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.caReaders have spoken. Well, there were more than 650 comments at last check. I'm referring to the comments made online at theglobeandmail.com following the publication of my article ''Overtaxing the rich: A cautionary tale'' (tgam.ca/EJa0) last Friday. In that article, I shared a parable to make a point: If you overtax the rich, and refuse to offer up tax breaks to the wealthy while the rest of Canadian taxpayers receive tax cuts, then don't be surprised if the rich take meaningful steps to reduce their taxes. Some might get up and leave. In the end, we'll all be worse off.
FULL STORY


Maximize your estate: Make TFSA contributions from your RRIF
TIM CESTNICK  

Monday, May 18, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.caSome people will do anything for a large inheritance. Take Iowa lawyer Robert Allan Wright Jr., for example. Mr. Wright jumped at the chance to help a client collect an inheritance of $18-million (U.S.) in exchange for 10 per cent of the inherited amount. The problem? The inheritance was being offered up by a Nigerian prince by way of a form letter sent to probably millions of people around the world. As it turns out, Mr.
FULL STORY


Don't just tax the rich, or they might not come to dinner
TIM CESTNICK  

Friday, May 15, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.caThe nice thing about an election year that's accompanied by federal budget surpluses is that it's fertile ground for tax cuts - and both the Conservatives and Liberals have promised that tax savings are on the way. But who should really benefit from tax cuts? While it might not seem politically correct to suggest that the rich should get the lion's share of tax breaks, let me share a story that I first shared many years ago that provides food for thought here.
FULL STORY


CRA gaffes: Your taxpayer dollars at work
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, April 30, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.caI remember when I was a kid, I broke a window at home with a baseball that I had hit. My father made me pay for the window which, as I recall, cost quite a few weeks of my allowance.
FULL STORY


Review your savings strategy amid TFSA, RRIF changes
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.caMy father was telling me that he's enjoying his retirement years. He gets discounts at the theatre, speed limits are no longer a challenge for him, his joints are pretty good at predicting the weather and his secrets are safe with his friends because none of them can remember what he's told them. It's all good.
FULL STORY


Six tax-filing tips to save you money
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.caFiling a tax return by paper can be complicated nowadays. My brother-in-law has a friend living in Chimacum, Wash., who contacted the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to request a single blank copy of the U.S. personal tax forms from a prior year so that he could revise an old tax return.
FULL STORY


Know the rules if you're self-employed and planning to deduct work expenses
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, April 09, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.caCarrying on a business comes with certain risks. Just ask Shelley Rosenfeld, owner of the Plants and Planters store in Richardson, Tex. Her store was robbed after business hours more than once, so she installed a surveillance camera to catch the culprits. It worked. She captured on video a monkey scaling her fence, grabbing plants, flowers and accessories and handing them to an accomplice.
FULL STORY


Do the math when splitting pension income
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, April 02, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.caKids these days aren't the only ones texting each other.Many seniors are tech-savvy today, too. Seniors even have their own texting lingo. For example, BFF means ''best friend fainted.'' BYOT means ''bring your own teeth,'' LMDO means ''laughing my dentures out'' and SMPI means ''splitting my pension income.'' It's this last concept that I want to talk about today.
FULL STORY


The lowdown on this year's tax changes
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, March 26, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.caNow that the weather is improving, it can only mean four things: (1) the NHL playoffs are just around the corner, (2) the Blue Jays home opener is nearly upon us, (3) the Masters golf tournament is nearly here and (4) your tax return is due pretty soon.
FULL STORY


Stock options can leave you with a nasty tax bill
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.caFairness is in the eyes of the beholder. You might recall the story of Jerome Kerviel, who was the ''rogue'' derivatives trader who worked at the Societe Generale SA bank in Paris. Mr. Kerviel was convicted in 2008 for breach of trust, forgery and unauthorized use of the bank's computers, which resulted in losses to the bank of about $7.5-billion. Mr. Kerviel was fired, but he claimed the bank was being unfair.
FULL STORY


Child-care costs can save you tax - now more than ever
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.caMy kids can drive me nuts. I often wonder if it's me with the problem. I was speaking to my neighbour, who's a psychiatrist, about it. ''John, I think I'm being reasonable. I think my kids are just being defiant,'' I said.
FULL STORY


Buying a home can be easier with help from your RRSP
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, March 05, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.caA friend of mine lives in Massachusetts and made an offer on a home that seemed unusually low in price. As it turns out, the home is next to an infamous property that was condemned by city officials in the recent past because it reeked of garbage and was infested with cockroaches.
FULL STORY


Tantalized by the prospect of taking a sabbatical? Familiarize yourself with the DSLP
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, February 26, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.caI told my son this week that if there's one career to avoid, it's that of a referee. I've got three kids in hockey, so I know the verbal abuse that refs absorb. And it happens in any sport. Even the most respectable fans can find themselves harassing referees.
FULL STORY


Watch out, snowbirds: The taxman's foreign reporting rules have gotten trickier
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.ca
FULL STORY


Keep your tax hands off my TFSA
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.caWhen you've been hanging around the financial services world as long as I have, you inevitably come to understand the many ways that people can make money. Some stories are as improbable as, say, an adult accidentally swallowing a toothbrush (it's rare but it happens; just ask British student Georgie Smith, now 21, who, to the best of my knowledge, is the latest person to do this).
FULL STORY


Choose wisely with your estate plan
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, February 05, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.caI''ve been thinking of following the example of Napoleon. No, not Napoleon Dynamite. I'm talking about Bonaparte, who died in 1821. In his will, he left instructions that his head should be shaved and his hair divided amongst his family and friends.
FULL STORY


RRSPs aren't a bad idea - but consider these options as well
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.caSome ideas are just plain bad.I think of performance artist Linda Montano, who once completed a project where she tied herself to a man (another performance artist), 24-hours-a-day, for one year by a six-foot piece of rope. Bad ideas might also include anthropomorphic taxidermy, which is the practice of preserving the body of an animal and displaying it in such a way as to endow it with human characteristics (I didn't get it either - just Google it).
FULL STORY


Tax ruling offers important lesson for others on claiming losses
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.caI''ve often told my kids: If you want to have a million dollars one day, start with $10-million then invest in a hot tip. More than a few Canadians have lost thousands this way. We can learn a lot from those who have made mistakes before us. The story of Allan Prochuk, an engineerturned-investor from B.C., is a good reminder of what can happen when a hot tip turns bad. His story also sheds some light on a tax issue that many Canadians should be aware of.
FULL STORY


Claim the pension credit and avoid retirement brawls
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, January 08, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.caHave you been thinking about how you'll spend your days in retirement? There's lots to do in those golden years. Just be careful where you hang out. I recall the story a few years back of a 62-year-old man who was kicked out of the Spring Haven Retirement Community (in Winter Haven, Fla.) because he punched an 86-year-old resident and bit another in a fight at the community salad bar.
FULL STORY


Make 2015 about boosting financial health
TIM CESTNICK  

Saturday, January 03, 2015

tcestnick@waterstreet.caI''ve heard it said that the New Year is an opportunity for a new start on old habits. It's not the case for me this year. My resolution is to make progress in getting back into shape. Last year, my resolution was to drive by the new gym that opened in my neighbourhood at least three times each week. I kept that resolution, although I didn't actually look at the gym when driving by. This year, my resolution is to actually stop at the gym.
FULL STORY


Financial freedom is the freedom to give
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

tcestnick@waterstreet.caEvery year, the taxman releases statistics about the tax returns filed by Canadians. The most recent stats were released by the Canada Revenue Agency in 2013 (for the 2011 tax year), and provide a glimpse into what we're like as taxpayers. In particular, I wanted to look at those statistics to see how generous we are as Canadians - well, insofar as our tax returns can reveal that type of thing.
FULL STORY


Leaving Canada? You may be able to minimize the departure tax - significantly
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

tcestnick@waterstreet.caLast week I introduced James and Kate - friends who will be moving to the United States in the new year. I reminded James that the U.S. can be a strange place with some crazy laws.
FULL STORY


Moving stateside? Here are three tax tips before you go
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, December 04, 2014

tcestnick@waterstreet.caA few years ago, a couple who lived on our street decided to move to the Southern United States to retire. They packed up their entire home, had all their earthly possessions loaded onto two 52-foot trailers, and sent the moving company off to transport their belongings. They flew down to their new place a couple of days ahead of the movers. When the movers arrived, this couple answered the door, looked at the movers and said ''Take it all back. We want to go home.'' Spending a couple of days in their new surroundings was enough for them to decide that Canada was where they really wanted to be. There's no place like home. You just have to figure out where home is.
FULL STORY


Five financial gifts that will keep on giving
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, November 27, 2014

tcestnick@waterstreet.caThis past weekend, I asked my kids what they would like for Christmas. The list included things like an iPad, hockey stick, scooter, clothes and video games. There was one item that the kids, together, decided they would ask for. A group gift, if you will. I'm talking about the Henry River Mill Village. A village. No kidding.
FULL STORY


How a kind gesture on your part can actually lead to a tax hit
TIM CESTNICK  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tim Cestnick is president of WaterStreet Family Offices, and author of several tax and personal finance books.tcestnick@waterstreet.caAs the Christmas season approaches we'll be having a couple of parties at our home. There are certain topics that are taboo when it comes to starting conversations with guests.
FULL STORY

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