Kevin's blog

Living Out Allowance (Contractors ONLY)

If you work in the Oil and Gas industry you have undoubtably heard of Living out Allowance (LOA).  This blog is dedicated to contractors only.  The purpose of LOA is to help with costs associated with working away from home.  Typically a contactor will add the LOA to their invoices, or it is automatically included as part of their hourly charge out rate.  Because you are charging "extra" for LOA you are able to deduct the expenses.

CRA - Your rights during an Audit

Getting audited by the CRA is normal.  Having to produce documents to support your taxes is normal.  Getting unfairly treated by the CRA is NOT!

Do I Get A Carbon Tax Rebate?

The Information provided below is directly from the Government of Alberta website and has not been changed or modified.  Take a look for yourself to see if you will qualify for a rebate cheque.  In my next blog i will comment on the Carbon tax and share my opinion and thoughts.  I will  say this.  In my opinion you will pay far more for essential items like gas, electricity, groceries, and anything that requires transportation.  When you look at the rebate numbers and income thresholds you will realize that you are just paying more tax.


Tax Scams and the CRA

In an effort to inform everyone out there I am writing to explain how the CRA works so you will not be caught off guard or scammed by the scammers.  If you owe the CRA money and it is NOT under appeal.


  • Send you an Assessment or RE-Assessment via snail mail

  • Send you letters directly

  • Call you directly

  • Know your name and will be clear about it (no mumbling, fumbling, or ambiguity)

  • Try to garnishee your bank account

Good Records Beat the CRA

I have always said that good record keeping is important.  In addition, organizing your affairs properly can legally save you tax.  The key to any good tax strategy is to understand the process then to make sure that your actions and accounting records reflect what it is you want to do.  For instance, if you want your income to be taxed in a corporation then you must have your income go directly through your corporation’s bank account.  It is also a good idea to have any relevant contracts made out in the corporation’s name.  In short, as stated above, your actions MUST reflect your intent,

Home Based Businesses

There are many ways and reasons to operate a business.  The easiest way is to run a proprietor business out of your home.  It is easy because all you need is an idea and a space and you are good to go.  In comparison getting an incorporated business going requires more money and is way more complex.  The book keeping and accounting are more complex and way more expensive for incorporated businesses.

Flow Through Shares – Are they a good idea?

In all the years that I have been doing taxes there has been a common theme.  Everyone hates paying taxes, think they pay too much, and are always looking for a way to pay less.  Now I have written about how paying tax is good because it means you are making money, and paying lots of tax means you are making lots of money.  No one listens, most think I am an idiot, and other keep looking for schemes to reduce their taxes.  C’est la vie (that's life).

Owing or Buying a Business

To most people owning a business and being your own boss seems like the ultimate dream come true.  It can be awesome, or can be an absolute nightmare.  Owning a business is not a license to print money nor does it mean that you get to sit back and do nothing while watching the money pour in.  The truth is that business owners work harder and longer than employees do.  While business owner aren’t necessarily shoveling snow or cleaning toilets that does not mean they are not working.  This is the first thing that you should be aware of.  Owning a business means that you will work harder and l

Employment Insurance and the Self-Employed

As an addendum to my last blog on EI benefits I realized that I had better explain the EI benefits available to the self-employed.  The truth is the benefits are extremely limited and are NOT the same as you get when you are an employee and lose your job.  In fact, in my opinion the “benefits” are kind of a joke.  You have to jump through a lot of hoops, and I suspect actually trying to claim them would be similar to making a WCB claim for being hurt (that is to say extremely frustrating).  All you have to do is read the first few sentences on the website to see they are ca

Tax Schemes - More things you should know

As most of you know by now I used to work for the CRA.  You should also know I still have lots of friends and acquaintances who still work for the CRA.  I had the misfortune of having to deal with one of these friends in a professional manner recently and need to warn you.  Now before I get too far you need to understand that while I may have friends at CRA that DOES NOT mean I get special favors or treatment.  In fact I would say that it is exactly the opposite.  People I know will go out of their way to ensure that there cannot ever be any accusations of wrong doin


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