Insider Tips For Financial Success

Insider Tips For Financial Success As we enter a new decade, Graphic Arts Magazine would like to share these helpful tips from Steve Aprile, who is a CPA, CA and Certified Financial Planner at Grant Thornton in Markham, Ontario. His guidance has greatly helped us at Graphic Arts, and we hope that these tips he provides will also improve your chances at financial success in 2020. 

  1. If you are operating in Ontario, and your payroll is over $490,000 you must file and pay your Employer Health Tax by March 15, 2020.  This sneaky tax is frequently forgotten by growing companies. The Ontario Ministry of Finance may assess years later, but with significant penalties and interest build upon the original amount.
  2. Interest rates are low, but having excess cash around earning nothing is not acceptable.  Take the time to open a direct trading broker account for your company and buy a high yield savings account.
  3. Many small businesses can’t afford traditional medical and dental benefits for their employees.  Take a look at www.BrockHealth.ca – a very cost and tax effective way to cover some basic medical costs for your employees.
  4. Every company is allowed to have six employee events, where the food and drink is 100% deductible.  Everyone needs to eat so be sure and treat your team and keep them motivated.
  5. None of us are getting younger, so be sure and discuss your succession plans with your accountant and make sure you have the right ownership structure to facilitate the most tax effective exit from the business.
  6. CRA has introduced accelerated capital cost allowance rates for all business equipment purchases.  If the timing is economically convenient, and you are having a profitable year, consider buying the new equipment you need before your year end
  7. You can give your employee a non-taxable gift or reward for reaching a milestone.  Following the rules and getting the most of this program requires some effort and discussion with your team but in the end, it is worth it.
  8. CRA has introduced very complicated rules on income splitting with your family but they have not stopped you from paying them a fair amount for the services they perform.  It all adds up, so be sure and consider paying all family members over the age of 14 for casual, part-time and summer employment
  9. Protecting your assets from current and future creditors has always been extremely important for business owners.  Make sure your corporate structure protests your wealth and savings are in the right place and invested properly.
  10. Don’t let your entrepreneurial spirit get the best of you.  Before you invest in any speculative stocks, make sure that losing that capital will not have a catastrophic effect on your life.  Simple investments that pay quarterly dividends provide you with less potential reward but the risk is also much lower. Buy stocks with a 10 year timeline so you don’t panic when they drop in value along the way.
  11. Make sure you have an up to date will and it will be business as usual if something happens to you.  Signing authority, trading authority, passwords, log-in ID – make sure your loved ones are not left scrambling.
  12. RESP, RRSP, TFSA, fixed rate vs variable rate, life insurance, line of credit, personal guarantees, buying vs leasing – there are more choices than ever – be sure and have a plan that integrates everything.

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Steven Aprile

Steven Aprile is a partner in the independent business group of Grant Thorton, at their Markham, Ontario office. His goal is to deliver exceptional service and advice to owner-managed businesses and holding companies, helping them to minimize taxes and grow their business. As a Certified Financial Planner, his areas of expertise include: corporate and personal tax return preparation and planning, new business start-ups, personal financial planning, QuickBooks Pro advisor, estate planning and financial statement compilation and review engagements.