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2016 Year-End Financial Strategies For Canadians

As we are approaching the end of 2016, most of us are probably focused on Christmas shopping, holiday parties and New Year’s festivities. However, this is still time to implement any final financial strategies that could help put more tax dollars back in your pocket. Here is a list of financial strategies that we obtained from the tax specialist of our long-term business partners, Mackenzie Investments.


Investors should consider the following strategies for their portfolios:

  • Initiate trades before investment deadline
  • Trigger accrued losses before year-end
  • Corporate class funds – Switch before year-end
  • Treat capital gains appropriately
  • Transfer investments to child
  • Donate securities to charity
  • Donate cash to charity if you are a first-time donor
  • Establish a private foundation
  • Adjust your instalment payments
  • Contribute to a tax-free savings account (TFSA)
  • Contribute to a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)
  • Maximize RDSP grant and bond carryforward


Investors should consider the following strategies for their RRSP:

  • Make your RRSP contribution on time
  • Make the most of your unused RRSP contribution room
  • Contribute to a spousal RRSP
  • Contribute to spousal RRSP if your spouse / CLP passed away this year
  • Base withdrawals on age of younger spouse or common law partner
  • Delay HBP withdrawals until after year-end
  • Make your required HBP repayment
  • Consider missing your HBP repayment
  • Know your U.S. filing requirements
  • Beware of PFIC reporting obligations
  • Claim a “Closer Connection Exception”

Taxpayers with pensions, income plans and government benefits also have opportunities to minimize tax by implementing the following strategies:

  • Make an advanced RRSP contribution
  • Apply for government benefits (OAS & CPP)
  • Create eligible pension income
  • Opt out of CPP premium payments


Employees receive a number of taxable benefits that can be dealt with tax efficiently by following some of these strategies:

  • Pay interest on loans
  • Defer your bonus
  • Reduce the stand-by charge & operating benefit
  • Reduce source withholdings

Families have a number of last minute ideas that can help reduce total taxes on a family basis. Here are a few ideas:

  • Identify income-splitting opportunities
  • Contribute to an RESP
  • Take advantage of various tax credits
  • Pay child care expenses to adult children
  • Accelerate medical expenses
  • Review trust income

Incorporated business owners have great flexibility in their tax planning. The following are some last minute tax saving ideas with the use of corporations:

  • Defer your income
  • Pay salaries to family
  • Determine compensation mix
  • Purchase a vehicle from your company
  • Claim an ABIL
  • Reduce taxable capital
  • Shareholder loans to your company
  • Shareholder loans from your company
  • Make a gift or award to an employee


Above are general ideas for your reference only, not meant to provide a specific financial advice. Since everyone’s situation could be different, please make sure to talk to your legal or tax advisor first. We do have a more complete guide from Mackenzie Investments, which contains more descriptions on each of the mentioned items. If you would like to obtain a copy, feel free to contact us.


Disclaimer: This should not be construed to be legal or tax advice, as each client’s situation is different. Please consult your own legal and tax advisor. The content of this blog is not to be used or construed as investment advice, as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, or an endorsement, recommendation or sponsorship of any entity or security cited. Although we endeavour to ensure its accuracy and completeness, we assume no responsibility for any reliance upon it

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