HW Alumni - where are they now? - Scott Bates

Many of our clients know Scott Bates, as he started working with Hendry Warren in January of 2012. Six years later, we were sad to see him go, but excited about his new opportunity. If you haven’t been able to reach him at HW, it's because he has returned to his old stomping grounds to become a partner at Bates & Bates Chartered Accountants, a firm started over 25 years ago by Cynthia and David Bates in Newmarket, ON. Scott will continue to provide the superior client service he was known for at HW to the clients of Bates & Bates. We miss him already, and congratulate him on this exciting new step in his career!

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Personal Tax Season Resources

It's that time again....time to think about getting yourself organized for personal tax preparation.  The regular filing deadline is April 30th.  If you, or your spouse, are self-employed, you have until June 15th to file your return, however CRA will charge interest on unpaid taxes starting on May 1st.  To help you get organized, you can find a number of helpful checklists and worksheets  on our resources page.

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Set Aside Money for Taxes

Every year, you know you’re going to have to pay taxes, and when. Make putting money aside for it a part of your regular financial process. Unpaid taxes can incur penalties and interest from the CRA, so make sure the money is there when you need it. By putting money aside each month, it won't be as painful when they are due.

Have an accounting question? Let us know: https://lnkd.in/dZqmn6J

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Bell Let's Talk Day!

The staff and partners of HW are proud supporters of Bell Let's Talk Day, and of ensuring the dialogue around mental health goes on all year.   After an informative breakfast yesterday, the group gathered together for this photo.

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ACT NOW! New Voluntary Disclosure Program Effective March 1, 2018

 

Our September 2017 Newsletter outlined significant proposed changes to the Canada Revenue Agency’s (“CRA”) Voluntary Disclosure Program (“VDP”). The VDP is a CRA administrative program that promotes compliance with Canada’s tax laws by encouraging taxpayers to voluntarily come forward and correct any previous errors or omissions in their tax affairs. On December 13th, 2017 and December 15th, 2017, the CRA released IC00-1R6 and GST/HST memo 16.5, respectively, detailing the program updates. The new program is effective March 1, 2018. The VDP applies to disclosures relating to income tax, excise tax (GST/HST), payroll taxes, and other reporting requirements. The term taxpayer includes an individual, an employer, a corporation, a partnership, a trust, a GST/HST registrant or a registered exporter of softwood lumber products.

As an example of the current program; failure to file form T1135 – Foreign Income Verification Statement where a taxpayer had foreign assets with a cost in excess of $100,000 could result in a penalty of $2,500 per year. The VDP would potentially allow the penalty to be avoided.

Similar to the existing program, the CRA has imposed criteria which determine eligibility for the program. The disclosure must meet the following conditions;

i. be voluntary;

ii. be complete;

iii. involve the application or potential application of a penalty and, for GST/HST applications, the application or potential application of a penalty or interest;

iv. include information that is at least one year past due for income tax applications and, for GST/HST applications, at least one reporting period past due; and

v. include payment of the estimated tax owing.

The significant addition to the criteria is that the disclosure must include the payment of the estimated tax owing. While payment was previously encouraged under the old system to halt the accrual of interest at the time the disclosure was submitted, it was not required in order for the disclosure to be valid.  

Consistent with the Draft Information Circular issued in September 2017, the CRA has committed to two streams of voluntary disclosures, the Limited Program and the General Program for income tax purposes. The Limited Program provides relief for non-compliance where there is an “element of intentional conduct on the part of the taxpayer”. The Limited Program, where eligible, would protect the taxpayer from criminal prosecution and gross negligence penalties, but not other penalties and interest. All other disclosures would be classified under the General Program, which could protect the taxpayer from penalties and criminal prosecution, as well as partial interest relief for the years preceding the three most recent years of returns required to be filed.  Full interest charges will be assessed for the three most recent years.

It should be noted that for GST/HST, excise taxes, excise duty, softwood lumber and air traveller’s security charge disclosures a third category, Wash Transactions, will exist. A wash transaction exists where a supplier would otherwise be required to collect GST/HST and would be entitled to a full input tax credit, such that net tax may not apply. Disclosure of unreported wash transactions may be eligible for a reduction in penalties and interest.

Determination of whether an application should be processed under the General or Limited Program will be made by the CRA based on the facts presented. The CRA has stated that they will consider the dollar amounts involved, the number of years of non-compliance and the sophistication of the taxpayer.

The effective date of a disclosure (“EDD”) is the date the CRA receives a completed and signed VDP application, where the five eligibility criteria are met. The taxpayer may have up to 90 days from the EDD to submit additional information. Where complexity or extraordinary circumstances exist, an extension may be granted where a written request is received from the taxpayer or an authorized representative. If the additional information not received by the CRA within the time frame, the CRA may commence action resulting in penalties, interest, and potential prosecution.

The CRA has also indicated that the following applications will generally not be considered under the VDP:

  • applications that relate to income tax returns with no taxes owing or with refunds expected; these would be handled using normal processing procedures.
  • elections; there are provisions within the various acts administered by the CRA which entitle taxpayers to choose or “elect” specific treatment of certain tax transactions
  • applications relating to an advance pricing arrangement
  • applications that depend on an agreement being made at the discretion of the Canadian competent authority under a provision of a tax treaty
  • applications where a person is in receivership or has become bankrupt;
  • post-assessment requests for penalty and interest relief

It should be noted that once a taxpayer uses the program to become compliant, the CRA expects the taxpayer to remain compliant, such that multiple submission may not be considered. The CRA has stated that it may consider reviewing a file a second time in situations where the circumstances are beyond the taxpayer’s control.

 

Highlights of Changes

  • Payment of estimated taxes owing required upon application.
  • No-name VDP is no longer available. A non-binding, “pre-disclosure discussion” resource has been implemented, where taxpayers can receive guidance on an anonymous basis from CRA agents. While this may provide insight and answer questions related to the new program, it will not offer any protection to taxpayers.
  • Corporations with gross revenue in excess of $250 million in at least two of the last five taxation years, and any related entities, will be considered under the Limited Program.
  • Complex transfer-pricing applications will be referred for a specialized committee.
  • Relevant specialists will be reviewing complex applications.
  • The name of the advisor who assisted with the non-compliance should be included in the application.
  • Previous relief of penalties and interest could be cancelled where it is determined that a disclosure did not meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Under the Limited Program, participants will have to sign a waiver of their right to object and appeal in relation to the specific issue. If a taxpayer disagrees with an assessment, a second review can be requested, however this will be at the discretion of the CRA.

 

What now?

The additional complexities and limitations of the revised program may dissuade taxpayers from making future disclosures. Where possible, taxpayers may want to consider taking advantage of the current program before March 1, 2018. For more information on the current program or making a disclosure on or after March 1, 2018, please contact our office. 

Meet Trina Watters - Manager, Audit and Assurance

Trina finds purpose in helping others. This is a reflection of her life at Hendry Warren where she provides valuable financial, tax and business advisory services to owner managers and entrepreneurs alike. Trina leverages her attention to detail and personable attitude to ensure financial reporting and taxation deadlines are met and client service expectations are exceeded. Trina graduated with honours from Carleton University in 2012 and became a member of CPA Canada and CPA Ontario in 2015.  She joined the Hendry Warren team in 2016. Previously she worked at a national firm in addition to obtaining financial planning and analysis experience at various industry positions. Trina maintains her work life balance outside the office as a registered yoga teacher offering classes on a weekly basis at a local yoga studio

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Time to plan for T4 & T5 filing

It is time once again to look at required Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) filing deadlines regarding payroll remittances and corporate dividends.  Please consider if you have a filing obligation, as there are penalties for late filing, or omitting to file.

If, during the 2017 calendar year, you paid salaries, contract payments, or dividends, you are required to report these amounts to CRA on a T4, T4A, or T5 summary and information slips, respectively.  The deadline to file these items with CRA is February 28, 2018.

If you would like our assistance in preparing these filings, or if you are unsure whether you have a filing obligation, please contact us at info@hwllp.ca, and we would be happy to be of assistance.

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Welcoming our Newest Partner - Todd Hamilton

Partners Ian Hendry, Dan Warren, Marie Fraser, Nancy Nicks, Jacob Milosek, and Blair Duffy are pleased to welcome a new partner to our firm. He is passionate about client service and helping entrepreneurial business owners achieve their financial goals with accounting, taxation, succession planning, restructuring and managing growth.


Todd has a broad range of public accounting and industry experience and his career is dedicated to helping business owners, directors and executive management of private companies and not-for profit organizations. His areas of expertise include financial reporting, assurance and accounting which is complimented by a broad knowledge and strong background in corporate and personal taxation. He prides himself on his full-service approach to client service which includes providing strategic yet pragmatic value-added solutions to help his clients realize personal financial goals and organizational objectives.
Todd enjoys networking and marketing along with coaching and mentoring young professionals and is a member of the firm’s Marketing committee.


In the past, Todd has volunteered as a member of the Financial Advisory Committee of the Ontario Zone of the Canadian Red Cross. He is also the past Treasurer of Actua, a national charity that helps youth by reaching out to them and engaging them in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.


Whether your needs are for accounting, audit, taxation, business advisory, controllership support, management consulting or financial planning Hendry Warren LLP provides exceptional service for both individual and corporate clients. Hendry Warren LLP values and supports the entrepreneurial spirit. We believe in building effective relationships based on trust, mutual respect and commitment to excellence.


With a staff of more than 40 professionals and over 20 years of service excellence in the Ottawa business community, we ensure the right individual is working with you to meet your needs efficiently and cost effectively. Our unique team of CPAs and professional accounting and bookkeeping staff will work alongside the partners to provide personalized solutions for your business.


We are growing and always looking for new people for our dynamic team. We respect and encourage a balance between work and personal activities. Our team enjoys the work environment at our office and participates together in various community service activities. Talented individuals are encouraged to apply.

Here comes the sun!

The hat is just back from a trip to sunny (and warm!) Cancun, Mexico.  We're not sure how long the effects will last, but we are hopeful it will carry us through a few weeks at least.

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Home for the Holidays!

Happy Holidays to all of our wonderful staff and clients! We hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday.

Although the Hat has been all over the world, this year it has decided to spend the Holidays right here in Ottawa touring around Parliament.

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Hendry Warren Spreading Christmas Cheer

Last week, the staff from Hendry Warren rolled up their sleeves and chipped in to help pack 660 boxes which help feed 220 local Ottawa families this Christmas and beyond. This is a yearly event run by the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa. Over the course of three evenings, boxes are built and filled with food for delivery the next morning. The boxes have food for a Christmas feast as well as staples to fill a kitchen.   We would like to thank everyone that helped to make these families holiday a little brighter. 

Hendry Warren Team at the Christmas Cheer Breakfast!

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In 1951 CFRA along with the West Ottawa Lions Club started the Christmas Cheer broadcast. In 2007 the Christmas Cheer Foundation was created. Every December at the Westin Hotel the Christmas Cheer Foundation hosts a breakfast, along with the annual broadcast, to raise money to support local non-profit organizations. The efforts of these organizations provide assistance and programs to disadvantaged families during the Christmas season. Hendry Warren is a proud supporter of the Christmas Cheer Foundation. Thank you to the Westin Hotel for a wonderful breakfast and to the Foundation and its supporters who helped spread Christmas Cheer this holiday season.

Income Sprinkling – A Simplified Approach?

On July 18, 2017, the Department of Finance released draft legislation aimed to deter owners of private corporations from income sprinkling with family members beyond a reasonable amount.  Revised draft legislation related to income sprinkling and the TOSI was released on December 13, 2017.  These rules include “bright-line” tests that will allow some income sprinkling with family members, subject to a number of conditions.  The revisions are meant to simplify and better target the original July 18, 2017 rules, and to reduce the potential compliance burden in their application.  This month’s newsletter written by one of our tax partners, Jacob Milosek, reviews the recent proposals with respect to income sprinkling.

Tax Changes Announced - Income Sprinkling

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After months of suspense, the Department of Finance released revised draft legislation on December 13, 2017 regarding the change to income sprinkling and tax on split income (“TOSI”). The government has provided certain “bright-line” tests that will allow income sprinkling with family members, subject to a number of conditions. We have attached the Department of Finance releases. For more immediate information, please see the following link https://goo.gl/W2UFGF 

The Department of Finance has not released draft legislation regarding passive income. This information is not expected until the 2018 Budget. 

In light of this update, we are reviewing the changes to advise our clients on the potential impacts, limitations and planning opportunities available. We will be releasing a newsletter shortly with a summary of the changes.

'Tis the Season to Give Back!

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As one of Hendry Warren LLP's annual holiday initiatives, we are supporting the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa Angel Tree Program!

The Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa Angel Tree program provides a holiday gift to more than 2,000 at-risk children in the Ottawa region. For most of these children it will be their only gift they receive this season.

We are giving gifts to children aged 6 to 18, for some this is the first time they have received a gift. We would like to thank everyone that helped us contribute to the program.


If you want to learn more about the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa's Angel Tree Program, or you would like to donate to them, you can find their website here: http://www.bgcottawa.org/

Holiday Accounting Tips for Businesses

Let’s be real, with holiday parties left and right, your family coming into town, and the secret Santa you still haven’t shopped for, accounting tips are probably the last thing on your mind.

However, if you’re a small business owner, the holidays are some of the most crucial times for you and your business. As accountants we strive to ensure that businesses stay informed and organized on what they can do to help themselves stay on top.

Fortunately, we have a few small tricks you can use in order to save yourself a lot of time and money during the craziness of the holidays.

2017 Hendry Warren Holiday Party!

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While they aren’t really a couple, they were the couple that was best dressed for the holidays at the Hendry Warren and Transactions Inc. holiday party on Friday evening.   Brock McDonald is a Team Lead at Hendry Warren, working on his CBV designation.  Marie Wesley is part of our extended family, being recently engaged to Matt Bowcock, one of our CPA students.  We aren’t sure where Brock found that suit, but we hope to see it for years to come!

Meet One of Our Team Leads, Megan Bloskie!

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Megan Bloskie works primarily with our assurance clients providing exceptional service in audit and review engagements as well as special projects, including due diligence support. She enjoys helping clients understand the analytics and financial ratios that drive their business. From gaining a comprehensive understanding of our clients’ operations she is able to make suggestions to strengthen internal control processes in an efficient manner.

At Hendry Warren LLP, Megan enjoys being active in developing the future auditors of the firm and is actively involved in the Firm’s Quality Assurance and File Quality Monitoring program.

Megan grew up in the Ottawa Valley town of Barry’s Bay and graduated from Brock University in 2011 with a degree in Honours Accounting before joining Hendry Warren full-time in October 2012.

Movember was Fan-Stache-Tic!

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The end of Movember is here and after 30 days of growth, the gentlemen of Hendry Warren are ready to show off their Moustaches. The Moustaches are great, but even better we surpassed our fundraising target and raised almost $7,000 towards improving men's health.

You can check out the HW Super Stash Brothers Movember page here to see the individual moustaches and our teams fundraising progress. Thanks to everyone who participated and supported our team and this great cause!