Finance

Get help filing your return

  

Get help filing your tax return:

If you qualify for the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program and have a simple tax situation, a trained volunteer will help you complete your income tax and benefit return.

To maintain an individual’s eligibility for the RDSP they must file a tax return.

To receive your GST rebate, you must file a tax return.

For more information, go to:

www.cra.gc.ca/volunteer

For clinics in BC Click on the LINK to Volunteer Tax Preparation Clinics.

Make your RDSP Contribution early this year !

  

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) was introduced by the
government of Canada to help families and people with disabilities save
for their long-term financial security.

The benefits of saving in an RDSP:

Contributions to an RDSP are not tax-deductible, but they grow within
the plan on a tax-deferred basis. In addition, contributions may be
eligible for the Canada Disability Savings Grant (the grant) and the
plan may be eligible for the Canada Disability Savings Bond (the bond).
The grant provides matching contributions; no contributions are required
for lower income individuals/families to receive the bond. Together,
they could add up to $90,000 to your RDSP.

There is a lifetime contribution limit of $200,000 per beneficiary and no annual contribution limit.

Note that withdrawals trigger the repayment of any grant or bond received during the previous 10 years.

Making the most of your RDSP:

Here are some age-related strategies that may help you maximize the value of your plan, depending on your circumstances.

When the beneficiary is a young child:

  • Make contributions that attract the grant as early as possible, to
    maximize tax-deferred growth and to minimize the effect of the grant
    “clawback” — if a withdrawal is made, any grant payments received in the previous 10 years must be paid back.
  • Try to make an annual contribution large enough to attract the
    maximum matching grant contributions. The earlier you start, the better chance you will have of reaching the maximum grant amount of $70,000.
  • The tax-deferred status of contributions makes the RDSP an ideal
    way to invest in long-term solutions like a growth oriented mutual fund.

When the beneficiary is a young adult:

  • Try to contribute every year because the grant and bond cannot be
    received following the year the beneficiary turns age 49.  Even if there is no intention to contribute, the bond can be maximized simply by opening the plan early enough.
  • Upon reaching the age of majority, a beneficiary who is capable of
    managing his or her own finances can become the holder of his or her
    own plan. This isn’t compulsory, however. If you are the parent and have been the holder while the beneficiary was a minor, you can continue as holder.
  • At this stage, an investment solution that strikes the right balance
    between growth and safety may make sense depending on when withdrawals are planned.

When the beneficiary is a mature adult (40+):

  • Contributions to an RDSP do not qualify for grant contributions
    following the year the beneficiary turns 49. In addition, plans are not
    eligible for the bond after this time.  But beneficiaries can still
    benefit from tax-deferred growth by contributing up until the year they turn age 59.
  • Lifetime Disability Assistance Payments (LDAPs ***See explanation below) can begin at any age but must begin by the end of the year in which the
    beneficiary turns age 60. Consider waiting at least 10 years after the
    final grant and bond have been received into the plan before requesting LDAPs; otherwise, the grant and bond payments received in the previous 10 years will have to be returned to the government.
  • The portion of the LDAP consisting of grant, bond and investment
    income is taxable at the beneficiary’s marginal rate, which may
    influence the decision to begin payments. For example, if the
    beneficiary’s marginal tax rate is likely to decrease at retirement age,
    it may be advantageous to delay LDAPs until that time.
  • More conservative investment options, including those that generate
    regular tax-efficient income while providing some growth to offset
    inflation, should be considered as payments from the RDSP must begin.

Make your RDSP Contribution for 2010 !

  

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) was introduced by the
government of Canada to help families and people with disabilities save
for their long-term financial security.

The benefits of saving in an RDSP:

Contributions to an RDSP are not tax-deductible, but they grow within
the plan on a tax-deferred basis. In addition, contributions may be
eligible for the Canada Disability Savings Grant (the grant) and the
plan may be eligible for the Canada Disability Savings Bond (the bond).
The grant provides matching contributions; no contributions are required for lower income individuals/families to receive the bond. Together, they could add up to $90,000 to your RDSP.

There is a lifetime contribution limit of $200,000 per beneficiary and no annual contribution limit.

Note that withdrawals trigger the repayment of any grant or bond received during the previous 10 years.

Making the most of your RDSP:

Here are some age-related strategies that may help you maximize the value of your plan, depending on your circumstances.

When the beneficiary is a young child:

  • Make contributions that attract the grant as early as possible, to
    maximize tax-deferred growth and to minimize the effect of the grant “clawback” — if a withdrawal is made, any grant payments received in the previous 10 years must be paid back.
  • Try to make an annual contribution large enough to attract the maximum matching grant contributions. The earlier you start, the better chance you will have of reaching the maximum grant amount of $70,000.
  • The tax-deferred status of contributions makes the RDSP an ideal way to invest in long-term solutions like a growth oriented mutual fund.

When the beneficiary is a young adult:

  • Try to contribute every year because the grant and bond cannot be received following the year the beneficiary turns age 49.  Even if there is no intention to contribute, the bond can be maximized simply by
    opening the plan early enough.
  • Upon reaching the age of majority, a beneficiary who is capable of
    managing his or her own finances can become the holder of his or her own plan. This isn’t compulsory, however. If you are the parent and have been the holder while the beneficiary was a minor, you can continue as holder.
  • At this stage, an investment solution that strikes the right balance
    between growth and safety may make sense depending on when withdrawals
    are planned.

When the beneficiary is a mature adult (40+):

  • Contributions to an RDSP do not qualify for grant contributions
    following the year the beneficiary turns 49. In addition, plans are not
    eligible for the bond after this time.  But beneficiaries can still
    benefit from tax-deferred growth by contributing up until the year they
    turn age 59.
  • Lifetime Disability Assistance Payments (LDAPs ***See explanation below)
    can begin at any age but must begin by the end of the year in which the
    beneficiary turns age 60. Consider waiting at least 10 years after the
    final grant and bond have been received into the plan before requesting
    LDAPs; otherwise, the grant and bond payments received in the previous
    10 years will have to be returned to the government.
  • The portion of the LDAP consisting of grant, bond and investment
    income is taxable at the beneficiary’s marginal rate, which may
    influence the decision to begin payments. For example, if the
    beneficiary’s marginal tax rate is likely to decrease at retirement age,
    it may be advantageous to delay LDAPs until that time.
  • More conservative investment options, including those that generate
    regular tax-efficient income while providing some growth to offset
    inflation, should be considered as payments from the RDSP must begin.

Remember: Review your own needs!

  

Although, there does not seem to be an "official" policy in place about yearly reviews for PWD benefits, it appears that people are no longer being asked to come into the Ministry offices every year to prove they are still disabled.

While this is mostly a GOOD thing you must remember that as your health or living situations change, you may be eligible for an additional  supplement or benefit.  Even if you are not being asked to attend an office to do a yearly review, take the time to review your own needs.  It might be time to visit your local MEIA office and ask for a reveiw.

Social Enterprise and Micro-loans

  

Are you looking to start up your own enterprise? Vancity offers loans for social enterprise and micro-loans for small business start-up. Vancity also offers advice with business planning and mentorship with its ABLED program for people with disabilities.

*UPDATED April 8, 2012*

Start a RDSP with Endowment 150

  

Go to the Vancouver Foundation’s website on Endowment 150 an initiative that helps people to get started on saving through a RDSP by offering a one-time $150 gifts to a Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSP). Check it out…

CLBC now offering Individualized Funding

  

Starting in 2009 CLBC has been actively encouraging families to consider Individualized Funding as an option for their family member with a developmental disability.

The CLBC website has some good print resources to help families decide if this option is for them.

You might also want to check out the BC Coaltion for People with Disabilites  who have a section of their website dedicated to Individualized Funding including a downloadable guide (pdf).The guide is a bit tricky to find, you need to click on the "Guide to Individualized Funding" at the bottom of the resources page.

If you are interested in this funding option contact your CLBC facilitator for more information.

Death benefits

  

Posted for Frank Jetha

Government pays funeral expenses up to $2500.00 .

This benefit is connected to CPP and so it varies person to person.

Some folks have only received $100 and others up to $2500. Depends on individual CPP contributions.

"If you have contributed to the CPP for the necessary number of years, the CPP also offers a one-time lump-sum death benefit to your estate upon your death. Furthermore, your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible to receive a monthly survivor pension. Dependent children up to the age of 25 may also be eligible for benefits (those between 18 and 25 must be attending school full-time).

Applications for Canada Pension Plan benefits are available from any federal Service Canada office or on-line from the Service Canada website."

http://www.hls.gov.bc.ca/seniors/guide/finances/cpp.htm

 

For help to apply or more information call Frank Jetha at 604-298-1085

Widows pension (survivors pension)

  

Posted for Frank Jetha

Begins at age 60 and ends at age 65.

Widow pension is attached to your CPP contribution and therefore it will vary person to person.

For more information and help to apply contact Frank Jetha at 604-298-1085

Purposeful Purchasing: Safeway Developing their Disability Confidence

  

The truth is I haven’t really figured out how to use Twitter for advocacy and at the same time I would like to. I have found some tips of how to use Twitter for advocacy and some more advice on Twitter.I will try and use these tips in the next campaign that comes along.

Also, check out Kevin Grandia’s blog on how to use Twitter generally and how to enhance the look of your Twitter page.

So, what is your advice on how to use Twitter as an advocacy tool?