Day: March 19, 2019

23 ways Federal Budget 2019 could affect your wallet

Federal Budget 2019 FULL COVERAGE »

The Liberals’ 2019 election budget features plenty of tax credits, incentives and tweaks meant to please the young and the old—but not many Canadians in between. The federal government is highlighting new measures to help make home ownership into a more affordable dream for first-time buyers, reduce student loan payments and help low-income seniors keep more money in their pockets in retirement. Here are 23 ways the federal budget could affect your wallet.

1. A new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive introduced in Budget 2019 aims to reduce the amount first-time buyers have to pay for a mortgage without increasing the required down payment. Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is participating in “shared equity mortgages,” meaning it is sharing in the cost of qualifying Canadians for their mortgages. CMHC is offering 10 per cent of the total house price of newly constructed homes and five per cent for an existing home. While this lowers the monthly cost of the mortgage for home buyers, it’s important to note that the incentive is paid back to the CMHC when the owner sells the house.

2. The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) withdrawal limit will increase from $25,000 to $35,000 starting March 19, 2019. As well, individuals who get a divorce or break up with a common-law spouse with whom they already bought a home will now still be eligible for the HBP.

3. The Canada Training Credit will let Canadians aged 24 to 64 accumulate $250 a year (to a maximum of $5,000, meaning $1,000 every four years) to put towards training fees, college, university, and other eligible institutions providing occupational skills, starting in 2020. You need to have earned at least $10,000 (including self-employment income, maternal and paternal leave benefits) to be eligible for this taxable credit.

4. The EI Training Support benefit provides four weeks of income support (55 per cent of a person’s average weekly earnings) every four years so that workers can take time off to go to school or train in some way. The four weeks can be spread out over the four years, in whatever way employees determine best suits their needs. This measure will launch in late 2020. Another measure will allow workers to take time off to study without losing their jobs.

5. The federal government is lowering the interest rates on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans. The floating interest rate will be lowered to prime (rather than prime plus 2.5 percentage points). The lower fixed interest rate will be lowered to prime plus two percentage points (down from prime plus five percentage points).

6. There will no longer be interest charged during the six-month grace period that students receive before they must start repaying their Canada Student Loans. This change combined with the lowering of interest rates is said to save the average student borrower $2,000 over the lifetime of their entire loan.

7. The cap on the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities will increase from $8,000 to $20,000 per year, to help students with permanent disabilities.

8. The eligibility for the Severe Permanent Disability Benefit will expand to allow more student borrowers with severe permanent disabilities to qualify for loan forgiveness.

9. It will soon be easier for students with permanent disabilities using the Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability to return to school after a long absence. They will be able to receive further loans and grants, even if there is a remaining balance on their outstanding loans.

10. Borrowers taking temporary leave from their studies for medical, parental or mental health reasons will not be required to make student loan payments, nor will they be charged interest during six-month ‘stackable’ periods (to a maximum of 18 months).

11. Parental leave for research students and postdoctoral fellows who receive granting council funding will expand from six months to 12 months.

12. GIS income exemptions will be boosted, meaning low-income seniors can earn more employment income with fewer clawbacks. Currently, the GIS earnings exemption allows low-income seniors and spouses to earn $3,500 per year in employment income without it triggering a reduction in GIS benefits. Budget 2019 extends that exemption to self-employment income and increases the full exemption to $5,000 per year. These changes also apply to allowance recipients.

There will also be a partial exemption of 50 per cent that could be applied to $10,000 of annual employment or self-employment income beyond the $5,000 for each GIS applicant and their spouse.

13. Proposed legislative changes will make it so seniors who will be aged 70 or older as of 2020 who contributed to the Canada Pension Plan but who haven’t applied for the program and are missing out on benefits will be “proactively” enrolled.

14. Proposed measures protect Canadians’ pension benefits by clarifying in federal law that if a pension plan is shut down, it must still provide the same benefits as it was when it was in place. Defined Benefit plans must transfer responsibility to a life insurance company via purchase of annuities to protect pensioners’ income if an employer becomes insolvent.

15. There will be an incentive of up to $5,000 for electric battery or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles that retail for less than $45,000. Businesses (including individual contractors) will be eligible for a full tax write-off of electric vehicles.

16. The government will soon set a $200,000 cap on employee stock option grants that receive preferential tax treatment (i.e. are taxed in the same way as capital gains). This is mostly so the wealthiest Canadians don’t receive big tax breaks thanks to their stock options. Stock options from start-up companies will be exempt from this cap.

17. Cannabis product taxes will be adjusted based on the amount of THC in each product. Most items, like fresh and dried cannabis, won’t be affected, but edibles, extracts and cannabis oils, which will be legal later this year, will be taxed based on the products’ THC levels. That means low-THC products (like cannabis oils) will be subject to slightly lower taxes.

18. There will be a non-refundable, 15 per cent tax credit for digital news subscriptions. Individuals can claim up to $500 per tax year paid towards subscriptions for a maximum annual credit of $75.

19. Starting in the 2019 tax year, TFSA holders will be on the hook for tax owing on income from carrying on a business within the investment account. Currently, the financial institution backing the TFSA is liable for paying taxes owing if there are insufficient funds in the TFSA.

20. Multi-unit residential property owners (for example, duplex owners) that decide to change the use of part of the property (for instance, if the owner moves into one of the units, making it their principal residence) can elect that a deemed disposition doesn’t apply. The ability to elect out of a deemed disposition was only available to full property-use conversions until now.

21. The advanced life deferred annuity will be permitted under RRSPs, RRIFs, DPSP, PRPPs and RPPS. Variable payment life annuities will be permitted under a PRPP and defined contribution RPP.

22. Canadians facing infertility (including single people and same-sex couples) will no longer face GST/HST on human ova and in vitro embryos. There will be no GST/HST on multidisciplinary health, nor will you have to pay GST/HST on certain foot care devices. All of this is effective AS OF March 20, 2019.

23. Currently, RDSP rules call for the account to be closed if the person no longer qualifies for the Disability Tax Credit, meaning all grants have to be repaid to the government. Budget 2019 eliminates that requirement.

MORE ABOUT FEDERAL BUDGET 2019:

@repost Divorce Lawyer

Via Alimony and Spousal Support

source https://www.macleans.ca/news/23-ways-federal-budget-2019-could-affect-your-wallet/

By The Wall of Law March 19, 2019 Off

23 ways Federal Budget 2019 could affect your wallet

Federal Budget 2019 FULL COVERAGE »

The Liberals’ 2019 election budget features plenty of tax credits, incentives and tweaks meant to please the young and the old—but not many Canadians in between. The federal government is highlighting new measures to help make home ownership into a more affordable dream for first-time buyers, reduce student loan payments and help low-income seniors keep more money in their pockets in retirement. Here are 23 ways the federal budget could affect your wallet.

1. A new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive introduced in Budget 2019 aims to reduce the amount first-time buyers have to pay for a mortgage without increasing the required down payment. Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is participating in “shared equity mortgages,” meaning it is sharing in the cost of qualifying Canadians for their mortgages. CMHC is offering 10 per cent of the total house price of newly constructed homes and five per cent for an existing home. While this lowers the monthly cost of the mortgage for home buyers, it’s important to note that the incentive is paid back to the CMHC when the owner sells the house.

2. The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) withdrawal limit will increase from $25,000 to $35,000 starting March 19, 2019. As well, individuals who get a divorce or break up with a common-law spouse with whom they already bought a home will now still be eligible for the HBP.

3. The Canada Training Credit will let Canadians aged 24 to 64 accumulate $250 a year (to a maximum of $5,000, meaning $1,000 every four years) to put towards training fees, college, university, and other eligible institutions providing occupational skills, starting in 2020. You need to have earned at least $10,000 (including self-employment income, maternal and paternal leave benefits) to be eligible for this taxable credit.

4. The EI Training Support benefit provides four weeks of income support (55 per cent of a person’s average weekly earnings) every four years so that workers can take time off to go to school or train in some way. The four weeks can be spread out over the four years, in whatever way employees determine best suits their needs. This measure will launch in late 2020. Another measure will allow workers to take time off to study without losing their jobs.

5. The federal government is lowering the interest rates on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans. The floating interest rate will be lowered to prime (rather than prime plus 2.5 percentage points). The lower fixed interest rate will be lowered to prime plus two percentage points (down from prime plus five percentage points).

6. There will no longer be interest charged during the six-month grace period that students receive before they must start repaying their Canada Student Loans. This change combined with the lowering of interest rates is said to save the average student borrower $2,000 over the lifetime of their entire loan.

7. The cap on the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities will increase from $8,000 to $20,000 per year, to help students with permanent disabilities.

8. The eligibility for the Severe Permanent Disability Benefit will expand to allow more student borrowers with severe permanent disabilities to qualify for loan forgiveness.

9. It will soon be easier for students with permanent disabilities using the Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability to return to school after a long absence. They will be able to receive further loans and grants, even if there is a remaining balance on their outstanding loans.

10. Borrowers taking temporary leave from their studies for medical, parental or mental health reasons will not be required to make student loan payments, nor will they be charged interest during six-month ‘stackable’ periods (to a maximum of 18 months).

11. Parental leave for research students and postdoctoral fellows who receive granting council funding will expand from six months to 12 months.

12. GIS income exemptions will be boosted, meaning low-income seniors can earn more employment income with fewer clawbacks. Currently, the GIS earnings exemption allows low-income seniors and spouses to earn $3,500 per year in employment income without it triggering a reduction in GIS benefits. Budget 2019 extends that exemption to self-employment income and increases the full exemption to $5,000 per year. These changes also apply to allowance recipients.

There will also be a partial exemption of 50 per cent that could be applied to $10,000 of annual employment or self-employment income beyond the $5,000 for each GIS applicant and their spouse.

13. Proposed legislative changes will make it so seniors who will be aged 70 or older as of 2020 who contributed to the Canada Pension Plan but who haven’t applied for the program and are missing out on benefits will be “proactively” enrolled.

14. Proposed measures protect Canadians’ pension benefits by clarifying in federal law that if a pension plan is shut down, it must still provide the same benefits as it was when it was in place. Defined Benefit plans must transfer responsibility to a life insurance company via purchase of annuities to protect pensioners’ income if an employer becomes insolvent.

15. There will be an incentive of up to $5,000 for electric battery or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles that retail for less than $45,000. Businesses (including individual contractors) will be eligible for a full tax write-off of electric vehicles.

16. The government will soon set a $200,000 cap on employee stock option grants that receive preferential tax treatment (i.e. are taxed in the same way as capital gains). This is mostly so the wealthiest Canadians don’t receive big tax breaks thanks to their stock options. Stock options from start-up companies will be exempt from this cap.

17. Cannabis product taxes will be adjusted based on the amount of THC in each product. Most items, like fresh and dried cannabis, won’t be affected, but edibles, extracts and cannabis oils, which will be legal later this year, will be taxed based on the products’ THC levels. That means low-THC products (like cannabis oils) will be subject to slightly lower taxes.

18. There will be a non-refundable, 15 per cent tax credit for digital news subscriptions. Individuals can claim up to $500 per tax year paid towards subscriptions for a maximum annual credit of $75.

19. Starting in the 2019 tax year, TFSA holders will be on the hook for tax owing on income from carrying on a business within the investment account. Currently, the financial institution backing the TFSA is liable for paying taxes owing if there are insufficient funds in the TFSA.

20. Multi-unit residential property owners (for example, duplex owners) that decide to change the use of part of the property (for instance, if the owner moves into one of the units, making it their principal residence) can elect that a deemed disposition doesn’t apply. The ability to elect out of a deemed disposition was only available to full property-use conversions until now.

21. The advanced life deferred annuity will be permitted under RRSPs, RRIFs, DPSP, PRPPs and RPPS. Variable payment life annuities will be permitted under a PRPP and defined contribution RPP.

22. Canadians facing infertility (including single people and same-sex couples) will no longer face GST/HST on human ova and in vitro embryos. There will be no GST/HST on multidisciplinary health, nor will you have to pay GST/HST on certain foot care devices. All of this is effective AS OF March 20, 2019.

23. Currently, RDSP rules call for the account to be closed if the person no longer qualifies for the Disability Tax Credit, meaning all grants have to be repaid to the government. Budget 2019 eliminates that requirement.

MORE ABOUT FEDERAL BUDGET 2019:

@repost Local Child Support Lawyers

Via Divorce Procedure

source https://www.macleans.ca/news/23-ways-federal-budget-2019-could-affect-your-wallet/

By The Wall of Law March 19, 2019 Off

Mother charged in Grand River death of toddler had drugs, alcohol in her system, court docs show

The mother charged in the death of her three-year-old son, Kaden Young, allegedly had both drugs and alcohol in her system when their minivan was swept into the Grand River last year, according to court documents.

The 35-year-old woman and her son were driving on 10th Line in Amaranth Township, near Orangeville, in the early morning hours of Feb. 21 when they drove past orange pylons and a road closure sign.

The minivan became struck and ended up in the river.

As she tried to free Kaden from his car seat, Ontario Provincial Police said the little boy and his mother were swept into the raging current. She was able to hold on to her son briefly, but soon lost her grip.

Emergency crews later rescued the mother along the banks of the river. The toddler’s body was found after a two-month search by police, family and volunteers. An autopsy later confirmed Kaden died from drowning.

Michelle Hanson was charged with impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death, and criminal negligence causing death in October.

While the criminal case is ongoing, documents from a child custody decision between Hanson and Kaden’s father, Cam Young, has shed more light on the investigation

The documents indicate that Ontario Superior Court judge Erika Chozik reviewed information from the Dufferin Child and Family Services (DCAFS) as part of her decision. The information, contained in a letter, refers to toxicology tests OPP conducted on Hanson the night the van plunged into the river.

In her decision, Chozik made it clear that she never personally reviewed the toxicology tests herself.

According to the letter from DCAFS, OPP toxicology screens showed that Hanson allegedly tested positive for Percocet, OxyContin, cocaine and alcohol.

It says Hanson also denied being impaired at the time of Kaden’s death when questioned by DCAFS.

An affidavit submitted by Cam Young claims Hanson told him she was going to the store to buy cigarettes sometime between midnight and 12:30 a.m. that day. Kaden was still awake at the time, so Hanson reportedly suggested she take him with her for a car ride to help him fall asleep.

The judge ruled that, based on the affidavit, the father “either agreed or did not oppose this proposal.”

The documents show Hanson called Young about 20 minutes later, saying she was trapped in the raging river.

The allegations have not been proven in court.

Hanson is due to appear in court again on April 9 for a judicial pretrial.

@repost Equalisation Payment

Via What Are Equalization Payments

source https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/mother-charged-in-grand-river-death-of-toddler-had-drugs-alcohol-in-her-system-court-docs-show-1.4342721

By The Wall of Law March 19, 2019 Off

Researcher Dr. Elyakim Kislev Says There Are Many Benefits To Being Single

Being single isn't always a bad thing.

Sometimes, being single can be lonely. There are few feelings worse than showing up to brunch only to find that every one of your friends has brought their significant other, or having to grit your teeth while you tell family members that no, you won’t be bringing anyone home for Thanksgiving this year.

But there are many overlooked benefits of singlehood, too. Dr. Elyakim Kislev, a research fellow and assistant professor at Hebrew University in Israel, has studied the subject at length. He’s written about his findings in a new book, Happy Singlehood: The Rising Acceptance and Celebration of Solo Living.

“There is a huge misconception that being alone and lonely are the same,” he told HuffPost Canada. Not all single people necessarily want to be in relationships, and not all married people are happy. “Marriage is a [specific] level of commitment, and it doesn’t fit everyone.”

Kislev talked to us about some of the advantages to single life.

You’re not stuck in an unhappy marriage

It’s a mistake to assume that all marriages or long-term relationships are happy. That might sound obvious, but Kislev said many people get married because they’ve internalized stereotypes about what it means to be single.

“Because society does not accept singlehood as such, many people are pressured to marry, despite uncertainty over their chosen spouses,” he said. “They marry only to realize later they made a premature decision, which only leads them to long years of unhappy marriage, or even divorce.”

You "lose twice" if you're in an unhappy marriage, Kislev says, because in addition to your marital woes you've lost out on other opportunities.

He was surprised by how commonly people cited the fear of dying alone as a major factor in staying in an unhappy relationship, he said. “It is quite amazing how so many people force themselves into marriage because they worry that no one will take care of them when they are old.”

Making choices now for the future you want in 40 years’ time can often backfire, he said. “In contrast, I found long-term singles to be skillful in weaving their social networks toward their later years, which made them feel ready and happy with aging on their own,” he adds.

Single people have stronger social networks

One of the biggest takeaways from Kislev’s research is that it’s always a mistake to neglect your friends when you’re in a relationship. A 2006 study found that married couples spend less time calling, writing and visiting with friends than single people do, and that married couples are less likely to provide emotional support or practical help.

That means, of course, that if your marriage collapses, you have fewer people to turn to. And that means you’re at more of a disadvantage than people who are unhappily single, Kislev explains.

“Many people don’t pay attention to this crucial difference, but the unhappily married usually lose twice,” he said. Because they usually don’t have as many friends as single people, they become “socially isolated in addition to their emotional misery.”

He adds that in his research, he’s found that “a single person who maintains his or her positive self-perception and invests time in social activities can be much happier than the average married person.”

Single people are more likely to have a strong friendship network than married people.

Single people are better educated

Kislev looked at education rates among married people, divorced people, co-habitating people and people who had never been married across 30 different countries. The married people were the least-educated overall. Co-habitants were the most educated, followed closely by single people. Single women, Kislev points out, are even more likely to better educated than single men.

…but that doesn’t make their lives easy

Despite all these pluses, Kislev said single people sill face “hidden” discrimination. He’s found that singles often work harder for less household income than their married peers. Many real estate agents are less willing to rent homes to unmarried people, because they often seem less reliable than those in relationships.

And many people react with pity or disgust to meeting a single adult: “Just think of what many feel when they see an unmarried old guy, for instance.”

Still, the single population is growing. Increased global mobility in search of work, more independence for women and a decreased focus on tradition are all part of the rise of the single demographic, Kislev said. According to the Pew Research Center, a quarter young adults will never marry, and around half of those who will marry will get divorced.

How to be happily single

Kislev says one of the ways people can be happier while single is to simply be aware of the stigmatization. If you know that systems that prioritize marriage to the detriment of single people exist, you’re more likely to be “indifferent” when you come across a discriminatory comment, he says.

He also recommends choosing “single-friendly” friend groups or workplaces, where the people around you don’t make you feel like a weirdo for not having a partner. Being comfortable enough to defy social pressure and keep your head held high when you say you’ll be attending a dinner parter alone is a skill, but it’s a worthwhile one, Kislev says. “The happy singles I met were often able to change others’ perspective by pointing out that there is more than one way to live.”

He’d also like to see policies enacted that would make it easier for single people to get by: the growth of small apartments with shared spaces, for instance. He also suggests talking to children about “how to accept singlehood and live happily ever, after even if they will find themselves alone,” he said.

“We need to accept the notion of a full scale of what it means to be committed: marriage, cohabitation, living apart and being together, occasional couplehood, and so on, he said.

“The relationship landscape should be as diverse as we are.”

More from HuffPost Canada:

Also on HuffPost:

@repost Divorce Mediation

Via Grounds for Divorce

source https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2019/03/18/being-single-benefits_a_23694391/

By The Wall of Law March 19, 2019 Off

Researcher Dr. Elyakim Kislev Says There Are Many Benefits To Being Single

Being single isn't always a bad thing.

Sometimes, being single can be lonely. There are few feelings worse than showing up to brunch only to find that every one of your friends has brought their significant other, or having to grit your teeth while you tell family members that no, you won’t be bringing anyone home for Thanksgiving this year.

But there are many overlooked benefits of singlehood, too. Dr. Elyakim Kislev, a research fellow and assistant professor at Hebrew University in Israel, has studied the subject at length. He’s written about his findings in a new book, Happy Singlehood: The Rising Acceptance and Celebration of Solo Living.

“There is a huge misconception that being alone and lonely are the same,” he told HuffPost Canada. Not all single people necessarily want to be in relationships, and not all married people are happy. “Marriage is a [specific] level of commitment, and it doesn’t fit everyone.”

Kislev talked to us about some of the advantages to single life.

You’re not stuck in an unhappy marriage

It’s a mistake to assume that all marriages or long-term relationships are happy. That might sound obvious, but Kislev said many people get married because they’ve internalized stereotypes about what it means to be single.

“Because society does not accept singlehood as such, many people are pressured to marry, despite uncertainty over their chosen spouses,” he said. “They marry only to realize later they made a premature decision, which only leads them to long years of unhappy marriage, or even divorce.”

You "lose twice" if you're in an unhappy marriage, Kislev says, because in addition to your marital woes you've lost out on other opportunities.

He was surprised by how commonly people cited the fear of dying alone as a major factor in staying in an unhappy relationship, he said. “It is quite amazing how so many people force themselves into marriage because they worry that no one will take care of them when they are old.”

Making choices now for the future you want in 40 years’ time can often backfire, he said. “In contrast, I found long-term singles to be skillful in weaving their social networks toward their later years, which made them feel ready and happy with aging on their own,” he adds.

Single people have stronger social networks

One of the biggest takeaways from Kislev’s research is that it’s always a mistake to neglect your friends when you’re in a relationship. A 2006 study found that married couples spend less time calling, writing and visiting with friends than single people do, and that married couples are less likely to provide emotional support or practical help.

That means, of course, that if your marriage collapses, you have fewer people to turn to. And that means you’re at more of a disadvantage than people who are unhappily single, Kislev explains.

“Many people don’t pay attention to this crucial difference, but the unhappily married usually lose twice,” he said. Because they usually don’t have as many friends as single people, they become “socially isolated in addition to their emotional misery.”

He adds that in his research, he’s found that “a single person who maintains his or her positive self-perception and invests time in social activities can be much happier than the average married person.”

Single people are more likely to have a strong friendship network than married people.

Single people are better educated

Kislev looked at education rates among married people, divorced people, co-habitating people and people who had never been married across 30 different countries. The married people were the least-educated overall. Co-habitants were the most educated, followed closely by single people. Single women, Kislev points out, are even more likely to better educated than single men.

…but that doesn’t make their lives easy

Despite all these pluses, Kislev said single people sill face “hidden” discrimination. He’s found that singles often work harder for less household income than their married peers. Many real estate agents are less willing to rent homes to unmarried people, because they often seem less reliable than those in relationships.

And many people react with pity or disgust to meeting a single adult: “Just think of what many feel when they see an unmarried old guy, for instance.”

Still, the single population is growing. Increased global mobility in search of work, more independence for women and a decreased focus on tradition are all part of the rise of the single demographic, Kislev said. According to the Pew Research Center, a quarter young adults will never marry, and around half of those who will marry will get divorced.

How to be happily single

Kislev says one of the ways people can be happier while single is to simply be aware of the stigmatization. If you know that systems that prioritize marriage to the detriment of single people exist, you’re more likely to be “indifferent” when you come across a discriminatory comment, he says.

He also recommends choosing “single-friendly” friend groups or workplaces, where the people around you don’t make you feel like a weirdo for not having a partner. Being comfortable enough to defy social pressure and keep your head held high when you say you’ll be attending a dinner parter alone is a skill, but it’s a worthwhile one, Kislev says. “The happy singles I met were often able to change others’ perspective by pointing out that there is more than one way to live.”

He’d also like to see policies enacted that would make it easier for single people to get by: the growth of small apartments with shared spaces, for instance. He also suggests talking to children about “how to accept singlehood and live happily ever, after even if they will find themselves alone,” he said.

“We need to accept the notion of a full scale of what it means to be committed: marriage, cohabitation, living apart and being together, occasional couplehood, and so on, he said.

“The relationship landscape should be as diverse as we are.”

More from HuffPost Canada:

Also on HuffPost:

@repost Domestic Agreement Cases

Via Divorce Splitting Assets

source https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2019/03/18/being-single-benefits_a_23694391/

By The Wall of Law March 19, 2019 Off