Tax And Financial Check-Up

1.  PERSONAL TAX – QUARTERLY INSTALMENTS

Based on last year’s income and tax, you may have to make quarterly instalments.

Notes:

(a) No instalments are required if your tax is deducted at source from employment income.

(b) If this year’s income declines, your instalment payments can be less than last year:

Instalment Due Dates Pay this
Quarterly
To Accumulate
Year-To-Date
15 March

15 June

15 September

15 December

$________

$________

$________

$________

$________

$________

$________

$________

2.  RRSP LIMIT, TAX RATES – TAX AND RETIREMENT SAVING PLAN

Your RRSP limit for 2008 is $__________.  Contribute by February 28, 2009.  Your average tax rates is _____% (marginal tax rate is about 20% higher).  For every $1,000 of RRSP you invest, you will save tax of $__________.

3.  INSURANCE CHECK-UP – RISK REVIEW, COVERAGE UPDATE

You can review your policies and update coverage.

1.  Personal insurance –
Life – coverage is $__________
Mortgage is $__________, coverage enough for family?
Disability – coverage is $__________
Monthly payments are $__________
Major medical / dental – coverage is $__________

2.  Home insurance –
Amount of coverage $__________
Replacement value of your home is $__________, enough?
Risks covered – fire, contents, liability, unusual risks
Anything new this year?  Insured?

3.  Car insurance –
Amounts of coverage: vehicle $__________, liability limit $__________
Risks – liability, collision, theft (replacement value), uninsured driver

4.  Business insurance –
Amounts of coverage is $__________
Value of business / equipment is $__________
Risks – liability, business interruption, contents, other _________________________

4.  CONTINGENCY PLAN – EMERGENCY FUNDS, CASH ON HAND

Do you have enough savings or liquid RRSP investments (which you could use in an emergency) to cover 3 to 6 months payments for your home, car, family and your business?

Are your emergency funds invested in low risk investments so you can access them quickly?

5.  INVESTMENT REVIEW – MONEY PLAN

Whether stock markets are stable or volatile, it makes sense to monitor your investments.  Your broker and investment advisor can help.  When you discuss investments, you can ask –

1.  Are your investments diversified or concentrated? Is your level of risk reasonable?  What is your downside exposure?

Do you have capital losses to use against this year’s capital gains? (1/2 taxable after 2008)

Do you have big winners? Is this the right time to sell any investments and reinvest?

2.  Is your rate of return reasonable?  Realistic?  Sufficient and realistic for your retirement goals?

3.  Are you exposed to risk?  With stock markets so volatile, are you prepared? Is there any downside protection built into your investment portfolio?

6.  FAMILY – TAX AND ESTATE PLANS

  • If something happens to you, are your family and heirs provided for?
  • Is your will up to date?  Do you know how much tax your estate will have to pay? Is your estate’s tax exposure covered by insurance?
  • Have you had a recent medical check-up?  Does your insurance policy cover major illness? Have you increased your insurance to protect your family?
  • Are you aware that you can use universal life insurance to accumulate tax-free savings and protect your family and the value of your estate?

7.  HOME AND CAR – UPGRADE PLANS

Residence

  • Is your home adequate for your family?  Can you use your home equity to trade up?
  • With mortgage rates reasonable, have you considered whether to buy / hold and stay / move?
  • Might consider adding on.  Are you living where you want to live?  Have you considered moving?

Vehicle

  • Are you driving a safe vehicle?  Time for a change?
  • What is its trade-in value?  Near the end of the 2008 model year, dealers may offer low interest rates or clear-out prices.

8.  BUSINESS, EMPLOYMENT – PROGRESS AND RETIREMENT PLANS

  • Consider your business (and your main clients / your employer).  What stage are they at?
  • Is your company viable?  Is your work – Stable?  Steady?  Shifting?  Unpredictable?  Seasonal?
  • Are your financial indicators: Progressing as planned?  Comfortable?  Struggling?  Stuck?
  • Assess your progress, problems and possibilities for each stage –

Stage 1:   Start-up – new business / office / venture / sideline
Stage 2:   Survival – stabilization
Stage 3:   Growth – diversification
Stage 4:   Wind-down – retirement

  • The economy – are changes, technologies or cycles affecting your business or your employer?

Cash flow and profitability –

  • Compare your income this year with your targets / budgets / business plans.
  • Is this year consistent with last year?  Are changes favourable?
  • Is your progress reasonable compared to your targets?
  • Is your industry growing / contracting?  Are your pension funds stable?

Personal and business financial position –

  • Are your debts manageable?  Are major changes planned?  In progress?
  • Are your fundamentals sound?  Are there signs of change, weakness?
  • Is a downturn expected or is your business expanding?  Are you prepared?

9.  COMPUTER UPDATE / BUSINESS EQUIPMENT – PURCHASE PLANS

a) Computers are decreasing in price and increasing in speed and software is providing new features.

  • How is your computer working?  Reliable?  Are you doing regular maintenance?
  • Is it time to upgrade?  Hardware?  Software?  Are you doing anti-virus scans?
  • Are you making regular back-ups? – using Zip drives or tape cartridge systems?
  • Do you have an uninterruptible power supply to protect from power fluctuations?
  • Are you on the Internet?  Do you have a web site to promote your products and services?
  • Are you connected to useful on-line information?

b) Business equipment may need to be replaced to keep up with technology, production targets, customer requirements.

  • Is your equipment adequately insured?  For reasonable risks?  Replacement cost?
  • Is some equipment out of date?  Have you planned to upgrade?
  • Have you considered whether the government-guaranteed small business loan program could help you finance new equipment?
  • Do you know how the CCA tax shelter effect can reduce your tax?
  • Do you know that it is better to buy new equipment just before your business fiscal year-end? (to maximize the CCA tax shelter effect as quickly as possible)

10.  RETIREMENT AND SAVINGS – CAPITAL ACCUMULATION PLAN

If you don’t know your retirement picture, you can estimate your future savings or call your advisor for help with a capital projection for your retirement years.

  1. Amount of RRSP / RRIF invested is $__________
  2. Non-RRSP capital is $__________
  3. Approximate annual rate of growth / rate of return is _____%
  4. (a) Expect retirement RRSP and RRIF savings to accumulate to $__________
    (b) Expect other savings to accumulate to $__________
    (c)  Expect home and other real estate to be worth $__________
    (d) Net worth target for retirement $__________
  5. Plan to retire in _____ years.
  6. Projected annual income during retirement years is $__________
  7. Will you have sufficient income for a decent lifestyle after retiring?

Please Call Us Today at 905-528-0234 to Discuss Any Concerns You May Have or email Joe at joetruscott@josephtruscott.com.