How to apply now for the 100% GST/HST rebate for purpose-built rentals

 The Government of Canada is providing a 100% rebate on the Goods and Services Tax (GST), or the federal portion of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), on new purpose-built rental housing (PBRH). This housing includes apartment buildings, student housing and seniors’ residences. Applications for the PBRH rebate can be made online starting May 13, 2024. 

To qualify, residential units need to meet the requirements for the current GST/HST new residential rental property rebate and must be in a multi-unit residential complex with at least:

  • 4 private apartment units (each containing kitchen, bathroom and living area) or at least 10 private rooms or suites, and
  • 90% of residential units are held for long-term rental

Unlike the GST/HST new residential rental property rebate, the PBRH rebate does not have a $450,000 fair market value limitation per unit.

This rebate is available for projects where construction began after September 13, 2023, but before 2031, and will be substantially completed before 2036. For the purpose of this rebate, construction is generally considered to have begun when excavation for the project starts. 

Construction to convert existing non-residential real estate, such as an office building, into a residential complex will be eligible for the PBRH rebate, if all conditions are met. Since the goal is to increase the housing supply, the rebate will not apply to the substantial renovation of an existing residential complex. 

How to apply:

To learn more about the purpose-built rental housing rebate, go to GST/HST rebate for purpose-built rental housing (PBRH).

How to claim home office expenses

The Canada Revenue Agency is currently updating its webpages and Form T2200 for the 2023 tax year. The updated form, which will be made available at the end of January 2024, along with other T1 related forms, will be easier to complete for employees who are only claiming a deduction for home office expenses. Eligible employees who worked from home in 2023 will be required to use the detailed method which was the method used to claim home office expenses prior to the pandemic. Eligible employees who worked from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic could use a temporary flat rate method to claim home office expenses for the 2020, 2021, and 2022 tax years. This temporary flat rate method does not apply to the 2023 tax year.

Reporting requirements for the Canadian Dental Care Plan 

he Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) will provide dental coverage for uninsured Canadians with an adjusted family net income of less than $90,000. There are new reporting requirements that begin with the 2023 tax year for issuers (including employers and pension plan administrators) of the T4 Statement of Remuneration Paid and T4A Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income. For more information on the requirements for the CDCP visit Employers and pension plan administrators: Changes coming to T4/T4A reporting – Canada.ca.

Additional Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions required for 2024

On January 1, 2024, the government introduced a second earnings ceiling known as the Year’s Additional Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YAMPE). People who have income above the first earnings ceiling will contribute an additional percentage of the income they earn above the first earnings ceiling up to the second earnings ceiling. This additional CPP contribution is part of the CPP enhancement known as second additional CPP contributions (CPP2).  It will not replace the first earnings ceiling. Instead, it will subject worker’s earnings to two earnings limits.

Contribution rate split (employee/ employer)Contribution rate (self-employed)YMPE, or first earnings ceilingYAMPE, or second earnings ceilingMaximum yearly CPP2 contribution (employee /employer)Maximum yearly CPP2 contribution (self-employed)
4%8%$68,500$73,200$188$376

Starting in 2024, employees and employers will each contribute an additional 4% on earnings above the first earnings ceiling (the YMPE), up to the amount of the second earnings ceiling (the YAMPE). These are their CPP2 contributions.  The rates in 2024 will be as follows:

Employees

  • When you do your taxes, your CPP contributions must be separated into two parts: CPP base alongside first additional CPP contributions and CPP2 contributions (starting in 2024). Base contributions are calculated at a rate of 4.95% while first CPP contributions are calculated at a rate of 1%. Both are reported together in Box 16 on the T4 slip. Box 16A will be added to the T4 slip to report any CPP2 contributions starting with the 2024 tax year. Any year you do not make CPP2 contributions, Box 16A will be left blank.
  • You can claim a 15% non-refundable tax credit for your base CPP contributions. You will claim a tax deduction for the enhanced portions such as first additional and CPP2 contributions.
  • automatically separate and apply the base and enhanced contributions for you.

Employers

  • Withhold and remit CPP2 contributions the same way as base and first additional CPP contributions.
  • Report employees base and first additional CPP contributions in Box 16 on the T4 slip. For T4 slips filed for calendar year 2024 and after, report the amount of CPP2 contributions you deducted from your employee in Box 16A.
  • Do not report any amount using Box 16A if you did not deduct CPP2. All employer contributions to the CPP are tax deductible.

Self-employed

  • Send your CPP contributions when you file your T1 return.
  • Your contributions are based on net business income.
  • When you do your taxes, you will separate your CPP contributions into two parts: CPP base alongside first additional CPP contributions, and CPP2 contributions (starting in 2024). The base contribution is the amount that is calculated at a rate of 9.9%, and first additional CPP contributions are calculated at a rate of 2%. You can claim a 15% non-refundable tax credit on 4.95% of the base CPP contributions, and claim a tax deduction on the other 4.95%. You can also claim a tax deduction on the enhanced portion of your contributions (2%). Starting in the 2024 tax year, CPP2 contributions will be calculated at a rate of 8%. All CPP2 contributions are tax deductible.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Employees Strike

On April 19, 2023, the Union of Taxation Employees (PSAC-UTE) members have gone on strike.

As a result of PSAC-UTE’s decision to begin labour action, Canadians should expect that some CRA services will be delayed or unavailable. While there are no plans to extend tax filing deadlines, the CRA will continue to accept all tax returns. Those that are filed digitally, which represent the vast majority of T1 and T2 returns, will largely be processed automatically by our systems without delay.

For information on any impacts to services, Canadians can consult the Contact Us page for more details and current wait times and Labour disruptions impact at the Canada Revenue Agency pages for more information as the situation continues to evolve.

Passing of Founding Partner Michael Seniuk Sr.

Our firm is saddened to announce the passing of Michael Seniuk Sr. on March 24, 2023, at the age of 92. Michael attended the University of Saskatchewan and became a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1960. He founded Seniuk and Company CAs in 1973 and was still actively practicing until 2016.

He had an intelligent mind, a keen wit, and a caring and supportive heart to all who knew him. He was a big teddy bear with a smile, a sense of humor, and an occasional harmless growl. His passion was golf and not just playing it but serving the ideals of the game. He served with the Alberta Golf Association, was a Governor of the Royal Canadian Golf Association, and was an active member in several golf courses. He enriched the lives of all who knew him including family, friends, and clients of the Firm. He was one of a kind and will be greatly missed and always remembered fondly.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Hainstock’s Funeral Home and Crematorium, 9810 – 34 Avenue on Monday, April 3, 2023, at 2:00 pm. A live stream of the event can be viewed at https://view.oneroomstreaming.com/index.php?data=MTY4MDE0ODA2MDI0MzcyMyZvbmVyb29tLWFkbWluJmNvcHlfbGluaw

Alberta Affordability Payments Program

As part of the Affordability Action Plan, millions of Albertans struggling with inflation and the high cost of living can apply for the Affordability Payments program until June 30, 2023.

  • Families with household incomes under $180,000 can apply for $600 per child under 18.
  • Seniors who have household incomes under $180,000 and do not receive the Alberta Seniors Benefit can apply for $600 per person.
  • Anyone receiving monthly benefits through AISH, Income Support, Alberta Seniors Benefit or services through Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) will automatically get their personal $600 payment but will need to apply for additional payments if they have kids under 18.

To apply, please follow this link: https://affordability.alberta.ca/prescreen

Bank of Canada interest rate increase Jan 25, 2023

The Bank of Canada has announced an increase in the target for the overnight rate to 4.5%, with the Bank Rate at 4.75% and the deposit rate at 4.5%.

The main reasons for the increase include:

  • Global inflation remains high and broad-based.
  • The Bank estimates the global economy to grow by 2% in 2023 and 2.5% in 2024.
  • Inflation in Canada has declined to 6.3% in December.
  • The Bank estimates Canada’s economy grew by 3.6% in 2022.
  • The Bank of Canada’s decision to increase the target for the overnight rate is aimed at returning inflation to its 2% target.

Despite the decline in inflation, Canadians are still feeling the impact of high inflation on their essential household expenses. The bank expects the global economy to grow at a slower pace in the coming years, with Canada’s economy expected to grow by 1% in 2023 and 2% in 2024. The next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is March 8, 2023, with the bank publishing its next full outlook for the economy and inflation in April 12, 2023.

Taxability of Recreational Facilities and Club Dues Paid for Employees

The use of a recreational facility or club is a taxable benefit for an employee in any of the following situations:

  • You pay, reimburse, or subsidize the cost of a membership at a recreational facility, such as an exercise room, swimming pool, or gymnasium
  • You pay, reimburse, or subsidize the cost of memberships to a business or professional club (that operates fitness, recreational, sports, or dining facilities for the use of their members but whose main purpose is something other than recreation)
  • You pay, reimburse, or subsidize the cost of membership dues in a recreational facility of the employee’s choice, up to a set maximum. In this case, it is the employee who has paid for the membership, owns it, and has signed some kind of contract with the company providing the facility
  • You pay, reimburse, or subsidize the employee for expenses incurred for food and beverages at a restaurant, dining room lounge, banquet hall, or conference room of a recreational facility or club
  • You provide recreational facilities to a select group or category of employees for free or for a minimal fee, while other employees have to pay the full fee. There is a taxable benefit for employees who do not have to pay the full fee

However, the use of a recreational facility or club does not result in a taxable benefit for an employee in any of the following situations:

  • You provide an in-house recreational facility and the facility is available to all your employees. This applies whether you provide the facilities free of charge or for a minimal fee
  • You make an arrangement with a facility to pay a fee for the use of the facility, the membership is with you and not your employee and the facility or membership is available to all your employees. Membership will be considered to be made available to all employees as long as each employee can use the membership even if an employee chooses not to
  • You provide your employee with a membership in a social or athletic club and it can be clearly demonstrated that you are the primary beneficiary of the membership. The membership is a taxable benefit to your employee if the membership in or use of the club’s facilities provides only an indirect benefit to you. This would be the case where the employee becomes physically healthier as a result of using the club’s facilities and becomes generally better able to perform their duties (for example, fewer sick days, less downtime, remain fit for duty)