Preface to The Ultimate Canadian Tax Guide

The Ultimate Year Round Tax Guide
        by David Ingram


This is the only book on the market which explains income tax over time. When preparing your return, remember that you have to take your situation over a couple of years into account. This book does - just that! It explains the year to year changes as you go, the changing amounts and gives you hints for getting back missed refunds as well as telling you what to do this year. The government guide has improved dramatically, handling Child Tax Credits, Provincial Tax Credits, Federal Sales Tax Credits and Canada Savings Bonds Interest very well. How much to deduct for your RRSP is handled well and beginning now, for the 1991 tax year, DNR should send you an official notification of your allowable contribution amount. I prefer to now think of this guide as Volume II, and THE place to go to get the answer to your difficult problems, such as "Can I deduct my car?, How do I deduct my car?, What are the RULES?" or "How do I deduct the office in my house? - What are the new RULES?" or "What has to be in my separation agreement to get my deduction?" Therefore, the line by line format is designed to "meld" with the government guide by fleshing out dramatically, that which DNR has chosen to keep from you. I have also included the results of over 200 tax cases as examples of the way our courts work in Income Tax matters. 

When a case has not been reported by the courts, names have been omitted or changed. If the case has been reported in the news media or CCH or deBOO reporting services, real names have been used so that you can look up the information if it seems to apply to you. Most libraries have reporting services which you can use, and all good tax preparation offices and accountants' offices have one or two services. Usually they will let you look up a case, particularly if you might become a client. 

Do not look for an index; after the Line by Line portion, extra subjects are handled in an alphabetical manner by topic. Thus the CONVENTIONS section comes before the PROFIT EXPECTATION section. Each subject is arranged alphabetically at the bottom of the page. 

Reading these cases will change your opinion of the tax system. To my knowledge, no other book published has been written for the layman or woman in quite the same style. I have tried to make it conversational, and easy to read and understand. The cases have been shortened dramatically. Sometimes, my one paragraph represents 21 legal sized pages of typing. Personal comments are throughout the book. Please excuse them. I `write like I talk'. 

Without a doubt, despite our efforts here at CEN-TA, we fully believe that there are a number of errors and other gremlins that have sneakily crept into the text. If you find any, by all means write to let us know, or even just to pass on your comments about any aspect of the book. Address your cards or letters to David at: 

4466 Prospect Rd.
North Vancouver, B.C.
Canada V7N3L7

108-100 Park Royal South 
West Vancouver, B.C. 
V7T 1A2 

e-mail david at [email protected] 

From your comments we will at least know about the kind of problems that people are facing in their tax and general financial affairs. This will also help us to know what problems should be treated in future editions, or even in a completely new book. During his many public appearances from coast to coast David will be better able to focus on matters of concern with your welcome contributions. 

Whatever advice you may receive from this book, or from any consultant, it is only as good as your willingness and ability to follow it. That is the primary factor in successful money management. A good consultant will not usually tell you what to do; he will deal mostly with general principles as would a good teacher. He will leave you to make whatever decisions need be made and to take the responsibility for those decisions. Do not expect to find a consultant in March or April who has time on his hands to sit with you and plan at a reasonable price. March and April are EMERGENCY times. Asking about Income Tax in April is like having snow tires installed in the middle of a 15 inch snowfall, EXPENSIVE! Consult your consultant in July, or August, or October, when there is time to PLAN AHEAD. 

Whether your particular venture fails or succeeds, it is still your name that appears at the bottom line of the contract, and it is you and not your consultant that will succeed or fail with the venture. It is your duty to yourself to take the time to bother with your business affairs. It is your duty to yourself to investigate any possible investment, and to realize that if you act hastily you may be robbed in the same way as Aunt Gertrude, who keeps wondering why her 3% guaranteed perpetual bonds are not keeping up with inflation. If your tax return involves a gray area, give yourself the benefit of the doubt; the worst that can happen is that your claim may be disallowed. If you don't make the claim you have already disallowed it yourself. However, a new WARNING here. DNR now charges 16% compounded daily. If there is a dispute and DNR wins their dispute three years later, you will pay a very hefty penalty for "trying it out". It is better to submit the item, pay the disputed tax and ask for a "ruling now". Then, if you win, you get your money back "with interest" and you do not have to pay the equivalent of 17% non-deductible interest.

And don't go telling us that it isn't worth the hassle. We have seen people time and time again who have lost thousands of dollars because it wasn't worth the hassle to get off their backsides and toot their own horns. 

The tragedy of the modern cradle-to-grave welfare society is not that the governments have imposed it, and not that the governments have, through that system, buried people's freedom in a maze of bureaucracy and useless paperwork. The tragedy is that people have allowed it to happen by becoming dependent on the gadgets of their affluence. 

If your tax situation falls within a gray area, be willing to fight for what is yours. If the assessment of your tax return does not agree with your calculations, or if it contains any statements which you do not understand, you owe it to yourself to know why they differ. If you don't understand what's been done, you have all the more reason to seek someone's advice as soon as you have been assessed. Taxpayers, tax consultants and tax assessors all make errors, and will readily admit them when they are pointed out. By the same token, each will be prone to his own point of view and interpretation of the law in places where the difference between right and wrong is not clear. These are the returns that will nine times out of ten lead to objections and appeals where a more formal approach will be taken, and where your return may be the basis for a court case. If you come within that category, you will generally have 90 days from the date of assessment to contact someone about your problem; there may not be enough time to deal with it properly, or you may leave yourself no alternative but to go to court on an issue which might otherwise have been settled with one brief letter or phone call. If you have not resolved the situation in 80 days, be sure to protect your rights by filing a notice of objection protesting the assessment. This will protect your rights to fight for years. 

ISBN 0-88839-273-7 
1991-2009 David Ingram 
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of Hancock House Publishers or David Ingram
Printed in Canada 
British Columbia Income Tax, Real Estate & Immigration

Next - Acknowledgements

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