Posted in Life

Tax Freedom Day – For Canadian Corporations is Today, January 30th.


English: Tax rates around the world: Corporate...

Corporate Tax Freedom Day, or the day that corporations will have paid their taxes to all levels of government, is today, January 30th, 2013.  But don’t feel left out, if you are not a corporation, because Personal Tax Freedom Day is also on its way – not as quickly mind you because Corporations have the ability to make much more money, much quicker than the average employee and the Corporate tax rates are considerably smaller than personal income tax rates.

From the CRA;
  • 15% on the first $43,561 of taxable income, +
  • 22% on the next $43,562 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $43,561 up to $87,123), +
  • 26% on the next $47,931 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $87,123 up to $135,054), +
  • 29% of taxable income over $135,054.

Then there are the Provincial tax rates;

Provincial/territorial tax rates (combined chart)
Provinces/territories Rate(s)
Newfoundland and Labrador 7.7% on the first $33,748 of taxable income, + 12.5% on the next $33,748, + 13.3% on the amount over $67,496
Prince Edward Island 9.8% on the first $31,984 of taxable income, + 13.8% on the next $31,985, + 16.7% on the amount over $63,969
Nova Scotia 8.79% on the first $29,590 of taxable income, + 14.95% on the next $29,590, + 16.67% on the next $33,820, + 17.5% on the next $57,000, + 21% on the amount over $150,000
New Brunswick 9.1% on the first $38,954 of taxable income, + 12.1% on the next $38,954, + 12.4% on the next $48,754, + 14.3% on the amount over $126,662
Quebec Go to Income tax rates (Revenu Québec Web site).
Ontario 5.05% on the first $39,723 of taxable income, + 9.15% on the next $39,725, + 11.16% on the next $429,552, + 13.16 % on the amount over $509,000
Manitoba 10.8% on the first $31,000 of taxable income, + 12.75% on the next $36,000, + 17.4% on the amount over $67,000
Saskatchewan 11% on the first $42,906 of taxable income, + 13% on the next $79,683, + 15% on the amount over $122,589
Alberta 10% of taxable income
British Columbia 5.06% on the first $37,568 of taxable income, + 7.7% on the next $37,570, + 10.5% on the next $11,130, + 12.29% on the next $18,486, + 14.7% on the amount over $104,754
Yukon 7.04% on the first $43,561 of taxable income, + 9.68% on the next $43,562, + 11.44% on the next $47,931, + 12.76% on the amount over $135,054
Northwest Territories 5.9% on the first $39,453 of taxable income, + 8.6% on the next $39,455, + 12.2% on the next $49,378, + 14.05% on the amount over $128,286
Nunavut 4% on the first $41,535 of taxable income, + 7% on the next $41,536, + 9% on the next $51,983, + 11.5% on the amount over $135,054
Canadian Corporate Tax rates for 2013 are;
The basic rate of Part I tax is 38% of taxable income, 28% after federal tax abatement.

For Canadian-controlled private corporations claiming the small business deduction, the net tax rate is 11%.

For the other corporations, the net tax rate is decreased as follows:

  • 19% effective January 1, 2009
  • 18% effective January 1, 2010
  • 16.5% effective January 1, 2011
  • 15% effective January 1, 2012

Provincial or territorial rates

Generally, provinces and territories have two rates of income tax – a lower rate and a higher rate.

Lower rate

The lower rate applies to the income eligible for the federal small business deduction. One component of the small business deduction is the business limit. Some provinces or territories choose to use the federal business limit. Others establish their own business limit.

Higher rate

The higher rate applies to all other income.

Provincial and territorial tax rates (except Quebec and Alberta)

The following table shows the income tax rates for provinces and territories (except Quebec and Alberta, which do not have corporation tax collection agreements with the CRA).

These rates are in effect on January 1, 2012, and may change during 2012.

Province or territory Lower rate Higher rate
Newfoundland and Labrador 4% 14%
Nova Scotia 4% 16%
Prince Edward Island 1% 16%
New Brunswick 4.5% 10%
Ontario 4.5% 11.5%
Manitoba nil 12%
Saskatchewan 2% 12%
British Columbia 2.5% 10%
Yukon 4% 15%
Northwest Territories 4% 11.5%
Nunavut 4% 12%

For more information, go to Dual tax rates.

Corporations also have to pay the CRA employer share of payroll source deductions for the year for employee pay and bonuses as well as any GST/HST if they are selling more than they are purchasing and also don’t forget the dividends Corporations pay out of earning to you, your friends, neighbours, parents and grandparents.

If you read some of the mainstream, err, left-leaning media tales of Corporate Tax Freedom Day you would think that we should be taxing these evil Corporations at 50% or more because all they do is pay out insane salaries and bonuses to their CEO’s and Board or Directors while giving little back to the community or the country.

For all that, I call bullshit, and not because I agree with insane salaries, bonuses, buyouts and golden handshakes – I hate them in sports and entertainment as well – but Corporations are free to operate in whichever town, city, province or country they choose to and a raise in Corporate tax rates increases the risk that corporations will back up their belongings and flee where rates are more favourable.

So while it’s great to call out Corporations for all their flaws, it would be nice once in a while if mainstream media reported on those cities and towns left with high unemployment and no jobs because a Corporation propping up their area closed up or left for a different location.

Now there are some legitimate arguments around how accountable Canadian Corporations should be and what they do with their reserves, especially in light of the recessionary times we currently live in, and by holding on to these reserves in case the economy worsens, Corporations are keeping a nest age they hope to not have to dip in to, but this “dead money” may never see the light of day when the economy picks back up and it gets swallowed up as profits or paid out as a bonus when it should be put to work right away to invest in Canada and create jobs.

Might there be other ways to increase government revenues so that the government will need to borrow less money to finance programs – driving up the debt and deficit – possibly.  One suggestion by the head of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), Ken Georgetti, suggested that “the government should target tax credits to companies that invest in  machinery and increase productivity.”

With Canadian Corporate taxes are already lower than (unconfirmed) elsewhere in the G7 nations, organizations like the CLC disregard the fact that business investment had increased by 6.2% since the official start of the recession, September 15th, 2008.  If consumer confidence remains weak or if a Liberal government were to take power in Canada, look for the vultures to circle looking to pick through the remains of any and all Canadian Corporations which remain here after an increase in the Corporate Tax Rate.

Posted in news, Recommends, urbandaddyblog

Love It or List It Vancouver. My Interview with Co-Host Todd Talbot.


Todd Talbot
Love It or List It Vancouver’s Todd Talbot

A new twist on an old favourite, Love It or List It Vancouver, premièred on Monday, January 7 on W Network.  I’m sure you already know the premise of the show and if you have seen it, then you already love it.  It not, then you must tune it and see what the hype is about.

Love It or List It Vancouver showcases families in B.C.’s largest metropolitan city who are struggling with homes that no longer suit their needs.  They have either outgrown their home or the lustre has worn off which means the home owners are faced with the dilemma of whether they should love it (renovate it) or list it (put it up for sale).

The “Love it” side, features interior designer Jillian Harris, best known for her work in “The Bachelorette” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” pitted against the “List it” side, featuring West Coast realtor, actor, businessman and overall real estate expert, Todd Talbot.  Jillian’s challenge is to make the owners love the house again by delivering a show-stopping renovation while Todd is determined to get home owners to relocate by dangling temptation right in front of them with dreamy homes on the market.

I have caught all three of the episodes so far, and these shows have taken viewers on an emotional roller-coaster as Jillian and Todd implemented their plans to sway the home owners to their side.  The stakes are high as the home owners weigh the financial and emotional decisions of buying a new home or staying in the renovated one — will they love it enough to stay or is it time to list?  It’s a situation that most of us have encountered or currently are dealing with which is what makes the show even that much more fun to watch.

Todd and Jillian were in Toronto recently and I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Todd about the show, his love of real estate, his acting and find out how he juggles all of this with two young children at home.

What many may not know about Todd is that he is a professional trained stage performer who grew up learning that real estate is more than just the house you live in.  At an early age he watched his parents’ involvement in the real estate industry, through buying, selling, investing and renovating properties and that was where he began to develop his understanding of the benefits of investing in real estate and his love for renovating.  Todd is also a self-proclaimed social media junkie whom you can follow on Twitter @ToddTalbot or see more information on his personal website, here.

But check out Todd’s personal website quickly because there is a new one coming… Bigger… Better… Stronger.

Stay tuned.

Before speaking with Todd, I carefully selected 15 questions to ask him and I suspected that I would need 20-30 minutes to get through them, but I was caught totally by surprise at how awesome he was to speak with and after an hour of talking I felt that I had taken up way too much of his time, yet I wanted to keep chatting – which is why posting this was so difficult – I had so much great information and very few of them tied into the questions I had originally set out to ask.

So if you have never heard of Todd before today, here is what you should know about him;

  • He’s a father of two young children whom he loves dearly and he is a devoted husband who credits the love, support and understanding of his wife with his ability to juggle fatherhood, the show and all the other stuff he does.
  • The other stuff… Yes.  He is a professionally trained actor and has appeared on stage and on TV too many times to list here, so you are going to have to follow the link to his blog and check it all out.
  • He has a real estate marketing business which he runs with a partner and their website can be found here.
  • He is passionate about real estate.  I referred to him as being a quintuple threat because of his in-depth knowledge and understanding of the markets, renovating, buying and selling houses, investing in real estate and marketing.
  • He has a hard time saying no to new business ventures.

This man does it all, and when you look at him on TV you would never know because he looks so darn young (and he’s only a year younger than I am).

But once he speaks, you understand how knowledgeable he is, how educated he is and how passionate he is.  This show is perfect for him because it ties his acting with his passion and that makes the show worth watching.

I asked him this question; “People may not be familiar with your considerable body of work, so how would you best explain yourself in 140 characters (or more if necessary).  What would you like them to know?” but very quickly realized that he had answered this over and over again throughout our conversation, and I think my bulleted comments above go a long way towards explaining what he is all about.  Plus he’s on Twitter, so follow him, and see for yourself (he’d love it).

I was also curious about the length of time, on average, that it takes to go through all the requirements for a show – from finding the potential couples, meeting them, showing them houses and / or renovating their house, etc. in order to get that one hour (or 42 minutes) of viewing ready?   In response to this question, I was astounded to find out that the shoot process (filming) is around six-weeks from start to finish, but the entire process from finding people, getting permits, the renovations, etc., take much longer.  Todd did share with me that in some cases he had provided the home owners with very detailed information on camera during the taping and when it came to air, his comment to them was edited to something like, “It looks nice”.    At least the home owners know the real story and used that to make their decision.

I asked him if he would be able to provide a general answer to someone who wanted to know if it made sense to move houses, or renovating their current house based on the current market conditions in Vancouver and would his advice change if interest rates were up at 5% instead of in the 1% range?

To that question, Todd provided me with the response I expected, which is that he would need to assess each situation on a case-by-case basis.  Obviously with interest rates being this low for so long, anyone who got into the market is reaping the benefit of being able to maximize their mortgage payments, however, jumping in at these low rates and just being able to make the minimum payment is never a good idea because when interest rates rise (and they will rise) it may force the home owner to sell or miss payments, which can lead to foreclosure.

We also spoke about the real estate “bubble” and whether the recent reduction in house prices in Vancouver was a sign that the bubble was bursting to which Todd and I again came to the same conclusion, that there was no bubble, and the bubble that economists have been predicting will burst for the past 10 years have to admit that even in such a depressed period, house prices are rising and that might be the way it stays for a long while.  Waiting for the bubble to burst is not a good reason to wait to buy a new house, I remember Todd saying, and for those who have waited and continue to wait, they are losing out on the satisfaction a new house would bring them.

And with that question, I thanked Todd for his time and told him I should be able to have this post in draft form in a day or two which could not have been further apart from how long it took me to take all this great information and put it into a post which did the show justice, him justice and explained why on Monday’s on WNET, you should be watching Love It or List It Vancouver.

I hope I just did.

Enjoy the show.

Posted in Caregiver, Life

Reading the Signs: What to do when your Boss is Upset with you.


full-time nanny
FULL-TIME NANNY.com

I came across a great article by the folks at FullTimeNanny.com entitled; “What Should a Nanny Do if her Boss is Upset with Her”, and I immediately saw the cross-over potential that this article brings for those new to the workforce or as a refresher to those already in the workforce for a few years.

Sometimes you know when your boss is upset with you and sometimes there will be no clue, and depending upon the severity of the situation and the potential repercussions, you may want to consider the possibility that your job could be in danger.  So once you figure it out, it’s best to get in the habit of coming clean with mistakes as soon as they happen, getting used to giving your boss the heads’ up where you think there may be a problem down the road, and documenting situations rather than waiting with bated breath for them to be found out.

This article highlights the following important things to remember when deciding to come clean;

  • Realize That These Things Are Rarely Permanent – Unless you have done something on purpose with the intent on causing someone harm, or damaging the reputation of your employer of the business you work in, the chances of your employer resorting to drastic disciplinary measures are fairly slim. Provided that you’ve been an otherwise good employee, most employers would rather resolve an existing problem than take on the task of sorting through dozens of resumes and conducting numerous interviews in effort to get someone who may be better than you, or may be worse than you.  Better the devil you know, is the saying.  That being said, it’s not wise to be too secure in your position; if you’re overly cocky and consistently go against what your employer decides for you, they will let you go.
  • Confront the Issue Head-On – If you know that your employer is angry but haven’t been approached with a reprimand or a request for an explanation, it’s best to take the bull by the horns and approach him or her with your concerns. It’s especially smart to make an effort to mend fences if you know why your employer is upset and agree that you are in the wrong. Letting the situation go unacknowledged for too long can cause resentment to build up and exacerbate the problem, so don’t dodge your employer in hopes that things will blow over.
  • Be Honest – Should your employer confront you with questions about an incident in which you know you were in the wrong, don’t give into the temptation to cover your tracks. Admitting that you were wrong and are willing to accept any penalties as a result of your poor choices shows strong character and moral fiber; in addition to being the right thing to do, it may also impress your employer enough that they second-guess their outrage.
  • Keep Your Own Temper in Check – Being accused of misconduct, whether you’re guilty or innocent, is enough to put almost anyone on the defensive. Taking this tack with your employer as a reaction to questioning or accusations will only escalate the situation, and perhaps lead to the loss of your position, which you would otherwise have been able to retain. Remember the old adage about flies and honey and realize that anger, even of the righteous variety, will get you nowhere in these situations.
  • Accept Responsibility For Your Actions – Attempting to pass the buck, or blame someone else for your failure to perform properly or your momentary lapse in judgment, isn’t likely to endear you to your already-upset employer.  Instead face the consequences of a poor choice as gracefully as possible. Whining or shifting blame isn’t just ineffective, it’s often downright counterproductive.  In addition if you blame someone else and your employer decides to keep you, then you run the risk of them finding out and that relationship is damaged for good.
  • Make a Concerted Effort to Make Up – It’s easy to hold your breath and hope that a tumultuous period in your relationship with your employer will pass without any attempts to mend fences on your part, but that’s almost never the case. Extending the olive branch isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially if you feel that you have nothing to apologize for; still, preserving that relationship, and perhaps your post itself, may depend upon your ability to do just that.
  • Keep the Conversation Behind Closed Doors – Never, ever, ever discuss a bad situation with friends, colleagues or staff.  They do not need to hear you air your grievances or discuss an ongoing problem you have with your employer. Even in the largest, most densely populated cities, most social circles are relatively small and people will talk. Letting news of your woes get back to your employers is a surefire way to make them give up on you altogether, so make sure that you keep any and all conversations about the state of your relationship with your employers and the details surrounding it away from the public eye.

If, after all this you notice that things are not getting better for you, then start looking for a new job – it’s so much easier when you are already employed – and approach your employer with a request for a reference letter or recommendation because not only will they give it to you if they want you out but don’t want to fire you, but also it gives them time to start the search process themselves.

Posted in Life

How the Mighty Have Fallen: Atari files for Bankruptcy.


I just read that the US subsidiary of Atari filed for bankruptcy.

If you’re too young to remember Atari,all the way back in the early 1980’s, then you probably did not know that Atari was the absolute bomb in its day!

Lumped into the gaming mix with Coleco and Commodore 64’s, Atari had gaming consoles (like Coleco) and personal computers (like Commodore). Atari was so hip in the day, that in 1975, two nerds both named Steve went to work for Atari to develop a game called Breakout and they eventually went on to start a company you might have heard of called “Apple”.

Man, those were the days… My parents would never buy me the Atari 2600 (known as the Video Computer system) game console that I wanted and the day I decided to be a thief and take the $75.00 from my father’s wallet to buy hockey cards and gum for my class was the day he intended on using that cash to buy the system. No cash, no system. I was busted and learned a huge consequence in life. Stealing is stupid and sucks. It also taught me that I needed to get a job and earn my own money!

So instead after the failed attempts to hone my gaming skills with our Timex Sinclair (look it up folks!), and the IBM “home” computer with it’s tiny green screen and it’s only game being that boring worm game, I dug out our Radio Shack device, hauled up the black and white TV from the basement and played pong until I blew the picture tube on the TV.  Damn.

So then one day my dad came home with the Atari 800XL game machine AND personal computer and it was over.  We played a couple of cartridges to death until he joined us up to the Toronto Atari Federation where we got to try tons of video games on floppy disks.  Within a couple of months we had over 300 games on floppy disk and 15 cartridges, plus I was learning to program in DOS;

10 “Hello Urban Daddy”

20 Got to 10

End

Or something like that.

I also got us hooked up to local BBS’ and as it turned out, one was run by a neighbour of my wife’s and she was a regular chatter so we probably chatted 20 years before we met… Tell me, that is cool, right?

But for all its coolness, power and influence, Atari’s run would be tragically short.  The Atari 2600 first hit stores in 1977, sold a ton, but by 1983 they were in the middle of the North American video game crash during which time a glut of consoles from competitors and mediocre games from everyone contributed to a rapid decline in sales.

Atari itself was later sold, gutted, and passed around from owner to owner in years hence. Atari’s founder, Nolan Bushnell, went on to create the Chuck E. Cheese chain of pizza/video-game restaurants that use a rat as a mascot.

A testament to Atari’s impact can be seen in the movie Blade Runner which was shot in 1982 and set in the future, 2019. This sci-fi classic has plenty of scenes in which Atari’s logo features prominently. Back then, if you were thinking about the future, it was impossible to imagine it without Atari.

Posted in Life

Thursday Thirteen: 13 Strange and Puzzling News Events From the Week.


There is a reason the word "Dope" is in "Doping"...
President George W. Bush and Armstrong mountain biking at the president’s Prairie Chapel Ranch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was going through my draft folder this evening while everyone slept when I came across a fact I needed to verify, and in doing so, I came across an article that was just so bizarre that it might be true. I researched the facts from the article and came across nothing to verify that it was true or that it was untrue, but that gave me the idea for this week’s Thursday Thirteen. I’ve got 13 stranger than strange news items which puzzle, or puzzled, this Urban Daddy.

Let’s jump right in, if you please;

13. Tonight disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong is admitting to doping pretty much his entire career, to Oprah in a 2-part special. Lance was so ahead of the anti-doping agency that it took them years to catch up to his cheating. So what is the perfect way to treat a liar and a cheat? By ignoring him, by not watching him on Oprah and not talking about him. He wants the public confession so people can begin to forgive him and he can tour the world talking about how bad it is to dope. He’s a fraud and we need to move on.

12. Former Toronto Maple Leaf’s GM Brian Burke was fired because he is the father of Sportsnet anchor Hazel Mae’s baby. WTF?!? Both are married and I could not find anything to confirm or deny this one…

11. A very public gang-rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in India drew so much attention around the world but apparently no so much in India where there were reports of another similar incident. Absolutely disgusting and unthinkable that people in this day and age could have that much disrespect for women, the Indian government is reportedly trying to fast-track the case. This had better be a guilty verdict!

10. What the hell is going on in Syria, and how can the world stand by – heck, where are the flotilla-loving peacenicks who wanted to crash the Israeli security checkpoints aimed at keeping weapons out of the hands of those who want to destroy Israel.   They were so focussed on creating peace there, or what about the Queers against Israeli Apartheid who almost cost the entire Gay Pride parade to lose funding because they disagreed with the politics of the only democratic state in the middle east where it is not a death sentence to be gay.  Where are these now?  How come they don’t want to step in and stop this killing in Syria?  Oh, and it’s not an anti-Jewish thing, right?  Didn’t think so…

9. The NY Rangers of the NHL officially buy out the contract of defenseman Wade Redden and the Montreal Canadiens officially do the same to Scott Gomez because both teams thought they needed to add these players for the most money possible as free agents and over paid for 2 guys not worthy of that kind of money. Overpaying also meant comparable players in the league were handed pay raises throwing off the pay scale league-wide and pretty much causing the recent lock-out. Dumb.

9. Still no one cares about the NHL… Sad. Oh, wait, the NHL put a full-page ad in papers across the US and Canada apologizing for the lockout, Well, then I guess everything is okay. NOT. What are they thinking!!!

8. Went to Yorkdale mall today with my wife and walked out of numerous stores in absolute frustration at the lack of service! The staff would rather huddle by the cash and complain than actually help customers make purchases of products which would keep the stores open and the staff employed. Unbelievable…

7. Someone used the search term; “Can I stick a tampon up my ass?” to come to my blog and I don’t know how or why but I Googled the same phrase and did not see the link to my blog on any of the first 10 pages, but I did find plenty of forums and discussion boards dedicated to, umm, that. WOW.

6. Some college football player named Manti Tao either made up a girlfriend who “died” or he was subject to a hoax about this imaginary girlfriend who “died”. Either way, it’s really messed up, and I think it’s going to play out the same way as #13. Ahem… Liar.

5. Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his arch-rival, left-leaning Adam Vaughan had lunch together on Thursday and I’m still looking into the rumour that Ford paid for the lunch, but Vaughan took that cash, gave it away, then complained bitterly about how cheap Ford was…

4. Many seem surprised that in light of the horrific shootings at the elementary school in Newton, Connecticut there has been a significant shift in the view of Americans towards stricter gun laws. What surprises me is how anyone could be surprised. Guns kill. Guns in the hand of unstable people have a great chance of killing innocent people. Stop mentioning these killers, period. See #13. Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.

3. It’s winter here in Canada and while it’s been mild the past few years, we have had some pretty chilly days. Today was chilly but that didn’t stop a couple from leaving the mall this afternoon with their 2-year-old son (who was not wearing a hat or mittens) and complaining loudly that, “this fucking weather is unbelievable. It’s so fucking cold. I cannot believe how fucking cold it is…” Yup. It’s winter, dumb-ass and if you’re cold, maybe your shivering child might need some to get in the car instead of you chatting in the parking lot and swearing up a storm in front of him, while he sits near the car’s exhaust turning into an ice cube.   Hello… child services!?!

2. #IdleNoMore has me absolutely confused, along the same lines as the #Occupy movement did last year. Apparently the current Conservative government in Canada has a bunch of proposed change to some bills, such as Bill-45 which either impact the sovereignty of Native Canadians or impact the natural resources in the country. Either way, it would be great to get the message out, have discussions and reach consensus without the muddled nonsense such as blocking highways and roads that comes with “peaceful” protests. Once someone’s own agenda infringes on the rights of others (as I’m sure Native Canadian’s feel) then it’s gone too far. As Canadian’s we’re smart enough to side with those who are wronged so give us the information and let us make our own decisions. Please.

1. Karma. At my ball-hockey game this week, we had the pleasure of playing a team which plays a very dirty game and they try to intimidate and hurt their opposition so they can win the game. It’s the third time this season we’ve played them and we were 2-0 against them. They jumped to a quick 3-1 lead in the game and started to goon it up, including running a couple of our players into the boards, two-handing our goalie across the pads during the play then challenging him to a fight and two-handing me across the knee, then spearing me in the goods later in the play. To say the game was chippy would be an understatement and a lot of their attention was turned to me after I voiced my displeasure with their play through a couple well placed whacks here and there and a lot of body contact on each play. So it was only fitting that I scored the game winning goal that game – my first goal in, geez, well over 4 years – with 1:47 left in the game.

I’m still not sure how – as a defenceman – I wound up in their zone one-on-one with their defenseman but after a quick spin move, I curled off that guy, used him as a screen and fired a wrist shot just inside the post and in between the goalies glove and right pad – just where my 8-year-old son Linus told me to put it.

Karma.

It’s a bitch, indeed.

The other team was so incensed that I scored the goal they got in an argument with their goalie and either he stormed off the floor to the dressing room or they turfed him out of the game.

Sweet.