Instead of providing a summary of 2022 tax news and updates—which can be found on the CPA Canada website—we decided to ask some of our Client Service Leaders to answer the question: “If you had one piece of year-end advice for clients as we move into 2023, what would it be?” Here are their responses:
Reflect: Look back on 2022 and take time to reflect on what did and did not work for you, your business, and your employees. Use those lessons to make 2023 a better year.
Plan: Speak with your advisors, and ensure that you fully understand the consequences (both good and bad) of any planned changes before you implement them.
Act: Take small steps to address the changes that make the most sense for your business. Not everything has to happen all at once.
– Christine Laros, CPA, CA, Client Service Manager
It is always better to prepare for a storm before it hits. With house prices falling and economic activity slowing, there is no time like the present to ensure you have adequate cash reserves or an unused line of credit on your home as an insurance policy to raise cash if you need it. It is considerable easier to save cash or borrow funds when there isn’t a clear and present need. The same applies if you are a business owner. Ensure that you have adequate cash reserves and the ability to borrow. To help prevent cash flow or bad debt problems, stay close to your customers so you know what is going on in their business, and meet with your suppliers to ensure you are getting their best terms and pricing.
– Curtis Link, CPA, CA, TEP, Client Service Partner
Whether it’s sourcing people to fill vacancies, retention issues, or employee engagement—one of the largest challenges over the past year has been talent. The job market remains employee-driven and employers can’t waste time or make mistakes when it comes to interviewing and hiring. Candidates are receiving multiple job offers and will select what is most appealing. Pay only delivers short-term satisfaction. Remember, it is your culture that will determine whether or not people stay. It’s the old adage; “people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers”.
– Dinah Bailey, CHRP, CHRL, Human Resource Director
Check with the CRA to ensure that all necessary instalment have been paid for your personal and corporate tax accounts as well as any HST instalments. And keep future instalment amounts and due dates top of mind. Otherwise, you may accrue unnecessary interest charges.
– Denise Stewart, CPA, CGA, Senior Client Service Manager
The majority of online applications and services require a secure login. Unfortunately, the natural tendency of many people is to use very simple, straightforward passwords, or create one super-complicated password for use across every site and service. The issue is that easy passwords are very susceptible to hacking attempts. With a recycled password, just one website needs to be compromised for a user to become the victim of fraud or identity theft. The solution? Password managers, also known as password vaults. There are many excellent password management tools (both paid and free versions) available, including Dashlane, Keepass, Bitwarden, Keeper, LastPass and many more.
– Greg Koniecek, M.Sc. IT, Client Service Partner
With all the complexity in the tax/corporate world and in our daily lives, I have recently suggested to several clients that they need to simplify things and go lean. Also, the need to communicate remains a very important factor in the business world. It is very difficult for business owners to hold on to good talent these days, and poor communication is one of the key reasons. The more time we spend with our teams, and the more effectively we communicate, the better chance we have of retaining good people.
– Greg Rawn, CPA, CA, CBV, Client Service Partner
I always suggest that my clients call me before they make any major financial decisions. Almost every major decision we make (financially) is somehow integrated with the tax system. I will continue this message into 2023: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
– Igor Fik, CPA, CA, Client Service Manager – Tax
As the uncertainty of our economic market continues, maintaining an upbeat and strong workplace environment can assist in the storm. Job satisfaction, minimizing burnout, and open and consistent communication are all small things that management can focus on to ensure colleagues/employees feel included. Pave the road with signs that let your team know where they’re going and how to get there!
– Jill Croft, CPA, CGA, Client Service Manager
2023 might be a good time to review the pricing of your products and services. Inflationary pressures and supply chain issues have caused many business inputs to increase in cost. If you don’t adjust the prices of your products and services, it will be difficult to protect your gross margin and your bottom line!
– Kalin McDonald, CPA, CA, Managing Partner
Always consider the tax cost and cost of compliance when evaluating a potential investment – especially an investment outside of Canada. An investment that looks attractive on the surface may prove to be very costly if it is not structured appropriately. Especially if you are considering an investment in US real estate. The most significant issue is the risk of double tax. Many US investment vehicles are structured as “Limited Liability Companies” or “LLCs”. For US investors, LLCs are fantastic, as they combine the limited liability of a corporation with the tax efficiency of a partnership. But for Canadian investors, LLCs can result in substantial tax problems. In the worst-case scenario, a Canadian investor could be faced with an effective tax rate in excess of 90%! With appropriate advance planning, the effective tax rate on such an investment can be brought back to the 55% range—roughly in line with regular Canadian tax rates. However, maintaining the required structure also comes at the cost of ongoing tax filings and compliance requirements.
– Paul Keul, CPA, CA, TEP, Client Service Partner – Tax
Pick up the phone and call your accountant or tax advisor before acting on anything. Tax applies to everything we do; the only question is how material or how big of an impact.
– Simon Sham, MAcc, CPA, CA, Client Service Partner – Tax
In an uncertain recessionary economy, it is important to conserve cash and pay down higher interest debt where possible.
– Steve Myers, CPA, CA, Associate Partner
S+C Partners is committed to helping you
If you have any questions about any of the above year-end advice, or about any of the tax news and updates that occurred in 2022, please reach out to us. Our team is here to support you. Please call us at 905-821-9215 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to a healthy and prosperous 2023!