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Tom Kemp

tomkempIt is with great sadness we announce the passing of Tom Kemp after a short struggle with ALS.

Tom moved to Penticton in 1972 with his wife Carol and their 2 children, Brenda and Andrea. He opened an accounting practice on his own and then later partnered with his friend and colleague Bob Harvey where they formed Kemp Harvey and Co., CGA’s, which still operates today. There are now 7 Kemp Harvey offices throughout the province, something that Tom was extremely proud of. Tom partially retired in 1999, and the Penticton office he helped create, is now operated by his daughter Andrea and her business partner Nicole Thompson. Throughout his life, Tom was an active Member of the CGA Association of BC and in 1989 he was President. He was also a member of the CGA Board of Canada.

From the beginning, Tom was active member in the community. He was a member of the Peach Festival Society, Kiwanis, Ironman Canada, VFCU, Penticton Yacht Club, and several other boards.

Tom is survived by his loving partner Liz Bingham, daughters Brenda (Robyn), Andrea (Rick), former spouse and long-time friend Carol Kemp, and brother Albert (Barb). Tom loved to dance and was an outgoing man; always the life of the party.

Further information can be found in the printed obituary.  Our thoughts are with Tom’s family during this time.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the SPCA or the Penticton Red Cross HELP Program.

Congratulations to the newest member of CGA BC

The Burnaby office is thrilled to announce that our senior technician was today advised that he has been accepted as a member of the Certified General Accountants Association of BC. PeterFung Congratulations, Peter. We are thrilled for your success in completely the CGA program! We look forward to hearing about your future accounting endeavors.

CHILD BENEFITS INCREASED

In addition to the Family Tax Cut, the federal government introduced changes to other child benefits this fall.

The Universal Child Care Benefit [UCCB], a monthly benefit paid to parents for each child under the age of 6, has been increased from $100 to $160 per month. A second tier has also been created, for children ages 6 to 17 years old. Parents with children in this category will receive $60 a month.

The increase will take effect in June 2015, at which time eligible families will receive retroactive payments for the first six months of 2015. As long parents are registered to receive other federal child care benefits, no registration is required to receive these benefits.

As a consequence of this measure, the Child Tax Credit, which was federal non-refundable tax credit that a parent received for each child under the age of 18, has been eliminated as of 2015. The credit will be still available for 2014. The total tax credit is $2,234, and taxpayer can save up to $335 from this credit.

UCCB payments will continue to be taxable, as they have in the past. The income will be reported on the tax return of the lower earning spouse. Assuming that the recipient is in the lowest tax bracket, the total net payment that parent would receive in the year is $576. Combined with the $335 that is lost from the elimination of the Child Tax Credit, the net gain for each child would be $241

Receipt of these benefits have no effect on eligibility for the Basic Child Tax Benefit, as income received under the UCCB does not affect this program.

One benefit of the increase in the UCCB for low income families is that they may not have earned enough income to be able to use the non-refundable Child Tax Credit in the past, whereas they will receive a benefit through this program.

CHILDREN’S FITNESS CREDIT INCREASED

In September, the federal government announced that they will be doubling the amount of Children’s Fitness Tax Credit. The maximum credit has been $500 since it was first introduced in 2007. This maximum is being increased to $1,000 per child, starting with the 2014 taxation year.

fitness

A taxpayer can save up to $150 of federal tax with this credit, up from the current maximum of $75.

The provincial government also provides a credit of $500, which provides a maximum provincial tax saving of $25.

The provincial government has not commented on whether they will match the federal increase. 2012 was they year the provincial credit was available, five years after the federal credit was introduced.

In a addition, the federal government will be making this credit refundable, starting in 2015. Previously, low income families may have been unable to use this credit, as non-refundable credits can only be used to reduce federal taxes to zero. If a taxpayer owed no tax prior to the credit, they would receive no benefit from it. Making this credit refundable will allow low income taxpayers to benefit from this credit.

The tax credit applies to children under 16, or under 18 if they are eligible for the disability amount.

There have been no changes to the type of activities that qualify for the credit.

TAXES RAISED FOR HIGHEST EARNERS IN ONTARIO

A recent global trend in taxation has been to increase the tax rates of the highest income earners.

An addition more localized trend has been for the BC government to change provincial tax rates soon after similar changes in Ontario.

Recently, the BC Ministry of Finance added a temporary tax bracket for people who earn over $150,000, at 45.8%. This was announced soon after the Ontario government introduced their own tax for high income earners, at 49.53% for income above $514.090.

This summer, the Ontario government again increased taxes at the highest bracket. The top tax bracket of 49.53% now starts at $220,000, instead of $514,090. In addition, a new tax bracket was created for taxable income between $150,000 and $220,000, to be taxed at 47.97% up from 46.41%.

It will be interesting to see if the BC government does the same with their own tax rates in the coming years.