Tax services are divided into two main categories:
- Tax preparation services for personal (T1) and corporate (T2) taxes; and
- Tax planning
Tax Preparation Services
As part of SPARK’s focus on providing a holistic solution to its clients, we will be tapping into our vast experience in providing tax services to bring efficient and cost-effective tax preparation services to our clients. With over 20 years’ experience in public practice as a Chartered Accountant providing financial services including the preparation of personal and corporate tax returns, it is unlikely that any other financial advisor can bring the same level of expert tax services to its clients.
Unlike insurance and investment products that are compensated through commissions paid for by the insurance and investment companies, tax preparation services are billed directly to the customer as a supplemental fee-for-service product. However, our fees are substantially lower than other public accounting firms even though we provide the same high-level quality and experience. Furthermore, SPARK has developed a bundling strategy to allow for significant discounts on fee-for-service work where other products and services are purchased through SPARK.
We use a high-quality third-party tax preparation software, Intuit Profile, for the preparation of personal and corporate tax returns. In addition, we can prepare any required T-slips for salary, dividends, interest and most other types of income to report (i.e. T4 & T5).
We have also aligned ourselves with a high-quality independent bookkeeping firm to provide you with any assistance that you may need in having your bookkeeping done in preparation of your tax return completion.
We do not, however, currently provide financial statement preparation services.
As has been touched upon throughout our Services, taxes impact virtually every aspect of your life, from earning an income, making purchases, owning property, investing, running a business, and even upon transferring your estate. Taxes account for anywhere from 25% to as much as 60% or more of your annual income. In fact, Canadians have seen an explosion in tax rates and the introduction of new taxes over the past two years.
The objective of tax planning is to permit taxpayers to organize their financial affairs in such a way to minimize their taxes whenever and however possible. These opportunities have all but been eliminated in recent years, but there are still some opportunities to take advantage of income exclusion rules, tax credits, retirement plan contributions, and investment rules that are not necessarily obvious to the average taxpayer. You may miss or miscalculate these opportunities without proper organization and foresight.
The effect of changes in tax rules can be to affect spending, saving, investment and borrowing decisions made throughout the year.
The process of tax planning is essentially the same for any taxpayer, but it may entail different types of tax strategies depending on your financial situation. Strategies for deferring or splitting income, deferring or maximizing retirement contributions, capital gains and losses, property ownership, and charitable giving are applied differently in each situation, so they must be developed to address your specific situation.
In addition, advanced tax planning strategies using permanent life insurance products are effective and still available for business owners and higher net worth individuals.
At SPARK, we have the experience to address all these matters and we have had extensive experience in creating advanced tax strategies using permanent life insurance.
Products and Services used in Tax Planning
- Life insurance – term and permanent
- Annuities and segregated funds
- RRSPs, RESPs, RDSPs, TFSA
- Loans/borrowing to invest