TORONTO, Dec. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - At this time of year, Santa Claus is understandably busy with pressing global priorities. However, the end-of-year period is a particularly crucial time for financial planning. That's why RBC would like to offer the "jolly old elf" some financial planning tips specifically tailored to his unique financial needs and lifestyle.
"Santa is not only Canadian, he is also a prominent philanthropist, business owner, senior citizen, extensive traveler and last of all, a taxpayer. This makes his financial planning needs highly unique," said Richa Hingorani, regional financial planning consultant, RBC Financial Planning. "Because of that, he needs to take into account several taxation and financial planning considerations this time of year as do many Canadians, regardless of whether or not they celebrate Christmas. That's why we've come up with this handy list so he can focus his attentions on more important issues this season."
- Charitable donations. Santa is one of the world's most prominent philanthropists. Fortunately, most of his donations will be made by the December 31 deadline so that credit can be made on his 2012 tax return.
- Income Splitting. This is an important consideration as Mrs. Claus is not (as far as we know) employed. Santa might want to consider income splitting with Mrs. Claus to minimize his annual tax liability by using a prescribed rate loan to Mrs. Claus. Depending on the amount loaned (the current interest rate is one per cent), the amount of tax paid by Santa could be substantially reduced.
- Avoid the Old Age Security (OAS) Clawback. Santa's OAS will start to be clawed back once his 2012 income reaches $63,511.
- Santa does extensive travelling. Because of that, he needs out-of-country travel insurance for his Christmas Eve flight. He should also consider out-of-country medical insurance, just in case.
- If Santa has made investments, the last trading day to ensure losses can be used to offset gains from this year is December 24 for Canadian transactions and December 26 for U.S. transactions.
- Is Santa getting ready to RRIF? If Santa has yet to turn 71, he will need to start drawing down his RRSP in 2013. The minimum withdrawal amount will be 7.31 per cent.
- Santa is an (incorporated) business owner with an eternity of active years ahead of him. As such, he should consider opening an Individual Pension Plan (IPP). An IPP is structured to provide tax relief for the corporation and enhanced retirement savings (more than an RRSP) for Santa.
- Santa will need some hard-earned relaxation after the holiday season. As a Snowbird heading south for the winter, he will need to keep in mind that if he should stay in the U.S. for more than 183 days in two consecutive years, he may be considered to be liable for U.S. income tax.
About RBC's financial planning advice, resources and interactive tools The RBC Advice Centre offers free online advice, resources and tools regarding retirement and estate planning including RRSPs, the RSP-Matic® Savings Calculator. Whether Canadians want to save and invest, buy their first home, get more from their day to day banking, protect what's important, or take care of their businesses, the RBC Advice Centre can help answer their questions. In addition, RBC's my FinanceTracker, a comprehensive online financial management tool, offers all personal RBC online banking clients the ability, at no cost, to create a set budget and track their spending habits and to access tax-related apps in the my Tax Centre, to help manage and plan their taxes.
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