Author: Melodie Lind

Melodie practices in the areas of tax law, with a focus on  estate and trust planning, family owned business succession planning, planning for persons with disabilities and tax-driven corporate reorganizations.…

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Save the Date because on November 28, 2016 the re-vamped Societies Act will come into effect.
There is good news and bad news with draft legislation released by the Department of Finance on January 15, 2016.
On May 14, 2015, Bill 24 - 2015: Societies Act (the “Societies Act”), received Royal Assent.
Back in 2013, the Department of Finance proposed some changes to the Income Tax Act and asked for public input on those proposed changes.
There are a wide variety of tax and non-tax elements to be considered as part of the estate planning process for business owners, such as capital gains planning, minimizing taxes on death and the use of trusts, to name a few. Winery owners are often in a unique position because, in addition to all of the usual considerations, they may be able to take advantage of some of the “farming” provisions available in the Income Tax Act.
The Income Tax Act has a long history of providing favourable tax treatment for farmers.

As part of the Minister of Finance’s effort to crack down on offshore tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, on January 15, 2014 the Canada Revenue Agency launched the Offshore Tax Informant Program. The program provides for informants to be paid a percentage of the tax collected by the Canada Revenue Agency as a result of the information provided. The press release and further details can be found at:

On September 23, 2013, the Canada Revenue Agency announced the prescribed interest rates for the fourth quarter. These interest rates are set by the Canada Revenue Agency every quarter for a variety of items, including interest on overdue taxes and interest on overpayments of tax, among other things.

In the 2013 Federal Budget, the Department of Finance announced that it was going to consult with the public on proposed changes to the Income Tax Act regarding the taxation of certain trusts and estates.

British Columbia’s Probate Fee Act sets out the rules for the rate of probate fees payable on a deceased estate and when they must be paid. As a general rule, probate fees are equal to approximately 1.4% of the gross value of a deceased’s estate, calculated as of the date of death, and must be paid before the Court will issue a Grant of Probate. There are some circumstances, however, which reduce the amount of probate fees payable.

The calculation of probate fees payable requires consideration of the following four issues:

One of the quandaries many people face when making an estate plan is what to do with the family cottage or vacation property. The family cottage is often a beloved family asset – a place where several generations have shared many happy memories – and there is often a strong wish to keep the cottage in the family. The best way to accomplish this is one of the more challenging issues in estate planning.

In a recent Legal Alert article, I wrote about the exemption from property transfer tax when a family farm is transferred. One of the potential problems with claiming this exemption is that it is more difficult to claim the family farm exemption upon a person’s death than it is if that person transferred the property during his/her lifetime. An expansion of this exemption was announced as part of the 2013 British Columbia budget.

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