Canadians Succeeding at Keeping Tabs on Expenses, Poll Finds | FBC, Canada's Farm & Small Business Tax Specialist

Canadians Succeeding at Keeping Tabs on Expenses, Poll Finds

Though Canada already celebrated its Thanksgiving, the holidays are right around the corner, which is traditionally the time of year in which consumers and business owners often increase their spending to provide gifts for family members and colleagues. With any luck, Canadians will be as good at keeping track of their spending in the upcoming weeks as they were this past summer, according to Chartered Professional Accounts of Canada.

Roughly two thirds of respondents to the CPA Canada poll said that they closely followed their spending habits this past summer. Perhaps as a result approximately the same number of Canadians - 61 percent - indicated that they were in line with what they budgeted for when the season kicked off in June.

Cairine Wilson, CPA Canada vice president, indicated that this is a good sign and speaks to individuals' strong financial literacy.

"Financial decisions do matter, so it is encouraging to see a significant number of respondents tracking their spending," said Wilson. "We hope the practice continues during the coming holiday season. A budget does not necessarily eliminate financial stress but it can sure help to reduce it when properly managed."

Nearly 40 percent of the poll's participants said that they usually spend the most money during the winter, with roughly the same percentage saying they spent the most between June and September.

Business Gifts May Be Tax Deductible
Everyone likes to receive gifts from time to time, and there's also a great amount of joy that comes from giving. Business owners who intend to do a fair share of gift giving this holiday season may be able to take advantage of various tax benefits because holiday gift giving is typically tax deductible.

As a general rule, business gifts can be deducted against taxable income. However, there's usually a limit for how much can be written off. Generally speaking, you can deduct up to $25 per taxpayer annually. Though there's typically a limit for how much can be deducted, there isn't one for how many people receive business gifts in a given year.

There may be situations, however, in which more taxes can be written off. For instance, tax income experts point out that if a gift falls into a specific product category - like entertainment - you may be able to deduct a percentage of the purchase cost rather than a specific price. Situations vary, however, so it's best to talk to the tax professionals at FBC before buying something that may not have as many tax deduction advantages after all.

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"If all the economists were laid end to end, they’d never reach a conclusion." — George Bernard Shaw