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Friday News Roundup 20.07.24: Pandemic debt, WFH tax breaks, Love & Money and more

Wrapping up the odds and ends in this week’s Canadian accounting news

Author: Colin Ellis

TORONTO, July 24, 2020 – The biggest story of the week was Bill Morneau’s announcement that he had written a cheque for $41k to the WE charity for travel expenses incurred during promotional trips. While an entire discussion erupted on Twitter as to the Finance Minister’s tax returns, here are some of the odds and ends from the past week to do with the accounting profession: 

Pandemic has saved debt-ridden Canadians

The MNP Consumer Debt Index was released on Monday and its findings highlighted a financial upside of the COVID-19 pandemic: Debt-ridden Canadians are being kept afloat by support programs such as CERB. The quarterly poll found that Canadians feel more confident than ever about being able to cover their living expenses for the next twelve months without going further into debt. 

“The fact that many Canadians are more optimistic or even hopeful about their personal debt situation is likely a result of the pandemic relief measures. But it could also be the result of Canadians comparing their own circumstances to what is playing out in other parts of the world,” says Grant Bazian, president of MNP LTD. “What’s more is that many found it easier to spend less over the last few months since they were required to stay home.” The survey explains that the closing of “bastions of discretionary spending” has actually helped household budgets. 

Wealthy Burnabians not paying property tax?

Apparently one-third of Burnaby property owners aren’t paying their property taxes by the due date, according to the Powell River Peak. We wondered whether this was a sign of stretched houshold budgets, but David Chiang @DChiang1 informed us via Twitter that, “As a resident of Burnaby, high % of unpaid taxes is because tax payments, while due in early July, can be paid by end of September without penalty (a relief measure because of COVID). Burnaby is one of the richest cities in B.C. due to years of major development.” 

Canadians WFH pandemic tax break

On Thursday, the CBC reported that “Hundreds of thousands of Canadians could get a tax break for working from home during pandemic,” according to Armando Minucci of Grant Thornton. While Minucci advised WFH Canadians to keep receipts and ask employers to fill out a T2200, CPA Canada is advocating on behalf of employers who may be burdened with sudden and excessice demands for paperwork. 

Love & Money (A CPA Canada Book)

And finally, Cormorant Books contacted us this week to say that Wallace M. Howick, FCPA, FCA, has written a book called “Love and Money: Conversations to have Before You Get Married.” It’s a non-fiction guide and resource that helps people in relationships discover, understand, and talk about their relationship with money.” It’s official publication date is tomorrow, July 25th. 

Colin Ellis is a contributing editor to Canadian Accountant.

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