Friday, January 9, 2015

Important changes you need to know before doing 2014 Income tax returns

Canadian $2 coin, nicknamed "toonie"
Canadian $2 coin, nicknamed "toonie" (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here is the list few changes that may affect your 2014 income tax returns:

  • GST\HST credit- Going forward from 2014, you don’t have to indicate whether you want to apply for HST Credit. CRA will determine based on your income tax return. If you have a spouse or common law partner then only one of you will receive the credit, but not both of you. The credit will be paid to the spouse or common-law partner whose return is assessed first.
  • Family Tax Credit- Family Tax Cut is a new non-refundable tax credit of up to $2,000 for eligible couples with minor children based on the net reduction of federal tax that would be realized if up to $50,000 of an individual's taxable income was transferred to the individual's eligible spouse or common-law partner. The credit can be claimed in Schedule 1 line 423.
  • Lifetime capital gains exemption- For dispositions after 2013 of qualified small business corporation shares and qualified farm and fishing property, the lifetime capital gains exemption limit has increased to $800,000 (line 254). The new limit is indexed to inflation, and the first indexation adjustment will occur for the 2015 tax year
  •   Adoption expenses– The maximum  refundable tax credit amount of eligible expenses for each child has increased to $15,000 (line 313)
  • Children’s fitness amount – The maximum amount of eligible fees for each child has increased to $1,000 (line 365).The increase is only for federal amount

Monday, June 30, 2014

Travel Tips

Capital One
Capital One (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Travel tips:
I thought I knew about all the deals, discounts but realized I am still learning. Things I learnt last week. I can get rebates for travel booking in via, or, etc.  if I click through Great Canadian Rebates.  I could have earned around $50 rebates on previous booking. But good thing is that I know and I want all of you to know as well.
I also learnt that I can use the   Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World MasterCard® points to cover my Presto Card purchase for the  Go Train. I added $350 to Presto Card and then redeemed the points to cover $350.  With this card, I had to pay $120 fees but Great Canadian Rebates credit covered $75 of that.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

My almost free air and hotel booking for upcoming Miami trip

English: no original description
English: no original description (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love to travel.  But sometimes trip costs can be expensive.  But who does not like to getaway during winter for few days.Thanks to Amex Canada.  I was able to use the points earned from American Express Gold Rewards card and American Express Starwood Preferred Guest credit card and book my air ticket for less than $60 (only paid the taxes) and hotel was 100% free.

American Express Gold Rewards card offers 25K bonus points and it is free for the first year.  It is a great card.
  • You will earn double points for every $1 in eligible travel purchases charged to the card, including flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and more.
  • You will earn double points for every $1 in eligible gas, grocery and drugstore purchases charged to the Card.
  • You will earn one point for every $1 in purchases charged to the Card everywhere else.
The points from the transactions are posted immediately and you don’t have to wait till the statement. One disadvantages is that it may take little bit of time for them to post the bonus points but they will eventually post. Other disadvantage is that I would like to use this card for groceries as well but Real Canadian Superstore does not take American express. Please also note this is a charge card and you have to pay full balance each month.

Time to time Amex has bonus which will let you transfer the points with 50% bonus to BA – Avios points. (That means 25K will be 37.5K Avios points. You can book return ticket to from Toronto Miami for 20K+ $60 using Avios in points in the American airlines. That is direct flight.
If you like for apply the card, here is the Application Link

I also have an American express Starwood Preferred Guest credit card which I use for my business expenses. This card will earn SPG points on purchases.  I am ardent fan of SPG hotels and when I got the card I received 21K bonus points.  Unfortunately this card has fee of $120/year.  As I use the card for business purposes that fee is deductible. SPG points are well worth for the fee.
  • You will earn one point for every $1 in purchases charged to the Card everywhere else.
  • You will receive a Free Weekend Night Award when you reach $40,000 in purchases each year.
  • You will get an automatic upgrade to Starwood Gold level when you spend more than $30K in a year.
 I was able to earn 13K points with transactions I posted to the card. I was able to book Four Points Sheraton in the Miami Beach for 20K points for two days and then Sheraton airport hotel for 14K.

SPG points can be transferred to airline points as well. It provides bonus for transfers to most of the airlines (provide bonus of 5K if you transfer 20K points). I usually keep the SPG points for hotel stay as those are more valuable for me for hotel stay.
If you like for apply the card, here is the Application Link

Voila I have booked air and hotel with out of pocket cost of $60.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Great Travel Site for Air Travel Booking

Image representing Momondo as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase
 I have used expedia and cheapoair to get a quotes for airline tickets but found it does not give me a good price when there is more than one transit. I recently found Momondo is a good site when you have multiple transits.  I was able to print the quote and took it to my travel agent to get it matched. Next time, I am actually going to book the tickets via the site.
It is a Danish company and they are in the business since 2006.
Here is more info about the company and some reviews about the company.