Last-minute tax-saving tasks for 2016

What's your best year-end RRSP strategy?

Matthew Elder 19 December, 2016 | 6:00PM

The days are counting down to the end of 2016, and amid all the seasonal festivities there may be some extra work to be done. We're not talking about party planning or finally tackling postponed tasks at work. It's to do with your personal tax situation and what you might be able to do before 2016 becomes history -- and along with it your income and expenses for the year.

By reviewing your financial situation in terms of investments as well as personal circumstances, you may be able to trim your income tax bill for 2016, as well as restructure your affairs so as to pay less tax next year and beyond. The following are some key strategies to consider, depending on your personal tax situation, as gleaned from reports on year-end tax planning by KPMG and BDO Canada.

Sell by Dec. 23 to realize capital losses. If you own stocks, mutual funds or other capital investments that have lost money since you acquired them, selling them now will enable you to use the resulting capital loss to reduce gains from other investments sold this year, or during the previous three years. Transactions must be completed by Dec. 23 to ensure the settlement date occurs before the end of the year. If you wish to repurchase these securities, you must wait at least 30 days to avoid triggering a superficial loss (which would disallow that loss from being applied against gains).

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Matthew Elder

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