Scotiabank Offers Tips to Help Canadians Avoid Common Tax-Planning Mistakes



    TORONTO, Jan. 8 /CNW/ - The beginning of the year is normally a time of
stress as Canadians scramble to make last-minute RSP contributions before the
February 29, 2008 deadline. Below are some tips from Scotiabank to help
Canadians start the new year on the right foot.

    
        -  Am I too late? - Once January 1, 2008 rolls around, Canadians are
           limited in their options to affect their 2007 tax return.

    "Once the year is over, it is really too late to be thinking about tax
minimization," says Howard Kabot, National Director of Financial Planning.
"The only thing that Canadians can do at this point to affect their 2007 tax
return is to put money into their RSP. The real strategy is in thinking about
your tax return at the beginning of the year and taking steps throughout the
year to maximize your returns. Now is the time to plan for 2008 tax savings."

        -  Maximize your RSP. Many Canadians don't take full advantage of
           their RSP room because they don't always have the cash.

    "Cash is not the only way to contribute to an RSP. Canadians can
contribute stocks or bonds to their RSP or they can borrow to contribute if
they know that they will be able to pay off the loan within the year," added
Mr. Kabot.

        -  Canadians don't take advantage of as many tax strategies as they
           should. For instance, in addition to the new rules that allow
           pension income splitting, other income splitting strategies make
           it possible for families to split income between spouses and with
           children.
        -  Canadians don't take advantage of all the options available to
           them. For example, gifting money to a minor child can be very tax
           efficient as any capital gains earned in the account are not taxed
           back to the parent, which is not the case for interest and
           dividends.

    "Income splitting, with either a spouse or a child, is a strategy that all
taxpayers should pursue but not without the guidance of a tax professional,"
said Mr. Kabot.

        -  Canadians need to take advantage of other registered investment
           vehicles. RSP contributions are a must for prudent retirement
           planning, but for those saving for a child's education, an RESP is
           a good option because it grows tax protected and has the advantage
           of added government contributions.
        -  Maximize the benefit of your stock losses. While the year end is
           the perfect time to review your portfolio for the benefits of tax
           loss selling, now is the time to remember to use those losses when
           filing your personal tax return. Don't forget that losses that
           could not be used on your 2007 return can be carried back to the
           previous three year's returns or forward to future returns.

    "Carrying capital losses back to a previous year can result in substantial
tax savings," added Mr. Kabot. "The key is to remember that these losses exist
so that they aren't forgotten in future years."

        -  Canadians aren't fully aware of all possible tax savings
           opportunities. For small business owners, setting up an office in
           their home will allow them to deduct part of their rent and
           household expenses such as utilities.
        -  Parents don't realize that their children can file a tax return.
           If a child is earning income, the parents should file a tax
           return. This will start building RSP room and may qualify the
           child for a GST refund (if the child is age 19 or older). Of note,
           people with less than $9,600 in income won't qualify to pay income
           tax.
    

    "Now is the perfect time to begin your 2008 tax planning," said Mr.
Kabot. "By engaging your advisor and tax professionals now, Canadians can
enjoy potential tax savings now and for years to come."

    Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and
Canada's most international bank. With more than 60,000 employees, Scotiabank
Group and its affiliates serve approximately 12 million customers in some 50
countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a diverse range of products and
services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking.
With $412 billion in assets (as at October 31, 2007), Scotiabank trades on the
Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit
www.scotiabank.com.





For further information:

For further information: Paula Cufre, Scotiabank Public Affairs, (416)
933-1093


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