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A thorough analysis of today’s financial news—delivered weekly to your inbox or via social media. As part of Knowledge Bureau’s interactive network, the Report covers current issues on the tax and financial services landscape and provides a wide range of professional benefits, including access to peer-to-peer blogs, opinion polls, online lessons, and vital industry information from Canada’s only multi-disciplinary financial educator.

This Week’s Edition of KBR:

January Poll

Given the financial stress people are under during the second wave, should governments suspend audit activities and waive penalties and interest in 2021?
Yes: 374 votes
74.5%
No: 128 votes
25.5%
 

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Zero-Emission Vehicles: Promised Investments & Incentives

As part of the September 23, 2020 Speech from the Throne, the government committed to several goals concerning zero-emission vehicles. The intention is to improve affordability and encourage manufacturing of these products by cutting the corporate tax rate for those making zero-emission products by a proposed 50%.

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Enhancements to the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

During yesterday’s Throne Speech, the federal government promised to move forward with enhancements to the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, including in Canada’s largest cities, so more families can afford to buy their first home. No further definition was provided with regard to what this expansion means, or how further assistance will be provided to Canadians living in the pricier parts of the country. However, promises made by the Liberal government heading into the last election may provide some clues.

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Enhanced Benefits for Seniors and the Disabled

The Speech from the Throne indicates that the government will be following through on several promises made in the last election. Promises for seniors include enhancements to Old Age Security (OAS) and the Canada Pension Plan Survivor’s Benefit. For the disabled, a new Canadian Disability Benefit will be introduced, along with an employment strategy and improved processes to determine program and benefit eligibility. Here are the details:

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No New Insight on Changes to Stock Options

The 2019 Federal Budget proposed an annual cap of $200,000 on stock options granted to employees by "large, long-established, mature firms."  This cap is on the value of the shares at the time the options are granted. More details were set to be delivered in the 2020 Federal Budget, including information from the consultations with Canadians. It's information we're still waiting for, however, the government did recommit to its implementation during yesterday's Throne Speech. Here’s what we know now:

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Updated Income Tax Estimator Deals with Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) Clawback

When the new Canada Recovery Benefits become available later this month, it will come with a cost.  If the recipient’s net income for the year from other sources exceeds $38,000, they will be required to repay 50% of the lesser of the CRB received and their net income in excess of $38,000. 

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