Want to put more money in your pocket? Five most overlooked year end tax strategies

Want to put more money in your pocket? Five most overlooked year end tax 
strategies 
There are ways to pay less in taxes - but you must act before December 31 
TORONTO, Nov. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Canadians who want to take full advantage of 
the various tax credits, deductions and other opportunities for tax savings, 
need to act quickly, before year end, says CIBC's tax and estate planning 
expert, Jamie Golombek. 
"With 2012 drawing to a close and the very busy holiday season approaching, 
Canadians shouldn't forget tax planning opportunities that may disappear if 
they don't act before year end," said Mr. Golombek. "There are a number of 
easy ways for Canadians to reduce taxes that they might otherwise owe - but in 
many cases you need to act before December 31." 
Mr. Golombek cites the most overlooked strategies from his recent report: 
Donate to your favourite charity 
December 31 is the last day to make a donation and obtain a tax receipt for 
2012. Many charities offer the ability to donate online, with electronic tax 
receipts that are generated and emailed to you instantly. For example, if your 
total 2012 donations exceed $200, each additional $100 donation in 2012 can 
get you up to $100 back, depending on your province of residence. 
Contribute to an RESP for your child or grandchild 
The federal government provides a Canada Education Savings Grant of 20 per 
cent on the first $2,500 of annual RESP contributions per child, which can add 
up to $7,200 to an RESP during a child's lifetime. If you haven't maximized 
RESP contributions for your children or grandchildren, you can make an 
enhanced catch-up contribution in 2012. 
If your child turned 15 in 2012 and has never been an RESP beneficiary, 
December 31, 2012 is your last chance to contribute to an RESP to create CESG 
eligibility. For example, by contributing $2,500 to an RESP, you could get 
$500 of CESGs added to the RESP account, usually by the following month. 
Pay expenses by year end to be eligible for tax deductions and credits 
Claiming expenses, such as interest on money borrowed for investing or student 
loans, daycare fees and children's fitness or arts fees, can all provide 
benefits at tax time. However you must pay these expenses by the end of the 
year to realize the tax savings for 2012. For example, paying $500 for your 
children's winter swimming lessons before year end could mean up to $75 in 
reduced taxes. 
Review your investments 
The end of the year is a good time to review the types of investments you 
hold, and the accounts in which you hold them. Investments yielding 
highly-taxed interest income may be best-suited to RRSPs or TFSAs, while 
Canadian equities, which can generate favourably-taxed dividends and capital 
gains, may be more suited to non-registered accounts. If you are planning a 
TFSA withdrawal in early 2013, consider withdrawing the funds by December 31 
instead, so you don't have to wait until 2014 to be able to re-contribute that 
amount. 
Prepare for retirement 
There are a number of tax considerations for those just entering into their 
retirement years: 


    --  If you turned 65 in 2012 and have not yet applied for Old Age
        Security benefits, remember that retroactive benefits, which
        can be worth over $6,500, can only be claimed within a limited
        time. To receive those benefits, you should apply as soon as
        possible.
    --  If you turned 71 in 2012, you have until December 31 to make
        any final contributions to your RRSP and convert it into a RRIF
        or registered annuity.

"These tips are some of the most commonly overlooked, easy ways you can act 
now to benefit from tax savings when you file your tax return next spring," 
says Mr. Golombek. "But keep in mind that tax planning is a year-round affair. 
Speak to your accountant or tax advisor well in advance of tax filing season 
to get more information on how to reduce your taxes."

More details are available in Mr. Golombek's report, 2012 Year End Tax Tips.

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with nearly 11 million 
personal banking and business clients. CIBC offers a full range of products 
and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches 
and offices across Canada, in the United States and around the world. You can 
find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Press Centre on our 
corporate website at cibc.com.

Sean Hamilton, 416-304-8456,sean.hamilton@cibc.com.

SOURCE: CIBC

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CO: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
ST: Ontario
NI: FIN 

-0- Nov/27/2012 11:00 GMT