Blog Dec 10, 2020

A Holiday (Legal) Story


Grab your hot chocolate and sit next to the fire, The Legal Department brings you four festive (legal) tales this holiday season.

All I Want For Christmas
Mary is a great boss. Each year, her team looks forward to Christmas cookies, a nice office party and some amazing gifts. What she doesn’t know is that she could be making a “naughty” tax mistake!

While most employees understand that cash gifts are recognized as taxable benefits from employment, the rules can be quite unclear for near-cash or non-cash gifts.

Near cash gifts, such as gift certificates, vouchers, and even securities and stocks (anything that can easily be converted into cash) are not exempt from taxation in the hands of employees.

Subject to certain exemptions, Mary must also include non-cash gifts in her employees’ income if the fair market value of all gifts are greater than $500 for the year.  The taxable benefit to her employees would be the difference between the fair market value of the gifts and $500.

Any small or trivial gifts Mary buys her staff (such as a coffee mug) are, however, tax free!

Are you unsure about the tax treatment of certain items? Have you made mistakes in the past but want to sort them out before the tax man finds out? Our experienced lawyers can help put your mind at ease.

John Is Coming To Town
As the clock strikes midnight, the doorbell sounds. Unfortunately, it’s not the jolly old man your kids were expecting. Instead, you are greeted by your ex-husband John.

While most separation/divorce agreements and parenting plans layout clear visitation and custody arrangements, conflicts may still arise. And, at times, parents feel that prior arrangements have become unsuitable. 

Whether it’s due to changes in the child’s or family’s needs, an unclear agreement, or because of emerging disagreements, we are here for you. 

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa
As Ashley sets the star on top of her Christmas tree, her secretary adds a candle to her menorah.

While Christmas may take the gingerbread for the most popular holiday, Canada is home to a multitude of cultures and traditional celebrations!

Employers have an obligation to provide religious accommodations to their employees, provided that there is no undue hardship to the employer in doing so.

Unsure if you are being “naughty or nice?” Our lawyers are ready to provide clarity and solutions to fit your unique circumstance.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Tim sips on his eggnog as he finalizes his gifts for his kids. A tablet for Johnny, new tires for Terry and a gift card for Sophia. While he rushes to purchase all of these gifts before the holidays, Tim is forgetting about one crucial deadline: the December 31 RESP contribution deadline!

To receive the gift of a maximum government grant of $500/year, don’t forget to contribute $2,500 to your child’s RESP by the annual deadline. 

Tim forgot to contribute last year, but don’t worry Tim! You can catch up and carry-forward unused contributions (one year at a time). If Tim remembers to do so, he can contribute funds by December 31 to make up for last year ($0 contribution) and this year. To maximize the tax-deferred investment, Tim can contribute $5,000 (Santa has been very kind to Tim this year) to receive the full $1,000 grant.

Whether you are interested in tax planning or have tax issues that are concerning you this holiday season, we can help.

If any of these tales ring true or you have other issues, we are happy to speak with you. We are currently offering 30 minutes of free legal advice to chamber and association members. Enjoy your holiday season and let us handle your legal concerns.

Contact us at the information below or CLICK HERE to book a consultation.

The Legal Department is a service under the Canadian Chamber’s Chamber Business Services program created for chambers, associations and their members to access legal services at a discount. 

We launched The Legal Department in November. If you’d like to find out more about how you and your members can benefit from the services the team at The Legal Department, reach out to their team.

Info@thelegaldepartment.com
(647) 952-0829