Joint Ventures, RRSP Mortgages, Due Diligence, & More!

Podcast Episode 92:
A Few Quick Tales.”

Here’s some great stories about people buying and selling real estate in Alberta. These five quick Tales from the Trenches are short, but they show a wide range of different issues, problems, and successes.

In a joint venture, it’s always nice when a more experienced investor can help out someone who’s just getting started, which is the subject of the first Tale. The second deals with rules surrounding RRSP mortgages. Did you know that the money needs to be at arm’s length from the person whose RRSP it is? The third Tale is about Alberta Health’s Minimum Housing & Health  Standards. I’d recommend anyone looking to buy real estate in Alberta take a look at these (available HERE), especially if they want to rent out the property. The second last Tale is about seller’s warranties. They can be hard to enforce, and so due diligence with things like fire safety searches is important before committing to buy. Finally, a real estate deal that is too good to be true can have hidden problems. It might still be a good deal, but it’s best to look a gift horse in the mouth by still doing your due diligence.

Download the audio file HERE.
(control click or right click + save as)

If you’re buying or selling real estate in Alberta, get yourself an experienced Edmonton lawyer. Use the contact form below!

House/Home Inspection” image by Mark Moz used under CC Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Is Tax Planning Worth It?

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Donald Trump Is Right (About Tax).

Now, generally I disagree with almost all of The Donald’s actions. But not on tax. If you are interested in legal ways of saving big money on tax when selling property, a business, or other large investments in Alberta, get in touch with me now at RMLO Law LLP.

Donald Trump’s advisers have called him a “genius” after reports that his $900 million loss in 1995 helped him avoid paying federal tax for the next 18 years.

“This is a perfectly legal application of the tax code and he would have been fool not to take advantage of it,” said former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s advisers.

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Asset Planning & Protection

Podcast Episode 76:
The Power of Trust.

I’ve got a real bee in my bonnet about Asset Planning & Protection (APP). I have done Focus Workshops all about Legacy Planning, Asset/Corporate Structure, Insurance, and Tax Planning, but now it’s time to bring this focus back to my blog and podcast. It’s hugely important for all of us, but we are all so busy buying, selling, and managing real estate that APP always takes a back seat. I want you to have a much better general understanding of Asset Planning & Protection. Are we trying to turn you into lawyers, accountants, financial planners, or tax experts? No, absolutely not. But we are trying to help make you more informed and prepared!

Download the audio file HERE and the text/handout HERE.
(control click or right click + save as)

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Non-Resident Taxes

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Non-Resident Tax:
A Sleeping Bear with a Big Bite.

As a real estate lawyer, I was happy to have one of my favourite realtors send me a new deal where I would be the seller’s lawyer. The first sign of trouble was a big add-on clause that confirmed the sellers were non-residents of Canada. “Uh-oh, could be trouble,” was my first reaction. Then I thought, “if the contract is making a special note that the sellers are non-residents, maybe they have the non-resident tax thing under control…?” When I chatted with the sellers and asked the question, no such luck. They knew nothing about any Canadian tax they might have to pay as non-residents and, in fact, had done nothing about tax of any kind in the 12 years they had owned the property. Now I’m really concerned and here’s why. Continue reading

Tax Planning Equals Profit

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Taxes: A Penny Saved Is a Penny Earned.

Do you own a business or a substantial amount of real estate? Let’s start with a few simple propositions:

  1. You want to pay as little tax as possible both while you are an owner and then when you sell.
  2. Tax rules for Canada are set out in the incredibly complicated Income Tax Act.
  3. Sophisticated, conservative tax planning can reduce your tax substantially.

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RRSP Mortgage Guidelines

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With an RRSP Mortgage,
Can You Really Have Your Cake & Eat It Too?

Well, there’s still some things to consider about my previous post regarding Jamie Golombek’s column on RRSP mortgages in the National Post. It’s new for the CRA to recognize that interest is deductible in the circumstances as set out in the article, so this bears a bit more analysis. My last kick at the cat is as follows: Continue reading

RRSP Mortgage

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You CAN Have Your Cake & Eat It Too, Says The CRA.

Many clients want to use their own RRSPs to help them buy investment property. Previously, it hasn’t worked because you can’t do a ‘non-arm’s length mortgage’. In other words, you can’t lend to yourself. The exception was for a personal residence—but not allowed for an investment property.

 News Flash! According to The National Post’s tax expert Jamie Golombek, a CRA technical interpretation says this can sometimes happen.

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Thinking about a Tax Shelter? Think Again!


“If it seems too good to be true…”

is the title of a column by tax expert Jamie Golombek. Jamie’s column is yet another reminder to all of us that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is death on questionable charitable tax shelters.

Essentially, if a tax shelter promoter says you will get a tax receipt for an amount that exceeds your donation, it is likely not a valid tax shelter. Some of these schemes promise deductions of four or five times your donation amount. Normally the CRA isn’t very forthcoming in giving their opinion on any particular tax issue. For tax shelters, however, they are crystal clear. They will audit and disallow not only those bloated deductions, but also your actual donation amount. Then they will pursue for penalties. Continue reading

It’s Just Paperwork, Right?

Podcast Episode 21: “It’s Just Paperwork, Right?”

Not filing your annual tax return with the CRA is serious business. Big fines or potential jail time. Not filing your annual corporate return with corporate registry will, after two years, have your company dissolved. Should you invest in a badly run company?

Download the audio file (Mac control + click + “save as” / PC right click + “save as”) HERE.

The full-text version of this Tale from the Trenches can be found HERE.

Contact Barry McGuire now. Alberta real estate needs an Alberta lawyer.

It’s Just Paperwork, Right? (Handout)

Text Notes for Podcast Episode 21: “It’s Just Paperwork, Right?”

Not filing your annual tax return with the CRA is serious business. Big fines or potential jail time. Not filing your annual corporate return with corporate registry will, after two years, have your company dissolved. Should you invest in a badly run company?

Download the handout (Mac control + click + “save as” / PC right click + “save as”) HERE. Continue reading