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July/August 2011

Commentary - Hans H. Mathisen

I'm sorry, but until further notice, my usual commentary will not be available. However, I can still provide you the valuable benefits and financial insight of LIFE LETTER and LIFE LETTER MATURE:

Planning ahead eases worries when facing a tax audit- LifeLetter for July discusses tax planning. When you plan ahead, facing a CRA audit can be a breeze.

How to prepare for the expensive adolescent years - Are you prepared for your children's teenage years? August's LifeLetter discusses planning for different phases of your life.

LIFE LETTER MATURE - July's entry discusses how to maximize your retirement, and August's LLM looks at the risks of investments in your senior years.

HAPPY INVESTING!
Sincerely,
Hans Mathisen


 

 

 

LIFE LETTER

Planning ahead eases worries when facing a tax audit.

A letter arrives from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). You are being audited. Panic ensues as you wonder what you did wrong and why the CRA is targeting you. "There must be bigger fish to fry," you might say to yourself. The first thing you need to do is relax and take a few deep breaths. If you have a qualified tax advisor on your team, you have nothing to worry about. If you don't, now is a good time to contact a professional tax planner to review your returns and assist you with the audit.

Unless you have filed your tax returns with gross negligence or displayed willful non-compliance, you are not in any "real" danger from the taxman. At the same time, no one wants to pay additional taxes and penalties due to an oversight. That's why tax planning is so critical. Instead of scrambling for deductions to reduce your taxes at the end of the year, set a plan with a financial advisor at the beginning of the year. When you plan ahead, facing a CRA audit can be a breeze.

How to prepare for a CRA tax audit:

Contact your financial advisor. If you do not have a tax planner, you should speak with one. They stay up-to-date on annual changes to Canadian tax legislation and can assist you in achieving your financial goals.

A field auditor will contact you to arrange a time to conduct the audit. They will exchange contact information with you and give a general overview of the process.

Ask for the tax years they will be auditing so that you can have the information ready for their arrival. It will also give your tax advisor an opportunity to review the files.

The field auditor will arrive and give an overview of the audit process. You may be asked for an overview of your business and a tour of the premises if relevant.

Have all of the financial records that were requested available and organized. The easier you make it for the field auditor, the sooner they'll be on their way.

Only provide the financial records requested. Do not offer additional information. Wait for the auditor to request it.

Be courteous and professional, they are people just doing their job. Provide them with a quiet, comfortable place to work.

Questions from the field auditor should be directed to a lead individual such as yourself, your accountant, or your tax planning specialist.

Answer the field auditor's questions honestly. Refrain from expanding on your answers unless asked. Do not volunteer information, let them do their jobs.

A qualified tax planner can provide expert advice when it comes to audits from the Canada Revenue Agency. They are also an important component of a quality financial plan. Their goal is to aid you in keeping the wealth you have earned and provide assistance in estate and financial planning. As for the field auditor, they likely won't stay long when they find out you've used the services of a qualified tax specialist.

Tax Planning – because it’s the right thing to do.

Call Hans Mathisen today at (306)242-7042.
or email -
hans@mathisen.ca

Copyright © 2010 Life Letter. All rights reserved

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LIFE LETTER

How to prepare for the expensive adolescent years

Are you financially prepared for the teenage years? Plans should be made if you have children approaching their adolescent years. This can be a turbulent time, not just the emotion and drama it can bring, but also the associated expenses that get added to the family budget. When you think of your family financial planning, it is wise to consider each and every phase of life. Many families don't consider just how expensive the adolescent years can be and that can be their downfall.

New Situations Mean New Expenses

When you consider all of the obvious expenses alone, the adolescent years can be quite costly. You may think that the baby and toddler years drain the bank account, but consider the "normal" expenses that adolescents can bring.

Consider starting a savings program now for future expenses like extracurricular activities, summer camps, school trips, sports teams, clothes, increased food costs, and lessons and tutors that may be required for school. Don't overlook the car and driving lessons that can be a huge financial drain, even though necessary. Remember, many of your regular expenses can expand just because you are adding a teen to your list — insurance, fuel, maintenance - these things and many others can quickly strain a budget.

Those are the standard expenses assuming that your child doesn't require any additional help in the way of counseling, summer school, or even more extreme measures depending on their ability to adjust to changing and turbulent times. There really is no telling what the teen years can bring. Just beyond them is setting your child up for life beyond your walls. Suddenly the list is growing indeed.

Let's face it, adolescence can be a tough time! It's not just tough for the kids going through it but often for the parents as well. Many parents think about their monthly expenses and consider the one thing they have to save up for in their childrens' future is post-secondary education. While this is true and is a great thing to consider in advance, you could be in big trouble when all of the expenses need to be met. As you consider all your financial planning needs and look at the years ahead, giving special attention to the adolescent years can be greatly important.

Planning Ahead Can Mean Peace of Mind

Financial planning should incorporate all the important phases of life, particularly those that will be full of additional expenses and unforeseen circumstances. The adolescent years are a time of uncertainty in every sense of the word. When you look at your family and consider all the financial needs that lie ahead, include the adolescent years in your overall plan. If you could somehow make the adolescent years a little bit easier for them, you would do anything. Thinking through the financial needs of this turbulent time of life can be a great start toward making things much smoother.

Planning For Life Phases – because it’s the right thing to do.

Call Hans Mathisen today at (306)242-7042.
or email -
hans@mathisen.ca

Copyright 2010 Life Letter. All rights reserved

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Mathisen Financial, Inc.
335 Redberry Road
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 4W5
Bus. (306) 242-7042 Fax. (306) 242-4314
Email:
hans@mathisen.ca