As an investor, one of your primary goals is to make as much money as possible. However, it’s not just about making money – it’s also about keeping as much of it as possible. One way to do this is by taking advantage of capital gains exemptions.
What are capital gains exemptions?
Capital gains exemptions are the amount of profit you can make on an investment without having to pay taxes on them. For example, if you purchase a stock for $1,000 and sell it for $1,500, your capital gain is $500. Under Canadian tax law, you are only required to pay tax on 50% of that gain, meaning you would only need to pay tax on $250.
There are a few different types of capital gains exemptions that investors can take advantage of. The most common are the principal residence exemption, the small business deduction, and the lifelong learning plan.
Principal residence exemption
The principal residence exemption applies to the sale of a primary residence. If you sell your primary residence, you may be eligible for an exemption on the capital gains. This exemption applies to most types of properties, including single-family homes, townhomes, and condos. It’s important to note, however, that this exemption only applies to your primary residence – you cannot claim it on a second property or vacation home.
Small business deduction
If you own a small business, you may be eligible for the small business deduction. This allows you to claim a deduction on the first $500,000 of income generated by your business, which can help reduce your overall tax bill. The small business deduction can also apply to the sale of your business, allowing you to claim an exemption on a portion of the capital gains.
Lifelong learning plan
The lifelong learning plan is a program designed to help Canadians pay for post-secondary education. Under this program, you can withdraw up to $20,000 from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) to help pay for education expenses. If you meet the program’s requirements, you can withdraw the money tax-free.
How to take advantage of capital gains exemptions
If you want to take advantage of capital gains exemptions, there are a few things you can do. The first is to work with a professional accountant or financial planner who can help you understand which exemptions you may be eligible for and how to maximize them.
Another strategy is to hold onto your investments for at least a year before selling them. This is because the capital gains tax rate is lower for investments held longer than a year. In fact, if you hold onto an investment for more than two years, you may be eligible for the super capital gains exemption, which can save you even more money on your taxes.
Finally, if you’re selling a property, make sure you keep careful records of all your expenses related to the property, including renovations, upgrades, and repairs. These expenses can be deducted from your capital gains, reducing the amount of taxes you owe.
Overall, taking advantage of capital gains exemptions is an effective way to keep more money in your pocket as an investor. By understanding the different exemptions available, holding onto your investments for longer, and keeping meticulous records, you can save yourself a significant amount of money on your taxes.