Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Tax Return Going to Result in Tax Debt? What Can You Do If You Can’t Pay

The tax deadline is upon us, and for many this means a necessary hassle we must face annually – but once dealt with, is quickly relegated to the back of our minds until this time next year. For others however, those with a tax debt looming over their heads, tax time brings with it some serious stressors.
As we hope you are aware, the tax deadline this year for personal income tax returns is April 30th. If you have everything in before this date, that’s great, especially if you don’t owe anything. However, if you have yet to file, and think you might owe, it might be prudent to consider the late filing penalties and how they can impact your tax debt – it might just be enough to motivate you to get your filing done.
2013 late filing penalties:
·        If you owe for 2013, and do not file by April 30th, you will be charged a late filing penalty of 5% of your 2013 balance, plus 1% of the balance owing for each full month your return is late (to a maximum of 12 months).

·        If you were charged a late filing penalty for 2010, 2011, or 2012, your late filing penalty can increase to 10% of your 2013 balance, plus 2% of the balance for each full month (to a maximum of 20 months).
These penalties are steep – and no one wants to get saddled with a major tax debt, plus interest – but what if you can’t pay? If you are thinking about just ignoring that debt, hoping that by not filing the CRA won’t catch on and you’ll be spared the financial strain – think again. The consequences of not filing may mean a notional assessment, where the CRA will estimate your annual income and charge you what they feel you owe based on their findings. Continued failure to pay a tax debt can result in enforcement action, including wage garnishments, frozen bank accounts, even property liens.
So what can you do? If you have filed and owe, or if you have yet to file because you are afraid that you will owe, know that you have options. Don’t ignore that tax debt in the hope that it will go away. Speak to a debt solutions specialist to find out about all of the options available to you to get rid of that tax debt once and for all.
For more information about dealing with a tax debt please contact DebtCare Canada today by calling 1-888-890-0888.

Monday, 14 April 2014

DebtCare Canada Weighs In: Student Debt

It is very common nowadays to hear about 20 something individuals living with parents, or struggling to meet their financial responsibilities, especially when compared to 20 years ago – and as a recent Yahoo Canada article points out, much of this has to do with the rising costs of university education and the resulting student debt levels. This, coupled with the less than promising job market, has left many young Canadians facing significant challenges when it comes to their life plans.
Our very own Michael Goldenberg, President of DebtCare Canada, was interviewed for the article, and had this to say: “Increasing debt and no plan to pay it off is a common problem among young Canadians, known as Gen Y or Millenials.”And it isn’t just student debt that is getting these individuals into trouble - as Michael states, “the extreme accessibility to credit that helps fuel the need for instant gratification” is also causing major financial problems for young Canadians when it comes to establishing themselves financially and saving for the future.
Are young Canadians out of luck then when it comes to getting things straightened out? No, there are options available – it just requires discussing those options and choosing the one that best fits the situation.
Whether you are dealing with student debt, credit card debt, or a combination of the two, DebtCare Canada can help you get the relief you need to start over on fresh financial footing. Contact us today by calling 1-888-890-0888.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Be Prepared: Checklist for Moving Day

Moving day is always a hectic one - people running back and forth between the house and the truck, between the truck and the house, organizing boxes, playing Tetris with your possessions – the list goes on and on. Amidst all of this chaos, there are others things that you need to be thinking about – and inevitably something important always gets forgotten. What to do, what to do?
Here is our checklist for moving day – some things you have probably already considered, while others have probably been missed. You’re welcome!
1.      Defrost that freezer. One of the worst things you can do is to forget about that chest freezer in the basement! Give yourself 48 hours for the freezer to thaw out, otherwise you’ll be cleaning up water later and likely dealing with damage to your furniture! 

2.      Have plans for the kids and pets. Kids hate moving even more than adults do – way too boring. Make plans to get them out of the house on moving day and out of the way of movers. Pets too can be a pain when moving so try to make alternate arrangements for the duration of the move.
3.      Forward Mail. Sure this sounds like a no-brainer but you might be surprised how many people forget to do this! You can easily contact Canada Post to have this done, and it is cheap. Just remember that forwarding only lasts for a short period of time so make sure that once you’ve moved in and are settled that you complete the process. 

4.      Declutter. Get rid of the junk. Moving, no matter how you do it, is costly, so why would you even consider paying to move something that you don’t actually want? Do a thorough clean out pre-move – and think about different ways to get rid of the stuff (Kijiji, freecycle.corg, Goodwill). 

5.      Be prepared for delays. Over and over again you hear the complaint that there was a delay on moving day, so your checklist for moving should always include some form of preparation for a delay. This delay could be anything from getting the keys later than expected to having to clean up a huge mess (another smart item to add is being prepared to clean!). This could cause moving costs to increase, so if you are using a moving company ask about options for delays.
Other things to think about include things like getting rid of stuff left by the previous owner, changing your phone number, or even measuring doorways – make sure that giant couch will fit. Be prepared by creating your own checklist for moving to make sure nothing is missed.
For more about the common or often forgotten items to add to your moving to-do list please contact Bradford Moving and Storage at 1 (800) 263-3281 or visit www.bradfordmoving.com.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Ontario Bankruptcy Trustees – What is Their Role in a Consumer Proposal?

When you feel as though you are drowning in debt, with few options available for relief, you may be considering a consumer proposal as a way to get those collection agencies off your back and to obtain some semblance of financial stability. Knowing this, perhaps you are thinking about seeking the advice or assistance of an Ontario bankruptcy trustee.
Wait – before you enlist the services of a bankruptcy trustee, you should first know what role they play in a consumer proposal and how this can impact you.
A bankruptcy trustee in Ontario is an individual licensed by the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. Their job is to administer consumer proposals and bankruptcies and to manage assets held in trust. They will negotiate the settlement between you and your creditors. In a proposal, that trustee will assist you in developing a proposal to present to your creditors (usually a percentage of what you owe them), and once accepted, monthly payments are made through the trustee, and the trustee transfers that money to your creditors.
Sure, this all sounds well and good – after all, you can’t make a consumer proposal without a trustee – it is a legal agreement under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and must be administered following a formal and regulated process. That being said, there are a few important things to keep in mind before you make the call to a trustee.
Firstly, a bankruptcy trustee does not simply act on your behalf. Even though you are the one to call, this individual represents both parties (you and your creditors), not just you. This means that they are obligated to seek the most money possible for your creditors to ensure that they get as much of what they are owed as possible, while still being fair to you. What this means is that you may not necessarily be getting the best deal.

Secondly, most bankruptcy trustees never outline how they are paid – but this is important. Although their fees are regulated, they are paid according to how much you pay to your creditors, and thus it is in their best interest to get as much money for your creditors as possible.
So, what then are your options? Accept this and go forward? Skip the proposal all together to avoid it? No, there are ways to protect yourself and secure a consumer proposal that meets your needs. The best way to do this is to work with a financial organization experienced with debt relief solutions, one that can offer you representation and protect you throughout the entire proposal process. These professionals can walk you through the process, ensuring that you are aware of and understand your choices, as well as administer your paperwork.

Know before you go: before you call that trustee, think about getting personal representation – someone who will look out for your best interests rather than their own or that of your creditors. DebtCare Canada can help – call us today at 1-888-890-0888.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

CBC News Report: Payday Loan Interest

As a debt solutions organization, we often have clients come in and talk about problematic payday loans and how they continue to struggle with meeting the repayment requirements. When it comes to payday loans, we always try and suggest other forms of financial relief – and a recent CBC News report demonstrates clearly why we might do so.
The report, released earlier this year, examines the case of a B.C. payday lender who was ordered to repay over $1 million to customers after charging up to 35% interest.
By law, payday loan lenders cannot charge more than 23% interest per month. And sure, this may seem like a fair deal, the existence of a cap on how much lenders can charge, but 23% is still a whopper when it comes to the end amount that you are paying to borrow a few hundred dollars!
Payday loans are never a good idea, and should be avoided at all costs – not only because of the exorbitant interest rates, but also because they become increasingly difficult to pay off.
Don’t let a payday loan interest cap fool you - there are many other options as far as financial relief. Contact DebtCare Canada today for more information: 1-888-890-0888.