Owe tax debt? Avoid these 5 common misconceptions 
Grant Thornton | Fresh Start Atlantic | Bankruptcy Blog
by Admin
1M ago
Owe income tax debt, missed filing your tax return, or facing CRA wage garnishment?  Managing income tax debt can be challenging, but there are solutions available and having the right information is key. We break down five tax debt myths and bust common misconceptions to keep you in the know and out of the red.  Myth: “If I don’t have the money to repay CRA tax debt, there’s no point in filing my income tax return.”  Fact: It’s always in your best interest to file your income tax return on time, whether you owe money to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or not. Late filing penalt ..read more
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Why do I owe income taxes? 
Grant Thornton | Fresh Start Atlantic | Bankruptcy Blog
by Admin
2M ago
You’ve gathered your tax slips, filed your income tax return, received your Notice of Assessment, and now you have tax debt.   Owing income tax debt to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is an uneasy feeling. An unexpected tax bill can strain your finances and feel overwhelming to manage before the CRA’s payment deadline. If you’ve never owed income tax debt before or weren’t expecting to owe, you might be asking yourself: ‘Why do I owe taxes this year?’  From a change in career to withdrawing from your RRSP, tax debt can happen for many reasons. Let’s explore common reasons that m ..read more
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How to read your credit report 
Grant Thornton | Fresh Start Atlantic | Bankruptcy Blog
by Admin
9M ago
Your credit report holds a lot of power and can help you understand your ability to achieve financial milestones. It can help you get a mortgage for a home, secure a car loan, and be granted various other forms of credit. Knowing how to read your credit report can help you better understand your financial standing and how to achieve your financial goals. Additionally, mistakes on credit reports are common and could hinder your chances of receiving credit in the future.   When accessing your credit report, the structure and terminology may seem intimidating—but we’ve got you covered ..read more
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My mortgage is coming up for renewal – what should I do?
Grant Thornton | Fresh Start Atlantic | Bankruptcy Blog
by Karl Michael
10M ago
The Bank of Canada is predicting that Canadians with existing mortgages could see a 20-40% increase in their monthly payments when it comes time to renew. With the average mortgage payment already totaling $1,551, this could mean an increase of more than $300 per month. Paired with inflation and the rising cost of living, it’s no wonder so many Canadians are concerned for their financial future. If you’re one of the 74% who can’t spare another $250+ a month—don’t panic—there’s still time to make changes that may help you manage your mortgage when it’s up for renewal. 1. Start conversations ear ..read more
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How much debt is ‘normal’ for your age?
Grant Thornton | Fresh Start Atlantic | Bankruptcy Blog
by Braden Burritt
1y ago
Debt can get a bad name, but the truth is debt is a part of life for most Canadians. Total consumer debt recently climbed to $2.37 trillion in Canada, and non-mortgage debt reached $5.9 billion as of December 2022. But if debt can be good, how are you supposed to know when you’re swimming in the deep end?  Different life stages, like being a student, buying a house, or retiring, may mean taking on debt. While everyone’s situation is unique, knowing where you stand financially—along with staying informed about financial planning, reading advice about saving, and learning credit card basics ..read more
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Price shock: How Canadians are coping with the rising cost of living
Grant Thornton | Fresh Start Atlantic | Bankruptcy Blog
by Admin
1y ago
Canadians are feeling the heat as rising inflation, increasing interest rates, and higher debt loads are scorching their finances. After slashing interest rates to near zero early in the pandemic, the Bank of Canada raised its benchmark interest rate eight times over the last year to tame inflation—which is at the highest level in decades. On top of that, total consumer debt climbed to $2.36 trillion, with average non-mortgage debt per consumer sitting at more than $21K. Rising costs are taking a toll on nearly all Canadians. However, the impact is felt more acutely by low-income households an ..read more
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Avoid overspending with this simple mindset shift
Grant Thornton | Fresh Start Atlantic | Bankruptcy Blog
by Susan Methuen
1y ago
“It’s only this much.” “It’s only on sale this week.” “It’s only available for a limited time.”  Let’s be honest. We’ve all purchased something unnecessary by rationalizing with the “it’s only” mindset. For some, those two words can mean the difference between staying on budget or going further into debt.   With record-high inflation in 2022, over half of Canadians are turning to budgeting to combat increasing prices, meet their financial goals, and manage overspending. Cutting back and hunting for deals can reduce your expenses but looking for bargains everywhere can make refusing t ..read more
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The Top 5 Financial Changes of 2022
Grant Thornton | Fresh Start Atlantic | Bankruptcy Blog
by Admin
1y ago
What a year for Canadian finances. Join us as we countdown the New Year by reflecting on five of the biggest topics in consumer debt and personal finances from 2022. Five In January, inflation was 5.1% year-over-year. It continued to rise and fall throughout the year, eventually landing at 6.9% in December. Four 2022 started with an interest rate of 0.25%. After six increases, the rate now sits at 4.25%. Three The CRA sent out over 300,000 letters requesting the repayment of CERB benefits. Two Retailers can now pass credit card surcharges onto consumers, resulting in 1.5-2.5% more at the t ..read more
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Are you eligible for the $500 Canada Housing Benefit top-up?
Grant Thornton | Fresh Start Atlantic | Bankruptcy Blog
by Larry Crandall
1y ago
On December 12, 2022, the Canadian government rolled out a one-time payment of $500 for eligible low-income renters. The tax-free payment was introduced as a top-up to the existing Canada Housing Benefit to support renters amidst a challenging climate of high inflation and soaring rental prices.  The increasing cost of living is making it even more difficult for Canadian renters to find affordable, sustainable, and safe housing–the Canadian government estimates that 1.8 million Canadians are eligible for the benefit.  Are you a renter looking for additional assistance? Here’s what yo ..read more
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Budgeting for baby: How to financially prepare for parental leave
Grant Thornton | Fresh Start Atlantic | Bankruptcy Blog
by Shynelle Derzaph
1y ago
First-time parents have a lot to prepare for. From picking out names to purchasing the necessities (and niceties), there’s no shortage of things to do. While your “to-do” list may be lengthy, making a financial plan for your parental leave will allow you to worry less about money and focus on being a new parent. We’ve set out some simple steps to help you plan for your child’s arrival and a few tips to help you make your baby budget. Step 1: Estimate your post-baby income Figure out what your post-baby or parental leave income will be. How much you are paid while on parental leave will depend ..read more
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