Jan. 15, 2021

CONTRIBUTION REMINDERS

  • Deadline for RSP contributions is March 1, 2021.
  • Check your 2019 ‘Notice of Assessment’ from CRA to confirm your contribution limit as it may be less than the maximum 2020 contribution limit of $27,230.
  • 2021 TFSA annual contribution limit is $6,000.00 (no deadline).
  • Consider using online bill payments (if you bank online) or a wire transfer to make sure your contribution is received on time.
    • Contributions must be received by March 1, 2021 to be allowable for the 2020 tax filing year. No exceptions permitted by CRA.

PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE BIDEN’S PROPOSED $1.9 TRILLION STIMULUS PACKAGE

  • This will be the 3rd stimulus package to support the US economy through the pandemic.
  • Stimulus Cheques:  Additional $2,000 for most Americans
    • This stimulus package now includes residents who are married to undocumented persons
  • Vaccinations and Testing:
    • $20 billion to create a national vaccine distribution program
    • offer free shots to all US residents regardless of immigration status
    • Will employ community vaccination centers and mobile units for hard-to-reach areas
    • $50 billion to increase testing efforts, including purchasing rapid-results tests, expanding lab capacity and helping local jurisdictions implement testing regimes
  • State Aid: $350 billion in funding assistance for state, local and territorial governments
    • Plus $20 billion for public transit
  • Unemployment insurance:  Increase the weekly federal benefit to $400 from $300 and extend it from mid-March to the end of September 2021
    • Extend benefits for self-employed and contract workers whose jobless benefits have expired
  • Minimum Wage: increase the federal minimum wage to $15/hour from the current $7.25/hour
  • Paid Leave: require employers regardless of size, to offer paid sick leave during the pandemic
  • Tax Credits, Childcare: expand tax credit for low and middle income families to $3,000 from current $2000 for each child 6 – 17; under 6 eligible for $3,600…refundable for 2021
  • Schools: $170 billion to help schools re-open safely
  • Rental Assistance: extend eviction and foreclosure moratorium through September 2021
    • Provide $30 billion to help low-income households who lost jobs to pay rent and utilities
    • Provide $5 billion to states and localities to offer emergency housing for families facing homelessness
  • Small Business: leverage $35 billion into $175 billion in low-interest loans to finance small business
    • $15 billion in grants for small business
    • Proposing laid-off restaurant workers partner with federal nutrition programs to get those employees working again

TIDBITS

  • Pfizer is ‘temporarily’ reducing deliveries of COVID-19 vaccine to Canada and all other countries receiving the vaccine from European facilities as they work to expand manufacturing capacity.
  • Seniors in Edmonton currently represent 13.6% of population vs 10.4% in 2000
    • Calgary: 12.6% vs 8.8% in 2000
  • Air BnB cancelled all reservations and blocked new rentals in Washington, DC for inauguration week.
  • US airlines banned guns in luggage for Washington, DC flights ahead of inauguration.
  • Amazon India launched an online academy to coach future engineers.
  • Google pulled some personal loan apps in India as firms were targeting vulnerable borrowers and going to extreme lengths to recover their money. Google Android powers 98% of smartphones in India.
  • EU Food Safety Authority says ‘dried mealworms’ are safe for human consumption, moving them closer to European dinner plates.