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Vancouver General Practice Law Blog

Where to keep your records, for how long and how to request the permission to destroy them early

Last blog listed all the financial records that are required by the CRA to be kept and persons that need to keep one. This blog will discuss where, how long and in what form such records must be kept.

What are records and who has to keep them?

We recently had to deal with the issue of how to deal with financial records when the business has ceased and its owner left the country. Disposing of the old records once a company is no longer in business is not as easy as one might think since CRA has the right to review those long after the business has stopped. This blog will list financial records that CRA requires to be kept and by whom. Next one will discuss where they should be kept, in what form and for how long. 


Testamentary and life interests trusts

Previous posts discussed wills and joint tenancy as they are used for estate planning. This post is about trusts. There are two different kinds - testamentary, created as a result of death of a will maker, and inter vivos, created during life time of a settlor. There are different types of the inter vivos trusts.

Trusts may be used for tax and non-tax reasons.


Previous post discussed wills, which are the basic tool and should be in place for all estates if for nothing else then to appoint the executor to avoid delays and additional applications to the court in order to deal with the estate. The will may be the only estate planning one might need, but sometimes it is beneficial to implement other strategies in addition to the will.

Estate Planning Tools - I

The reasons for estate planning are many. Some of them are the ability to provide for the loved ones, the ability to pass specific assets for the specific purposes and to the specific persons, means to protect yourself from possible abuses by relatives or from absence of such relatives to take care of a person when he or she is older, to protect the assets, tax savings and deferrals, confidentiality. 


When person dies without a will the person dies intestate. All the assets of the deceased are collected into the deceased estate and then distributed to his or her hairs. In order to distribute the intestate's estate the letters of administration must be obtained, which takes about 6 months in British Columbia. Part 3 of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act (the "new rules") sets out the new rules for the intestate estates. 

7 reasons you should make an estate plan

7 reasons you should make an estate plan

An estate planning is not only for the rich and not only about dying and what you are leaving behind - it's about living the life that lies ahead knowing you took care of your family, friends and finances. A well-executed estate plan creates the peace of mind and financial security to fully enjoy life. A well-executed estate plan will enable you to choose who controls your finances and assets if you become mentally incapacitated or after you die, and it will go a long way towards quelling any family strife and ensuring that your assets are handled in the way that you intend them to be.

Voluntary Disclosure Program

Individuals, businesses of all sizes, corporation and even charities will face tax issues from time to time. You cannot ignore the problem thinking that it will go away. In fact, ignoring the tax problem is the worst thing you can do. Any delay on your part will only make the matter worse and will eventually result in a loss of appeal rights and will enable Canada Revenue Agency (the "CRA") to collect a debt that may not be properly owing. This can lead to stiff pennies, and even criminal prosecution. 

Residency Determination

This is the first blog I am writing for our website. I decided to start with the basics - residency.

Determination of residency is the most fundamental to tax obligations of a person in Canada. It is also one of the most convoluted ones. There is, of course, no definition in the Income Tax Act (the "ITA") and must be determined in each individual situation taking into consideration all the circumstances and intentions of the individual.