Green Masters

April 10, 2015 | Dian Chaaban


A good friend of mine happens to be the founder of Iron Lady Golf – an amazing program developed to help women feel more comfortable and confident on the golf course and “say yes” to golf invitations. Earlier this week, she sent me a great Masters Golf Tournament cheat sheet so I thought I would share her tips with you and include some handy tax tips so that you can do your taxes in front of the TV this weekend, while watching the Masters.


• The Masters will be held from Thursday April 9th to Sunday April 12th
• Your deadline for filing your 2014 income tax return with the CRA is April 30, 2015. If you or your spouse are self-employed you have until June 15, 2015 but regardless, if you owe taxes, they are due on or before April 30th.


• The Masters is played every year at the same course, Augusta National, in Georgia. This is its 79th year. It is an invitation only golf tournament on the PGA Tour.
• The CRA invites all of us to do our taxes every year. You will not be charged any penalties for late filing if you are entitled to a refund or if you do not owe any tax – but if you do – the late-filing penalty is a minimum of 5% of the balance owing on your return, plus a further penalty of 1% of the unpaid tax, multiplied by the number of months the return is not filed, in addition to a compounded daily interest at the prescribed interest rate on any unpaid amounts (including penalties) until you pay all of your taxes owing. Yikes – don’t be late!


• Augusta National Golf Club is a private course that you must be invited to join. Women were only allowed to become members as of 2012, and there are currently 3 female members: Condoleezza Rice, Virginia Rometty (CEO of IBM), and Darla Moore (Investment Banker).
• If, after netting your capital gains and losses realized in the year, you have excess capital losses, consider completing CRA Form T1A, Request for Loss Carryback to carry back the remaining capital losses to offset any capital gains that you have reported in any of the three previous tax years. By doing so, you may be able to recoup some of the taxes you paid in the previous years.


• Bubba Watson won last year, he is known for his pink driver.
• If you have a taxable capital gain in the year, determine whether you have any unused net capital losses available to carry forward from previous years. You may be able to apply these losses against your current year capital gains to reduce your taxes payable.


• Each hole on the course is named after a plant or a shrub.
• The federal donation tax credit rises from 15% to 29% when donations exceed $200. To maximize tax savings, you and your spouse can combine charitable donations and claim them on the higher income spouse’s tax return.


• Each year, the winner gets a “green jacket”. The tradition of members wearing green jackets began in 1937, when jackets were purchased from New York's Brooks Uniform Co. The idea was that Masters patrons easily could see members who would have accurate information.
• If you donated a publicly-traded security with an accrued capital gain in-kind to a qualifying charity, the capital gain is not taxable and you benefit from the donation tax credit. Complete CRA Form T1170, Capital Gains on Gifts of Certain Capital Property.


• Tiger Woods was the youngest player to win a Masters Tournament, at 21 years, 3 months and 14 days - in 1997.
• Beginning in 2014, if you or your spouse have a dependent child under 18 years of age, either you or your spouse can claim a new nonrefundable tax credit of up to $2,000.


“Amen Corner” is often referred to, these are the 11th, 12th and 13th holes on the course – the most difficult ones.
• Say Amen and consider splitting up to 50% of your eligible pension income with your spouse to lower your overall family tax bill. The pension income splitting rules allow you to reallocate certain types of pension income to your lower income spouse to tax it in their hands at their lower marginal tax rate. Furthermore, if you or your spouse received eligible pension income, remember to take advantage of the pension income tax credit on up to $2,000 of that income.


• The Masters is known for their challenging greens, very fast and sloping! Often you will see players putt the ball right off of the green. They say its “faster than putting in your bathtub”!
• Generally, in order to claim a medical expense tax credit, your eligible medical expenses have to be more than 3% of your net income or $2,171, whichever is less. Any amount above this threshold is eligible for the credit. To maximize tax savings, claim your family’s medical expenses together on the lower income spouse’s tax return, assuming that the lower income spouse is paying at least some taxes.


• 2 Canadians are in the field this week: Mike Weir (past Masters Champion) and Corey Conners (an impressive amateur golfer). While Jack Nicklaus impressed us all with a hole-in-one on Wednesday, Iron Lady’s Top 5 picks to win this year are: Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott.
• Read more tax preparation reminders for your 2014 personal tax return