The TaxLetter

Mark writes frequent articles for The TaxLetter®

Established in 1941, The TaxLetter®, is an independent publication sent to paid subscribers across Canada to inform and educate readers about preserving wealth and reducing or eliminating taxes using insurance products and other estate planning strategies.

Complete Digest of Mark's TaxLetter® articles

Feb 2018

You Live Once but Die Twice

This article explains how to ensure your name lives on for generations, while preserving your money - that would have otherwise gone to the government - for your family and favourite causes instead.

Read:  Don't Be Forgotten    PDF  |  WEB

Jan 2018

Ten Planning Essentials

This article describes ten key requirements for proper financial planning, tax planning and estate planning.

Read:  Ten Planning Essentials    PDF  |  WEB

Dec 2017

Actuaries Add Value

This article explains how actuaries improve the estate planning process for clients and welcomes Catherine MacRae to our professional team.

Read:  Actuaries Add Value    PDF  |  WEB

Nov 2017

Plan for your future – If not now, when?

This article describes key estate planning considerations and explains why taxpayers need a defensive strategy to preserve their hard-earned money.

Read:  Plan for your future – If not now, when?    PDF  |  WEB

Oct 2017

CPP Philanthropy™ - Charitable Giving and Tax Savings

This article describes several ways to use government supplied funds to make large charitable gifts, eliminate taxes and leave more for your family.

Read:  CPP Philanthropy™    PDF  |  WEB

Sep 2017

Tax Law Changes, Be Prepared

This article discusses impending tax law changes and describes wealth preservation strategies made possible by the unique treatment of life insurance under Canada's Income Tax Act.

Read:  Tax Law Changes, Be Prepared    PDF  |  WEB

Aug 2017

The Family Cottage, Don't Forget The CRA

This article explains the often-overlooked tax liability attached to a family cottage, and describes seven strategies to deal with the problem.

Read:  The Family Cottage, Don't Forget The CRA    PDF  |  WEB

July 2017

No Bad News If You Plan Properly - Just Do It

This article explains why changing demographics require people to take more personal responsibility for growing older, and provides six planning thought-starters to position yourself and your family for the best of times.

Read:  No bad news if you plan properly    PDF  |  WEB

June 2017

Common Law, Uncommon Considerations

This article examines some of the often-overlooked issues faced by common-law couples that require the help and experience of knowledgeable tax, legal and estate planning professionals.

Read:  Common Law, Uncommon Considerations    PDF  |  WEB

May 2017

Your Estate Plan, Take Control

This article explains why ‘control’ is important and describes seven defensive strategies to consider in the estate planning process.

Read:  Your Estate Plan, Take Control    PDF  |  WEB

Apr 2017

Plan Ahead, 5 Steps

This article describes key estate planning strategies for baby boomers who want to leave more to family and charity and less for the tax department.

Read:  Plan Ahead, 5 Steps    PDF  |  WEB

Mar 2017

Maximize Giving, Minimize Taxes

This article describes several cost-effective strategies for charitable giving that maximize the funds received by favourite causes while reducing taxes and enhancing estate values.

Read:  Maximize Giving, Minimize Taxes    PDF  |  WEB

Feb 2017

The Power of Planning: While the sun still shines

This article explains the importance of planning early - while options are available - and describes strategies to minimize taxes along the way.

Read:     PDF  |  WEB

Jan 2017

Live Long & Prosper: Options for Older People

This article describes a unique insurance solution now available for people aged 80 to 90 and explains why annuities deserve consideration in the estate planning process.

Read:  Live Long & Prosper: Options    PDF  |  WEB

Dec 2016

Looking Ahead: Enjoy A Secure Future

This article describes planning strategies for growing older in good health with financial security.

Read:  Looking Ahead: Enjoy A Secure Future    PDF  |  WEB

Nov 2016

Recent Cases: Problems Get Fixed

This article describes several cases and how clients’ problems were solved.

Read:  Recent Cases    PDF  |  WEB

Oct 2016

How and Why Wealthy Canadians use Insurance

This article describes how and why wealthy and high-income Canadians use insurance products to preserve their wealth and achieve desirable tax outcomes.

Read:  Ten things to know    PDF  |  WEB

Sep 2016

Tax-saving Strategies for Business Owners

This article describes several legal strategies available now for business owners to pay less tax while growing their final estate value.

Read:  Save Your Money    PDF  |  WEB

Aug 2016

Death & Taxes

This article explains the importance of estate planning and describes the essential steps required "while the sun is shining” to minimize taxes and leave more for family and charity.

Read:  Death & Taxes    PDF  |  WEB

July 2016

Family Business

This article describes the unique financial challenges of a family business and suggests several strategies to reduce taxes and enhance family harmony.

Read:  Family Business    PDF  |  WEB

June 2016

The Tax Grind

This article explains how income taxes impair investment portfolios, and how those taxes often leave investors with less money than they started with.  It describes how taxpayers pay the equivalent of insurance premiums in income taxes while obtaining no benefit for their family or estates, and suggests a strategy for individuals and corporations to achieve much higher, guaranteed returns using tax-exempt permanent life insurance.

Read:  The Tax Grind    PDF  |  WEB

May 2016

Panama Perils

This article explains why offshore life insurance should be approached with caution and describes legal and overlooked strategies available in Canada for taxpayers to use life insurance in unexpected ways.

Read:  Panama Perils    PDF  |  WEB

Apr 2016

An Uncharitable Budget

This article explains why Canadians will pay higher taxes following the recent Federal Budget and describes defensive strategies available to minimize the effects of taxation.

Read:  A Bigger Bite    PDF  |  WEB

Mar 2016

Using Immediate Financing Arrangements (IFAs) to Acquire Life Insurance and Preserve Cash

This article describes how to use Immediate Financing Arrangements (IFAs) to acquire life insurance at a fraction of the true premium cost without reducing cash available for business use or investment.

Read:  Leverage and Life Insurance    PDF  |  WEB

Feb 2016

RRSPs, IPPs, PPPs and paying Less Tax

This article describes better alternatives to RRSPs that improve outcomes to minimize taxes, maximize retirement income and allow wealth transfer tax-free.

Read:  Less Tax    PDF  |  WEB

Jan 2016

Create a safe haven for investment income in a corporation

This article explains how business owners can minimize the impact of tax rule changes on corporate investment income, and how to take advantage of the tax deferral opportunity available from the cash value growth inside an exempt permanent life insurance policy.

Read:  Safe Haven    PDF  |  WEB

Dec 2015

Melt & Cascade: An effective way to stream wealth tax-free

This article describes strategies for high net worth taxpayers to minimize or eliminate taxes on their registered assets (RRIFs and RRSPs) and non-registered assets and explains how to stream wealth tax-free to children, grandchildren and favourite charities.

Read:  Melt & Cascade    PDF  |  WEB

Nov 2015

New Rules: The coming tax whammy for high-income Canadians

This article explains the coming tax hikes and outlines defensive steps available now through the use of insured annuities and tax-exempt life insurance‎.

Read:  New Rules    PDF  |  WEB

Oct 2015

Divorce: Determining the best way forward

This article explains the important financial and tax considerations around divorce.

Read:  Divorce    PDF  |  WEB

Sep 2015

P&C insurance is more than just cars and houses

This article explains the importance of Property & Casualty insurance and why it deserves professional attention.

Read:  Beyond basics    PDF  |  WEB

Aug 2015

How Canadians with U.S. assets can reduce stateside taxes

This article describes the unique benefits of a U.S. ‘nexus’ and explains why to consider offshore life insurance products for higher limits and competitive pricing.

Read:  Nexus    PDF  |  WEB

July 2015

Consider Participating Life Insurance policies before tax rules change in 2017

This article explains the unique tax benefits of Participating Life Insurance policies, how wealthy people use them as an investment and why to consider them before tax rules change in 2017.

Read:  Tax-free    PDF  |  WEB

June 2015

Why employers should review their employee benefit programs

This article explains how companies can improve the value of benefits while reducing the costs.

Read:  Benefits    PDF  |  WEB

May 2015

Why insurance policies are often worth more than expected and how to extract the added value tax-free

This article explains a time-tested strategy left untouched by the new Federal Budget with the potential to save significant tax dollars.

Read:  Tapping Value    PDF  |  WEB

April 2015

Why Insured Annuities make sense when interest rates are low

This article explains the unique advantages of Insured Annuities and how these guaranteed financial instruments enjoy above-market returns in a low interest rate environment.

Read:  Annuity+    PDF  |  WEB

Mar 2015

How to ensure harmony in family business succession

This article describes the challenges to family dynamics and the importance of preserving wealth through proper planning while the founder is still around.

Read:  Harmony    PDF  |  WEB

Feb 2015

Accountants, lawyers, bankers and investment advisors share unique fiduciary obligations

This article explains how to ask clients the right questions and the need to refer them to appropriate and knowledgeable professionals.

Read:  Whole Picture    PDF  |  WEB

Jan 2015

Incorporated professionals and business owners should consider an Individual Pension Plan (IPP)

This article explains why to use an IPP instead of a traditional RRSP to enjoy higher contribution limits, better returns, and wealth transfer to family members on a tax-free basis.

Read:  IPP vs RRSP    PDF  |  WEB

Dec 2014

How to find, save and make money

This article describes simple and overlooked strategies to grow income, enhance estate values and reduce taxes payable.

Read:  The New Year    PDF  |  WEB

Nov 2014

New Parents

This article describes responsibilities and planning considerations for parents and grandparents when a new baby comes along.

Read:  New Parents    PDF  |  WEB

Oct 2014


This article describes insurance alternatives available to 'uninsurable' people who don't qualify for standard coverage or require coverage amounts in excess of standard policy limits.

Read:  Insurable    PDF  |  WEB

Aug 2014

Know your options

This article describes planning issues when a child or family member has special needs. 

Read:  Know your options    PDF  |  WEB

July 2014

How coaching improves outcomes for professional athletes and taxpayers

This article explains the importance of professional help to achieve financial goals and presents winning strategies to protect savings and grow estate values.

Read:  Play to win    PDF  |  WEB

June 2014

How to lower your tax bill while helping grandchildren and charities

This article presents strategies to reduce taxes payable while helping family members and favourite charities.

Read:  Building a Legacy    PDF  |  WEB

May 2014

Why financial literacy is important

This article explains the importance of financial literacy and why parents have a duty to teach their children starting from a young age.

Read:  Financial ABCs    PDF  |  WEB

April 2014

Why business owners need a good plan

This article explains the importance of developing a plan for business owners to protect assets and reduce tax liabilities while healthy and when options are available.

Read:  A good plan    PDF  |  WEB

March 2014

Why RRSPs and RIFs need Protection

This article describes tax liabilities and other threats to retirement savings and explains defensive strategies available now to eliminate taxes and preserve estate value.


Read:  Protect your RRSP    PDF  |  WEB

Feb 2014

Why insurance companies don’t want you to review your policies

This article explains the importance of working with an experienced advisor when buying insurance products and the pitfalls of doing it on your own.

Read:  Buyer Beware    PDF  |  WEB

Dec 2013

Why people need professional advisors

This article explains the important planning people should be doing and why professional life insurance advisors must ask disturbing questions to get the right planning into place for them.

Read:  Reflect and Protect    PDF  |  WEB

Nov 2013

How to use life insurance in buy/sell agreements

This article explains why life insurance is the most efficient and least costly way to provide funding for Buy/Sell agreements

Read:  Protect your business    PDF  |  WEB

Oct 2013

How to avoid Double Taxation in a corporation with Post-mortem Planning

This article describes double taxation or possible triple taxation for business owners and how to avoid it.

Read:  Proper planning    PDF  |  WEB

Sep 2013

How to Reduce and Eliminate Taxes with Charitable Giving Strategies

This article explains charitable planned giving strategies with the added advantage of reducing taxes payable.

Read:  Give and receive    PDF  |  WEB

July 2013

How to use Life Insurance as an asset, not an expense

This article explains why life insurance is a unique financial instrument, and how it should be used as an integral component of an investment portfolio

Read:  An asset, not an expense    PDF  |  WEB

Feb 2013

Make medical expenses tax-deductible with a Health Spending Account

This article explains how to turn medical and related costs into tax-deductible expenses with a Personal Health Spending Account (PHSP)

Read:  Reduce your tax bill    PDF  |  WEB

Jan 2013

Planning for Aging Parents

This article explains financial strategies for aging parents.

Read:  Coping with care    PDF  |  WEB

Nov 2012

Get money out of a corporation tax-free with a Corporate Insured Annuity

This article explains how business owners can use a Corporate Insured Annuity to pay less income tax and leave a bigger estate for family and charity.

Read:  Ideal exit strategy    PDF  |  WEB

Aug 2012

Get organized and save on taxes with this Estate Planning Checklist

This article contains an Estate Planning Checklist that can be used to eliminate a tax bill.

Read:  Eliminate your tax bill    PDF  |  WEB

June 2012

How Leverage can reduce the cost of Life Insurance

This article explains why Life Insurance can be a wonderful investment and how leverage can maximize returns.

Read:  Maximize your returns    PDF  |  WEB

April 2012

How to reduce and eliminate corporate taxes with an Estate Bond

This article explains the Estate Bond and how the tax benefits of life insurance can maximize estate values.

Read:  Multiply your savings    PDF  |  WEB

Feb 2012

How to Protect Wealth using Long Term Care and Critical Illness Insurance

This article describes an asset preservation strategy using Long Term Care Insurance and Critical Illness Insurance.

Read:  Defensive strategy    PDF  |  WEB

Nov 2011

Get Critical Illness protection and take money out of a company tax-free using the S.O.S.™ Strategy

This article explains the S.O.S™ Shared Ownership Strategy for Critical Illness Insurance: how company owners and executives can get important protection and  enjoy guaranteed pre-tax returns in excess of 30% while getting money out of their company tax-free.

Read:  Guaranteed Returns    PDF  |  WEB

Oct 2011

How to use a Policy Transfer to get money out of your company tax-free

This article explains how life insurance can be used to reduce tax bills while growing estate values.

NOTE : The 2016 Federal Budget eliminated this opportunity to pay less tax.

Read Mark's TaxLetter article Apr 2016

Read:  Overlooked strategy    PDF  |  WEB

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