It is tax season again, a time of the year dreaded by most Canadians. Even though there is a lot of helpful information on the internet, there are some rumors that don’t necessarily save you money.
These myths about Canadian taxes range from completely obscure ones to myths that sound logical at first. Here at Zillidy, we have been keeping an eye on the tax mythology for quite some time now. We have put together a list of 10 myths about Canadian taxes that we are going to bust right away.
Myth 1: Filing taxes is voluntary
Actually, this one is true. However, it only works if you owe $2 or less. Self-employed persons and their spouses are obligated to file tax return for 2013 before June 15, 2014. An important note is that if you have any unpaid taxes from the previous year, April 30, 2014 is the deadline to clear the old payments.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) provides an extensive lists describing who has to file tax return where interesting and surprising situations are found. Such is the example with students, who want to transfer their tuition, education, and textbook amounts.
Myth 2: If I file my taxes online, my odds of being audited increase
This myth exists because you cannot file paper receipts or tax slips online and is not true. The CRA does employ some routine checks on such documentation, but they are nowhere near the complexity of a tax audit. These tax audits are not dependant on the filing method, as broader criteria are incorporated.
You should not be afraid to file online. This filing method has benefits that go beyond ease of use. Market Wired claims that people filing online get their refunds faster.
Myth 3: I don’t earn enough money to pay income tax, so I don’t need to file a tax return
Unfortunately this is not true. As seen above, there are many reasons to file a tax return. Not filing a tax return will make you unfit for benefits and credits like the GST/HST credit and the child tax credit. Filing a tax return is also a must if you want to apply for a tax refund.
Myth 4: 29% tax rate if my income is over $136,270
The tax rate for incomes over $136,270 is indeed 29% but it is applied only to the part of the income that exceeds $136,270. The same principle is used for lower income as well
- 15% on the first $43,953 of taxable income
- 22% on the portion of taxable income from $43,953 up to $87,907
- 26% on the portion of taxable income from $87,907 up to $136,270
- 29% of taxable income over $136,270
Keep in mind that these are the Federal tax rates and they are not set nationwide, as some parts of the country have their provincial/territorial tax rates detailed by CRA.
Myth 5: Barters without money involved aren’t taxable
Such barters are not the most common thing and people don’t know how to convey them legally. The common presumption is that if you receive services or even a product that is not in the form of cash, the barter is exempted from taxation. Although this myth was busted by the CRA back in 1982, it still persists today. Interpretation Bulletin 490 states that the value of any goods or any service you offer must be added in your income if they are the kinds of things you normally earn income from.
Myth 6: It doesn’t matter which spouse claims the child-care deduction
Canadians opting for child-care deductions are often left clueless about who should make the claim and thus a myth was born. However, the CRA says that the claim should come from the spouse with the lower net income. There are some exceptions to this rule and if this spouse is a full-time student or a full-time inmate in prison, the higher income spouse can make the claim.
Myth 7: Moving expenses are not deductible
Au contraire. If you are employed and you have moved at least 40 kilometers closer to work, this is considered a legal moving expense by the CRA. You’d be surprised on how many deductions Canadians are missing out.
Myth 8: My work with income tax is done and dusted after filing
This is where you can get into trouble. CRA can choose your forms for review and this practice can cover more than just the previous year. In fact, CRA advises to keep income tax records for the past 6 years. Failure to do so may result in CRA disallowing tax deductions you have claimed.
Myth 9: There’s nothing I can do if I don’t have the cash to pay my tax return
Not true! Failing to pay your tax bill and not doing anything about it only leads to unwanted fees and interest. Such penalties start with 5% for late filing. Further charges include a 1% interest on your balance owing for each full month that your return is late, for up to a maximum of 12 months.
However, there are ways to get around this unpleasant situation. If you owe more than $3,000 in net tax, CRA provides an option to pay it in four installments spread out throughout the year. Everything you have to know about it can be found on CRA’s website.
Your assets may just hold the key to getting the tax bill paid even if you don’t’ have the money for it. Zillidy’s Personal Loan looks like the best thing you can do in such situation. You don’t risk harming your credit history, you get the much needed cash quicker than bank loans and once the loan is repaid, you get your valuable asset back. Don’t hesitate and find out more about the Personal Loan offered by Zillidy.
Myth 10: CRA is also in the myth-busting business
This one is actually true. CRA’s website is a valuable tool for any taxpayer, providing extensive and well-explained information. They have also debunked myths about the constitutional justification for federal taxing, the auditing process, and even negotiating lower tax with them.
Today is the day to be the rockstar of your assets, to put them to use when trying to find short-term funding for your startup.
Finding money when you need it might seem like the hardest thing to do when you’re just starting your own business. Important growth opportunities may be time-sensitive and this might make them difficult to grab on to. When you find a great investment idea, be ready! That means having the right amount of funding available at the right moment.
Finding Fast Funds: Your Source Options
Where can you get extra funds to jump on a promising opportunity? Options are plentiful. Crowdfunding, bank loans and private business loans are all possibilities. While every funding method will have its unique pros and cons, when it comes to quick cash Private Business Loans are the way to go.With distinct advantages over the conventional bank loan as well as crowdfunding, private loans are the smart funding solution for our fast-paced modern business landscape. Here are our thoughts on why such a loan is today’s top choice.
Bank Loans and Crowdfunding: Smart, but Slow
Quick cash won’t come from a bank loan, unfortunately. This loan process is well established with certain advantages such as complete business decision freedom, but it lacks the swiftness that today’s entrepreneurs need. Preparing the documents needed for a bank loan is a time consuming process that won’t fit everyone’s schedule. And the story’s not over – after all the forms are filed, there’s the long wait for approval.Trendy crowdfunding, however awesome it may be, suffers from the same disadvantage. It will raise brand awareness and even help your marketing research, but it won’t provide the quick cash you when you need it. Not only does setting up the campaign and promoting it effectively take time and valuable resources, but optimal campaign lengths usually range between 30 and 40 days. A Private Business Loan, on the other hand, can quickly get you the cash you need to invest in any time-sensitive business opportunities that could prove pivotal for your business growth. Modern service providers in Canada include Zillidy, which gives a loan offer just 24 hours after receiving your application. After a quick inspection of your assets, the capital is yours to put to use right away.
Private Business Loans: The Win-Win Scenario
If you have valuable assets that you don’t regularly put to use, it’s only logical to make them work for you when you need cash. That’s exactly what you do with a Private Business Loan – you exchange your assets for a quick and secure monetary loan. Once the loan is paid back, your assets are yours again to keep. This is the most straightforward way of getting extra funds for your startup.
It’s also the most risk-free. Whereas banks loans have a very intrusive application process, the collateral loan process is very discreet and that’s one of its biggest advantages. With Zillidy, you don’t risk damaging your credit score. Moreover, with asset loans you can avoid complicated costs and structures.
Another advantage to the discreetness is that there’s no risk of affecting public opinion of your company. A recent analysis on crowdfunding by Lorna Sixsmith commented on the negative effect of a failed crowdfunding campaign. Because the result is evident for all to see, your brand image suffers extensively. But with private business loans, nothing is in the public eye.
How Private Business Loans Can Help
These loans have the option for reasonable interest-only monthly rates with flexible payment terms to help you reach your business goals successfully. You can take advantage of immediate investment opportunities, and still get your personal assets – whether they be luxury watches, gemstones, diamonds or precious metals – back safely. In the interim they will be stored in secured facilities and are guaranteed to be returned in the very same condition in which they were deposited.
Managing your business isn’t just about operating with available resources. In order to outsmart the competition, you have to look at the bigger picture. Constant research on possible business expansion opportunities and investments is what sets apart good entrepreneurs from great ones.
If the right business opportunity isn’t here yet, it’s just around the corner. Figure out if personal business loans are right for you, and get a quote. Be ready when the moment arrives!
Has your business made it through the tax year? Excellent! Have you decided to go with an optimistic economic outlook for 2014? Even better! Stick to your plan, but keep in mind that the deadline for filing the Canadian income tax forms for small businesses has changed.
The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) now expects you to file the income tax form for 2013 by April 30, 2014. However, if you are self-employed, you have time until June 15th, 2014 to file your taxes. Filling out the form is a lengthy process that requires a certain amount of preparation. Start now if you want plenty of time to do things correctly, without the pressure of a nearing deadline. We have a few tips that will make this process a bit less daunting.
The Forms You’ll Need
The required income tax forms vary depending on what type of business you run, but for partnerships and sole proprietorships the T2125 Statement of Business or Professional Activities is a must. If your business falls in one of these two categories, you will also have to provide a handful of other forms, such as the T4, T5, Capital Gain/Losses and Universal Child Care Benefit.
Obtaining the forms is easy – they’re available both on the CRA website and by mail. The bigger concern in dealing with your income tax is the clutter. It’s the sheer amount of documentation used to fill the forms that scares most business owners. The best practice is to go through the forms, design a spreadsheet that covers the required information, summarize your data there and only then proceed to filling the forms.
Don’t Forget Claimable Expenses
Deducting your expenses properly will greatly reduce your income tax. To do this you need receipts and invoices for all expenses deemed claimable by the CRA. Read this in-depth guide on claimable expenses put together by Origami Accounting to learn more. Expenses that fall into this category include:
- RRSP Contributions
- Charitable Donations
- Medical Expenses
- First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit
- Education Expenses
- Child Care Expenses
- Investment Loans
- Transit Pass Tax Credit
What Happens If Your Income Tax Is Just Too High?
After you have calculated your income tax and subtracted all your claimable expenses the amount of tax due can still seem alarming. Before you panic, get your documentation to an accountant to get it double-checked. It’s possible something slipped through your fingers, but accountants know where to look and will catch the mistake.
But what if there is no mistake? Not paying is not a great option as the charges and interest will only cost you more. The first thing you want to do is contact the CRA. If you are able to pay the taxes you owe in a six to twelve month period, the agency can work out a payment plan. You might be required to issue post-dated cheques or direct debit payments from your bank account.
Alternatively, you can look for short term cash to pay off your small business taxes. Credit cards are an option, but you’ll be putting your credit score at risk. It’ll be seriously damaged if you fail to make the minimum monthly payments.
Zillidy has a different solution that won’t damage your credit history in any way. Our Business Loan may be a possible win-win solution if you have assets lying around.
Simply temporarily swap your assets for cash for the duration of the loan. Putting them to a good use can save you money from paying your income tax late. Moreover, the whole application procedure is quick and straightforward, so the CRA won’t even notice you’ve had troubles paying what you owe.
Submitting your forms can be done in various ways ranging from using an accountant, to the classic paper return, to modern online software like Ufile. Don’t hesitate to ask for professional advice, since doing your income tax yourself can get complicated. Just make sure you prepare as much as you can beforehand. This will save time and save you money.
As you can see, figuring out your tax payment amount and how you’re going to pay it are complex and time-consuming tasks. It’s best to start as soon as possible to make sure it all goes smoothly. And if it turns out that you need extra financing, learn more about Zillidy’s Business Loans to see if they’re right for you.
Most Canadians are headed toward a comfortable retirement, especially if they had worked since their early 20s and had began planning and saving early.
When the time comes, they can receive money form the Old Age Security program, which is Canada’s largest government pension program. It is a benefit people over 65 are entitled to, especially if they have nothing else to rely on.
Another secure retirement income option is the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). It’s assumed that almost all working Canadians contribute to the CPP. In return, the Plan secures pensions and benefits when people retire, become disabled, or die and their spouses or children are entitled to a portion of their pension.
Most people try to estimate how much money is enough to ensure carefree retirement. Financial companies say that somewhere between 60% and 70% of the pre-retirement income will be sufficient to live well for the remaining years of your life.
Statistics Canada, however, revealed that the average Canadian couple is unable to replace more than half of their working income.
That said, as unpredictable as life can be, there are people who find themselves in a difficult financial situation and dramatically changed family circumstances. Some need to pay excessive medical bills; others have to make plans to move into a retirement home where monthly costs can reach $3,000. A third category may need private care in a public home and have to pay for it.
So the question is: Where to look for that extra cash?
It’s a good solution for seniors who had paid off their house but need cash. The reverse mortgage is a loan that doesn’t require monthly payments; there is no need to pay it off until a person sells their home or dies. It’s a good source for seniors with limited income, and they aren’t even pressed to sell.
The reverse mortgage is offered by HomEquity Bank’s Canadian Home Income Plan (CHIP), or it can be obtained through mortgage brokers or financial planners and advisers. Approval is usually fast, with a current interest rate at 4.99% for a six-month term and 5.79% for a five-year fixed rate.
Age eligibility is minimum 55, and no more than 50% of the home’s appraised value can be borrowed, depending on age and location.
Long-Term Insurance Plan
Many financial planners would advise you to get such a plan if you are ready for a retirement home. However, critics of this solution say that the plan costs more than the return is worth. Often, the received premium in terms of benefits is low and most likely insufficient. Another setback can be the fact that even if you are ready to move into a retirement home, you may not qualify for the plan if the insurance company decides you are in relatively good health. In spite of that, the insurance plan is acceptable for covering long-term care costs, along with some government financial support.
Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
HELOC may help you save on interest costs because it has lower rates than reverse mortgages (3.5%). Plus, you can borrow up to 65% of the home’s value. The best part is that you don’t need to wait around for monthly payments to arrive, or receive the money in large lump sums. You can take money out when you need it.
HELOC is a good solution for seniors who can pay at least the interest each month (have a good employer pension), otherwise, they may not qualify.
In addition, it has to be noted that the concept of HELOC hides a certain risk. A retired couple may qualify for the loan based on their combined pension income. But if one spouse dies, the other will have a hard time servicing the loan with the already reduced income. In that situation, the retiree might face the decision to sell their home prematurely.
Moving to a smaller home isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and not only to ward off potential financial difficulties. There comes a time when a several thousand square foot house becomes a burden what with all the stairs to be climbed and rooms to be walked. Even the owner’s favorite garden turns into an impossible task to handle as older people become less mobile. Seniors also sell their larger homes in order to move to a warmer climate or be close to their children and grandchildren.
So when you buy a smaller place, some free cash becomes available immediately. With it, a retirement or nursing home stay can be secured, along with some peace of mind.
However, transaction costs have to be considered. They may include real estate commissions, moving, sales taxes, land transfer tax in most provinces and legal fees.
A Short-Term Collateral Loan
Many people overlook this as an option to cover financial needs or wants, but it actually works. You get money in exchange for a valuable asset you are willing to part with for a short period of time but don’t want to sell. Elderly people have accumulated a lot throughout their lives. They can use as collateral an old engagement ring that had been in the family; some rare European antique brought by long gone parents or grandparents; an old gold watch or whatever else has been a family relic. The higher the value, the more money it brings without ever fearing that you may lose it. A comfortable amount of money can be sufficient to finance any unexpected life change and ensure a joyful retirement.
Come Valentine’s Day, hundreds of thousands of men (and some women) will muster the courage to ask the most important question of their lives: Will you marry me? Diamond rings and champagne will sparkle in the night.
Statistics are contradictory and, besides, it’s hard to have a full grasp on how many couples will get engaged in Canada on that day. Such a serious step as proposing marriage should not be made on an impulse, or be dictated by the calendar. However, there are some upsides to choosing Valentine’s Day as the setting for your proposal: the planning is easy. There are so many venues to choose from because restaurants, resorts or other romantic places are offering special packages and a lovely atmosphere for the occasion.
In addition, shopping for a diamond ring seems to be more relaxed; the customer traffic in jewelry stores is intensified, so shopping for an engagement ring will not attract curious gazes your way.
Where to Start
One of the main concerns is the price. Of course, there is no limit, but the general understanding is that the groom-to-be should prepare an amount equivalent to two or three months of his salary.
Next comes the diamond. Here your choice is defined by your budget, tastes, and imagination. Nevertheless, each diamond should be judged by the Four Cs: clarity, carat, cut, and color. Out of those, the cut is probably the most essential because it gives the gem its primal appeal. It should not be confused with shape, which can be oval, round, pear or heart. The cut pertains to the diamond’s proportions and its reflective qualities or light performance.
Colored diamonds attach that sense of uniqueness to the ring because of their rarity, and are a bit eccentric. All of the above determine a diamond’s value. Have a clearer picture in mind of what you want, and get ready to turn your love story into forever.
How to Choose the Best Engagement Ring
Get acquainted with the 4 Cs, so you can make an educated decision.
Select the precious metal. It can be yellow gold, white gold or platinum, which is the most expensive. It’s hard to judge, however, whether the yellow or white gold is more popular. The latter is light on the budget, usually easy to find in 14 and 18-carat rings. White gold, on the other hand, resembles silver in appearance and blends well with any other jewelry.
The setting. Here the choice is quite rich, and, perhaps the best thing to do is to let your intuition guide you. Select from prong, cluster, channel, flush or bar. Actually, the prong is largely preferred because it allows the diamond to be positioned in such a way so the light enters and creates a beautiful sparkle.
A certificate of authenticity. It’s a proof of the ring’s value. Such certificates are usually issued by the American Gem Society (A.G.S.) and the Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.).
Warranty. It’s important to understand what kind of warranty the retailer is offering before you make the purchase. Some offer a lifetime warranty. Others offer a limited guarantee, while a third give an option for a return and your money back within a short period of time.
Shopping for a Ring Online?
Sure, the Internet is here to make our lives easier and is changing our shopping habits, but, still, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Don’t go for the first website that pops up during your Google search. Spend time to do some more research, compare prices and quality; choose the best possible ring. Online retailers keep lower prices, but the downside is that you know what you paid for only when you receive it. Check the return policy.
Also, since you are going to provide your credit card information, make sure you are shopping at a secured site, or at least at a well-established online jeweller.
Find out the shipping policy before you pay. It could be free of charge or be reduced. There are retailers that may allow you to try out the ring for a limited time and then return it, if you’re not happy with it. Whatever the case, always request that your shipment is insured.
Do You Know Her Ring Size?
Haven’t thought about it? Don’t panic! One thing that works for sure is to secretly snatch a ring from her jewelry box, stashed somewhere around the house. If you don’t have access to it, bribe her best friend to do it for you. Or you can ask her mother for cooperation. That is, if she likes you and is excited about your proposing marriage to her daughter.
In any case, most jewelers will be more than happy to assist you. As far as the style of the ring goes, the diamond shape or even color, be a good listener and try to pick up hints about what she likes.
Stay calm, be confident. Just do it!
The months leading up to New Year’s Eve and the first few weeks of a new year are usually filled with predictions and forecasts. Whether it’s technology, politics or business trends, everyone is trying to predict what awaits us in coming months.
Canada saw some interesting developments throughout last year and, naturally, these developments pave the way for how business will thrive this year. As small businesses in Canada effectively constitute 98.2 percent of the country’s employer businesses, these predictions are highly relevant for them. Below, we have rounded up some of the business trends that will steer the way for small and mid-sized businesses in 2014.
Growth and Investment
In October last year, BMO Financial Group issued their semi-annual report, the BMO Small Business Confidence Index. The most notable takeaways from it were that the majority of small business owners in Canada were more optimistic about 2014 than they were a year earlier about 2013.
More than half of them expect their business to grow and about 30% plan on investing more. Investing, according to the report, would entail upgrading equipment, technology and systems as well as hiring more employees or training them. And judging by the figures, these trends are spread out across the whole country and are relatively even in all provinces.
Consumer Trends and SME Opportunities
BDC, on the other hand, highlighted emerging or already existing consumer behavior trends which small businesses should heed. These are 5 in total – how consumers purchase, their continually increasing interest in healthy products and consumption, their support for Canadian-made products, tailor-made products and solutions (customization), and expectations related to cost and use.
Consumers now seem to expect more for less and higher quality for a lower cost and are generally more interested in models that offer use and not necessarily ownership. If small businesses pay attention and adapt to these trends, they will certainly see a positive response from consumers.
This is further strengthened by the younger audience’s inclination towards brand loyalty, once their trust has been won. Numerous studies show that Millennials, while often reluctant to embrace a brand, tend to stick with it, once they have been convinced of its value and usefulness.
Crowdfunding and E-commerce
Though neither crowdfunding, nor e-commerce, are new in any way, they gathered quite a lot of momentum during 2013. Crowdfunding platforms in Canada have begun expanding significantly and last year’s Kickstarter debut in Canada further propelled this trend forward. Some of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns in Canada have raised up to $800,000 in financing to date.
E-commerce has also been in the spotlight recently, and especially around the holidays. While Canadians have shown to be somewhat suspicious of online shopping, recent reports show significant increases in e-commerce transactions and general user engagement.
December saw the highest ever share of online retail sales and, it seems, this trend will also continue to grow. As more and more seniors start using the internet and younger generations increasingly rely on mobile to acquire anything they might need, e-commerce will grow.
Mobile and Content Marketing
Speaking of mobile, it, too, is expected to pick up during the coming year. An ever increasing number of users are making purchases on-the-go or make decisions about where and what they would like to do through the use of their smartphones. Investing in and developing mobile platforms, or even just a mobile-friendly website, is what can help small businesses tap into the potential that lies hidden there.
Finally, if there ever was a doubt in 2013, it is now undoubtedly obvious that content marketing and an adequate and engaging online presence are a must. Even the smallest businesses can benefit from having a social media profile which posts updates on a fairly regular basis. Users seek to interact through social media and not approaching them there is now more or less equivalent to being non-existent.
Aligning one’s business with some or all of the above trends is a direct way to seeing good results during this year and probably also during the next few years. The momentum now is towards greater inter-connectedness and communication, and more cohesion between consumers and brands.
The word “retail” presupposes a vast and quite diverse world where endless possibilities of luring customers exist and many are often employed.
Over one year, from October 2012 until October 2013, overall retail sales in Canada have risen by 3%, from $39.5 billion to $40.7 billion, according to Statistics Canada. The biggest chunk of that went on motor vehicles and car dealers, followed by food and beverage stores and department stores.
Nowadays, the conventional “Buy One, Get One Free” seems to be a rather lazy campaign, and hardly ever makes shopping more enjoyable. Some retailers in Canada have managed to attract more customers by offering a unique, innovative approach to marketing their product or services, or by making shopping easier than ever.
Here are some good examples.
Touch Screen to Design Your Own Nike Running Shoes
In Sport Chek, Toronto, an interactive screen on the wall lets you design a pair of Nike shoes to your own taste while a treadmill nearby can measure the customer’s gait and offer the right running shoes. Adidas has a special “virtual footwear wall” made up of three 55-inch touch screens, and you can scroll up and down, searching for your favorite style or even by naming your favorite soccer player.
There are 140 digital screens and kiosks through which the customers can get around and customize their search as though they were shopping online. It’s called a “digital retail lab” and saves you waiting for delivery.
If you are a skier or a snowboarder, there is a machine in the store that can sharpen the edges of your skis or snowboard, depending on your skill level and snow conditions.
Sport Chek is a part of the retail conglomerate Canadian Tire Co. It prides itself on being the largest retailer in Canada of sporting goods, footwear and apparel. It offers all the perks of online shopping, but at the same time, it tries to battle the Web and all the competition it brings.
Loyalty Card Redeemable with Any Purchase
Since 2007, Gas King, an independent business with seven locations in southern Alberta, has been issuing free loyalty cards with which customers earn points with each purchase. These points turn to cash and can be redeemed with any purchase. So far, Gas King has awarded over 94 million points to 21,000 cardholders. Customers keep coming back, but also, through the reward program, the marketing team collects useful information about their shopping habits. Later on, the data is used for launching successful monthly promotions and generating more business.
Mobile App QThru
“Life is too short to stand in line.” That’s the motto of the thinking behind the mobile app that allows you to check out at a busy grocery store skipping the long queues. Mobile commerce is the future of shopping. QThru could be a valuable asset to any retailer in Canada, actually. Some of the app’s features include detailed product and nutrition information, digital receipts, personalized offers based on your shopping habits, a shareable shopping list and more.
Sell an item, plant 10 trees
TenTree International, Regina, Sask., sells clothing items through its website, making sure that all products are up to the highest environmental standards.For every sold item, it plants 10 trees. Each customer receives a one-of-a-kind code to check in with their trees and give feedback on their status. Some 300 retailers stock the TenTree’s clothing; the daily sales through its website are at least 50 with some $3.5 million generated in sales. Again, the company uses the collected data for a more personalized marketing approach and to turn its customers into loyal buyers.
DipJar, an electronic tip jar
DipJar is making it easy for cardholders to tip. It accepts credit and debit cards. Most tip jars in coffee shops or salad bars, or delis, are on the counter and usually improvised, hand-made. But how many of us carry cash all the time, so you can show your appreciation of the service with a dollar bill or some loose change?
With DipJar, all you need to do is quickly place it in, and $1 will be taken out of your account. If the customer wishes to leave a larger amount, then they can dip it as many times as they desire. Retailers in Canada can benefit from the orderly and quick process of the system.
A beautiful piece of jewellery is always a good option when looking for a classy gift that expresses affection and appreciation, especially with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. And if you prefer buying from a local jeweler – here are 5 top jewellery stores in Toronto for your consideration.
Fair Trade Jewellery Co.
Winner of last year’s Now Toronto reader’s poll in the category of Best Jewellery Store is Fair Trade Jewellery Co. Their name describes their approach perfectly – as they pride themselves on being the first fairtrade certified jeweler in North America. As proof of their dedication, they also carry four different certifications that speak highly of their practices, values and standards. With this jeweler you will receive quality, proper attention and care.
Made You Look
Closely behind FTJCo in the poll was Made You Look. Now in its 13th year, the store offers the work of more than 100 Toronto jewellery designers. It also has a studio next to the shop where in-house designers create their own jewellery. The store offers a variety of services, such as appraisals, alterations and amendments to your jewellery as well as unique and customized pieces. The atmosphere in the shop is very welcoming and you are sure to have all your questions answered.
Brittany Hopkins is Anice Jewellery‘s owner and the one behind the unique pieces of jewellery that can be found in the shop. Hopkins was inspired by her grandmother who used to wear jewellery that would mesmerize the then young Brittany. Now in its 9th year, the shop has specialized in combining old and vintage gems with new materials, creating custom and single pieces. At Anice’s you can also attend workshops that will teach you how to care, fix, re-work or even create your own jewellery.
Like the other shops in this list, Studio 1098 is also different from big jewellery stores. It is a single, boutique store that designs and creates all its pieces. Tamara Kronis and Kathryn Dieroff create jewellery which is often inspired by antique and vintage pieces and styles. Apart from being a goldsmith, Tamara is also a gemmologist and has a lot to say about different kinds of gems and diamonds. Furthermore, Studio 1098 makes sure that its materials are conflict-free, sourced only in accordance with the United Nations Kimberley Process. Drop by their store to find out more.
Penwarden Fine Jewellery
Linda Penwarden opened her jewellery store in 2003 after studying fine art and undergoing training as a goldsmith. Penwarden offers fine pieces of jewellery, inspired by the hues and textures of the materials that are used. At the shop one can pick from a readymade collection of exquisite jewellery or request a custom piece. Penwarden diamonds are 100% conflict-free and most of the work on the pieces is done in-house or locally in Toronto. The many collections of beautiful rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings will make it easy for you to pick a gift if you are in a hurry.
If robbing a bank seems too stressful, considering some of the legally available bank services makes sense. We at Zillidy are experts in the field of personal loans and small business loans and we are fully aware that the stress of having to find money might seem just as bad. Whether for kick-starting your small business or for down payments, choosing the right source of capital is a crucial step to achieving your goals.
The Bank Loan
Despite recent economic troubles, bank loans have seen a steady increase over the past year. In the second quarter of 2013 we have seen over 11% rise in total loans from chartered banks compared to the same period in 2012. Have lenders made getting approved easier? Or have people become more prone to taking risks?
The reason may lay elsewhere. There has always been a cloud of mystery around what the best practices are. To help clear up the unknowns and rumours surrounding it, we have put together 5 handy tips for a trouble-free loan application.
1. Start With Initial Research…
… and don’t stop there. Seek out banks that provide loans that fit your expectations. Getting familiar with your available options has never been easier. Nevertheless, it is the one thing that people overlook or don’t do extensively. Having a physical copy to work with is something that will change your whole attitude towards research process. So print out the brochures and applications. Read them. Compare them and highlight the pros and cons to every service. Keep everything neatly organized as you will surely jump back and forth through them.
2. Look Into Your Financial State
First and foremost, get your credit report! It’s free and can be obtained through any of the large credit bureaus (Equifax, etc.). This will give you a clear idea of how the lender sees you. The last thing you want to experience on the day of the interview is being taught about your long-forgotten dodgy credit history.
Get your bank statements, go through your internet banking and put your expenses into several categories. Carefully go over your spending habits and try to figure out where you cut down costs in order to fund your future repayments. Consider your cash flow. If this is your way of covering the loan, you might be asked for collateral. Also, while working out expenses and your income, try to find a suitable date for your repayments. This is a much underestimated aspect of the loan that could cause you a lot of unnecessary headache. Remember, in order to get the best out of the situation, you want to be as knowledgeable as possible.
3. Get Personal
At this point you would have a substantial amount of information to work with. It is time to contact the lender and talk about the services that they offer. Keep in mind that you are a client to them, they will treat you nicely.
This does not mean to let them do all the talking. Make sure you have prepared extensive questions based on your needs. Ask about anything that concerns you and don’t let the small print slip away. Collect as much information as you can. Point out strong points in alternative services and see how the lender compares them.
Don’t be afraid to take notes as the conversation unfolds. At the end of the day, you will base your decision on this information.
4. Come Up With a Plan
Once you are familiar with what lies ahead, design an action plan that will guide you through these last few days before the big event. Check lists are an excellent way to structure and keep track of progress. Backed up with realistic deadlines, this will keep you on top of the many things you will have to secure the documents required. You are expected to provide papers from your employer and creditors so make sure you acquire them in advance. This will save you time you can spend more wisely.
Having the documents secured, it is time to get on with the application. Make sure you do spend more time on it. Have everything filled in and double check it for accuracy. It is vital that you don’t miss any of the required information as incomplete applications are the most common cause for loan denial. A good idea is to have your application checked by an expert. Once you go through the whole loan application process, make sure you securely dispose of the documents you don’t need and continue to keep the ones that you do in a safe place.
5. The Final Decision
Sum everything up and analyze it. Decide what compromises you are willing to make. If you are a homeowner, you will be offered a cheaper secured loan. Can you put your property on the line? It is tempting but unless you are absolutely sure that you can keep up with your installments, don’t sign up.
Have an extra copy of the documents you provide. You can never be too safe and this is definitely not the time to let things go wrong. Organize them to avoid frustration of looking for that one important credential. Paperclips are your best friends!
Now is the time for the finishing touches. Loan officers run on tight schedule so be on time. You also get to dress up and this is something that does matter in a bank.
Following these tips will keep you safe and ensure you the smoothest possible ride through the wilderness of bank loans. All that remains is keep your cool and spend the money wisely.
As discussed previously, a number of factors determine the value of luxury watches. These are, among others, the amount and types of complications, the materials used, the brand and origin, the time spent designing and assembling the watch or, for that matter, the type of movement in the watch.
Choosing a timepiece, especially a good one, requires a great deal of information and preliminary research. This article will explore the different types of movements and how they influence the price of a watch.
Watch Movements Types
There are three basic types of movements: mechanical, automatic and quartz. They all offer different perks and value to their users, depending on preferences and needs.
Of the above three types, mechanical movements in watches are the classic ones. Though they may not be as popular, reliable or easy to produce, in comparison to automatic or quartz movements, they carry with them a certain feel that other movements simply do not. The most important part of any mechanical movement is its mainspring.
Winding up the movement charges it with energy which it then releases over time through a complex system of gears and springs. Mechanical movements need to be wound up regularly in order to continue to keep time and may gain or lose a minute relatively often in comparison to other movements. Therefore they need to be checked regularly.
On the other hand, such movements are part of a longstanding watchmaking tradition and as such are valued for their ingenuity and the amount of effort and time put into designing them. They are often handed down through the generations.
Automatic movements are movements which have a so-called self-winding design. They are built around a rotor which spins when the watch is in motion, i.e. when the wearer’s hand is moving. The energy of the movement sets the rotor in motion, which then goes into winding the spring.
When worn regularly, these watch movements store energy and keep going but, like mechanical movements, if they are left for a few days, they tend to stop. Automatic movements are very similar to mechanical or manual-wind ones, both when it comes to the durability and complexity of the mechanism. The only difference lies in the way the movement is powered.
Quartz movements revolutionized watchmaking. These movements are powered by a battery rather than mechanical input. They are called quartz as they feature a small quartz crystal which, through the battery’s electric current, is kept oscillating at 32,000 vibrations per second. The crystal’s vibration is what keeps the motor running, which in turn rotates the hands.
A quartz movement can easily be distinguished by the movement of its hands. These have a tell-tale tick-tick movement, rather than the smooth movement of mechanical watches. A battery usually lasts for at least a year or sometimes for many years depending on what the watch is used for. Some quartz watches have a kinetic system (such as the Seiko Kinetic) instead of a battery which is very similar to the automatic movement.
The advantages of a quartz movement are that it is both very precise, rarely losing more than a few seconds per year, and very affordable. It requires very little maintenance and though mostly cheaper watches have quartz movements, there are also some exquisite pieces incorporating one such as the Rolex Oysterquartz, the Breitling Colt SuperQuartz series or very luxurious ones by Cartier, Boucheron or Carl F. Bucherer.
The Value of Watch Movements
1. Watch movements’ value firstly depends on the type of movement; obviously a quartz movement is much cheaper to design and produce than a mechanical one. Designing and assembling a mechanical one is an arduous process which involves many days and even years of work. Mechanical movements can have hundreds of parts. Therefore, a movement designed and assembled by a person, in house, rather than at a factory, costs more. Examples of such movements are A. Lange & Sohne, Audemars Piguet or Patek Philippe.
2. The value depends on the materials which were utilized in the movements’ production. Some mechanical movements include material such as synthetic rubies – a so-called jewel movement (which can have 7, 11, 15, 17, 21, 23, 25 or 27 jewel parts). These are inserted in certain key places in order to make the movement more durable as these jewels reduce friction between the different parts. Movements can also incorporate precious metals and other jewels and the more exotic materials – the higher the value.
3. The origin of the movement is another factor. Movements designed or produced in Switzerland or Japan are usually considered high quality. Most good mechanical timepiece movements are produced in Switzerland but, in recent decades, Japan has increasingly expanded its presence in the high-quality watch movement market.
A distinction must be made between a Swiss-made movement and a Swiss-made watch. The “Swiss Movement” inscription means that at least 50% of the movements inside the watch have been produced and assembled in Switzerland but not the case. A Swiss-made watch, on the other hand, has been produced and assembled entirely in Switzerland – movements, case and all – by a Swiss manufacturer.
Swiss-made watches are of the highest quality. “Swiss,” “Swiss Made,” “Swiss Quartz,” “Produit Suisse” or “Fabrique en Suisse” signify this. An additional inscription saying “Geneve” is yet a further mark of prestige, signifying that apart from being Swiss-made, production has taken place, at least partially, in Geneva.
4. Yet another designation is “chronometer”, signifying that the watch has been tested for a period of time at the Control Officile Suisse de Chronometers. Any timepiece carrying the chronometer designation has passed the COSC accuracy test and is considered high-quality.
5. Finally, a really carefully designed movement usually also has some sort of decoration. This can be a special polished finish on the movement rotor or an engraving by the manufacturer or designer. This, too, creates higher value – it testifies that this piece has received personal attention.
All of the above factors are what makes a watch movement valuable and also serve to retain its value. Therefore, careful study of where, how, and by whom, the movement was produced is essential to picking a quality timepiece in any range.
At Zillidy, we cherish luxury and have made collateral loans against luxury watches with all types of movements. For information on how to use your luxury watch to get a loan, please contact us anytime.