I recently received a hefty promotion for $350k (plus stocks and bonuses) with the same company. Now that I can finally start to pay down my debt, I'm not so happy that suddenly 45% of my pay disappears in the form of taxes.
What can I do to minimize my tax exposure (i.e. on general principal), and how much tax money goes to the Canadian government? I know that I can max out my outstanding RRSP contributions and get a nice refund at annual tax return time, and I know that I can max out my TFSA and watch the interest itself grow without being taxed.
Besides these methods, what else can I do to minimize the tax going to the government? Donating to charity reduces my tax exposure, but results in a net loss of money for me (i.e. the only way, to my knowledge, that donating to charity benefits an individual if he/she is donating to a bogus charity and committing tax fraud).
Could I just gift money to family and friends so they can max out their respective RRSP contributions, for example? They don't have to claim gifted cash, and whatever they contribute to their own RRSPs is tax sheltered, resulting in a refund for them at tax return time. Sounds perfectly reasonable. Are there other such methods I could do to minimize how much of my money ends up in the government's coffers? I'm perfectly fine with gifting to people I know personally, and want to minimize the amount of money paid in taxes, even if it results in a greater overall personal loss.