Dear Toronto-Dominion Bank/TD Canada Trust,
It’s getting to the point where the word trust should be forcibly removed from your name. Over the past couple of weeks, as Canadian parents have learned about the increased UCCB payments (including the so-called “Christmas in July” lump-sum payments received this past week), all I’ve seen in my Facebook news-feed is TD advising parents to deposit the cash into a TD-run RESP account to “save for their children’s future”. None of the other big banks is advertising their RESP products this way, not RBC, not BMO, not the Caisse, not Scotiabank, not CIBC, not National, not Laurentian.
Nothing could be more irresponsible than improperly advising people by using your name recognition, social media reach and the fact that millions of people in this country do, in fact, trust you with their life savings.
Millions of Canadians live day-to-day or month-to-month on their paycheques and will blindly follow TD’s advice to deposit this “free” UCCB cash into an RESP. The problem is that an important piece of information is never mentioned in the TD advertisements: the UCCB is taxable income and, furthermore, a significant tax credit (the child amount) will no longer be available to families this coming personal tax season. What this means is that, for middle-class Canadians, an average of 60% (and as high as 98%!) of the lump-sum payment received this week will be going back to the government in April 2016 on our personal tax returns.
Canadians trust their bankers and investment advisors almost unconditionally. For TD to advise Canadian families to take their UCCB cash and lock it into an RESP without giving them ALL the facts they need to make an informed decision, is not only bad practice but, in my opinion, unethical as well. Check out this link on the UCCB to get some of the missing facts. And if you are someone who banks with TD, ask them to use that social media reach to provide all the missing information Canadians need in order to make the best possible decision and minimize the impact on their families’ bottom lines.
The Funny Accountant
If you like what you read, please like my Facebook page and/or follow me on Twitter! And, as always, if you have tax questions, need advice on your personal taxes, corporate taxes or anything else accounting or business related, please contact me (Mitch Kujavsky), AKA The Funny Accountant, either by phone at (514) 833-1158 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, for a witty and insightful read, check out the wifey’s blog. It’s funny and good.
In case you missed it, here’s the audio from my appearance on CJAD, chatting with Dan Delmar about the UCCB increase and other family related tax stuff!