Seniors: Enjoy your golden years with these tax credits and benefits

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) wants seniors to get the tax credits, deductions, and benefits they are eligible for.

Here are 11 of the most common credits and benefits for seniors.

  1. Pension income splitting – If you receive a pension, you may be eligible to split up to 50% of your eligible pension income with your spouse or common-law partner.
  2. Guaranteed income supplement – If you receive the guaranteed income supplement or allowance benefits under the old age security program, you can renew your benefit by filing your return by the filing deadline.
  3. Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) – Deductible RRSP contributions can reduce your tax bill. You have until December 31 of the year in which you turn 71 to contribute to your RRSP.
  4. Registered disability savings plan (RDSP) – This savings plan can help families save for the financial security of a person who is eligible for the disability tax credit. RDSP contributions are not tax deductible and can be made until the end of the year in which the beneficiary turns 59.
  5. Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit – You may be eligible for the GST/HST credit, a tax-free quarterly payment that helps your offset all or part of the GST or HST you pay. To receive this credit, you must file an income tax and benefit return every year, even if you did not receive income. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, only one of you can receive the credit. The credit will be paid to the person whose return is assessed first. 
  6. Medical expenses – You may be able to claim the total eligible medical expenses you or your spouse or common-law partner paid for you, your spouse or common-law partner, or you or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s children who were born in 1999 or later, provided the expenses were made over any 12-month period ending in 2016 and were not previously claimed. This can include amounts claimed for attendant care or care in an establishment.
  7. Age amount – If you were 65 years of age or older on December 31, 2016, and your net income was less than $83,427, you may be able to claim up to $7,125.
  8. Pension income amount – You may be able to claim up to $2,000 if you reported eligible pension, superannuation, or annuity payments on your tax return.
  9. Disability amount – If you, your spouse or common-law partner or your dependent has a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions and meets certain conditions, they may be eligible for the disability tax credit (DTC). To determine eligibility, you must complete Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate and have it certified by a medical practitioner. Canadians claiming the credit can file online whether they have submitted the form to the CRA for that tax year or not. 
  10. Family caregiver amount – If you are caring for a dependant with an impairment in physical or mental functions, you may be able to claim up to $2,121 when calculating certain non-refundable tax credits. Non-refundable tax credits reduce your federal tax. If the total of the non-refundable tax credits is more than your federal tax, you will not get a refund for the difference.
  11. Public transit amount – You may be able to claim the cost of monthly or annual public transit passes for travel within Canada on public transit in 2016.

 

For more tax questions or additional information, contact any member of our tax team.

This information was made available at: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/txtps/2017/tt170117-eng.html

Changing your marital status may impact your taxes and benefits

Did you recently get married or enter into a common-law partnership? Did you separate or divorce? Were you recently widowed? It is important to inform the CRA about changes in your marital status to make sure you receive the right amount in benefit and credit payments. When your marital status changes, your benefit and credit payments are directly impacted. The CRA will recalculate your benefits and credits based on:

  • your updated family net income
  • the number of children you have in your care and their ages
  • the province or territory in which you live

Your benefit payments will be adjusted the month after the month your marital status changes. 

How do you tell the CRA that your marital status has changed?

You can tell the CRA about your new marital status and the date of the change by using one of the four options: 

When do you have to tell the CRA?

If you recently got married, divorced, became widowed, or entered into a common-law partnership, you must tell the CRA about the change in marital status by the end of the month after the month your status changed. For example, if your status changes in March, you must tell the CRA by the end of April.

If you have become separated, do not notify us until you have been separated for at least 90 days

What if you changed your name?

If you changed your name, let the CRA know as soon as possible. Call us at 1-800-959-8281, so we can update our records. 

 

For more tax questions or additional information, contact any member of our tax team.

This information was made available at: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/txtps/2017/tfsk5-eng.html

Seven ways your family can save at tax time

Raising a family can be expensive, but there are many benefits, credits, and deductions that can help your family with costs during the year. They could even lower the amount you owe at tax time! However it is important to file on time if you want your credits.

Check out these potential savings:

  1. Canada child benefit (CCB) - The CCB is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under the age of 18. The CCB might include the child disability benefit and any related provincial and territorial programs. You could get up to $6,400 annually for each child under the age of 6 and $5,400 annually for each child aged 6-17. Apply for the CCB in one of the following ways:
  2. Child care expenses – Did your kids attend daycare or a child care program in 2016? You or your spouse or common-law partner might be able to claim what you spent on eligible child care in 2016.
  3. Working income tax benefit – If you are a working family or individual with a low income, you might be eligible for this refundable tax credit intended to provide tax relief to low-income Canadian workers. Eligible individuals and families may be able to apply for advance payments.
  4. Child disability benefit– You might be eligible for this tax-free benefit if you care for a child under the age of 18 who is eligible for the disability tax credit.
  5. Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit – The GST/HST credit is a tax-free quarterly payment that helps families and individuals with low or modest incomes offset all or part of the GST and HST that they pay. If you are eligible, you will receive your tax-free payments in January, April, July and October. The amount of your payment will depend on your family income and the number of children you have in your care. A family could get up to $552 per year, plus an additional $145 annually for each child.
  6. Children’s fitness tax credit – Claim eligible fees paid in the year for registration or membership for your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s child in a prescribed program of physical activity. For 2016, the maximum eligible fees in the year is reduced from $1,000 to $500, but the additional amount of $500 for children eligible for the disability tax credit has not changed. Therefore the maximum credit is reduced to $75 ($150 for a child eligible for the disability tax credit).
  7. Children’s arts tax credit - Claim eligible fees paid in the year for the cost of registration or membership of your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s child in an eligible program of artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental activity. For 2016, the maximum eligible fees in the year is reduced from $500 to $250, but the additional amount of $500 for children eligible for the disability tax credit has not changed. Therefore the maximum credit is reduced to $37.50 ($112.50 for a child eligible for the disability tax credit).

 

For more tax questions or additional information, contact any member of our tax team.

This information was made available at: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/txtps/2017/tt170214-eng.html

 

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