Seven tax tips you need to know right now

Don’t miss out on these tax credits and deductions.

49

by Bryan Borzykowski
April 28th, 2010

Online only.

49

tax_1008_322

For most Canadians, doing your taxes is as easy as sending in a T4 and tax return, but if you’re not paying close attention you may be missing out on precious savings. Aurèle Courcelles, director of tax and estate planning at Investor’s Group, says there are a number of deductions and credits that are easy to overlook. If you’ve already filed, here are some of the things you missed—and if you’re waiting until April 30 to file, make sure you don’t forget to claim or deduct everything you can.

Deductions

Interest on income producing assets
If you’ve borrowed money to invest or own a rental property, you can claim the interest. It’s something that may be easy to forget, since you can’t claim interest payments on credit cards or your non-income producing property. But if you’re paying the bank every month for an investment loan, you can get a deduction. “You won’t get a slip,” says Courcelles, so make sure you ask the bank for a receipt.

Union or professional dues
Those pesky union or professional dues getting to you? You’ll be happy to know they can be deducted too. This only works if your employer is not paying for them, but for many lawyers, chartered accountants and other Canadians with a professional designation, these costs come out of pocket.

Moving expenses
Good for students and workers. If you moved more than 40 km for a new job or school you can deduct those expenses. Everything from renting a U-Haul to hotel and meals are covered.

Credits

First Time Home Buyers Credit
Buying a home is stressful and costly, so you may not have been thinking much about tax time when you purchased your new abode. Now that you’re crunching the numbers though, make sure you claim the First Time Home Buyers Credit. As the name suggests, this only applies to Canadians who are buying their first place, and you had to purchase the home after January 28, 2009. You’ll get $750 back with the credit and “you can make as much or as little as you want, as long as you bought a house,” says Courcelles.

Medical expenses
Many Canadians have the misconception that all our healthcare related needs are covered. Not so. We still pay for medicine (if an employer doesn’t cover the full amount), some or all dental costs, extra doctor fees, orthodontists, chiropractors and the list goes on. If your bills exceed 3% if your net income, or $2,011 — whichever is less — you can claim those expenses.

Courcelles says it’s best to pool these expenses onto the lower income spouse’s return, so that 3% will be exceeded quicker than if it was on the higher earner’s return. It’s important to note that you can only claim what you pay yourself. If an employer covers 80% of medical expenses, you can only claim the other 20%.

Eligible dependent credit
This one applies, in most cases, to single parents. If you’re raising family without a partner — whether you’ve been divorced, widowed or are a single parent — you can get this credit. The eligible dependent amount is $10,320 minus the dependent’s income. “If you have a 5-year-old child who has no income you multiply the $10,320 by 15% and that’s your credit,” says Courcelles. This also works for child support payments, and you can claim the credit if your spouse makes less than the eligible dependent amount.

Three tax tips you already know about, but a reminder never hurts

Don’t file late!
It seems like a no-brainer, but make sure you send that return in by, or on, April 30. Patricia Lovett-Reid, senior vice-president with TD Waterhouse, says the Canada Revenue Agency will charge you 5% on your balance owing plus 1% every month it’s late after that.

Capital losses and gains
If you sold your stocks before the market recovered last March, there’s a good chance you incurred capital losses. You can offset any gains you made with losses in the previous three years. So, if you were hit with gains in 2009, use your losses to offset those costs. If you can’t use the capital losses, you can carry them forward indefinitely — so when you have a good year in 2010, you won’t have to stress over any capital gains.

Pension splitting
You had to do this in 2009, but don’t forget to indicate how you allocated your pension. A few years ago the government allowed retirees to transfer up to 50% of their pension to a (presumably) lower income spouse. That, theoretically, should even up the spouses’ tax brackets, translating into less tax paid on a whole.

49 comments on “Seven tax tips you need to know right now

  1. Don't forget the Disability Tax Credit for those that are physically disabled and mentally ill (alzheimers).

    Reply

  2. I think a correction should be printed for this article. This TAX CREDIT is a NON-REFUNDABLE TAX CREDIT, which means if you don't pay any,or pay low taxes, you will not get ANY refund or very little…despite spending up to $10,000..which at the top tax rate is only going to get you a credit up to a MAXIMUM $1,350.
    The statement that " the Home Renovation Tax Credit allowed people to claim renovation expenses between $1,000 and $10,000 " gives the impression that these amounts spent would be refunded in total, not just the taxes included in these expenditures which may or not be deductible based on an individual's tax circumstances.
    Typical of todays Governments to restrict it to a NON-Refundable tax status rather than a REFUNDABLE tax credit or a grant!!!
    Geoffrey Edge

    Reply

  3. ALBERTA PRODUCER OF OIL AND STILL WE ALBERTANS HAVE TO PAY FRICKEN HIGH TAXES AS INDIVIDIUALS IS TOTALLY HORSE SHIT.

    GOVERNMENT EVERY YEAR SHOULD GIVE FAMILIES A REBATE OF $5000 AT LEAST IN JUNE SO WE CAN CELEBRATE CANADA DAY PEACEFULLY.

    AFTER WE ARE A PEACE MAKING COUNTRY PROVIDING BANDAGES TO OTHER COUNTRIES INCLUDING US.

    GOD BLESS US INDIVIDUAL FAMILY.

    RON KUMAR.

    Reply

  4. I just don't understand why these sites wait so long to publish these things. Two days before cut off!! God help those who needed this information and where diligent about getting their taxes sent off early. Not much good for them I suppose.

    Reply

    • There is a delay between the time the article is in the print magazine and when it is put online for free.

      Reply

  5. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.

    Reply

  6. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

    Reply

  7. this was obviously a genuine very good post. My service company is in real truth looking for in the direction of the subsequent submit.

    Reply

  8. Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the stor. I cant believe youre not even more popular than you are because you definitely have a gift.

    Reply

  9. Pingback: Yoga Fitness Tips

  10. אני חייב לספר לכם שרכשתי ריהוט חדש למקום מגורים שלי , קניתי ארון אמבטיה , חדר ארונות , שולחן סלון .

    Reply

  11. Strange this submit is totaly unrelated to what I used to be looking google for, but it was once indexed on the first page. I suppose your doing something right if Google likes you sufficient to position you on the first page of a non related search.

  12. Hey, I simply hopped over for your site by means of StumbleUpon. Now not one thing I would typically learn, but I appreciated your emotions none the less. Thank you for making something value reading.

    Reply

  13. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my website so i came to “return the favor”.I’m trying to find things to enhance my site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

    Reply

  14. Actually like your web sites details! Undoubtedly an exquisite supply of data that is extraordinarily helpful. Stick with it to carry publishing and that i’m gonna proceed studying by way of! Cheers.

    Reply

  15. Great blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

    Reply

  16. Thats some quality fundamentals there, already know some of that, but you can always learn . I doubt a “kid” could put together such information as dolphin278 suggested. Maybe he’s just attempting to be “controversial? lol

    Reply

  17. Pingback: exercise program

  18. We so appreciate your blog post. There are actually so many methods we could put it to proper use while using no effort with time and hard earned money. Thank you so much pertaining to helping have the post respond to many issues we have got before now.

    Reply

  19. Pingback: Shared Hosting

  20. I enjoy reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

    Reply

  21. Pingback: peak property and casualty

  22. Excellent web page , I have discovered this insightful. Loads of tips from it. I’m really interested in the knowledge on weight problems. Associated with tried taking lipobind intended for lowering fat ingestion? If not, do give it a shot. It’s effective to me. I’ve left a link to. Thanks.

    Reply

  23. Pingback: Signs Of Autism

  24. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little similar analysis on this. He actually bought me breakfast because I discovered it for him.. smile.

    Reply

  25. Pingback: Plant Food Drug

  26. It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    Reply

  27. Pingback: Kratom Capsules

  28. Pingback: sex back into marriage

  29. I just added this feed to my bookmarks. I have to say, I really enjoy reading your blogs. Thanks!

    Reply

  30. Pingback: Self Storage Units

  31. Pingback: וילונות

  32. I admire the dear knowledge you offer to your articles. I will be able to bookmark your weblog and have my kids test up here generally. I’m moderately certain they’re going to learn a whole lot of new stuff here than anyone else!

    Reply

  33. Pingback: Schwinn recumbent exercise bike

  34. Pingback: Lanyards

  35. Pingback: Consumer Proposal Ontario

  36. Pingback: marriageproblemshelp.org

  37. Pingback: panini maker

  38. Pingback: The Best Diet Plan

  39. Pingback: Zerocs - créez dès maintenant votre business en ligne

  40. Pingback: Site for relationship problems

  41. Pingback: Dark styles

  42. Pingback: los angeles family lawyer

  43. Pingback: northern industrial air compressor

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *