Every March 1st I look forward to filing my tax return right away (…I don’t get out much). While CRA tax returns aren’t due until April 30th (June 15th for anyone with self-employment income, however, the tax is still due April 30th if you owe) it’s a good idea to at least start accumulating receipts and other docs to ensure you’re not caught out at the last moment.
Below are six items to keep in mind that can help reduce your tax burden this year that can often be overlooked:
RSP Contributions: If you contributed to your RSPs between March 1, 2014 and March 2nd, 2015 you can use this as a straight deduction.
Medical/Dental Expenses: You or your spouse could receive some hefty tax credits for amounts spent on yourselves or dependants. These are often overlooked, especially if they are partially covered by other work benefits. Remember to claim any medical or dental expenses for which you paid out of pocket. For a complete list of eligible expenses look here.
Charitable/Political Donations: A tax credit is received for amounts paid to registered charities or political causes. The key word there is REGISTERED. A charity or political group should always issue you a receipt that says they are registered. You can also claim donated items/gifts so long as a reliable fair market value is used.
Interest Paid on Student Loans: Turns out one good thing about student loans is the interest is eligible for a tax credit, however, the principle paid is not.
Child Care and Fitness Expenses: You can claim up to $7k in child care expenses in the year so long as you were working or going to school. You can claim up to $1,000 for fitness/art programs paid for your child.
Moving Expenses: If you moved to be closer to work any out of pocket costs not covered by your employer are deductible. Be sure to take a look at the CRA requirements and eligible expenditures to make sure you file correctly.
With the introduction of e-filing with the CRA receipts and forms no longer need to mailed along with your return However, ensure you keep these receipts stored away as the CRA often does spot checks and may request you to send in a receipt or two. I’m all for DIY tax returns, but if you have a complicated tax return it’s usually worth the cost to have a pro help out.by