Tax time is once again upon us, and as always, it is worth taking a look at what deductions and credits may be available, as there could be some that you are missing.
There are more than 400 tax credits and deductions available to Canadians, which means that there are likely a number of them available to you. It also means that it’s quite possible to be unaware of certain ones for which you may be eligible.
Take a look at some of the most commonly missed tax deductions and see which ones apply to you.
STUDENT LOAN INTEREST
Interest paid on eligible student loans is available as a tax credit. Most provincial and national student loan bodies do not mail these statements anymore so remember to login and download your annual tax statement. Interest on line of credits through bank and credit unions are not usually eligible however there could be exceptions.
When you move for school, work or starting a business, and it is more than 40 km’s closer to your new place of school, work or business, there are many moving expenses incurred that are eligible for tax deduction, including: selling costs of your old home, purchasing costs of your new home, travel to the new home and moving expenses themselves.
The usual expenses like daycare, nannies and babysitters are deductible. However you can also include day and/or overnight camps during spring break, summer, Christmas holidays and even professional days when your children don’t go to school.
Prescriptions and dental bills are what most people commonly think of when they consider their medical expenses, but they are far from being the only ones, including:
- Eye glasses or contact lenses
- Tutoring for children with disabilities
- Extended health and dental premiums
- Travel insurance
- Home renovations for the purpose of increasing access and/or mobility
- Travel expenses if you must travel more than 40 km (one way) in order to receive medical treatment
- Full-time attendant care for those with severe or prolonged disabilities
- The cost of an air-conditioner under specific situations (Lesser of $1,000 or 50% of cost)
- And many more (see CRA’s A-Z list)
CREDITS FOR FAMILY MEMBERS
While we most often think of children when we consider dependents, there are other claims that may be made for family members who are reliant upon you.
If you are responsible for the support of family members other than a spouse or your minor children, you may have overlooked the following eligible credits:
- Medical expenses for those other dependents
- The Home Accessibility Tax Credit
- The Canada Caregiver Amount
Also, be aware that for the tax years prior to 2017, other credits were available for the care of a family member. CRA allows for past returns to be amended (generally up to 3 years), so you may wish to verify whether you were eligible for any of the following:
Do you work from home or pay for expenses that your employer does not reimburse? You may be eligible to claim these expenses. Take a look at our employment checklist and remember you will need a T2200 from your employer to confirm what type of expenses they require you to pay for.
If you are among the increasing numbers of Canadians who are now working from home, you may be able to claim a deduction for part of your home that you are using for your business.
As a homeowner, you are able to claim a portion of your property taxes, mortgage interest, utilities and more. As a renter, you may claim a portion of your monthly rent and utilities. Keep in mind that you may not use your home office space to create a loss that would be deducted against other sources of income.
Other business-related expenses, such as travel or supplies, may also be deductible. See our Self Employed Checklist to keep you on track.
Always be sure to review every possible deduction carefully. You may be entitled to more than you think.
***This blog is for information only and not to be used as tax advice or planning without first seeking professional advice. Information is also subject to change without notice.