As we approach the tax filing time of year, here are some things that should be on your radar when preparing your return, or gathering your necessary details for your tax professional. As always, check with your tax professional or Canada Revenue Agency for full details.

Ready… Set… GO!

What’s out in 2017

The phase out of the Child Fitness and Child Arts Tax Credits completed in 2017, therefore $0 are eligible for deduction in your tax return. Both tax credits were introduced by the PC Harper government to encourage child participation, and was phased out beginning in 2016 under the new Liberal government.

What’s new in 2018

Changes for Ontarians – especially for families without employer or personal health plans – came with the 2018 introduction of OHIP+, including full coverage of cost and fees for most prescription drugs for individuals under the age of 25. This, coupled with the increase in minimum wage in Ontario from $11.60 to $14 effective January 1st was a big win for low income earners, young people, and families.

Also in Ontario, legislation banning scalper bots came into effect to help ticket purchasers be able to access and purchase tickets to their favourite events. Have you noticed a difference?

Parental leave has been extended to 18 months if going on leave after December 3rd.  This, along with new family caregiver benefits that include a 15 week leave to care for a critically ill or injured adults, and 35 week leave for a critically ill or injured child, gives more support to Canada’s families in new or challenging times of life.

What stays the same

The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) remains at the $5500 annual contribution limit. This limit is set to increase with inflation at the nearest $500, however the inflation amount has not reached the point of eligible increase. A valuable investment and savings tool, the TFSA carries forward any unused investment room. For those who have not yet contributed to a TFSA, they have eligible contribution room this year of $57,500.

The first-time donor super credit remains, providing first time donors a 25% boost up to $1000 for first time donations made between 2013 and 2017, when claimed. If you’ve not yet donated to an organization, and received (and claimed) a tax receipt, this is a great time to start!

Eligible Medical Expenses remain at 3% of an individual’s net income, or $2268, whichever is less for 2017. In 2018, this will increase to $2302, or 3% of net income.

The basic personal amount for 2017 tax filing is $11,635, increasing to $11,809 for 2018. This amount, on Line 300 of your tax return, indicates the income level that an individual will begin paying income tax.

The maximum RRSP contribution for 2017 is $26,010, and $26,230 for 2018. Remember, any unused contribution room carries forward to the next tax year so check your most recent Notice of Assessment to see your personal contribution limit. (And remember, the deadline for RRSP contributions to count toward 2017 is March 1, 2018.)

 

Have a specific tax question not outlined in this post? Feel free to contact me to chat more, or contact a tax accountant to help.

 

For CRA compatible tax software, check out their website.