It’s time to start thinking about your 2017 Personal Tax Return – April 30th is fast approaching. The following is a summary of changes and updates that may impact your taxes and the information you need to gather.
Eliminated tax credits
- Education and textbook tax credit– Effective January 1, 2017, the federal education and textbook tax credits were eliminated. This measure did not eliminate the tuition tax credit, and it does not affect the ability to carry forward unused education and textbook credit amounts from years prior to 2017.
- Canada caregiver credit– The caregiver credit, infirm dependent credit and family caregiver tax credit have all been replaced by the new Canada caregiver credit. This provides a tax credit of 15% of up to $6,883 of expenses incurred for the care of dependent relatives with infirmities, and 15% of up to $2,150 on expenses incurred for the care of a dependent spouse, common-law partner or minor child with an infirmity.
- Children arts and fitness credit– The federal children arts and fitness tax credits have been eliminated for the 2017 taxation year. The BC child arts and fitness tax credits will be eliminated in 2018.
- Public transit tax credit- This credit was eliminated as of July 1, 2017 which means you can only claim eligible public transit expenses if they were incurred prior to that date.
Changes at Canada Revenue Agency
- File My Return– CRA has launched a new service which will allow eligible Canadians to file their tax returns over the phone through an automated service. This service is for those individuals who have simple tax returns.
- Launch of BizApp– CRA has released a new app to allow small businesses and sole proprietors to make pre-authorized payments to their corporation, GST or HST tax and payroll account.
- Paying taxes in person– CRA has now made it easier to pay your individual taxes and other select payments in person. Individuals can now pay using debit or cash at any Canada Post outlet but first need to create a payment barcode online.
Other things to keep in mind
- The deadline to contribute to your RRSP is on March 1, 2018 for the 2017 taxation year.
- Sale of principal residence– Starting in 2016, if a taxpayer sells their primary residence, it will need to be reported on the tax return (date of acquisition, proceeds of disposition and description of property)
- Increase in tax rate– The top federal/B.C personal marginal tax rate has increased from 47.7% in 2017 to 49.8% in 2018.
- Charitable donations– 2018 will be the last year that taxpayers can claim the Federal First-Time Donor’s super credit if the taxpayer and their spouse has not claimed it from 2008-2016. This credit provides up to additional 25% tax credit on the first $1,000 of donations claimed.