I’ve had SO much fun writing more lifestyle-type blogs, but with tax season just around the corner I wanted to bring back some Money Talk. One of the benefits of being married to an accountant (who also happens to be a tax specialist) is that he knows all the ins and outs for getting back a money making tax return. I’ve picked his brain on some of the most common tax credits that people don’t know exist and tax credits YOU might be missing out on!
If you moved to establish a new home to work or run a business, OR you moved to be a full-time student in a post-secondary program, you can claim your moving expenses! To qualify, your new home must be at least 40km closer to your new work or school. You can expense transportation and storage costs, travel expenses, temporary living expenses for up to a maximum of 15 days, cost of cancelling a lease, incidental costs, cost to maintain your old home when vacant, cost of selling your old home, and the cost of buying your new home.
If you are 65 years or older OR live with a family member who is a senior, you can be eligible for this tax credit just by making your home safer and more accessible. If you qualify, you can claim up to $10,000 worth of eligible home improvements on your tax return. Eligible renovation expenses include:
- Non-slip flooring
- Door locks that are easy to operate
- Renovations to permit a first-floor occupancy suite for a senior
- Grab bars
- Comfort height toilets
- Widening passage doors
- Lowering existing counters/cupboards
- Additional light fixtures
- Hands-free taps
- Motion-activated lighting
- Touch-and-release drawers and cupboards
- Automatic garage door openers
This tax credit was introduced to assist Canadians in purchasing their first home by allowing the home buyer to recover closing costs such as legal expenses, inspections, and land transfer tax. If you’re a first time home buyer you may be eligible to claim $5,000 for the purchase of a qualifying home if you or your spouse acquired a qualifying home AND you did not live in another home owned by you or your spouse in the year of acquisition or in any of the four preceding years.
In my blog post “The One Thing to Spend Your Money On to Get the Best ROI” I talked about the many benefits financial generosity provides. One of those benefits includes tax breaks. Most people are aware that they claim their charitable donations on their tax return, but what most people aren’t aware of is the First-Time Donor’s Super Credit. If you have never claimed charitable donations made after 2007 on your tax return this is the year to do it! This is the LAST year you can claim the FDSC as this credit is expiring at the end of the 2017 tax season. Individuals who are NOT first time donors are eligible to receive back 11.16% for donation amounts over $200.00. In contrast, first time donors are eligible to receive back 25% of donations in excess of $200.00.
The disability tax credit helps persons with disabilities or their supporting persons reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay by up to $8,000. To be eligible for this tax credit, a medical practitioner must fill out and certify that you have a severe and prolonged impairment. Additionally, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- Is blind
- Is markedly restricted in at least one of the basic activities of daily living (speaking, hearing, walking, eliminating, feeding, dressing, mental functions necessary for every day life)
- Is significantly restricted in two or more of the basic activities of daily living
- Needs life-sustaining therapy
If you think you may be eligible for any of these tax credits make sure to talk to your accountant. Or, if you don’t have an accountant perhaps this is the year to consult your local go-to number cruncher, they may be able to find even more tax credits that you qualify for.
Good luck this tax season, may the odds be ever in your favor!