By Sheryl Smolkin
It seems like filing income tax returns gets more complicated every year. Most of us will be e-filing this year because the Canada Revenue Agency is no longer sending paper forms to every household. But even if you carefully fill in the blanks on an electronic form, it’s easy to miss important deductions or tax credits that will help you to hold on to more of your hard-earned money.
Here is a list of 10 tax deductions and tax credits to remember when you are filing your tax return.
- Line 208 – Saskatchewan Pension Plan contributions
You must have available RRSP room to make an SPP contribution. SPP contributions should be reported on Schedule 7 of your income tax form and claimed on line 208. Both your application and your contribution must be received by SPP before a tax receipt will be issued.SPP contributions will be taken into account in determining RRSP over-contributions. Spousal contributions are permitted and if the contributor has available RRSP room, he or she may contribute and receive a tax deduction for both their personal and their spouse’s account. Spousal attribution rules apply to SPP.
- Line 214 – Childcare expenses
The annual childcare expenses you can deduct depend on the age of your child. For example:
- For a child born in 2006 and later: $7,000
- For a child born in 2012 or earlier: $10,000
- For a child born 1996-2005: $4,000
What qualifies as a childcare expense and who can make the claim are discussed in detail on the Information Sheet and Form T778.
- Line 215 – Disability supports deduction
If you have an impairment in physical or mental functions, you can claim a disability supports deduction if you paid expenses that no one has claimed as medical expenses, and you paid them so you could:
- Be employed or carry on a business (either alone or as an active partner).
- Do research or similar work for which you received a grant; or
- Attend a designated educational institution or a secondary school where you were enrolled in an educational program.
You cannot claim amounts that were reimbursed by a non-taxable payment such as insurance. Expenses must be claimed in the same year they are paid.
- Line 301 – Age amount
You can claim this amount if you were 65 years of age or older on December 31, 2012, and your net income is less than $78,684. If your net income was:
- $33,884 or less, you can claim $6,720.
- More than $33,884, but less than $78,684, complete the chart for line 301 on the Federal Worksheet to calculate your claim.
Don’t forget to also claim the corresponding provincial tax credit.
- Line 319 – Interest paid on your student loan
You may be eligible to claim an amount for the interest paid on yourstudent loan in 2012 or the preceding five years for post-secondary education if you received it under:
- The Canada Student Loans Act.
- The Canada Student Financial Assistance Act; or
- A similar provincial or territorial government law.
- Line 324 – Tuition, education, and textbook amounts transferred from a child
The maximum tuition, education, and textbook amount transferred from a child (or from each child), is $5,000 minus the amounts that he or she uses, even if there is still an unclaimed part. Tuition, education, and textbook amounts that the student carried forward from a previous year cannot be transferred. Only one person can claim this transfer from the student. However, it does not have to be the same parent or grandparent that claims the student as a dependant.
- Line 330 – Medical expenses
You can claim on line 330 the total eligible medical expenses you or your spouse or common-law partner paid for:
- Your spouse or common-law partner; and
- Your child or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s child born in 1995 or later.
The amount you can claim is the lesser of:
- 3% of your net income; or
To maximize this claim, it should be deducted by the spouse with the lower income.
- Line 331 – Allowable amount of medical expenses for other dependants
Claim on line 331 the part of eligible medical expenses you or your spouse or common-law partner paid for the following persons who depended on you for support:
- Your child or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s child who was born in 1994 or earlier, or grandchild; or
- Your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s parent, grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew who was a resident of Canada at any time in the year.
- Line 365 – Children’s fitness amount
You can claim to a maximum of $500 per child, the fees paid in 2012 relating to the cost of registration or membership for your child or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s child in a prescribed program of physical activity.
- Line 370 – Children’s arts amount
You can claim to a maximum of $500 per child the fees paid in 2012 relating to the cost of registration or membership of your child or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s child in a prescribed program of artistic, cultural, recreational, or developmental activity.
Have you filed your taxes already? Send us an email to email@example.com and tell us about other valuable tax deductions we may have missed. If your story is posted, your name will be entered in a quarterly draw for a gift card. And remember to put a dollar in the retirement savings jar every time you use one of our money-saving ideas.
If you would like to send us other money saving ideas, here are the themes for the next three weeks:
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