When you miss out on credits and deductions, you leave money behind. Only once a year during tax season you have the opportunity to save some money, other than that you don’t get back anything the rest of the year. Review our list and brief descriptions of some of the most overlooked tax deductions and credits, to find out if you are eligible to claim any of them.
The non-refundable children’s fitness tax credit has been increased from $500 to $1000 per child in 2014.
To be eligible for this credit, your child must be under 16 years of age or under 18 if they are eligible for the disability amount at the beginning of the tax year in which the fitness expense has incurred. Qualifying programs for this amount should be: ongoing, supervised, and suitable for children and require significant physical activity. Hockey, soccer, horseback riding, sailing and bowling are some examples of eligible programs. Also fees charged for extra-curricular programs that take place in schools are eligible, however fees paid for accommodation, travel, food or beverages do not qualify.
Kids’ Art Amount
Under the non-refundable children’s art amount you can claim up to $500 per child, the fees paid in 2014 for registration or membership in a program of artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental activity.
To be eligible for this credit, your child must be under 16 years of age (or under 18 if eligible for disability tax credit) at the beginning of the tax year in which the eligible art expense was paid. To qualify for this amount a program must be: ongoing, supervised and suitable for children. According to Canada Revenue Agency, The Program should include an activity that “contributes to the development of creative skills or expertise in artistic or cultural activities, provides a substantial focus on wilderness and the natural environment; helps children develop and use particular intellectual skills, includes structured interaction among children where supervisors teach or help children develop interpersonal skills; or provides enrichment or tutoring in academic subjects.” Please note that programs that are part of a school curriculum are not eligible for this credit.
Kids’ Summer Camps
The cost of summer camps qualifies under child-care expenses. You can claim the cost of day camps, day sports camps as well as overnight camps where lodging is involved. CRA defines eligible child for this amount as: “ your or spouse’s or common law partner’s child; or a child who was dependent on you or your spouse or common law partner , and whose net income in 2014 was $ 4,138 or less. The child must have been under 16 years of age at some time in the year. (Age limit does not apply if the child is eligible for disability amount.)
Public Transit Amount
The Public Transit amount allows you to claim the costs of passes you purchase for local buses, street cars, subways, commuter trains, commuter buses and local ferries; where these passes allow unlimited travel within Canada.
The cost of short-term passes could be claimed if the pass entitles you to unlimited travel for at least 5 consecutive days and you buy enough of these passes for 20 days in any 28-day period. Also the cost of electronic payment cards could be claimed if you use the card to make at least 32 one way trips during a 31-day period and you have a receipt for the cost and usage of the card. Please note that ride/trip passes are not eligible for this credit. If you pay for your child’s monthly transit pass, you can claim it on your taxes.
Disability Tax Credit
The Disability Amount is a non-refundable tax credit used to reduce income tax payable. To be eligible for this credit the impairment in physical or mental functions must be severe and prolonged, which means it has lasted or is expected to last at least for 12 months. Also the impairment must be certified by a qualified practitioner. The list of eligible conditions is very long, ranging from personality disorder, anxiety and ADHD to bowel or bladder, speaking, hearing and vision disorders. You can claim this credit for yourself, your dependents and also your spouse or common-law partner.
Home Buyers’ Amount
You can claim $5,000 for the purchase of a qualifying home if you did not live in home owned by you or your spouse or common-law partner in the year of acquisition or in any of the 4 preceding years.
Student Loan Interest
The interest you pay on federal and provincial student loans is eligible for a tax credit. You can claim an amount for yourself or a person related to you and also you can carry the interest forward and apply it on your tax return for any of the next 5 years. Please note that student loans and line of credits from financial institutions are not eligible for this credit.
Family Tax Cut
The Family Tax Cut, is a federal tax credit that will allow a higher-income spouse to transfer up to $50,000 of taxable income to a spouse in a lower tax bracket. The credit will provide tax relief – capped at $2,000 – for couples with children under the age of 18, effective for the 2014 tax year. To be an "eligible" family, you must be married or living in a common-law partnership, were both residents of Canada on December 31, 2014 and you must have at least one child under the age of 18 at the end of the year, and that child must reside with the couple throughout the year. Also both you and your spouse should file a return for the year this credit is claimed. Please note that both partners will need to complete their returns at the same time to get this credit, since any changes to one partner’s income or tax credits will impact the other partner’s return.
If you are planning to benefit from these credits and deductions this year but already dreading the math involved, leave the calculations to our team of highly experienced tax professionals at iAccounting. Visit us at www.iaccountingservices.com to book your free consultation session, or ask your questions via our online live chat system.