Tax Tips for Seniors

It’s tax season again in Canada but there is good news if you are over 65. The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) has several tax benefits for older Canadians.

Here are some of the most common benefits you’ll want to be sure to claim:

Age Amount – if you were over 65 years before December 31, 2017, and your income is under $82,000 then you are eligible to claim this credit. Ask your accountant or check the CRA website (https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/...) for the exact amount you can claim, which varies based on your income.

Pension Income Amount – If you are reporting pension, superannuation or annuity payments on your 2017 return, you might also be able to get a credit for $2,000. Spouses and common-law partners are also eligible to split half of the pension income. For details check with the CRA website. (https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/...)

Medical Expenses – You may be able to claim medical costs for you, your partner and any children under the age of 21 if they are over three percent of your income. This also counts for costs that were paid outside the country.  

Family Caregiver Amount – Caregivers who look after a family member with physical or mental impairments might be able to get a $2,000 credit on their income tax. This is a new tax credit that combines the previous caregiver credit, family caregiver credit and credit for infirm dependants.  

Public Transit Costs – This credit can be claimed for any monthly or annual transit passes you have purchased within Canada.

Home Accessibility Tax Credit – If you made renovations to your home to make it a safer dwelling for older Canadians you could claim up to $10,000 in expenses.

While tax time can be a headache for some, it doesn’t need to be if you are aware of the credits the Canadian government offers to older residents. If you are unsure whether you qualify, ask your accountant or the person who does your taxes.

Don’t forget, April 30th is the deadline to have your returns filed with the CRA.

​Written by Chandra Lye

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