Did you know that you may be able to take advantage of new incentives or changes to existing credits, deductions, benefits, and services when filing your 2011 return?
Children’s arts tax credit: Parents can save up to $75 at tax time when they claim an amount for eligible expenses paid for the registration or membership in a prescribed program of artistic, cultural, recreational, or developmental activities for their children.
Canada child tax benefit: Parents must now notify the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) of any changes to their marital status by the end of the month following the month in which the status changes. Since July 2011, each eligible parent in a shared custody situation will get half of the child benefit and credit payments for that child every month they qualify.
Volunteer firefighters tax credit: Volunteer firefighters may be able to reduce their tax bill by as much as $450 if they have completed at least 200 hours of eligible volunteer time.
Taxable capital gains: Donations of certain flow-through share properties made to a qualified donee after March 21, 2011, may give rise to a deemed capital gain that is subject to an inclusion rate of 50%.
Allowable amount of medical expenses for other dependants: The $10,000 limit per eligible dependant has been removed.
Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contribution: As of January 1, 2012, the rules for contributing to the CPP changed. The changes apply if you are an employee or self-employed, you are 60 to 70 years old, and you receive a CPP or Quebec Pension Plan retirement pension.
Saskatchewan pension plan (SPP): The annual contribution limit to the SPP has increased to $2,500 from $600. For 2012 and later tax years, SPP contributions are subject to the same rules as RRSP contributions. Claim your SPP contribution on line 208.
Students: More examination fees now qualify for the tuition amount. In addition, the minimum duration of courses taken at a university outside Canada has been reduced to three consecutive weeks.
The CRA’s online services make filing even easier
With the CRA’s online services, you can file your return, track your refund, and change your personal information. You can also sign up for direct deposit to have your refund deposited directly into your account at your Canadian financial institution - no more waiting for cheques to arrive in the mail. It’s fast, easy, and secure. For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/getready.