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Save On Your Tax Return Using Deductions and Credits

Janine Rogan Mar 25, 2020

In response to COVID-19, the Canadian government has extended the filing deadline for personal taxes to June 1, 2020. 

However, if you think you’ll get a tax refund this year (as the majority of Canadians do), you may consider filing your taxes sooner. 

We’re here to help you understand the new credits and deductions available to help keep your tax bill as low as possible. If you're self-employed you can find get more tips here.

Tax deductions and credits available

When you’re filing for the 2019 calendar year, there are a few new things to keep in mind. 

Canada Training Credit Limit - This came into effect on January 1, 2019. If certain conditions are met, you'll be allowed to accumulate $250 per year to a lifetime maximum of $5,000 towards a new refundable tax credit. 

The conditions that are required to be met are as follows:

  • Must be at least 25 years old and less than 65 years old 
  • Must file a tax return for the current year 
  • Must be a resident of Canada 
  • Have total income of $10,00 or more from: maternity/parental benefits, working income 
  • Have a net income that does not exceed the top of the third tax bracket ($147,667) 

Home Buyers Plan - The maximum amount that you can withdraw from your RRSP to use under the home buyers plan has been increased from $25,000 to $35,000. You must be a first-time homebuyer to leverage the home buyers plan, and will ultimately be required to pay back the amount withdrawn but this plan can be a good way to bolster your down payment. 

Zero-emission vehicles - If you're reclaiming an employment expense or you're self employed, then you may be eligible to claim CCA (capital cost allowance) on a zero-emission vehicles (hello Tesla!). Starting in the 2019 taxation year, there is an enhanced CCA available. Vehicles must be purchased after March 18, 2019. 

Cannabis as a medical expense - If you have prescribed medical cannabis products that are not covered under your insurance, you can now claim them as a medical expense. 

Province specific credits 

Climate Action Incentive - Residents of Alberta - you'll be able to claim this incentive on your tax return. Residents of New Brunswick are not eligible and residents of Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Manitoba will continue to be able to claim this incentive. 

Low-Income Individual and Families (LIFT) Tax Credit (Ontario Specific) - This credit was designed so that someone who is working a full-time job making minimum wage pays no provincial income tax. If you qualify, you can receive relief for $450-$1,700 per couple. 

Tuition Tax Credit (New Brunswick Specific) - This credit was initially eliminated in 2017 and has now been brought back to eligible school fees. 

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