Tax Tips for Canadians 65 and OlderAre you dreading tax season? With the right help and resources, you can make this tax season stress free and maximize your tax return!
If you are a Canadian aged 65 or older then you can maximize your tax benefits and credits with these tax tips:
- 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. The maximum amount you can claim is $6,720.
- Pension Income Amount - You may be able to claim up to $2,000 if you reported eligible pension, superannuation, or annuity payments on your return.
- Pension Income Splitting - If you're receiving a pension, you may be eligible to split up to 50% of your eligible pension income with your spouse or common-law partner.
- Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) - Deductible RRSP contributions can reduce your tax bill. You have until December 31 of the year you turn 71 to contribute to your RRSP.
- Registered Disability Savings Plan - A registered disability savings plan (RDSP) is a savings plan to help families save for the financial security of a person who is eligible for the disability tax credit.
- Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) credit - You may be eligible for the GST/HST credit, a tax-free quarterly payment that helps individuals and families with modest incomes offset all or part of the GST or HST that they pay.
- Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) - Working individuals and families with low income may be able to claim this refundable tax credit. The WITB includes a supplement for individuals who qualify for the disability amount. Eligible individuals and families may also apply for advance payments.
- Disability Amount - If you have a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions, and meet certain conditions, you may be eligible to claim the disability amount.
- Public Transit Amount - You can claim the cost of public transit passes, such as a monthly or annual pass, for travel within Canada on public transit in 2012.
- Medical Expenses - You may be able to claim a non-refundable tax credit based on the cost of previously unclaimed medical expenses for any 12-month period ending in 2012.
- Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) - If you are the primary caregiver for a child under the age of 18, the CCTB may help you with the costs of raising the child.
- Child Disability Benefit - You may be eligible for this tax-free benefit if you cared for a child under the age of 18 who is eligible for the disability amount.
- Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) - If you are the primary caregiver for a child under the age of 6, you may be eligible to receive the UCCB when you apply for the CCTB.
Tips for Filing Your Tax Return
- The Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) online services make filing even easier, The CRA's online services are fast, easy, and secure. You can use them to file your income tax and benefit return, make a payment, track your refund and more. Sign up for direct deposit too! Your refund and any benefit or credit payments owed to you will be deposited directly into your account, putting your money into your pocket faster. For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/getready.
- If you have a modest income or simple tax situation, you can contact the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. To find a volunteer tax preparation clinic, go to www.cra.gc.ca/volunteer.
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Do you prepare your own taxes, or have someone else do your taxes for you? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.