Get ready – It’s personal tax season!

It’s that time of year again! Time to dig through your papers and gather up receipts for your individual tax preparation. But how do you know whether or not you have gathered everything, or whether or not you are claiming all of the deductions that you are eligible to claim?

We have our personal tax checklists available for your use on our website under Personal Services.  If you utilize these checklists right, you can quickly gather the majority of information that we’ll need! Here are a few items to be aware of:

  1. The RRSP Contribution deadline is March 1, 2017. To reduce the risk of penalties, ensure that you have not contributed more than your contribution limit to your RRSP.
  2. The children’s arts amount has been reduced to $250 for 2016. In addition, this credit will be eliminated for 2017 and later years.
  3. The children’s fitness tax credit has been reduced to $500 for 2016. In addition, this credit will be eliminated for 2017 and later years.
  4. The Canada child benefit (CCB) replaced the Canada child tax benefit (CCTB), the National child benefit supplement (NCBS), and the Universal child care benefit (UCCB) in July 2016. The CCB is non-taxable income to you, unlike the UCCB which was taxable income.  If you were receiving UCCB up until mid-2016, please be sure to include your RC62 tax slip with your tax information.
  5. The family tax cut has been eliminated for 2016 and later years.
  6. Home accessibility expenses up to a maximum of $10,000 may be claimed if you had completed eligible renovations that allow a qualifying individual to gain access to or to be more mobile/functional within their principle residence, or to reduce the risk of harm to the qualifying individual within the dwelling. In order to be a qualifying individual, you must be eligible for the disability tax credit for 2016 or be 65 years of age or older at the end of 2016.
  7. If you were an eligible educator, you may be able to claim up to $1,000 of eligible teaching supplies on your 2016 return.
  8. If you sold your principle residence in 2016, we need to now report that disposition and file the applicable principal residence designation with your tax return.
  9. If you have not claimed a charitable donation tax credit for any tax year after 2007, you may be eligible for the first-time donor’s super credit (FDSC). This is an additional 25% credit on up to $1,000 of donations made after March 20, 2013.  Be aware that 2017 may be the last year that this credit is available.
  10. Get your refunds sooner by ensuring that you have accurate direct deposit information on file with the Canada Revenue Agency. If you have already set up a My Account with the CRA, you can manage your direct deposit information there.
  11. Beware of scams! The Canada Revenue Agency, the Internal Revenue Service, or other government agencies generally do not contact taxpayers over email. They do not send interac e-transfers for refunds.  They do not call you to threaten arrest or seizure of assets when they have not already been in contact with you regarding an ongoing collections issue and it has escalated to the point of asset seizure.  These agencies follow a certain order of events when dealing with payments and collections. If you receive any sort of communication such as these, please do not respond to the communication and contact us as soon as possible to assist you in determining if the communication is in fact a scam.

If you are in need of some tips to help choose a tax preparer, please refer to our previous blog posting here . Again, if you decide to use a paid tax preparer, remember that you are legally responsible for what is on the return even if someone else prepared the return for you. That is why it is important that you choose the right tax preparer and review your return before signing.

And as a reminder, if you are a US citizen or a US green card holder, you may still have a US income tax filing requirement despite the fact that you are living in Canada. If you are in need of assistance filing your US tax return, or filing your US back taxes with the IRS, please contact us.

We recommend taking the time to contact and meet with a Quon & Associates professional who will go through and respect your personal information, as well as ensure that your personal tax return is filed correctly and on time.  Call us at 403-250-5111 or visit our website for more information.

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