This post is sponsored by H&R Block Canada. Opinions are my own.
It’s April, do you know where your tax forms are? Well, don’t panic if you haven’t started your taxes yet, we’re here to help you get started.
First things first: Start by gathering all of your personal information, including important tax documents (T2202A forms for tuition, RRSP transactions, T4 slips and other information slips, charitable receipts, etc.) and get your paperwork lined up.
You will need everything that provides the details about all the income you received in 2017. For most, the T4 from your employer will be the key document you need. There are easier ways than doing each of the steps by yourself. You can file online or in person with Canada’s tax leader, H&R Block.
Got questions? We’ve pulled together some common questions for families and sought out the answers from tax professionals at H&R Block, so you can be well on your way to filing your taxes and maximizing your refund:
When is the deadline to file taxes in Canada?
The deadline to file taxes in Canada this year is April 30, 2018. The deadline to file taxes in Canada for those who are self-employed workers is June 15th 2018.
What family credits can be claimed during tax filing that we may not be aware of?
If you have a child, make sure you file a tax return in order to continue receiving the Canada Child Benefit. There was a change made to the Canada Child Benefit this year. The benefit will increase 1.5% for July 2018 – 2019 benefits. This means more than $80 annually per child for those who qualify for the Canada Child Benefit. That’s worth celebrating!
Single parents are allowed to claim the Eligible Dependent amount for one of their children. If there are two children and the parents share joint custody, then each parent can claim the Equivalent to Spouse amount for one child, as long as you don’t pay child support.
What child care expenses be claimed?
Child care expenses can add up, but you can ease the pain by claiming these expenses. You must have receipts from your daycare or babysitter in order to claim these, however. If you are paying a family member to look after your children, the expenses can also be claimed as long as the provider is over 18 and provides you with a receipt and their SIN. The provider also cannot be your spouse or someone who you are claiming as a dependent and they will need to report this as income on their tax return.
How much can be claimed for children’s activities?
Unfortunately, the Children’s Fitness and Arts Tax Credit is no longer available. I know, we are sad about it too. In previous years, parents and guardians were eligible to receive credits for activities such as art classes, piano lessons, hockey and soccer.
Are there any tax changes I should be aware of this year?
The Public Transit Amount was eliminated on June 30, 2017 but you can still claim a 15% non-refundable tax credit for transit passes purchased between January 1 and June 30, 2017 on your personal tax return.
The 2018 federal budget proposed changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program for new families, allowing an additional five weeks of benefits when both parents agree to share parental leave.
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