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Tips and tricks for Canadian tax filers at every stage of life from UFile's tax expert Gerry Vittoratos

Tax Changes You Need to Know Before You File for 2017

by UFile Team Équipe ImpôtExpert | Mar 06, 2018   Comments:

UFile blog Tax Changes You Need to KnowTaxes. If you feel like the rules are always changing, it’s because in some ways, they are.

Canada, and its needs as a whole, is constantly evolving. One of our government’s main aims is to look at the big-picture economy, identify areas for improvement, and address economic needs or shortcomings. Tax credits are simply one way our government seeks to even out the economic playing field for everyone. As our country’s needs rapidly evolve, so do our credits – that’s why it's important to know which changes apply to you before you start using your CRA certified software for your 2017 taxes.

Changes matter—that’s why we’re in the know.

At UFile, our role is to keep taxes simple. UFile is CRA approved software, and our tax experts are always current with recent changes to tax law. Here’s a breakdown of what’s new, and what’s changed, on your 2017 tax return.

Caregivers: new credits for you.

Are you the caregiver of infirm dependants? If so, you may be entitled to claim an amount of $2,150 in the calculation of certain credits, like eligible dependant and the spousal amount. The Canada caregiver credit has consolidated the family caregiver amount, the amount for infirm dependants age 18 or older (line 306), and the caregiver amount (line 315 on your CRA tax software). Depending on the income of your infirm dependant, you may also be entitled to claim an amount up to a maximum of $6,883.

Students: textbook credits are gone—but it’s not all bad news.

The credit for post-secondary students’ education and textbooks has been eliminated in 2017. On your CRA certified software, these amounts would have been added to your overall tuition amount. Instead, eligibility criteria for the tuition amount has been enhanced to include occupational skills training that isn’t at the post-secondary level—good news for people taking courses that haven’t traditionally qualified for credits.

Parents: no more fitness and arts credits for kids.

The credit for enrolling kids under 15 in arts and sports was reduced in 2016 and completely eliminated in 2017.

Take public transit? Last call for credits!

If you take the bus, subway or streetcar, this is the final year to claim a public transit credit with your CRA approved software. In fact, you can only claim part of the year. Transit costs paid for before June 30th, 2017 are still eligible, but you won’t be invited to claim any credits beyond that date.

Trying to conceive? There’s a new credit for you.

New help has arrived for individuals who need medical assistance to conceive. As of 2017, individuals who need medical intervention in order to become pregnant are eligible to claim the same expenses as individuals with medical infertility as a medical expense.

Need certification to obtain the disability tax credit? Ask a nurse!

New for this year, nurses have been added to the list of medical practitioners who can certify eligibility of a person for the Disability Tax Credit. The credit itself hasn’t been altered – but these new changes will hopefully reduce wait times for those seeking certification.

Already filed your taxes? It’s not too late to obtain your credits.

If you’re an early-bird filer who just found out about a credit you missed, don’t worry. Adjustments can be filed up to 10 years later. Simply log into My Account on the CRA site and make the changes from there. It’s an easy process, we promise!

Want more ways to get the most out of your tax return? Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for news and updates on 2017 tax returns and UFile 2017 tax software. Have questions? Visit Tax & U to get accurate answers to all your questions about your 2017 tax return.

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