Get Year-End Ready – Tax Tips and Tricks Before 2018 Hits

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

Get Year-End Ready – Tax Tips and Tricks Before 2018 Hits

by UFile Team Équipe ImpôtExpert | Dec 14, 2017   Comments:

UFile Canadian Tax TipsAs tax season quickly approaches and 2017 comes to a close, you may be looking for ways to optimize your return. Fortunately, there’s still time to look at small changes that could have a big impact, and our UFile tax experts have compiled a list of tips geared at helping you get ready for year-end. So when you log in to your 2017 tax software to file, you’re ready, knowing you’ve made the most of your 2017 credits and savings opportunities.

Give Back, and Get Back
The holiday season is the time for generosity, and there’s no better time to give to charitable organizations in need. When you do, you’ll benefit from the donations tax credit. On the federal side, you get a 15% credit for the first $200 you donate, and 29% to 33% (depending on your income) for any donations you make above $200. You also get an additional credit on the provincial side. The act of giving is a reward in itself, but as you can see, you get quite a return on your donation in short period of time for donating in advance of the year-end.

Sell Losing Investments Now
Do you currently have losing investments in non-registered accounts, such as mutual funds and stocks? You may consider selling these investments before the end of the year to create a capital loss you can use against any future capital gains. You can still buy them again later on if you decide you still like these mutual funds/stock, and you’ll still qualify for capital loss. This is the concept of tax-loss selling. However, there are stipulations to be aware of. When you sell these losing investments, you (and, if applicable, your spouse) have to wait 30 calendar days before buying the same investments in order to create the capital loss; if you don’t follow this rule, the CRA will consider the loss as a “superficial loss” and refuse the capital loss.

Here’s a pro tip: If you are short of funds for your RRSP, wait 30 days after you sold the losing investments and buy them again in your RRSP. Now you have a capital loss to claim against your future gains AND a tax deduction for your RRSP.

Take Care of Your Health—It Pays
If you’ve been delaying certain medical treatments, it might be a good idea to see to them before the end of the year—or you could be leaving your medical expense tax credit on the table. Even common procedures like dental cleaning and acupuncture may qualify for the credit. So, before the end of the calendar year, make sure you’ve sought any last-minute treatments you need—and then remember to apply for the medical expense tax credit using your CRA certified software.

Know the New Changes
Stay up to date on the tax return changes the government makes. These changes are usually announced during budget season, around mid-March. Many of these changes become applicable as of the date of announcement, which means you can start benefitting from these changes immediately. Therefore it’s not too late to claim some of these amounts that were announced for 2017. Make sure to read through the tax changes in the last budget announcement to see whether you can immediately benefit from the changes announced.

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