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From UFile's tax expert Gerry Vittoratos.

Five overlooked tax deductions and credits

Apr 18, 2023 by Gerry Vittoratos
In this article, we will discuss five overlooked tax deductions and credits that can save you quite a bit on your tax return.

Moving expenses

If you moved to get at least 40 kilometres closer to a new work location or post-secondary school, you can claim any moving expenses you incurred as a deduction on your tax return.

Eligible expenses include vehicle expenses (fuel), meals, accommodation (hotel), as well as costs related to selling your old home and/or buying a new one.

We discussed this deduction in greater detail in a previous blog article.

Carryforwards

Carryforward amounts are tax deductions and credits that you can set aside for future use. For example, if you managed to bring your tax payable down to zero with only a portion of your deductions and credits available, the remainder can be “banked” (carried forward) for use in a future year.

Typical examples of carryforwards are unused RRSP contributions, tuition fees, donations, and losses (capital and business).

Most of these carryforward amounts can be found on your Notice of Assessment or by visiting your My Account portal on the CRA’s website.

For the most part, the CRA will not apply these carryforward amounts automatically; it is up to you to use them when needed. Therefore, it is important to keep track of these amounts in order to make the most of them.

We wrote extensively about carryforwards in a previous blog article.

Carrybacks

Sometimes, you can change the past! For any deduction or credit that you omitted in a previous tax return, you can go back up to 10 years and adjust that return.

Moreover, some of the amounts in your current year return can be claimed retroactively. For example, if you incurred a capital loss during the year, you can carry back this capital loss to one or all of your three prior years’ tax returns and use it against capital gains earned in any of those years. To do so, you must file a T1A form with your tax return.

Medical expenses

It is well known that certain medical expenses, such as the cost of prescription drugs, can be claimed for the medical expense tax credit.

Many types of expenses are eligible for this tax credit. Here are some examples:

  • gluten-free food products - the incremental costs associated with the purchase of gluten-free food products by people with celiac disease;
  • travel expenses - the public transportation expenses paid (ex. taxi, bus, train) to travel at least 40 kilometres (one way) to get medical services;
  • renovation or construction expenses - the amounts paid for changes that give a person access to (or greater mobility within) their home because they have a severe and prolonged mobility impairment or lack normal physical development;
  • moving expenses - reasonable moving expenses (not claimed as such on anyone’s tax return) to move a person who has a severe and prolonged mobility impairment or who lacks normal physical development to housing that is more accessible to them or in which they are more mobile or functional, up to a limit of $2,000;
  • premiums paid to private health services plans - including medical, dental, and hospitalization plans;
  • medical services provided by qualified practitioners - service fees paid to authorized medical practitioners.

As you can see, there are many types of expenses that are eligible for the medical expense tax credit, and it pays to know what they are. You can see the full list in the following guide.

Disability

If you have a medical condition that seriously impedes your day-to-day functions, you could be eligible for the disability tax credit. Your condition would have to be certified by a medical practitioner and confirmed by the CRA.  

The practitioner will indicate how long you have had this condition. If it has been several years, you can go back and adjust previous tax returns to claim this credit retroactively.

Want to learn more? Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for news and updates on tax return and UFile online tax software. Visit Let's Talk Tax to get accurate answers to all your questions about your tax return.

Presented by UFile's tax expert
Gerry Vittoratos
MTax

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