Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue, has highlighted several tax breaks available to Canadians.
Your eligible clients will not only be able to claim the family caregiver tax credit for the first time this year, but can also look forward to many other relief measures set by the government since 2006.
Also remind them that by filing online and using direct deposit, they’ll likely receive a refund in as little as eight days.
Tax breaks include:
Family caregiver tax credit: It’s a 15% non-refundable tax credit on an amount of $2,000 that provides tax relief to caregivers of dependant relatives. This includes sick spouses, common-law partners, and minor children.
Medical expense tax credit: To fully recognize the medical and disability-related costs incurred by caregivers, the $10,000 limit on the amount of eligible expenses has been removed.
First-time homebuyers’ tax credit: Helps people with the costs associated with the purchase of a home, such as legal fees.
Children’s fitness tax credit: Families can claim a 15% non-refundable tax credit on an amount up to $500 for the cost of registering a child in eligible physical activity programs.
Hiring credit for small businesses: Businesses that meet certain criteria and paid more in Employment Insurance premiums in 2012 over 2011 are eligible for the credit, which puts up to $1,000 back into the accounts of job creators.
Children’s arts tax credit: Families can claim a 15% non-refundable tax credit on an amount up to $500 for the cost of registering a child in eligible artistic, cultural, or other programs.
Apprenticeship job creation tax credit: Employers can claim up to 10% of the eligible wages payable to eligible apprentices. The maximum credit an employer can claim is $2,000 per year for each apprentice.
Tradesperson’s tool deduction: Tradespeople can deduct from their income part of the cost of tools purchased in 2012.
Textbook tax credit: This provides increased tax relief to students, in addition to the tuition and education tax credits. Students must first claim their credit on their own returns, but may be able to transfer unused amounts to a parent, grandparent, spouse or common-law partner.
Universal childcare benefit: This offers families with children under six with $100 per month for each child.
TFSA savings: Canadians can now contribute $5,500 to their TFSAs annually.
Registered disability savings plan: It’s a long-term savings plan to help Canadians with disabilities and their families.
Canada employment credit: This is a 15% non-refundable tax credit on an amount of $1,095 in employment income. It covers costs such as home computers, uniforms and supplies.
Public transit tax credit: Canadians can claim the full amount they spend on eligible transit passes for the year.
Volunteer firefighters’ tax credit: It’s available to any volunteer firefighter who’s served at least 200 hours at one or more fire departments in their community.
Read: Tax forms contain clues