While we all eagerly anticipate the arrival of spring, there is one aspect of it that is a nuisance – filing our income tax returns. But if you do a little research and some planning, and claim all of the deductions available to you, it might not be as bad as you imagine.
The first thing to remember is to always file your tax return on time. Personal income tax returns, except those of self-employed individuals, are due on or before April 30, as well as any amount owing. Penalties and interest may be charged for late returns or late payments. If you or your spouse or common-law partner carried on a business in 2015, your return has to be filed on or before June 15.
Here are some things to remember during tax time and some benefits you may want to take advantage of when filing your taxes:
• There are several tax deductions which students can claim including tuition costs, textbook credits, student loan interest and sometimes even moving expenses.
• If you are a parent, be sure to claim any childcare expenses and recreational activities you signed your kids up for – you will need receipts.
• You can claim all eligible medical expenses (claim them on the tax return of the spouse with the lowest income.) Tax experts say that missed medical expenses are one of the most overlooked tax breaks. There’s a long list of expenses that qualify; even travel expenses can qualify when people need to go more than 40 kilometres one way to receive medical treatment.
• Remember that even if you haven’t earned an income, you should still file a tax return. There are many benefits and credits, the GST/HST credit and the Canadian Child Tax Benefit for example, you could be missing out on. Some provinces also offer sales tax credits and property tax credits for low-income earners.