Along with shopping, movie and other discounts, as you age you may qualify for a number of extra tax breaks. On this page you will find a list of tax credits many seniors can use to reduce their taxes.
In addition, you may be able to claim certain expenses, such as medical costs and salaries for paid caregivers. Learn more now about claiming these expenses.
This non-refundable tax credit is for those 65 years or older at the end of the year. However, it is really meant for seniors with lower incomes. Once your income passes a certain level, the Age Amount starts to drop. At a certain point , you no longer qualify for the tax credit.
In some cases, you may be able to transfer all or part of your Age Amount to your spouse or common-law partner. Or, you may be able to claim all or part of their Age Amount. It depends on your income levels and whether or not you owe tax.
Disability Amount (for yourself)
If you qualify, this non-refundable tax credit allows you to reduce the income tax you owe. You must have a physical or mental impairment for a continuous period of at least 12 months. Examples of qualifying disabilities include:
- a "markedly restricted" ability to speak, hear, walk, feed or dress oneself, control bowel or bladder functions.
How to apply: Complete Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate. Have it signed by a qualified practitioner, such as a doctor, optometrist or psychologist, depending on the disability.
If you do not owe any tax, you may transfer the disability amount to your spouse or another person who supports you.
Pension Income Amount
Did you report eligible pension, superannuation or annuity payments on your tax return? If yes, you may be able to claim a tax credit of up to $2,000.
Senior Homeowners' Property Tax Grant
If you are 64 or older and pay property taxes, you could qualify for a grant up to $500. The amount you receive will be based on your income.
How to apply: If you have a spouse or common-law partner, only one of you can claim this grant. That person must file a tax return and report the amount of property tax you paid on line 6112 on the Application for the 2011 Ontario Senior Homeowners' Property Tax Grant, the 2011 Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, and the 2011 Northern Ontario Energy Credit form (ON-BEN).
You should get your money within 4 to 8 weeks after you receive your Notice of Assessment. Learn more now from the Canada Revenue Agency about the Property Tax Grant for seniors
Tip: If you live in British Columbia and own a home, for a small fee you may be able to defer paying your property taxes. This is not a tax credit, it is a loan program offered through the B.C. government. You must be age 55 or older, a surviving spouse or a person with a disability. Other conditions apply as well. To learn more, visit the Program website.
Public Transit Amount
You can claim a tax credit for the full amount you paid for a public transit pass during the year. This includes monthly or annual passes for unlimited travel within Canada on:
- local buses
- commuter trains or buses
- local ferries.
Be sure to keep receipts or your expired passes as proof of your claim.
Learn more now from the Canada Revenue Agency.
Sharing tax credits with your spouse or common-law partner
Let's say your spouse or common-law partner qualifies for certain tax credits, but they do not need the whole amount to reduce the tax they owe to zero. In such cases, you may be able to claim all or part of the following credits to reduce your own taxes.
- The Age Amount
- The amount for children born in 1993 or later
- The Pension Income Amount
- The Disability Amount
- Tuition, education and textbook amounts.
Remember: there are many ways you can lower your tax bill as a senior.
It pays to find out which ones apply to you. If you prefer, ask a tax expert to review these senior tax credits with you. Content in this section is provided in partnership with the Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization promoting financial literacy to Canadians. To find out more go to GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.