Seniors can reduce their taxes by claiming certain tax credits and by using other tax strategies.
Four key tax credits
1. Age amount
You must be 65 years or older at the end of the year to qualify. Once your income passes a certain level, the age amount starts to drop. At a certain point, you no longer qualify for the credit.
2. Disability amount (for yourself)
You must have a physical or mental impairment for a continuous period of at least 12 months to qualify for the disability amount. Examples: blindness, a "markedly restricted" ability to speak, hear, walk, feed or dress yourself, or control bowel or bladder functions.
- Complete Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate.
- Have a qualified practitioner sign the form, such as a doctor, optometrist or psychologist, depending on the disability.
3. Pension income amount
If you reported eligible pension, superannuation or annuity payments on your tax return, you may be able to claim a tax credit. You can claim up to $2,000 for the pension income amount.
4. Public transit amount
You can claim the full amount paid for a public transit pass during the year. The public transit amount covers monthly or annual passes for unlimited travel within Canada on local buses, streetcars, subways, commuter trains or buses, and local ferries. Keep your receipts and expired passes as proof of your claim.
Sharing tax credits with your spouse
If your spouse or common-law partner qualifies for certain tax credits, but doesn't need the whole amount to reduce the tax they owe to zero, you may be able to claim all or part of their unused credits for the:
- age amount
- disability amount
- pension income amount
- tuition, education and textbook amounts
- amount for children under 18.
Splitting pension income with your spouse
You may be eligible to split some of your pension income with your spouse or common-law partner:
- income that qualifies – sources that are eligible for the pension income amount.
- income that doesn't qualify – Old Age Security (OAS) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) payments.
Learn more about pension income splitting.
Tip: Find out whether pension income splitting is right for you and types of qualifying income by watching this video from the Canada Revenue Agency.
Ontario Senior Homeowners' Property Tax Grant
If you're 64 or older, a resident of Ontario and pay property taxes, you could qualify for a property tax grant of 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 1 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 2013 Ontario Trillium Benefit and the Ontario Senior Homeowners’ property Tax Grant (ON-BEN).
Content in this section is provided in partnership with Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization founded and supported by the Ontario Securities Commission that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help Canadians make better money decisions. To find out more, go to: GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca
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