There are endless tax benefits targeted at all sorts of demographics, and tax experts don’t blame you for not always knowing which ones apply to you. Tax policy is a complicated stew of relief for a diverse population.
Below, we list some of the obscure or most forgotten tax credits and relief according to the Canada Revenue Agency and other tax experts.
CRA spokesperson Charles Drouin says this credit is often dismissed because of a misunderstanding of the rules. To expense medical costs, you need to have at least $2,479 in expenses or 3 per cent of your income, whichever is less, to be eligible. But Mr. Drouin says most Canadians don’t realize how many expenses are eligible for this total and wrongly assume they don’t meet the requirement. Eligible expenses include premiums paid for private health insurance, costs incurred by items not fully covered by personal insurance, such as glasses or prescription drugs, and even incremental costs for gluten-free products if you have celiac disease.
Student loan interest
Tara Benham, national tax leader at Grant Thorton, says young Canadians often don’t realize that interest on student loans is tax deductible. If you’re carrying large student loans, interest can add up and the deductions can take a big chunk out of your yearly income.
Anyone with a disability or who is age 65 or older can claim many of their home renovation expenses. This can include upgrades such as installing bars in a washroom to avoid falls. Ms. Drouin said up to $20,000 can be claimed, compared with $10,000 in 2021.
First-time home buyers’ credit
If you purchased a home in 2022, you could be eligible for a massive deduction of $10,000 for qualifying purchases. It’s an enormous deduction, and it could lead to a return of up to $1,500, depending on your income and where you sit on the tax bracket.
Canada caregiver credit
People supporting a spouse or common-law partner with a mental or physical impairment can ask for this credit. People supporting someone for the basic necessities of life can also qualify. But Mr. Drouin says many people don’t realize that dependants can include extended family, including grandchildren, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, and your partner’s kids, to name a few. The amount of credit you qualify for can depend on the age and relation.
Tax credits for disabilities are fairly well known, but Mr. Drouin says the list of criteria to qualify has changed in recent years, meaning more Canadians are eligible than before. For example, someone with Type 1 diabetes can qualify for the credit as of 2021.
Jami Monte, an accountant and spokesperson with Turbotax, said parents don’t always realize the variety of child-care costs that can be deducted. Payments for daycare and in-home care providers are often claimed, but parents should also deduct costs for overnight camps and summer camps.
Christine Van Cauwenberghe, head of financial planning at IG Wealth Management, says union dues are an often overlooked expense that can be deducted. Box 44 of your T4 slips will contain the total amount of dues you’ve paid.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article said to expense medical costs, you need to have at least $2,479 in expenses to be eligible. However, it can also be 3 per cent of your income, whichever is less.
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