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Raising a family can be expensive, but there are many benefits, credits, and deductions that can help your family with costs during the year. They could even lower the amount you owe at tax time! However it is important to file on time if you want your credits.

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Tips from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) could save you time and money! At tax time, avoid the following six things:

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If you bought your home in 2016 or plan to buy a home, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has information that may help you.

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The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is helping you keep more money in your pocket with tax credits, deductions, and benefits for you when you do your taxes. Even if you have little or no income, you should still file your income tax and benefit return to claim tax credits and get benefits and credits.

Here are nine of your top tax-time savings and potential benefits and credits. Remember you need to file on time if you want your credits!

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This tax-filing season, many important changes and improvements were made to services, benefits, and credits for Canadians. Here's what you need to know:

New and improved benefits and credits
•Canada child benefit (CCB) –The CCB is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under the age of 18. The CCB might include the child disability benefit and any related provincial and territorial programs. It replaces the Canada child tax benefit, national child benefit supplement and the universal child care benefit.
•Northern residents deductions – If you have lived, on a permanent basis, in a prescribed northern or intermediate zone for a continuous period of at least six consecutive months, you may be eligible for a deduction. For 2016 and later years, the basic and the additional residency amounts used to calculate the northern residents deductions will be increased from $8.25 to $11 per day.
•Eligible educator school supply tax credit – Eligible educators may be able to claim a 15% refundable tax credit based on up to $1,000 of eligible teaching supplies bought during the tax year.

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Top things families should know about taxes

There are lots of benefits, credits, and deductions to help families with their expenses throughout the year and reduce the amount they owe at tax time.

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With tax-free savings accounts, there are three distinct amounts to keep in mind.

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Individuals posing as employees with the Canada Revenue Agency are operating a telephone and internet scam targeting people across Canada.

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In virtually every province and territory, the winter of 2014-15 has arrived early. Although the calendar may say that it’s still autumn, Canadians right across the country have already had to take out the snow shovels and re-learn winter driving skills. It’s no surprise, then, that the thought of escaping the Canadian winter for at least for a few weeks or months for a vacation down south is a priority for many Canadians.

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It seems incompatible to talk about taxes in relation to seasonal holiday celebrations. And, while it’s true that there are no tax implications to most holiday events and traditions, unexpected tax consequences and costs can arise where gifts and celebrations take place in the context of an employment relationship.

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Year End Tax Planning

While individual tax returns for 2014 don’t have to be filed, at the earliest, until April 30, 2015, it’s worth taking the time now to evaluate one’s tax situation and consider possible strategies to reduce the tax bill for 2014. With the exception of RRSP contributions (in most cases) and pension income splitting, tax-planning strategies intended to reduce one’s tax payable for this year must be put in place by December 31st, 2014. And, perhaps the only thing more frustrating than finding, on filing a return, that money is owed to the government is the realization that the option of taking steps to reduce or eliminate that tax bill is no longer available.

What follows is a list of the more common tax deductions and credits which are claimed by Canadian taxpayers, and the year-end considerations that apply to each.

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The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is taking action to stop various schemes used by people to claim unwarranted goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) refunds. If you are thinking about participating in such a scheme, you should know that you will face serious consequences if you do.

The CRA reminds businesses that supporting documents that reflect actual transactions are required to substantiate all credits claimed on their returns. Personal or fictitious expenses, or expenses not incurred in the course of commercial activity, are not allowed.

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Are you self-employed?

Did you know?

As a self-employed individual, you and your spouse or common-law partner have until midnight on Monday, June 16, 2014, because June 15, 2014 falls on a Sunday, to file your 2013 income tax and benefit return. But don’t forget—you must pay any balance owing for 2013 on or before April 30, 2014, regardless of your filing date.

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March 3, 2014, is the deadline to make your RRSP contribution for 2013

Did you know?

Registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) are one of the most popular investment vehicles for Canadians. Contributing to an RRSP is one way to reduce the amount you owe at tax time.

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Did you know?

There are lots of benefits, credits, and deductions to help families with their expenses throughout the year and reduce the amount they owe at tax time.

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Did you know?

If your marital status changes, it’s important to let the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) know as soon as possible.

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Brampton, Ontario, January 10, 2014… The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced today that on January 3, 2014, Albert Ayoub of Toronto, Ontario, pleaded guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton, to one count of failing to file the 2008 corporate income tax return for By Kennedy Flooring Inc. and one count of failing to file the 2006 corporate income tax return for Libanco By Kennedy Flooring Inc. He was fined a total of $6,000 and given 24 months to pay the fine. All outstanding returns have since been filed.

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Did you know?

The children’s arts tax credit and the children’s fitness tax credit allow you to claim a 15% non-refundable tax credit on an amount up to $500 per child per credit on the fees you’ve paid in 2013 to register a child in a prescribed program of eligible activities. This can give you a credit of up to $75 per child per credit.

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Yorkton, Saskatchewan, January 14, 2014…The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced today that Gerald Blerot, age 60, of Moosomin, SK, was convicted in Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench of tax evasion and counselling others to evade taxes. Sentencing has been scheduled for March 10, 2014. Mr. Blerot will remain in custody in Regina until then.

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Brampton, Ontario, January 14, 2014...The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced today that, on January 10, 2014, David Ajise, a former tax preparer operating in Toronto, Ontario, was sentenced in the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton, to a 30 month jail term for fraud over $5,000. On July 22, 2013, Eto Ekpenyong Eto was also sentenced to a conditional sentence of two years less a day for fraud over $5,000 for the same case. Appearing at the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton, Ajise was found guilty of one count of fraud over $5,000 under the Criminal Code of Canada on June 14, 2013, while Eto pleaded guilty to the same charge on May 23, 2013.

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January 9, 2014 - Ottawa - Canada Revenue Agency

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, today reminded businesses that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) taxpayer relief provisions are available to those that have been unable to meet their tax obligations because of the recent power outages in Quebec, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada.

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Did you know?

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has tax credits, deductions, and benefits to help students. All you have to do is file your income tax and benefit return and claim them.

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If you spend part of the year in the United States (U.S.), and you maintain residential ties in Canada, we usually consider you to be a factual resident of Canada.

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You may be eligible for new or improved tax relief measures and services when filing your 2013 income tax and benefit return

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Unlike the U.S., Canada no longer has any form of estate or inheritance tax. Yet despite this, death can trigger a significant income tax bill that, if not properly planned for, can leave an unexpected liability when a loved one passes away. Here is what happens to your non-registered and registered assets when you die:

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On September 9, the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, announced that the Employment Insurance (EI) premium rate for employees will be frozen at the 2013 level of $1.88 per $100 of insurable earnings for the years 2014-2016.

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The Income Tax Act contains rules pertaining to the taxation of income earned on the savings in a life insurance policy. The tax treatment differs depending on whether a policy is classified as an exempt supply or not.

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London, Ontario, August 27, 2013... The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, and Susan Truppe, Member of Parliament for London North Centre, today reminded students returning to school to take full advantage of the important financial relief available to them. In 2012, students and their families claimed more than $11 billion in financial assistance.

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­Changes to Personal Service Businesses were amongst those enacted in Bill C-48.

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Ottawa, Ontario, May 3, 2013. . . The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will revoke the registration of Trinity Global Support Foundation, a London-based charity. The notice of revocation will be published in the Canada Gazette with an effective date of May 4, 2013.

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Ottawa, Ontario, May 3, 2013. . . The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will revoke the registration of The Life Centre Word of Faith Ministries Inc., a Toronto-based charity. The notice of revocation will be published in the Canada Gazette with an effective date of May 4, 2013

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The spring 2013 Auditor General’s (AG) report provides the results of a follow-up review to determine the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) progress against action plan commitments made in response to a 2006 audit of its tax collection program. Overall, the AG concluded that the CRA has made satisfactory progress against its commitments, and makes four additional recommendations to further strengthen the administration of the program. The CRA accepts all recommendations and has already taken action to respond to them.

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Ottawa, Ontario, April 19, 2013... The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) would like to remind Canadians that they have until midnight on April 30, 2013, to file their 2012 income tax and benefit return and to pay any balance owing.

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The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has made it easy for taxpayers to do a number of important functions by using their "My Account" service. You can easily create an account using your SIN number and access the following:

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The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue made the following statement regarding the recent media coverage regarding a list of Canadians with offshore assets.

"Anyone with information on tax cheats has an obligation to bring it forward. The release of this information is good news for the hardworking Canadians who pay their fair share. This is bad news for the tax evaders in this country

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Ottawa, Ontario, March 6, 2013… March is Fraud Prevention Month across Canada and around the world, and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is reminding Canadians to protect themselves against fraud.

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Ottawa, Ontario, February 8, 2013... The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will revoke the registration of The Voice of the Cerebral Palsied of Greater Vancouver. The notice of revocation will be published in the Canada Gazette with an effective date of February 9, 2013.

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RRSP contribution deadline is fast approaching.

Important points to remember:

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TFSA

Starting in 2013, Canadians will be able to contribute up to $5,500 each year. As always, unused room is carried forward to the next year. It is important to remember that withdrawn money can only be re-contributed in future years. It cannot be re-contributed in the same year without penalty.

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An Individual Pension Plan (IPP) is a defined benefit Registered Pension Plan set up for as few as one employee, usually owners and/or managers of a business. It allows for deductible contributions and withdrawal mechanisms that can be structured to provide what has been perceived as an unfair advantage over other retirement savings plans. For that reason, the March 22, 2011 budget, recently reintroduced on June 6, has made two significant changes to reduce these benefits, as explained below.

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Taxpayers in receipt of qualifying pension income in 2008 will be able to split up to 50% of that income with their spouse or common law partner. There is no age restriction for partner who will be reporting the split pension income and some interesting potential new outcomes and pitfalls in developing tax efficient strategies arise in maximizing the opportunity for each household.

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A variety of provisions are affected on the personal tax return as a result of the opportunity to split up to 50% of eligible pension income with the spouse. Consider this checklist in planning for tax efficiency:

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The federal government has released new information to guide parents who are saving receipts to claim the Canada Fitness Credit, in amounts up to $500 for eligible physical activities, effective January 1 of this year.

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The tax credit for public transit passes is a nonrefundable tax credit for the cost of buying a monthly (or longer duration) pass for commuting on buses, streetcars, subways, commuter trains and local ferries.

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