PR Advisor newsletter

My Payment is a secure portal that lets you pay your personal tax bill via online banking. 

My Payment is:

  • Convenient – It is available 21 hours a day, 7 days a week (see Hours of service).
  • Easy to use – After registering, simply log in with your CRA user ID and password.
  • Fast – Information is up-to-the-minute and transactions are processed immediately.
  • Secure – The CRA user ID and password are just part of the security.

Please refer to the following checklist to assist you in identifying the major sources of income and deductions.  Information slips (ie: T4’s and T5’s) should be received by the end of February, however some investments slips (ie: T3’s and T5013’s) may not be received until the end of March.

Canada Revenue Agency is becoming more diligent in imposing penalties for slips not reported. If you miss reporting two slips in a three year period, the second omission may be subject to a penalty of 20% of the unreported amount. Please provide us with any slips received late or omitted from your tax return so that we may process an adjustment.

Once you are satisfied you have all your information please deliver your tax documents to our office. No appointment is necessary unless you would like to sit with a tax specialist prior to the preparation of your return.  Otherwise you may leave your documents with our receptionist.  The earlier your documents are in, the quicker we can prepare your return.  Turnaround time is 5-10 days, which will increase the closer we come to the deadline of April 30th, 2017.  We always do our best, however,  tax returns received after April 24th, are not guaranteed to be completed on time.  If you or your spouse have business income your tax returns are not due until June 15th.  If you have tax payable however, interest will accrue at the prescribed rate after April 30th. 

 

Employment expenses

Many people think that only self-employed individuals can deduct work expenses on their tax returns, but that’s actually not the case. If you are salaried or commissioned and your employer requires you to pay expenses to earn your employment income, you can deduct those costs. The following qualify and may be deducted:   Accounting and legal fees,  (applies to commission income only), allowable motor vehicle expenses, travel and parking, supplies, salary-related (e.g., an assistant), Office rent or work space in the home.

Your employer must issue a Declaration of Conditions of Employment (form T2200) for you to be able to deduct these items. Make sure to keep all of your receipts and a log book of any travel.

Annual union, professional or similar dues

If you are paying dues for membership to a professional association to maintain your professional status, those amounts can be deducted on your tax return. Dues paid for membership to a union or an association of public servants are also deductible.

Professional or malpractice liability insurance premiums can be deducted when you are required to keep a professional status recognized by law, as in the case of most medical or legal professions.  All of the above dues can only be claimed if they are directly related to your employment and were not reimbursed.

Medical expenses (Gluten-free products)

If you are one of the many people who suffer from celiac disease, you may not know that you can claim the incremental cost of buying gluten-free (GF) products as a medical expense. The CRA states that “the “incremental cost” is the difference in the cost of GF products compared to the cost of similar non-GF products.

You cannot claim this incremental cost on your tax return without the following supporting documentation:

“a letter from a medical practitioner confirming the person suffers from celiac disease and requires GF products as a result of that disease  a receipt to support the cost of each GF product or intermediate product claimed; and a summary of each item purchased during the 12-month period for which the expenses are being claimed”

Artists and entertainers are entitled to special treatment under the Income Tax Act

If you’re employed as a musician and are required to provide a musical instrument as a condition of your employment, you may deduct the cost of maintenance, rent or capital cost allowance (CCA) and insurance for the instrument. The amount deducted for musical instrument costs cannot exceed the income from employment as a musician after you deduct all other employment expenses.

Artists and entertainers receiving employment income are entitled to deduct related expenses actually incurred, up to a maximum of 20% of such income but not more than $1,000. This deduction is in addition to the deductions that all employees may be entitled to for most other expenses, such as automobile and related travel expenses. However, it’s reduced by the sum of the amounts claimed for interest and capital cost allowance on an automobile and for musical instrument costs (see above). Expenses incurred in the year but restricted by the 20% or $1,000 limit may be carried forward indefinitely.

Principle residence changes

On October 3, 2016, the Government announced an administrative change to Canada Revenue Agency's reporting requirements for the sale of a principal residence.  When you sell your principal residence or when you are considered to have sold it, usually you do not have to report the sale on your income tax and benefit return and you do not have to pay tax on any gain from the sale. This is the case if you are eligible for the full income tax exemption (principal residence exemption) because the property was your principal residence for every year you owned it.

Starting with the 2016 tax year, you will be required to report basic information (date of acquisition, proceeds of disposition and description of the property) when you sell your principal residence to claim the full principal residence exemption.

Home accessibility expenses

You can claim a maximum of $10,000 for eligible expenses you incurred for work done or goods acquired for an eligible dwelling if you are eligible for the disability tax credit, or if you are 65 year of age or older.  

A qualifying renovation is a renovation or alteration that is of an enduring nature and is integral to the eligible dwelling (including the land that forms part of the eligible dwelling). The renovation must:

  • allow the qualifying individual to gain access to, or to be mobile or functional within, the dwelling; or
  • reduce the risk of harm to the qualifying individual within the dwelling or in gaining access to the dwelling.

An item you buy that will not become a permanent part of your dwelling is generally not eligible.

These expense are outlays or expenses made or incurred during the year that are directly attributable to a qualifying renovation of an eligible dwelling. The expenses must be for work performed and/or goods acquired in the tax year.

If you do the work yourself, the eligible expenses include expenses for :

  • building materials;
  • fixtures;
  • equipment rentals;
  • building plans; and
  • permits.

However, the value of your own labour or tools cannot be claimed as eligible expenses.

The following expenses will not be eligible:

  • amounts paid to acquire a property that can be used independently of the qualifying renovation;
  • the cost of annual, recurring, or routine repair or maintenance;
  • amounts paid for household appliances;
  • amounts paid for electronic home-entertainment devices;
  • the cost of housekeeping, security monitoring, gardening, outdoor maintenance, or similar services;
  • financing costs for the qualifying renovation; and
  • the cost of renovation incurred mainly to increase or maintain the value of the dwelling.

Tax credits reduced or eliminated

The Family Tax Cut, which allowed for a limited form of income splitting, has been eliminated for 2016. The maximum fees for the children's arts amount is reduced from $500 to $250 and the maximum fees eligible for the children's fitness tax credit is reduced from $1,000 to $500 for 2016. Both credits will be eliminated in 2017.  The Overseas Employment Tax Credit which, starting in 2013, has been reduced each of the past three years, is now completely eliminated for 2016.