TAX TIP: Savings for tradespersons
Did you know that being a tradesperson may make you eligible for certain deductions? Some of these include
- Deduction for tools. You may be able to deduct the cost of eligible tools you bought in 2011 to earn employment income as a tradesperson (including apprentice mechanics). This cost includes any GST and provincial sales tax, or HST, you paid. An eligible tool is a tool (including associated equipment such as a toolbox) that you bought to use in your job as a tradesperson and was not used for any purpose before you bought it;your employer certified as being necessary for you to provide as a condition of, and for use in, your job as a tradesperson; and is not an electronic communication device (like a cell phone) or electronic data processing equipment (unless the device or equipment can be used only for the purpose of measuring, locating, or calculating).
- GST/HST rebate: As an employee, you may have incurred expenses in the course of your employment duties. Some of these expenses you paid may have included GST or HST. If you deducted these expenses from your employment income, you may be able to get a rebate of the GST or HST you paid on these expenses. As an employee, you may qualify for a GST/HST rebate if you paid GST or HST on certain employment-related expenses and deducted those expenses on your income tax and benefit return; and your employer is a GST/HST registrant. You do not qualify for a GST/HST rebate if your employer is not a GST/HST registrant; or is a listed financial institution as defined in the Excise Tax Act (for example, an entity that was at any time during the year a bank, an investment dealer, a trust company, an insurance company, a credit union, or a corporation whose principal business was lending money).
- Employment expenses: You can claim certain expenses you paid to earn employment income as a deduction, but only if your employment contract required you to pay the expenses, and either you did not receive an allowance for them, or the allowance you received is included in your income.
Keep all receipts and documentation to support the claims made on your return.
The deadline for filing your individual income tax and benefit return is midnight on April 30, 2011. However, if you or your spouse or common-law partner carried on a business in 2010, you have until June 15, 2011, to file your return. You must pay any balance owing for 2010 on or before April 30, 2011, regardless of your filing due date.
For complete tax rules visit Canada Revenue Agency at www.cra-arc.gc.ca
Alex Atamanenko is the MP for BC Southern Interior.