Reminder and Some Tips: Income Tax Time
Editor’s Note: It’s that time again. If one hasn’t already filed an income tax return, maybe the information below from the Canada Revenue Agency will be helpful. Or not. Some of us dinosaurs prefer filing returns on actual paper — which came in handy that year when large numbers of e-files were hacked. But we’re pretty sure that’s been taken care of now and it’s all good and secure. So maybe one of these years we’ll move to e-filing, just as if we were up-to-date, or at least not afraid to try something new.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) would like to remind Canadians of new or improved tax relief measures and online services available for the 2015 tax-filing season.
- Updated notice of assessment– The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has improved the notice of assessment! The new, simpler format provides the most important information about your assessment on the first page. This is part of the CRA’s effort to improve its correspondence with individuals. Online tax records are as official as a paper record.
- Auto-fill my return– The CRA’s “Auto-fill my return” service is now available through some certified tax software. This service allows you to automatically fill in certain parts of your income tax and benefit return. To use the Auto-fill my return service, you must be fully registered for My Account.
- Online mail – Online mail is the fast, easy and secure way to manage your tax correspondence. Get statements such as your notice of assessment online in My Account, instead of in the mail. To register, provide us with an email address on your income tax and benefit return or register directly online at www.cra.gc.ca/myaccount. New correspondence, such as benefits statements (summer 2016), will be added this year!
- Universal child care benefit (UCCB) – For the 2015 tax year, under the UCCB, families will receive $160 per month for each child under 6 and $60 per month for each child aged 6 through 17.
- Disability Tax Credit – This year, Canadians claiming the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) will be able to file their T1 return online regardless of whether or not their Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate has been submitted to the CRA for that tax year.
- Children’s fitness amount – As of January 1, 2015, this is now a refundable tax credit available to families with children enrolled in a prescribed program of physical activity. For tax years prior to 2015, this credit was non-refundable.
- Child Care Expense Deduction limits– As of the 2015 tax year, the Child Care Expense Deduction dollar limits have increased by $1,000. The maximum amounts that can be claimed have increased to $8,000 for children under age seven, to $5,000 for children aged seven through 16, and to $11,000 for children who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.
- MyCRA mobile app – Get your tax information anytime, anywhere, on your mobile device! In October 2015, new features were added to the MyCRA mobile app such as personalized benefit payment information, enhanced tax return status, and Canada child tax benefit application status. Starting February 2016, you will also be able to update your address, manage your online mail with the CRA, and sign up for direct deposit.
To get started on your tax return, go to www.cra.gc.ca/getready.