TaxTips.ca
Canadian Tax and
Financial Information
Filing Your Return

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Personal Tax -> Filing your income tax return

Filing Your Canadian Personal Income Tax Return

Why should I file if I don't have income or have to pay tax?

Tax forms and filing methods

My Payment - an online service from CRA to make payments to them directly from your bank account.

Due date for a personal income tax return.

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Late filing of a tax return / late filing interest and penalties

I can't afford to pay the tax I owe!

For which province do I file a tax return, and what if I live in one province or territory, and work in another?

Prepare - Make sure you have all your information slips before filing your return.

Free service for those unable to complete their tax return and unable to pay for assistance.

Tax refunds

How long will it take?

How can I check the status?

Direct deposit to your bank account

Can CRA withhold my income tax refund or my GST/HST credit?

Changing your tax return once you have already filed it.

CPP/QPP or EI overpayment - how to recover it.

 

Dealing with Canada Revenue Agency

Notice of Objection - if you don't agree with your tax assessment

CRA taking more than 90 days to respond to your notice of objection?

Taxpayer relief provisions (formerly Fairness provisions)

Taxpayers' Ombudsman deals with service-related complaints about Canada Revenue Agency

Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP) - this can be done on a no-name basis

The tax return

GST/HST credit -  Who is eligible to receive it, and how much is it?

Should my spouse and I file our tax returns together, or separately? - claiming tax credits and deductions, transferring dividend income, and how to report investment income.

Common-law spouse definition

Minimize taxes of a deceased taxpayer by filing additional optional tax returns.

Students - Scholarships and awards, tax credits, moving expenses, private school, etc.

Reporting foreign dollar transaction amounts on your tax return

Foreign asset reporting - form T1135 Foreign Income Verification Statement

Income

Barter transactions can result in taxable income and deductible expenses.

Selling goods on eBay may result in taxable income.

Tax issues re investments, and tax treatment of different types of investments

Capital gains and losses, and methods of deferring or eliminating capital gains

Capital losses

Worthless shares or debt

Business investment loss

$750,000 capital gains deduction

bulletQualified small business corporation shares
bulletQualified farm property
bulletQualified fishing property
bulletCumulative net investment loss (CNIL)

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Self-employment losses can be carried back 3 years, and can be used to offset other income.

Pension splitting

Principal residence exemption - when is it necessary to report the sale of a principal residence on your tax return?

Students - Scholarship and award income (Line 130)

Transfer dividend income to a spouse - In some circumstances, Canadian dividend income may be included in the income of either spouse.

Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) - A single parent has the option of including the UCCB in the income of a dependent claimed as an eligible dependent (equivalent to spouse).

Deductions from income

Attendant care expenses (Line 215)

Child care expenses (Line 214)

Disability supports deduction (Line 215)

Employment expenses (Line 229)

Interest expense on money borrowed to purchase stocks and bonds (securities) (Line 221)

Interest expense on money borrowed to purchase real estate (Line 221)

Interest expense paid to a non-resident

Moving expenses (Line 219)

Moving expenses - Students (Line 219)

Private school tuition fees

RRSP contributions were not reported on my previous year's tax return.  What do I do?

Safety deposit box fees - no longer deductible for 2014 and later taxation years

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Non-refundable tax credits

A non-refundable tax credit can only be used to reduce federal or provincial/territorial taxes payable to zero.

Tables listing most non-refundable tax credits

Age amount tax credit (Line 301) for individuals aged 65 and older, reduced when income exceeds threshold

Canada employment amount tax credit (Line 363)

Caregiver amount tax credit (Line 315) may be available if (dependent or non-dependent) parent or grandparent (over 65) lives with you, or if a dependent relative lives with you.

Child amount tax credit (Line 367) for children under 18

bulletalso discusses provincial/territorial child amounts for children under 18 or for children under 6.

Child fitness tax credit (Line 365) and additional credit for child with disability

Children's arts tax credit (CATC) (Line 370) and additional credit for child with disability

Disability amount (Line 316) tax credit

Dividend tax credits (Line 425) for Canadian dividends

Donations:

Donations tax credit (Line 349)

Donation tax credit rates

Donating capital property, including securities, can eliminate capital gains or increase your donations limit

Donations in the year of death and in the will, qualified donee as beneficiary of RRSP, RRIF, TFSA or life insurance policy

Election to designate the amount of proceeds when capital property is donated

Capital gain reserve on donation of non-qualifying securities to a qualified donee

Beware of tax shelter donation arrangements, and gifts of property

Equivalent to spouse / eligible dependant amount (Line 305) - A person who is single at any time during the year can claim a tax credit for a dependent child or other dependent relative.

Foreign tax credit (Line 405) re withholding taxes deducted from foreign non-business income

First-time home buyer's tax credit (Line 369)

Home renovation tax credit (HRTC) - only for 2009 tax year  

Medical expenses:

Medical expense tax credit (Line 330, & Line 331 Other Eligible Dependants)

Non-prescription medications

The spouse with lower net income should usually claim all medical expenses.

Eligible medical expenses

Claim the cost of the extended health benefit premiums and dental plan premiums deducted from your pay.

Attendant care expenses (Line 215 deduction or Line 330 non-refundable tax credit)

Attendant care expenses paid to a retirement home

Pension income tax credit (Line 314)

bullet What income qualifies as eligible pension income for purposes of the pension income tax credit?
bulletHow can pension income be "created"?
bulletWhen pension income is split with a spouse, will the spouse get a pension income tax credit?
bulletCompleting form T1032 - Step 4 Pension income amount for the pension income tax credit
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Political contribution tax credits - federal (Line 410) and provincial/territorial

bullet

Provincial/Territorial political contribution tax credit rates and maximums - refundable for Ontario and Nunavut

Public transit amount tax credit (Line 364)- Keep your public transit pass!

Spouse or common-law partner amount tax credit (Line 303)

Students

Student loan interest (Line 319)

Tuition, education, and textbook tax credits (Line 323)

Transfer or carry-forward of tuition, education and textbook amounts

Courses outside Canada

 

Refundable tax credits

A refundable tax credit can generate a payment to taxpayers, even when no income tax has been paid.  This is a good reason to file a tax return even if you do not owe any tax.

Employee and partner GST rebate for those who have deductible employment or partnership expenses

Refundable Medical expense supplement (Line 452)

Working income tax benefit (WITB) and disability supplement (Line 453)

Québec home renovation tax credit - for 2009 only

Some provinces and territories have refundable tax credits.  Choose your province/territory from the navigation bar to the left, and follow the link to personal tax credits.

 

Other issues

Repayments to RRSP Home Buyer's Plan or Lifelong Learning Plan - Make sure you report them on your tax return!

 

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Revised: March 31, 2014

 

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