Filing Your Return -> Political Contribution Tax Credit
Political Contribution Tax Credits
There are separate tax credits for federal and provincial or territorial political contributions. There is a federal tax credit for federal political contributions, and there is a provincial/territorial tax credit for provincial/territorial political contributions. All of the tax credits are non-refundable tax credits, except for Ontario and Nunavut, which provide a refundable tax credit for provincial/territorial political contributions.
Income Tax Act s. 127(3)
If you contributed to a registered federal political party or to a candidate for election to the House of Commons, you will get a tax credit which is deducted from your federal tax payable.
A federal contribution can be claimed by either spouse (or common-law partner), but one contribution receipt cannot be split between spouses. If you have a spouse and want to contribute more than $400 in one year, it would be beneficial to make two separate contributions, for greater flexibility in maximizing the tax credit.
The Canada Elections Act, s. 367 imposes maximum contribution limits for federal political contributions. The amounts indicated in the Act are indexed for inflation. For current limits, see Elections Canada Limits on Contributions.
If you contributed to a political party registered in your province or territory, or to a candidate seeking election to the Legislative Assembly of your province or territory, you will get a tax credit which is deducted from your provincial or territorial tax payable.
In BC and Ontario, a contribution can be claimed by either spouse (or common-law partner), but one contribution receipt cannot be split between spouses.
In any other province or territory, a contribution receipt can be used by either spouse only if it is in the name of both spouses.
The biggest percentage tax credit is received on the first level of contribution, with a lower percentage credit for each subsequent level, to a maximum allowed tax credit, which differs among provinces/territories.
In most provinces, the tax credit for the political contribution is claimed on Form 428 as a non-refundable tax credit. In Ontario and Nunavut, the tax credit is refundable, and is claimed on Form 479. The Yukon tax credit is non-refundable, but is claimed on Form 479.
Ontario is the only province that applies an inflationary indexation increase to the allowable amounts for the political contribution tax credit.
For the table of provincial/territorial tax credit amounts and how to calculate, see:
Tax Tip: If you have a spouse or common-law partner, make two separate contributions and get both receipts in the names of both spouses, for greater flexibility in maximizing the tax credit.
Revised: May 30, 2016
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