Canadian Tax and
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Nova Scotia Personal Tax Credits

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Atlantic Provinces -> Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Non-Refundable Personal Tax Credits

For information on the amounts of most non- refundable tax credits available to Nova Scotia residents, see the non-refundable personal tax credits tables.

The NS 2012 Budget announced that the 2012 spouse and spousal equivalent tax credits would be increased to $8,481 to match the basic personal amount, and the disability amount would be increased to $7,341.

NS Low Income Tax Reduction

NS Taxation Act 2000, s. 35
bulletavailable to low income individuals and families
bulletamount received depends on family net income
bulletcan be claimed by either spouse
bulletcannot exceed NS tax payable (not refundable)

Bill 27 Financial Measures (2011) Act, introduced in April 2011, provides a low income tax deduction to a widowed person for that person's spouse if the spouse died during the taxation year.

See Canada Revenue Agency ( CRA) form NS428 from the  Nova Scotia General Income Tax and Benefit Package for detailed calculation.

NS Age Tax Credit for Low Income Seniors

NS Taxation Act 2000, s. 36B

This non-refundable tax credit, new for the 2014 taxation year as announced in the NS 2014 Budget, is a deduction of $1,000

bulletare age 65 or older at December 31st of the taxation year
bulletare resident in Nova Scotia on December 31st of the taxation year
bullethad a taxable income or taxable income earned in Canada of less than $24,000 for the taxation year.

NS Healthy Living Tax Incentive - Eliminated

As per the NS 2015 Budget, this tax credit is eliminated effective January 1, 2015.  The last taxation year for which it could be claimed was 2014.

Also called the Sport and Recreational Expenses for Children tax credit, this was a non-refundable tax credit, claimed at the lowest Nova Scotia tax rate (8.79%).  A maximum amount of $500 per child could be claimed, for the registration of an eligible child in a designated sport or recreational activity, which would equal a maximum tax credit of $43.95 ($500 x 8.79%) per child.  This tax credit was available since 2005.  Either spouse could claim the tax credit, or it could be split between both spouses.

An eligible child is under 18 years of age at the end of the year, and

bullet your child by blood, marriage, common-law partnership, or adoption;
bullet dependent on you for support and under your custody and control, or
bullet a spouse or common-law partner of your child

There is no additional tax credit for a child with a disability.

Only receipts from groups which have registered with the Department of Health Promotion and Protection were eligible for the tax credit.

The Nova Scotia 2008 budget announced that starting in 2009, this credit would be extended to all Nova Scotians.  However, the 2009 budget announced that this extension would be deferred indefinitely.

Nova Scotia Refundable Personal Tax Credits

NS Volunteer Fire Fighter and Ground Search and Rescue Tax Credit

NS Taxation Act 2000, s. 38A, Volunteer Fire Fighter Tax Credit Regulations

Volunteer firefighters and ground search and rescue workers can claim a tax credit by entering the refundable tax amount of $500 (for 2013 and later years) on line 6228 of form NS428 from the Nova Scotia General Income Tax and Benefit Package, and is entered on line 479 of the federal tax return.  All of the following conditions must be met:

bullet resident of Nova Scotia on December 31 of the tax year
bullet volunteer firefighter or ground search and rescue worker for a minimum of six months during the tax year
bullet did not receive salary, wages or compensation, other than reasonable reimbursement or allowance for expenses, and
bullet identified as a volunteer firefighter on the report filed by your fire chief, or identified as an eligible ground search and rescue worker on the report filed by your ground search and rescue president.  Reports are filed with the Department of Finance and Treasury Board by January 31st of each year for the previous taxation year.

To be eligible, firefighters must participate in no less than 20 per cent of emergency calls responded to by the volunteer fire department; training sessions conducted by the volunteer fire department; and meetings held by the volunteer fire department.

For more information see the Volunteer Firefighters and Ground Search & Rescue Tax Credit information on the Nova Scotia Finance and Treasury Board website.  The forms to be filed with the Department of Finance and Treasury Board can be found on this website as well.

NS Affordable Living Tax Credit (NSALTC)

NS Affordable Living Tax Credit Regulation

Beginning July 1, 2010, low and modest income households started receiving a refundable tax credit payment quarterly.  The maximum annual amount was $240 per household, plus $57 for each child under 19 living in the household.  In order to receive this credit, an income tax return must be filed.

As per the Nova Scotia 2011 Budget, the NSALTC payments were indexed by 2.2%, effective July 1, 2011.

As per the Nova Scotia 2012 Budget, the NSALTC was increased effective July 1, 2012, to $255 for an individual adult and to $60 for a dependent child.

The credit is reduced by 5% of adjusted family income above $30,000, and is completely phased out at a household income of $35,100.  The credit is paid in conjunction with the federal GST/HST credit, with a quarterly payment in July, October, January and April of each year.

See also:

bullet Provincial tax credits paid with the GST/HST credit

NS Poverty Reduction Credit

Beginning July 1, 2010, the Poverty Reduction Credit provides tax-free payments to low income individuals and couples.  $200 per year is paid ($50 quarterly) to individuals or couples:

bullet who are at least 19 years of age, with no dependents
bullet who are receiving Social Assistance through the Income Assistance program as their main source of income
bullet with a total annual income of $12,000 or less for the previous tax year

Social Assistance clients do not have to apply for this allowance.  Eligibility will be automatically determined by the Department of Community Services, through the Income Assistance Program.

As per the Nova Scotia 2011 Budget, the Poverty Reduction Credit payments were indexed by 2.2%, effective July 1, 2011.

As per the Nova Scotia 2012 Budget, the Poverty Reduction Credit payments will be increased to $250 per year, effective July 1, 2012.

NS Tax Reduction for Low-Income Seniors Receiving GIS

Tax Refund for Seniors Receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement Regulations

Seniors who receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) will receive a refund of Nova Scotia provincial income tax paid, unless the amount paid was less than $50.

Regulations were developed that allow the Province of Nova Scotia to implement a credit for seniors who are GIS recipients and Nova Scotia residents, and have provincial taxes owing for the 2010 and later taxation years.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is not administering this credit, so NS GIS recipients will file their tax returns as usual, and make payments for any taxes owing.  It is important for tax returns to be filed so that the refund can be provided by the NS government.

The refund is available to seniors who reported GIS income on line 146 of their tax return, and have Nova Scotia provincial income tax owing on line 428 of their tax return.  Refunds will not be done for amounts less than $50.  The maximum refund amount is $10,000.

In July of each year, the Province of Nova Scotia will receive a file from CRA advising them of GIS recipients and the provincial income tax they paid.  The Province will then issue refund cheques to GIS recipients.  The cheques for 2012 refunds were mailed at the end of July 2013.

See the NS Finance information Seniors Provincial Income Tax Refund FAQ.

Nova Scotia First-Time Home Buyers Rebate

A rebate of 18.75%, to a maximum of $3,000 (effective April 1, 2012), of the provincial portion of the HST is provided on new homes purchased by first-time home buyers.  The amount of the rebate prior to April 1, 2012 is a maximum of $1,500.  The rebate will increase where the Agreement of Purchase and Sale is entered into after March 31, 2012, or when the building permit is issued for an owner-built home after that date.

See Access Nova Scotia First-Time Home Buyers Rebate for application details.

Graduate Retention Rebate - 2013 is last year available

The Nova Scotia 2014 budget announced that the Graduate Retention Rebate would be eliminated effective January 1, 2014.  Graduates are still able to receive the credit for the 2013 tax year.

This program was available to students who graduated in 2009 and later years, and replaced the Graduate Tax Credit.

The graduate retention rebate is claimed as part of the annual tax return.

Amount of the rebate:

bulletGraduates with a university degree
bullettax reduction of up to $15,000 over 6 years, to a maximum of $2,500 per year
bulletGraduates with a college diploma or certificate
bullettax reduction of up to $7,500 over 6 years, to a maximum of $1,250 per year.

See the NS Finance information on the Graduate Retention Rebate.

Graduate Tax Credit

This tax credit was replaced in 2009 by the Graduate Retention Rebate (see above).

Revised: September 19, 2017

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