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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, which provides a refundable tax credit for provincial/territorial political contributions. The contributions are claimed in the tax year in which they are paid. If a contribution cannot be fully claimed in the tax year, it cannot be carried forward.
Both the federal and the provincial/territorial tax credits can be claimed on the Detailed Canadian Tax and RRSP Savings Calculator.
Note: Before tax year 2019, line 41000 was line 410.
Income Tax Act s. 127(3)
If you or your spouse or common-law partner contributed to a registered federal political party, a registered association, or a candidate in a federal election, you or your spouse or common-law partner can claim a tax credit which can be deducted from your federal tax payable.
Small political contributions are encouraged by the high tax credit rate on the first part of the contribution.
The Canada Elections Act, s. 367 imposes maximum contribution limits for federal political contributions. The amounts indicated in the Act are indexed for inflation, but the maximum tax credit is not indexed for inflation. For current limits, see Elections Canada Limits on Contributions.
Can a Federal Political Contribution Be Split Between Spouses?
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 a large amount in one year, it would be beneficial to make two separate contributions, for greater flexibility in maximizing the tax credit.
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.
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:
Canada Revenue Agency Resources
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: December 14, 2022
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