Another year, another tax season. Many people engage a professional to prepare their tax return assuming that will ensure nothing is missed, but even the pros can only work with what information they are given and there is a limit to the number of questions they will ask. Here are some areas that frequently get missed:
- Did you know that the phrase “Medical Expenses” includes such things as dental costs, hearing aid batteries, and travel health insurance?
- Children’s Activity Credit does not only mean sports anymore. There’s another credit for things like music lessons and language courses. Keep your receipts.
- Do you pay for a monthly bus pass? There’s a tax credit for that. It’s more common in larger centres so often gets overlooked here in Peterborough.
- Did you move 40 km closer to your employer or to start a small business? That’s a deductible expense.
- If you are receiving pension or RRIF income it can be split with your spouse and will often result in tax savings. You need to complete and sign a special election form.
If you are going to a tax preparer for the first time, remember to bring your Notice of Assessment from the prior year. This is the summary that the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) sends you after you file your tax return and it contains all sorts of important information.
It is up to you to make sure you are taking advantage of everything that you are rightfully allowed to claim. CRA is not going to point out credits that you’ve missed. Do your tax return early so you have time to do it right. Even if you owe, you can file early and post-date your payment to April 30.