News Column

Tax Tip: Top Things Families Should Know About Taxes

Feb 18 2013 12:00AM

Marketwire

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OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 02/18/13 -- Did you know?

There are lots of benefits and credits to help families with their expenses throughout the year and reduce the amount that they owe at tax time.

Important facts

The following tips may help you or your family:

- Working income tax benefit (WITB) - Working individuals and families with low income may be able to claim this refundable tax credit. The WITB includes a supplement for individuals who qualify for the disability amount. Eligible individuals and families may also apply for advance payments.

- Children's fitness tax credit - Did your children play soccer, take ballet classes, or participate in a program of physical activity in 2012? If so, you may be able to claim up to $500, per child, of the cost of these activities for a non-refundable tax credit of up to $75 for each child. You may claim an additional $500 for each eligible child who qualifies for the disability amount and for whom you have paid a minimum of $100 in eligible expenses.

- Children's arts tax credit - Did your children participate in a program of artistic, cultural, recreational, or developmental activity in 2012? If so, you may be able to claim up to $500 of the money spent per child on these activities for a non-refundable tax credit of up to $75 for each child. You may claim an additional $500 for each eligible child who qualifies for the disability amount and for whom you have paid a minimum of $100 on registration or membership fees for an eligible program.

- Child care expenses - Did your children attend daycare or a program such as a summer day camp in 2012? You or your spouse or common-law partner may be able to claim what you spent on eligible child care in 2012.

- Family caregiver amount - If you have a dependant with a physical or mental impairment, you may be able to claim up to an additional $2,000 when you claim certain non-refundable tax credits.

- Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit - The GST/HST credit is a tax-free quarterly payment that helps individuals and families with low and modest incomes offset all or part of the GST or HST that they pay.

- Public transit amount - Did you or your eligible dependant use public transit in 2012? You may be able to claim the cost of certain public transit passes or electronic payment cards under this non-refundable tax credit.

- Home buyer's amount - Did you buy a home in 2012? You may be able to claim a non-refundable tax credit of up to $750 for the purchase of a qualifying home.

- Child disability benefit - You may be eligible for this tax-free benefit if you cared for a child under the age of 18 who is eligible for the disability tax credit.

- Canada child tax benefit - A tax-free monthly payment that helps eligible families with the cost of raising children under the age of 18. To find out if you qualify for this benefit as well as others, use our online benefit calculator.

- Universal child care benefit - If you have children under the age of six years, you may be eligible for this taxable benefit, which supports child care choices for families.

- Medical expenses - You may be able to claim a non-refundable tax credit based on the medical expenses paid for you, your spouse or common-law partner, or your children for any 12-month period ending in 2012.

- Disability amount - If you or a family member has a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions, you may be able to claim this non-refundable tax credit.

- Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) - If you saved for your retirement in 2012 by investing in RRSPs, you may be able to deduct your contributions to reduce your tax.

- Registered disability savings plan (RDSP) - A RDSP is a savings plan to help Canadians with disabilities and their families save for the long-term financial security of a person who is eligible for the disability tax credit.

The CRA's online services make filing even easier

The CRA's online services are fast, easy, and secure. You can use them to file your income tax and benefit return, make a payment, track your refund and more. Sign up for direct deposit too! Your refund and any benefit or credit payments owed to you will be deposited directly into your account, putting your money into your pocket faster. For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/getready.

Facts about filing your income tax return online

- Filing your return online means receiving your refund faster.

- Filing online is easy. Certified software packages and Web applications (some of which are free to use) guide you through the process, ensuring you don't miss out on credits and benefits you may be eligible for.

- If you are already filing online, you no longer need a web access code to file your return. Now, all you need is your social insurance number and date of birth.

- Filing online is secure. The CRA uses the same high level of online security used by Canadian financial institutions.

- Go to www.cra.gc.ca/getready and let us walk you through it step by step.

- If you need help filing your return, you can contact the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. To find a volunteer tax preparation clinic, go to www.cra.gc.ca/volunteer.

Stay connected (www.cra.gc.ca/socialmedia)

To receive updates when new information is added to our Web site, you can:

- follow the CRA on Twitter - @CanRevAgency;

- subscribe to a CRA electronic mailing list; and

- add our RSS feeds to your feed reader.

You can also visit us on YouTube for tax-related videos.



Contacts:
Noel Carisse
Media Relations
Canada Revenue Agency
613-952-9184





Source: Marketwire