MyCRA is a mobile application for individual taxpayers that lets you securely access and view key portions of your tax information such as your notice of assessment, tax return status, and RRSP and TFSA contribution room.
To receive the enhanced UCCB, families may have to sign up. If you have children under 18 for whom you have not previously applied for the UCCB or the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB), you will need to apply for the enhanced UCCB. If signing up after May 15, 2015, the payments will start later than the July 2015 payment, but will still be retroactive to January 1, 2015. You can expect to hear from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) within 80 calendar days after they receive your application.
More information is available from the CRA at this link
Filing tax returns when you have a spouse
Spousal tax returns are always filed separately – that is, the tax returns are prepared separately. However, when tax returns are prepared using personal income tax return software, most software will give the option of “coupling” the preparation of both returns. The returns are still printed and filed separately, but the software will usually highlight ways in which taxes may be reduced, and will automatically apply the spousal amount tax credit if eligible.
- Living Common-Law
You are married or living common-law as long as you and your spouse are not living separate and apart from each other on December 31st because of a breakdown of the marriage or common-law relationship. If you are living apart from each other due to some other reason, including your spouse living in another country, you would still be considered married or living common-law.
You must report the name, social insurance number and net income (or the amount the net income would be if he/she filed a return) of your spouse or common-law partner on page 1 of your tax return. The spouse net income affects some tax credits, including the spousal amount tax credit.
- GST /HST credit
- Canada Child tax benefit (CCTB)
- Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
- working income tax benefit
- refundable medical expenses supplement
- provincial low income tax reductions and some tax credits – see the information for your province
- BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) premium
Claiming tax credits and deductions with a spouse
If one spouse is unemployed or has very low earnings, the other spouse can claim a spousal tax credit. See the tables of non-refundable personal tax credits for the federal and provincial territorial amounts of the spousal tax credit.
There are some tax credit amounts which can be combined and claimed on either spouse’s return:
Medical Expenses – expenses for both spouses should be combined and claimed on the tax return of one spouse. It is often better to claim all medical expenses for both spouses on the return of the spouse with the lowest taxable income.
Donations for both spouses should be combined and claimed on the tax return of one spouse, because the tax credit for the first $200 of donations is at the lowest tax rate.
Some tax credits can be claimed by either spouse, or apportioned between spouses:
- line 306 amount for infirm dependent’s age 18 or older
- line 364 public transit amount
- line 365 children’s fitness amount
- line 370 children’s arts amount
- line 369 home buyers’ amount
- line 313 adoption expense
- line 314 caregiver amount
The deduction (not tax credit) for child care expenses must generally be claimed on the tax return of the spouse with the lowest net income.
- line 301 age amount
- line 367 amount for children under 18 (no longer available after 2014 taxation year)
- line 316 disability amount
- line 314 pension income amount
- line 323 tuition and education amounts these can be transferred to a parent or grandparent
Claim this amount only if you are entitled to claim the education amount.
You can claim:
- $65 for each month you qualify for the full-time education amount. Enter this amount on line 7 of Schedule 11; or
- $20 for each month you qualify for the part-time education amount. Enter this amount on line 4 of Schedule 11.
ELIGIBLE DEDUCTIONS & CREDITS
If you pay the following expenses by December 31, 2014 they will be eligible for the deductions or credits:
- Childcare expenses
- Deductible support payments
- Charitable donations
- Union and professional dues
- Moving expenses
- Political donations
- Accounting fees
- Medical expenses
- Investment counsel fees
- Interest paid on loans used to purchase investments
- Tuition fees
- Children’s Fitness Expenses
- Children’s artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental fees
Changes to the GAINS Benefit Rate Tables
Benefit period: January 1, 2015 to March 31, 2015
The GAINS rate tables have been updated to provide a ready reference of OAS/GIS/GAINS payments at specified levels of private income, depending on a senior’s status e.g., single or couple.
Guaranteed Income Level
Single pensioners: $1,411.14 monthly ($16,933.68 annually)
Qualified couples, per person: $1,153.60 monthly ($13,843.20 annually)
Harper Government cracks down on international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance with launch of Electronic Funds Transfer Initiative
January 7, 2015 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canada Revenue Agency
The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, today announced the launch of the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) initiative, introduced in Economic Action Plan 2013 as one of several new measures to crack down on international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.
Effective January 1, 2015, certain financial intermediaries, including banks, have to report to the CRA incoming and outgoing international EFTs of $10,000 or more. These reports will allow the CRA to better identify higher risk taxpayers and files and, in turn, more effectively identify taxpayers who participate in international aggressive tax avoidance and attempt to conceal income and assets offshore.
Government’s efforts to combat international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance are already paying dividends. In fact, the Auditor General of Canada confirmed in his two recent reports on Offshore Banking and Aggressive Tax Planning that the CRA is getting the job done. Taxpayers are taking notice too. Since 2008, the CRA has seen a dramatic increase in the use of the Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP). VDP disclosures related to offshore issues reached a record level in 2013-2014, with an increase of almost 42% from the previous year’s figures, helping the CRA to identify more than $300 million in unreported income. Consequences can be serious for those that do not come forward. From April 2006 to March 31, 2014, the CRA has convicted 62 taxpayers for tax evasion, involving $20 million in evaded federal taxes, court fines of approximately $12 million, and 701 months of jail time.
Under proposed changes, this benefit is being increased for children under age six. Effective January 1, 2015, parents will be eligible for a benefit of $160 per month for each eligible child under the age of six – up from $100 per month. Under proposed changes to expand the UCCB, parents may also receive a benefit of $60 per month for eligible children ages six through 17. Payments of the additional amount and expanded amount will start in July of 2015.
You no longer have to apply for the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit. When you file your return, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will determine your eligibility and will advise those who are eligible to receive the credit. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, only one of you can receive the credit. The credit will be paid to the person whose return is assessed first. The amount will be the same, regardless of who (in the couple) receives it.