Tax credits, deductions and savings available for Canadians in 2012

The Harper Government has introduced or improved a number of tax relief measures for Canadians since 2006, including:

The Family Caregiver Tax Credit – A 15% non-refundable tax credit on an amount of $2,000 that provides tax relief to caregivers of infirm dependant relatives. This includes, for the first time, infirm spouses, common-law partners, and minor children. Canadians can claim this new, non-refundable tax credit for the first time when filing their 2012 taxes.

The Medical Expense Tax Credit – In order to fully recognize the medical and disability-related costs incurred by caregivers, the Harper Government has removed the $10,000 limit on the amount of eligible expenses a caregiver can claim in respect of financially dependent relatives.

The First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit – Assists first-time home buyers with the costs associated with the purchase of a home, such as legal fees. More than 550,000 Canadians have taken advantage of the First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit.

The Children's Fitness Tax Credit – Canadian families can claim a 15% non-refundable tax credit on an amount up to $500 for the cost of registering a child in eligible physical activity programs, such as soccer or hockey teams. For the 2011 tax year, over 1.5 million families took advantage of the Children's Fitness Tax Credit.

The Hiring Credit for Small Business – Small businesses that meet certain criteria and paid more in Employment Insurance premiums in 2012 over 2011 are eligible for the credit, which puts up to $1,000 back into the accounts of job creators. As of September 30, 2012, over $200 million has been credited to over 500,000 eligible employers.

The Children's Arts Tax Credit – Canadian families can claim a 15% non-refundable tax credit on an amount up to $500 for the cost of registering a child in eligible artistic, cultural, or other programs, such as music lessons or tutoring. Over 460,000 families claimed the Children's Arts Tax Credit in the 2011 tax year.

The Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit – Provides employers with a tax credit of up to 10% of the eligible wages payable to eligible apprentices. The maximum credit an employer can claim is $2,000 per year for each eligible apprentice. For the 2011 tax year, more than 10,000 employers across Canada used the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit.

The Tradesperson's Tool Deduction – Allows tradespeople to deduct from their income part of the cost of tools purchased throughout the year.

The Textbook Tax Credit – In order to better recognize the cost of textbooks, this credit provides increased tax relief to students in addition to the Tuition and Education Tax Credits. Students must first claim their credit on their own returns, but may be able to transfer unused amounts to a parent, grandparent, spouse or common-law partner.

The Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) – Provides families with young children more choice in child care by providing $100 per month for each child under age six. Canadians received almost $2.7 billion in UCCB payments in 2011.

The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) – Allows all Canadians to earn tax-free income through a range of investment products. TFSAs have become increasingly popular, with approximately 8.2 million Canadians having opened an account and roughly 2.5 million Canadians contributing the maximum in 2011. Starting on January 1, 2013, Canadians can contribute $5,500 to their TFSAs annually.

The Registered Disability Savings Plan – A long-term savings plan to help Canadians with disabilities and their families save for the future. Since being introduced by the Harper Government in 2008, over 60,000 plans have been opened.

The Canada Employment Credit (CEC) – A 15% non-refundable tax credit on an amount of $1,095 in employment income, the CEC was introduced by the Harper Government to recognize employees' work expenses for items such as home computers, uniforms and supplies.

The Public Transit Tax Credit – Allows Canadians to claim the full amount they spend on eligible transit passes for the year. In 2011, more than 1.6 million Canadians claimed this credit.

The Volunteer Firefighters' Tax Credit – Available to any volunteer firefighter who serves at least 200 hours per year at one or more fire departments in their community. In 2011, more than 37,000 Canadian volunteer firefighters took advantage of this new tax credit.

Date modified: