Seniors: Enjoy your golden years with these tax credits and benefits
Did you know?
There are several credits and benefits designed for seniors.
- Age amount – You can claim this amount if you were 65 years of age or older on December 31, 2015, and your net income is less than $82,353. The maximum amount you may be able to claim is $7,033.
- Pension income amount – You may be able to claim up to $2,000 if you reported eligible pension, superannuation, or annuity payments on your return.
- Pension income splitting – If you’re receiving a pension, you may be eligible to split up to 50% of your eligible pension income with your spouse or common-law partner.
- Disability amount – If you or your dependant have a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions and meet certain conditions, you or your dependant may be eligible for the disability tax credit (DTC). To determine eligibility, you must complete Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate and have it certified by a medical practitioner. Canadians claiming the credit will be able to file online regardless of whether or not their Form T2201 has been submitted to the CRA for that tax year.
- Medical expenses – You can claim the total eligible medical expenses paid for you, your spouse or common-law partner, and your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s children born in 1998 or later for any 12-month period ending in 2015 and not previously claimed. This can include amounts claimed for attendant care or care in an establishment.
- Guaranteed Income Supplement – If you receive the guaranteed income supplement or allowance benefits under the old age security program, you can renew your benefit by filing your return by April 30. If you choose not to file a return, you will have to complete a renewal form. This form is available from Service Canada.
- Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) – Deductible RRSP contributions can reduce your tax bill. You have until December 31 of the year in which you turn 71 to contribute to your RRSP.
- Registered disability savings plan (RDSP) – A registered disability savings plan is a savings plan to help families save for the financial security of a person who is eligible for the disability tax credit. RDSP contributions are not tax deductible and can be made until the end of the year in which the beneficiary turns 59.
- Goods and services tax/Harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit – You may be eligible for the GST/HST credit, a tax-free quarterly payment that helps individuals and families with modest incomes offset all or part of the GST or HST that they pay. To receive this credit, you must file an income tax and benefit return every year, even if you did not receive income in the year. 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.
- Family caregiver amount (FCA) – If you are caring for a dependant with impairment in physical or mental functions, you may be able to claim up to an additional $2,093 when calculating certain non-refundable tax credits. Non-refundable tax credits reduce your federal tax. If the total of the non-refundable tax credits is more than your federal tax, you will not get a refund for the difference.
- Public transit amount – You can claim the cost of certain public transit passes, such as a monthly or annual pass, for travel within Canada on public transit in 2015.
Need a hand with filing?
- If you need help filing your return, have a modest income, and a simple tax situation, contact the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP), which coordinates volunteer tax clinics across the country.
- Representatives – You can authorize a family member or another person to represent you by using the Authorize my representative service in My Account. Your representative will have instant access to your information and the online services to easily manage your account.
The CRA’s online services make filing and managing your taxes easier
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