Common adjustments

Here are some tips from our review programs. Following these tips should help reduce the number of adjustments we make to returns each year. For more information, including how to get forms, guides, and other publications relating to the common adjustments listed below; select the link for the topic.

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If you do not provide the information requested within the timeframe indicated on the letter, we will deny or modify your claim based on the information available to us.

For more information, see Responding to us

Note to students

Due to possible changes to your mailing address during the year, our mail may unknowingly be misdirected. This could result in your claim being disallowed resulting in an amount owing. Therefore, always make sure the CRA has your current mailing address.

How to change your address

You may also authorize someone to act on your behalf that we can contact if additional information is needed.

How to authorize or change your representative

What if you don't have all your information slips?

Do not delay filing an income tax return because of missing T4s or other information slips. If you cannot get the missing slip(s) by the filing due date, use your pay stubs or statements to estimate your income and any related deductions and credits you may be eligible to claim.

If your return is selected for review, all requested receipts and supporting documents have to be provided at that time. If they are not provided within the set timeframe, your claim may be reduced or disallowed.

Missing slips

Retiring allowances - Line 130 of the tax return

Include the full amount of all retiring allowances as income on line 130. If some or all of a retiring allowance was transferred into an RRSP, the transferred amount should be shown as a deduction on lines 240 and 245 of Schedule 7, RRSP and PRPP Unused Contributions, Transfers, and HBP or LLP Activities.

Transferring retiring allowances or a severance pay

RRSP and PRPP deduction - Line 208 of the tax return

If you are filing a paper return, include your official receipts for all amounts that you contributed from March 2, 2013, to March 3, 2014. Also include those contributions that you are not deducting on your income tax return for 2013.

If you deduct an amount for 2013 that you contributed to an RRSP from March 2, 1995, to March 1, 2013, which you had not previously deducted, you should have completed and filed a Schedule 7, RRSP and PRPP Unused Contributions, Transfers, and HBP or LLP Activities, for these contributions. If you did not, you should submit a completed copy of the appropriate Schedule 7, along with the appropriate RRSP receipts, to your tax centre, separate from your 2013 tax return.

Line 208 - RRSP and PRPP deduction

Annual union, professional, or like dues - Line 212 of the tax return

Your employer may have reported the dues withheld from your pay for the year on your T4 slip and the association or organization may also have issued you a receipt for these same dues.

If you are claiming amounts from union receipts, we need a statement from the union signed by the secretary or other authorized officer with the following information: name of the union member, amount of deductible union dues paid, the date the dues were paid, and the name and local number of the union or professional organization, if applicable.

If you are claiming amounts that differ from the amount reported on your T4 slip, a breakdown of the amounts from the union with an explanation of the purpose of the payments is needed.

Eligible amounts are only deductible in the year that you paid them, regardless of the year to which the dues relate.

If you have been reimbursed or if you were entitled to be reimbursed from any source for the amount of the dues, then you cannot claim any of the dues that were reimbursed. However, if you have paid professional membership dues that have been reimbursed by your employer, the dues would be deductible providing that your employer has included them as a taxable benefit in your income.

Note

Amounts paid for items such as courses, lectures, conventions, and seminars are not deductible.

Line 212 - Annual union, professional, or like dues

Moving expenses - Line 219 of the tax return

You can claim eligible moving expenses if your new residence is at least 40 km (by the shortest public route) closer to your new place of work. These expenses are only deductible against the employment or self-employment income that you earned at the new work location (which usually has to be in Canada).

If you received a reimbursement for some or all of your moving expenses but have not included the reimbursement in your income, you can only claim a deduction for the eligible moving expenses minus the amount of the reimbursement.

If you are a student who moves to take full-time courses at the post-secondary level, you can claim eligible moving expenses if your new residence is at least 40 km (by the shortest public route) closer to your new place of study. These expenses are only deductible from taxable award income (scholarships, fellowships, bursaries, certain prizes, and research grants) included in your income.

Legal fees and any taxes paid, other than the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) or property taxes, for the transfer or registration of title of a new residence are not eligible for deduction unless the former residence was sold as a result of the move.

The following are some examples of costs that are not deductible as moving expenses:

  • Canada Post mail-forwarding costs;
  • expenses for work done to make your old home more saleable;
  • any loss from the sale of your old home;
  • expenses for house-hunting or job-hunting trips before you move.

Line 219 - Moving expenses

Other deductions - Line 232 of the tax return

Specify the type of deduction that you are claiming in the space to the left of line 232.

If you are the payer of support payments, legal expenses incurred to establish, contest, or negotiate child or spousal support amounts are not eligible for deduction.

If you are the recipient of support payments, legal expenses incurred to establish, collect, or negotiate child or spousal support amounts from your current or former spouse or common-law partner or the natural parent of your child, are to be claimed at line 221.

You cannot claim legal fees you paid to get a separation, a divorce, to establish custody, or visitation arrangements for a child.

Legal fees you paid to collect or establish a right to salary or wages are to be claimed at line 229.

Various non-deductible items such as funeral expenses, wedding expenses, loans to family members, a loss on the sale of a home, and other similar amounts are sometimes claimed in error at this line and then disallowed. If you would like additional information on whether a particular expense is deductible at this line or not, contact us.

Line 232 - Legal fees

Line 221 - Carrying charges and interest expenses

Line 229 - Other employement expenses

Guide P102, Support payments

Northern residents deductions - Line 255 of the tax return

If you resided in a prescribed zone for a continuous period of at least six months, you may be able to claim the northern residents deductions. There are two deductions possible, one if you maintained a self-contained domestic establishment in a prescribed zone, and a second for medical and non-medical travel expenses incurred while residing in the prescribed zone. This continuous six month period can begin or end in the tax year.

Places located in prescribed zones, lists the places in the prescribed northern and prescribed intermediate zones.

When completing Form T2222, Northern Residents Deductions, you have to clearly indicate the full address where you resided in a prescribed zone and not simply a post office box number.

A travel itinerary or other proof of travel, including the receipts for accomodations may be required to support the travel part of a claim.

You are not eligible to claim the additional residency amount if another person has claimed the basic residency amount for the same period and dwelling.

Line 255 - Northern residents deductions

Additional deductions - Line 256 of the tax return

Specify the type of deduction that you are claiming in the space to the left of line 256.

If you receive a German Social Security Pension be sure to follow the appropriate instructions. For more information, see the following webpages:

Change to the taxation of social security pensions received from Germany by a resident of Canada - BEGINNING 2005

Change to the taxation of social security pensions received from Germany by a resident of Canada - 2003 and 2004

Generally, eligible legal expenses should be claimed at line 232 and not at line 256.

Various non-deductible items such as funeral expenses, wedding expenses, loans to family members, a loss on the sale of a home, and other similar amounts are sometimes claimed in error at this line and then disallowed. If you would like additional information on whether a particular expense is deductible at this line or not, contact us.

Line 256 - Additional deductions

Amount for an eligible dependant - Line 305 of Schedule 1

In addition to a completed Schedule 5, Amounts for Spouse or Common-Law Partner and Dependants, all requested supporting documents (for example, proof of custody) have to be submitted for the claim to be allowed.

Only one individual can claim an eligible dependant at line 305. If you and another person both can claim this amount for the same dependant (such as shared custody of a child), you have to agree on who will claim the amount, otherwise we will disallow the claim on both returns.

If you are required to make support payments for a child, you cannot claim that child as an eligible dependant (unless it is the year of separation when special rules apply).

Only one claim at line 305 is allowed per household.

You cannot make a claim at line 305 for a child if you only have visitation rights.

Line 305 - Amount for an eligible dependant

Caregiver amount - Line 315 of Schedule 1

The dependant's net income, including social assistance and world income, has to be considered when calculating the credit.

An eligible dependant has to be 18 years of age or older and be dependent on you due to mental or physical infirmity, or if the dependant is your or your spouse's or common-law partner's parent or grandparent, he or she has to have been born in 1948 or earlier.

You cannot claim this amount for a person who was only visiting you.

Line 315 - Caregiver amount

Income Tax Folio S5-F1-C1: Determining an Individual’s Residence Status

Interest paid on your student loans - Line 319 of Schedule 1

Only interest paid on a loan made to you under the Canada Student Loans Act, the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act, or a similar provincial or territorial government laws for post-secondary education qualifies.

You cannot claim interest paid on any other kind of loan or on a student loan that has been combined with another kind of loan. For example, interest paid on a line of credit used for post-secondary education is not eligible.

Line 319 - Interest paid on your student loans

Pamphlet P105, Students and Income Tax

Tuition fees - Line 320 of Schedule 11

Schedule 11, Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts, has to be filed with the student's income tax return and not with the income tax return of any individual designated by the student to claim the transfer of tuition, education, and textbook amounts.

Fees for non-credit courses or courses that are below the post-secondary level are not deductible. This includes courses such as driver's education, academic upgrading, or English or French as a second language. The tuition receipt provided by the educational institution has to clearly identify the name and academic level of the course or program, otherwise your claim may be disallowed.

Fees for courses that provide or improve skills in an occupation are deductible if taken at an educational institution certified by Employment and Social Development Canada.

Claims have to be based on fees for a period during the calendar year, not the academic year. Fees that were reimbursed to you or to a parent or spouse on your behalf cannot be claimed unless the reimbursed amount is included in income. Only the eligible tuition fees minus the amount received as a tuition reimbursement can be deducted.

If supporting documents are requested, ensure that the official receipt is issued by the educational institution is submitted.

Line 323 - Eligible tuition fees

Pamphlet P105, Students and Income Tax

Income Tax Folio S1-F2-C2: Tuition Tax Credit 

Education and textbook amounts - Lines 321 and 322 of Schedule 11

You can claim only one education and textbook amount for each eligible month, either the full-time amount or the part-time amount.

Claims have to be based on the calendar year, not the academic year. You cannot claim the education and textbook amounts if the tuition fees paid for the course were reimbursed to you or to another person on your behalf. This applies whether or not the reimbursed tuition was added into income.

If supporting documents are requested, ensure the official receipt issued by the educational institution is submitted. The number of months claimed has to agree with the number of months indicated on the T2202, T2202A, TL11A, TL11B, or TL11C.

Note

You can claim the education amount if you received salary or wages while you were taking a course related to your job. This change applies to 2004 and later tax years.

Line 323 - Education amount

Line 323 - Textbook amount

Pamphlet P105, Students and Income Tax

Folio S1-F2-C1, Education and Textbook Tax Credits

Tuition, education, and textbook amounts transferred from a child - Line 324 of Schedule 1

If you are the parent or grandparent of a child who is a student or the parent or grandparent of the student's spouse or common-law partner, you may be able to claim all or part of the tuition, education, and textbook amounts transferred from a child on line 324 of your Schedule 1, Federal Tax.

The maximum amount that can be transferred from each child is $5,000 minus the amounts the student uses, even if there is still an unclaimed part. Tuition, education, and textbook amounts that the student carried forward from a previous year cannot be transferred.

The student has to complete Schedule 11, Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts, to calculate the transfer amount. The student will complete the remainder of the Schedule 11 and enter, on line 24 (also called line 327), the transferred amount.

The student also has to complete one or more of the following forms to designate you as the person who can claim the transferred amount: 

If the tuition fees being transferred to you are not shown on the student's Form T2202A, TL11A, TL11B or TL11C, you should have a copy of the student's official tuition fees receipt.

If the student's spouse or common-law partner does not claim an amount on line 303 or 326 for the student, or if the student does not have a spouse or common-law partner, the student can choose to transfer the amount to a parent or grandparent.

If the student has a spouse or common-law partner that is claiming the transferred amount, enter the federal amount designated on Form T2202A, TL11A, TL11B, or TL11C on line 360 of Schedule 2, Federal Amounts Transferred From Your Spouse or Common-Law Partner.

Note

You cannot claim an amount transferred from the same student at both line 324 and line 360.

Transferring tuition, education, and textbook amounts - Line 327 of Schedule 11

The student has to claim the tuition, education, and textbook amounts on their income tax return and apply the amount that is needed to reduce their own federal tax payable to zero, before they can calculate and transfer an unused amount to an eligible individual.

The eligible individual would claim the amount on his or her income tax return at line 324 (if transferred from a child), or line 360 (if transferred from a spouse or common-law partner). The eligible amount to be transferred is limited to a maximum of $5,000 (even if the tuition cost is more than $5,000).

If you have claimed an amount transferred from a student on your income tax return and we ask you to provide supporting documents, the student's signature has to be present on:

The completed Schedule 11, Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts, should be filed only with the student's income tax return, and not with the income tax return of the individual claiming the transfer.

Line 323 - Transferring and carrying forward amounts

Medical expenses - Lines 330 and 331 of Schedule 1

Prescription drugs:

Amounts paid for vitamins, supplements, or similar medicaments are not deductible even if prescribed by a medical practitioner and recorded by a pharmacist.

Ensure that receipts are dated, indicate "paid", and that the type of goods or services received is clearly identified. It can also be helpful to provide a list or summary of your expenses, including a clear indication of whether any part of certain expenses were reimbursed to you (for example, through an insurance plan).

Attendant care or care in an establishment:

Generally, you can claim the entire amount paid in a nursing home (full-time). In all other cases, the fees claimed have to be for salaries and wages paid for attendant care services.

Attendant care expenses may be eligible as medical expenses (line 330 and line 331) and for the disability supports deduction (line 215). The total you claim cannot be more than the total amount paid. Special rules apply when claiming medical expenses as well as the disability tax credit or the attendant care expenses.

To claim attendant care expenses paid to an establishment, you have to send us a detailed breakdown from the establishment that clearly shows the amounts paid for staff salaries that apply to the attendant care services listed under Which attendant care expenses can you claim as medical expenses.

Line 330 - Medical expenses for self, spouse or common-law partner, and your dependent children born in 1996 or later

Line 331 - Allowable amount of medical expenses for other dependants

Guide RC4064 - Medical and disability related information

Income Tax Folio S1-F1-C1, Medical Expense Tax Credit

Line 215 - Disability supports deduction

Form T2201 - Disability tax credit certificate

What documents do you need to support your claim?

Public transit amount - Line 364 of Schedule 1

Daily passes or tickets are not eligible. Passes of less than a month in duration are only eligible if they entitled you to unlimited travel for an uninterrupted period of at least 5 days and you purchased enough of these passes to entitle you to unlimited travel for at least 20 days in any 28-day period.

If supporting documents are requested, submitted passes should indicate the duration of the pass, the date or period for which the pass is valid, the name of the transit authority or organization issuing the pass, the amount paid, and the identity of the rider either by name or unique identifier.

If using 'smart' cards or similar electronic passes, it will be necessary to submit documents from the transit authority indicating the name of the rider, the number of separate 31-day periods during which at least 32 one-way trips were taken and the amount paid with respect to transit services used during those periods of time.

Line 364 - Public transit amount

Amount for children born in 1996 or later - Line 367 of Schedule 1

If you are claiming this amount for more than one child, either you or your spouse or common-law partner has to make the claim for all children who are under 18 years of age at the end of the year and resided with both of you throughout the year.

If the child or children do not reside with both parents throughout the year, the parent or the spouse or common-law partner who can claim the amount for an eligible dependant at line 305 for the child or children can make this claim.

If you have shared custody of the child or children throughout the year, we need a letter signed by both parents stating who will make this claim. If there is no agreement about who will claim this amount, the claim will be denied to both parties.

Line 367 - Amount for children born in 1996 or later

Federal foreign tax credit - Line 405 of Schedule 1

A foreign tax credit can only be claimed with respect to eligible foreign taxes paid to a foreign country on business and non-business income and not necessarily based on taxes initially withheld.

Foreign source income and foreign income taxes paid has to be converted to Canadian dollars.

What are the average exchange rates?

Contact the CRA if you are unsure of how to report income received from foreign sources.

A copy of your foreign tax return(s) and other supporting documents may be requested to support your claim. It may be necessary to provide information for more than one year if the foreign country’s tax year is not the calendar year. An example is the United Kingdom.

Line 405 - Federal foreign tax credit

Income Tax Folio S5-F2-C1: Foreign Tax Credit

Form T2209 - Federal foreign tax credits

Ontario Credit - Part A - Amount paid for principal residence for 2013 (Form ON-BEN)

If supporting documents are requested, ensure the official receipts indicate "paid". Copies of lease agreements are not acceptable as rent receipts.

Rent does not include condominium fees that you paid, charges that you paid for board (for example meals, cleaning, laundry), or utility charges (for example water, electricity, parking) unless these charges are included as part of rent in your rental agreement.

Property tax does not include amounts billed to you by the municipality in the form of user charges (for example water); common expenses incurred by you if you were a condominium owner; or any property tax interest and/or penalty charges that you paid in the year.

If you lived in a designated Ontario university, college, or private school residence, place a tick beside box 6114; you will be eligible for $25 for the property tax component of the Ontario energy and property tax credit (OEPTC) for the part of the year that you lived in that residence. If rent and/or property tax was paid by or for you for part of the year, enter the total amount paid on line 6110 and/or line 6112, as applicable. To find out if your residence is designated, contact the Ontario Ministry of Finance.

If you shared a principal residence with one or more persons (other than your spouse or common-law partner), enter your share of the rent or property tax you paid for the year.

Information for Residents of Ontario

Forms and publications

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