Top tax credits and benefits for seniors

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Top tax credits and benefits for seniors


January 18, 2017

Use this list to help your senior clients ensure they claim the most common tax credits, deductions and benefits for which they’re eligible.

Read: Essential tax numbers

    • Pension income splitting — Those who receive a pension may be eligible to split up to 50% of eligible pension income with a spouse or common-law partner.
    • Guaranteed income supplement — If clients received the guaranteed income supplement or allowance benefits under the old age security program, they can renew the benefit by filing by the deadline.

Read: Navigate RRSP attribution rules

  • Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit — Clients may be eligible for the GST/HST credit, a tax-free quarterly payment that helps offset all or part of the GST or HST they pay. To receive this credit, clients must file an income tax and benefit return every year, even if they didn’t receive income. If they have a spouse or common-law partner, only one of them can receive the credit. The credit is paid to the person whose return is assessed first.

Read: CRA tweaks process for accessing online tax info of businesses

    • Medical expenses — Clients may be able to claim the total eligible medical expenses that they, their spouse or common-law partner paid, provided the expenses were made over any 12-month period ending in 2016 and were not previously claimed. This can include amounts claimed for attendant care or care in an establishment.
    • Age amount — For clients 65 years of age or older on December 31, 2016, if net income was less than $83,427, they may be able to claim up to $7,125.
    • Pension income amount — Clients may be able to claim up to $2,000 if they report eligible pension, superannuation or annuity payments on their tax return.
    • Disability amount — If clients, their spouses or common-law partners or dependents have severe and prolonged impairments in physical or mental functions and meet certain conditions, they may be eligible for the disability tax credit (DTC). To determine eligibility, they must complete Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate and have it certified by a medical practitioner. Canadians claiming the credit can file online whether they have submitted the form to the CRA for that tax year or not.
    • Family caregiver amount — Those caring for a dependant with an impairment in physical or mental functions may be able to claim up to $2,121 when calculating certain non-refundable tax credits.
  • Public transit amount — Clients may be able to claim the cost of monthly or annual public transit passes for travel within Canada on public transit in 2016.
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