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Senior Financial Tips for the Tax Season
Posted on Mon, March 20, 2017 at 10:14 am
We understand the serious financial constraints that seniors face, especially those on a fixed retirement income. Necessities like groceries, gas, and hydro alone consume a significant portion of elderly Canadians' monthly expenses and often limited funds remain for discretionary expenses like recreational and social activities. And it is these which are fundamental to seniors’ health and well being as they age. As we find ourselves in the middle of the personal tax season, we thought it might be useful to share important tips that can help seniors keep more money in their own pockets.
The following are 10 common credits and benefits for which seniors may be eligible (Source: Canada Revenue Agency).
Please note the wording of the benefits/credits on the CRA website in that you may be eligible for each, but certain conditions apply.
- Pension Income Splitting: You may be able to split up to half of your pension income with your spouse, or common law partner.
- Guaranteed Income Supplement: If you currently receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement, or allowance benefits, under the Old Age Security program, you may be eligible to renew these benefits as long as you submit your taxes by the deadline.
- Registered Retirement Saving Plan: Making yearly contributions to your RRSP can reduce your taxable income.
- Registered Disability Saving Plan: RDSP contributions, which are not tax deductible, are designed to help families save money for a member of the family who is eligible for the disability tax credit.
- Medical Expenses: you may be eligible to claim medical expenses for you, your spouse, common-law partner, or child.
- Age amount: You may be eligible to claim up to $7,125 if you were 65 years of age, or older, on December 31, 2016 and your net income was less than $83,427.
- Pension Income Amount: If you declared pension, superannuation, or annuity payments on your tax return, you may be eligible to claim $2,000.00
- Disability Amount: If you, your spouse/common law partner, or dependant has a specific medical condition, they may be able to receive a disability tax credit.
- Family Caregiver Amount: You may be able to claim up to $2,121 in non-refundable tax credits if you are caring for an impaired dependent.
- Public Transit Amount: If you purchased a monthly, or annual, public transit pass for use within Canada in 2016, you may be eligible to claim this expense.