- Children’s fitness amount – Under proposed changes, the maximum amount of eligible fees for each child has increased to $1,000.
- Search and rescue volunteer amount – As a search and rescue volunteer, you may be able to claim an amount of $3,000.
- Family Tax Cut – A proposed non-refundable tax credit of up to $2,000 is available to eligible couples with children under the age of 18, and is effective starting with the 2014 tax year.
- Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) – Under proposed changes, this benefit is being increased for children under age six. Effective January 1, 2015, parents will be eligible for a benefit of $160 per month for each eligible child under the age of six – up from $100 per month. Under proposed changes to expand the UCCB, parents may also receive a benefit of $60 per month for eligible children ages six through 17. Payments of the additional amount and expanded amount will start in July of 2015.
- Emergency services volunteers – Rules for the $1,000 exemption for emergency services have changed.
- Adoption expenses – The maximum amount of eligible expenses for each child has been increased to $15,000.
- Medical expenses – Amounts paid as salary for designing of personalized therapy plans for persons eligible to claim the disability tax credit and costs for service animals used to help manage severe diabetes, are now eligible as medical expenses.
- Investment tax credit – Eligibility for the mineral exploration tax credit has been extended to flow-through share agreements entered into before April 2015.
- GST/HST credit – You no longer have to apply for the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit. When you file your return, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will determine your eligibility and will advise those who are eligible to receive the credit. 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.
- Online mail – When you register for online mail, you’ll have instant access to your tax records anytime, anywhere. Choose to receive an email notification that your notice of assessment or reassessment is available online. You can register for this service, which begins February 2015 by either adding your email address on your T1 return, or by registering directly at www.cra.gc.ca/myaccount.
- Mobile application: In February 2015, the CRA will be launching a mobile app for individual taxpayers.
CRA online services make filing easier and getting your refund faster
The CRA’s online services are fast, easy, and secure. You can use them to file your income tax and benefit return, make a payment, track your refund, receive your notice of assessment, and more, which is great for keeping on top of your taxes and especially should there be an issue.
The only concern I have, surrounds the notice that the Government of Canada is switching to direct deposit for all payments that it issues? This includes your tax refund and benefit payments. They would like you to sign up for direct deposit. More information is available here: www.cra.gc.ca/getready. However, by providing the CRA with a bank source for direct deposit, also means that they have a source for collection purposes should you run into tax trouble and have a balance with the CRA.
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