Prepare Yourself for the 2017 TAX YEAR


Things are going from bad to worse with Revenue Canada! Their service is horrific. Wait times are beyond anything acceptable in any industry.  When you do finally get to talk to a person, their information is not trust worthy. Now to top off the cake…  CRA are eliminating or removing all of the family orientated tax credits.  If you are used to using these credits to help reduce tax burden you will need to find another way.  You can still get RRSP’s until the end of February. (disability tax credit/child care was not affected- thank God.)

Highlights of Changes – FEDERAL

CANADA’S CAREGIVER AMOUNT : The Canada caregiver amount has replaced the family caregiver amount, the amount for infirm dependants age 18 or older (line 306), and the caregiver amount (line 315). The Canada Caregiver Amount is not really a single amount: It can be claimed on line 303, 305 and/or 367. The maximum claim is $2,150. Also, an additional maximum of $6,883 can be claimed on lines 304 and/or 307 of Schedule 1.

You could be entitled to claim this amount in the calculation of certain non-refundable tax credits if the person you are making the claim for has an impairment in physical or mental functions. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, or a dependant with an impairment in physical or mental functions, you may be entitled to claim the Canada caregiver amount. For your spouse or common-law partner, you may be entitled to claim an amount of $2,150 in the calculation of line 303. You could also claim an amount up to a maximum of $6,883 on line 304. See lines 303 and 304. For an eligible dependant 18 years of age or older, you may be entitled to claim an amount of $2,150 in the calculation of line 305. You could also claim an amount up to a maximum of $6,883 on line 304. See lines 304 and 305. Forms affected: S5 and several federal, and provincial forms and calculations.

TUITION, EDUCATION AND TEXTBOOKS AMOUNTS (line 323): As of January 1, 2017, the federal education and textbook amounts have been eliminated. The eligibility criteria for the tuition amount has been enhanced under certain conditions to include fees paid for occupational skills courses that are not at the post-secondary level. Schedule 11 has been revised accordingly. However, unused federal tuition, education, and textbook amounts from 2016 and previous years can still be carried forward. Eligible tuition fees paid for courses taken after 2016 at a post-secondary educational institution in Canada that are not at the post-secondary school level (for example, training in a second language or in basic literacy and numeracy) will also qualify for the tuition amount as long as the student is:
– at least 16 years of age at the end of the year; and
– enrolled in the educational institution to obtain skills for, or improve the student’s skills in, an occupation. Form affected: S11

PUBLIC TRANSIT AMOUNT (line 364): As of July 1, 2017, this amount has been eliminated . You can only claim the cost of monthly public transit passes or passes of longer duration for travel on public transit for the period of January 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017. Form affected: PTransit

CHILDREN’S FITNESS TAX CREDIT (lines 458 and 459): As of January 1, 2017, this credit has been eliminated. Form affected: Fitness (now it applies only for BC and YT)

CHILDREN’S ARTS AMOUNT (line 370): As of January 1, 2017, this amount has been eliminated. Form affected: Arts (removed)

SCHOLARSHIPS, FELLOWSHIPS, BURSARIES AND ARTISTS’ PROJECT GRANTS EXEMPTION (line 130): The eligibility for the exemption has been enhanced under certain conditions to include scholarships and bursaries received for occupational skills courses that are not at the post-secondary level.

DONATIONS AND GIFTS (line 349): A gift of ecologically sensitive land cannot be made to a private foundation after March 21, 2017. There are also a number of changes to the Ecological Gifts Program . For more information, see ‘Gifts of ecologically sensitive land,’ in Pamphlet P113 for when Gifts and Income Tax will become available by CRA.

MEDICAL EXPENSES (lines 330 and 331): Individuals who need medical intervention to conceive a child are eligible to claim the same expenses as individuals with medical infertility. You can also request an adjustment to claim such medical expenses on any income tax return for the 10 previous calendar years. Payments for certain reproductive technologies are eligible, even if you do not have a medical condition that prevents you from conceiving a child.

DISABILITY TAX CREDIT (DTC) CERTIFICATION: As of March 22, 2017, nurse practitioners have been added to the list of medical practitioners who may certify eligibility of a person for the DTC. More on Guide RC4064, Disability Related Information.

ELIGIBLE CAPITAL PROPERTY AND TRANSITION TO CCA CLASS 14.1: Starting Jan. 1. 2017, Eligible capital Property is treated as depreciable property and claimed in the new class 14.1. Forms Affected: The CEC calculation has been removed from the Self Employments statements (T2125, T2042, T2121, T1163 and T1273). There will be soon new worksheets to help this transition.

PRINCIPLE RESIDENCE: Address, Year of acquisition and Proceeds of disposition have been removed from S3 and added to T2091 form. Forms affected: S3 and T2091

CAPITAL GAINS DEDUCTION (T657) AND CAPITAL GAINS RESERVES (T2017): Significant changes have been made by CRA to both forms. Please do not use it yet, if you have T2017 Capital Gains Reserves.

Highlights of Changes – PROVINCIAL

Labour Sponsored Funds tax credit: Investments made in provincially registered funds, still qualify for the 15% credit via lines 413 and 414 of Schedule 1, although the Federal Credit has been eliminated. Form affected: T5006

AB428: New investor tax credit: up to $60,000

BC 428: New lines to claim Firefighter’s amount and search and rescue volunteers.

BC, YT: Fitness Amount: BC and YT can still use the Fitness amount although the Federal credit has been eliminated. Form affected: Fitness

BC, MB, YT: Arts Amount: BC, MB and YT can still claim the Arts amount although the Federal credit has been eliminated. Forms affected: BCArts, MBArts, YTArts

NB AND YT SCHEDULE 11: The NB tand YT ax credit for tuition and education amounts were eliminated. However any unused amount from prior years can be claimed by the student.

ON428: Last year, Infirm dependents age 18 or older were claimed on line 5820 and the caregiver amount on line 5840. In 2017, these amounts are replaced by the Ontario Caregiver amount in line 5819

ON479: New Ontario Seniors public transit credit on line 6305. Maximum credit is $225 and only public services used from July 1, 2017 to Dec 31, 2017.

ON479: The Ontario Children activity tax credit and healthy homes Renovation tax credits were eliminated. (Lines 6309 and 6311 were removed)

If you have any questions feel free to email or use her contact form.

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