There’s no doubt that raising a family is getting increasingly expensive, so Cleo Hamel, senior tax analyst at H&R Block Canada, offers the following tax tips for families who wish to reduce their 2011 tax bill.
Kids are a credit:
Parents can claim the $2,131 Child Tax Credit for each child under the age of 18. This will result in a federal tax saving of $319 per child. If one parent cannot use the entire amount to lower their tax payable, the unused amount can be transferred to a spouse or common-law partner.
Signed up for kinder gym? The Children’s Fitness Amount is a non-refundable credit that is worth up to $500 for children under the age of 16 enrolled in an eligible program of physical activity. Not every program meets the eligibility guidelines so you need to ensure you know the requirements. Make sure you keep your receipts. Disabled children will qualify for an advanced credit if they are under 18.
Claim child care:
Keep all your receipts for child care expenses. From daycare to nannies, child care expenses can be claimed by the lower-income spouse. Unfortunately, any unused amount cannot be claimed by the higher-income earner unless there was a period of separation of 90 days or more or the other spouse was in school, prison or the hospital.
There are a host of other credits available to families. Avoid missing out on them by using tax preparation software, like H&R Block’s At Home do-it-yourself software, which guides Canadians through step-by-step tips to identify every possible deduction or credit, calculates your return as you go, and ensures you get your maximum refund. Worried you missed something using another software program? Bring it into an H&R Block office and a tax professional will review your return for free.
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