What You Need to Know When Preparing for Your 2017 Tax Return

As Spring draws closer (hopefully), so does the time to prepare and file your 2017 taxes. Since we last posted, you should have received all the required paperwork from your employers and investments. Now it’s time to catch up on the latest changes to the tax laws as some of them may affect you.

CaregivTax Tips 2017ers
Are you a caregiver of a family member with a physical or mental impairment? If so you may be eligible for the Canada Caregiver Amount tax credit. The government recognizes the extra financial responsibility being a caregiver can have on your finances. This year determining if you qualify for the credit will be much simpler.

Education
Until recently, only post-secondary level course tuition qualified for a tax credit. If you took other courses at an educational facility, these fees weren’t eligible. With the recent changes, courses such as second language skills and occupational improvement courses such as computer skills may allow you to benefit in more ways than intellectually.

While this option was added, the credit for post-secondary textbooks has been eliminated. This did not affect the tuition tax credit nor the ability to carry forward unused education and textbook amounts from years prior.

 Parents
The Children’s Fitness and Arts Tax Credits were eliminated in 2017.

Transportation
It appears the tax credit for utilizing public transit was not enough motivation for travellers to change their transport habits. Therefore, the public transit credit was eliminated mid-year 2017. If you used public transportation in 2017, this is your last chance to claim this benefit as amounts purchased for travel between Jan 1 and June 30, 2017 are still eligible.

Infertility Treatments
Financial help has become reality for those needing medical assistance to conceive. As of 2017, infertility treatments are now included as an eligible medical expense. As an additional benefit, this has been made retroactive. Meaning if you have received fertility treatments within the past ten years, you can request adjustments of past returns.

These are just a few of the highlights for the 2017 tax filing, not that taxes are ever a highlight. While it’s great to know how to benefit during the current tax season, maybe it’s time to start planning to benefit next year. Financial Planners are able to look at your current and future finances and create the most beneficial plan for you.