There have been a number of changes to income tax deductions for the 2017 tax year, which will continue to apply for 2018. Let’s take a look at a few of the lesser-known changes here.
Caregiver Expense Deduction
Three previous credits, the caregiver credit, the family caregiver credit, and the credit for infirm dependants over 18, have been replaced by the Canada caregiver credit. The maximum claim amount for the new amalgamated credit has been increased to $6,883 for 2017 (and potentially higher for 2018).
As noted on the Government of Canada website, the credit is similar to the previous three credits that it is replacing except for one notable exception—if you are supporting a parent or grandparent over 65 who is living with you, you cannot claim the caregiver credit unless that parent or grandparent is infirm.
Deployed Military Salaries Exempt from Income Tax
Also on Canada.ca, as part of Canada’s new Defence Policy to improve how Canadian military personnel are treated, Canadian Armed Forces personnel who are on active deployment will now have their incomes exempt from income taxes while they are on deployment. Police officers who have been deployed on designated international missions will also be included in this income tax exemption.
Disability Tax Credit
Canadian citizens with a severe and/or prolonged mental or physical disability have been able to claim a disability tax credit in the past. This tax credit has had a change as well, in that nurse practitioners have been added to the list of medical personnel who are able to certify the disability application form, Form T2201 (the Disability Tax Credit Certificate).
Public Transit Expense Deduction
As of July 1, 2017, Canadians will no longer be able to claim a deduction for transit passes. The federal government has indicated that it will be considering other ways to encourage Canadians to use transit other than the underutilized public transit expense deduction.
Contact Shaw & Associates Chartered Accountants to help you with unusual tax credit questions. One complimentary meeting with us will put you and your business on a more profitable and positive path.