New Changes to 2015 Personal Income Tax Returns

With some new enhancements and positive changes for 2015, you might be surprised how enthusiastic you are to complete your personal income tax returns. Check out the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) new improvements for this year.

CRA Services

• CRA is offering a new mobile app called MyCRA to streamline your tax information. Now you can view or change your tax information on the go.
• A user-friendly feature called “Auto-fill my return” allows the CRA to complete most of your tax return when you file electronically.
• A new look in your Notice of Assessment (NOA) shows the most important information first.

Individuals and Families

• The Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) has gone up to $160 per month for every qualified dependent under six years old. In addition, each qualified dependent ages six through seventeen is now eligible for $60 per month credit.
• The Child Care Expenses Deduction limit has increased by $1,000 per child.
• The Family Caregiver amount has been completely replaced by the new UCCB.
• The Family Tax Cut now allows families to count unused tuition, textbook and education costs transferred from a spouse or common-law partner.
• The Children’s Fitness Tax Credit in now refundable.

Interest and Investments

• The withdrawal amount from a registered pension plan (RPP), registered retirement income fund (RRIF) and pooled registered pension plan (PRPP) has been reduced. If you have taken out more than the 2015 minimum, you can re-contribute that money.
• The lifetime capital gains exemption for a qualified fishing property or farm has increased to $1,000,000 with a deduction limit of $500,000.
• Registered Red Seal apprentices can claim interest paid on a Canada Apprentice Loan.
• Mineral Exploration tax credits have now been extended for flow-through share agreements made before April 2016.
• The Foreign Income Verification Statement has been simplified for taxpayers who own foreign property that costs less than $250,000 annually.
• The Tax-free Savings Account (TFSA) limit has increased to $10,000.

Other changes

• For any repeated failure to report income, the penalty can only be charged if your income was $500 or more.

The blogs posted on our website provide information of a general nature. These posts should not be considered specific advice; as each reader's personal financial situation is unique and fact specific. Please contact a professional advisor prior to implementing or acting upon any of the information contained in one of the blogs.

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