Local MP offers tax filing tips

Ron Cannan says filing tax returns isn't the most popular endeavour but he offers advice on how to expedite the process more smoothly.

Tax time is not necessarily everyone’s favourite time of year but it might help to know that since 2006 the government has cut taxes over 180 times, reducing the overall tax burden to its lowest level in 50 years and leaving more money in the pockets of hard-working Canadian families and job-creating businesses, says Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan.

Once again this year, Cannan has posted an annual tax guide online at www.cannan.ca, which outlines the tax cuts available to you, including information on the newest family tax benefits proposed by the government.

The new tax package for families will benefit every single family with children under the age of 18 in Canada.  Measures include:

•   Introducing the Family Tax Cut, a federal tax credit that will provide tax relief – capped at $2,000 – for couples with children under the age of 18, effective for the 2014 tax year. Income splitting is helping seniors across the country, which is why the Government is now proposing similar relief for families.

•  Increasing the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) for children under age six. As of January 1, 2015, parents will receive a benefit of $160 per month for each child under the age of six – up from $100 per month. In a year, parents will receive up to $1,920 per child.

• Expanding the UCCB to children aged six through 17. As of January 1, 2015, under the expanded UCCB, parents will receive a benefit of $60 per month for children aged six through 17. In a year, parents will receive up to $720 per child.

•    Increasing the Child Care Expense Deduction dollar limits by $1,000, effective for the 2015 tax year. The maximum amounts that can be claimed will increase to $8,000 from $7,000 for children under age seven, to $5,000 from $4,000 for children aged seven through 16 and to $11,000 from $10,000 for children who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.

• Doubling the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit for 2014 and making it refundable in 2015.

Cannan says some 80% of individual tax returns are now filed electronically.  If you are thinking of filing online for the first time, CRA provides information to help you at www.cra.gc.ca/electronicservices.

For those of you who prefer filing a paper return,Cannan says  forms are available from the CRA at www.cra.gc.ca and at Canada Post outlets and Service Canada offices.  You can also call the CRA directly at 1-800-959-8281.

If you need help filing your income tax, Cannan notes assistance is available through the CRA’s Community Volunteer Income Tax Program.

In Kelowna, the Seniors Outreach Services Society located at 2055 Benvoulin Court, Suite 102, will help seniors living on a modest income with their tax returns for the current taxation year.  For more information, call 250-861-6180 or send an e-mail to seniorvi@telus.net.  The clinic location is wheelchair accessible and clinics are held year round.

For more information, email Cannan at  ron@cannan.ca or call 250-470-5075.