Banka: Getting ready to file 2015 taxes

In order to qualify for the home accessibility credit, you need to be 65 years or older and be eligible for the disability tax credit.

The 2015 federal budget that was released on April 21, 2015, had some items that will affect your personal taxes for this year.

The first was that the Tax-Free Savings Account limit was increased to $10,000 effective Jan. 1, 2015.

So that would mean that if you hadn’t contributed to your TFSA yet, you would have contribution room of $41,000.

Again, like the RRSP, if you over contribute, you could be facing penalties and interest.

The new government has indicated that this limit will not continue into 2016.

There is a new credit called the home accessibility credit, which is basically similar to the home renovation tax credit from a few years back.

This one is to provide a tax credit of 15 per cent on any home renovations up to $10,000 completed to enhance mobility or reduce risk of harm to the person living in the home.

In order to qualify for this credit, you need to be 65 years or older and be eligible for the disability tax credit.

Qualifying for this means potential tax savings of $1,500 federally and $1,000 provincially.

Eligible individuals could also receive this credit. To be eligible, you need to have claimed or could have claimed the spouse or common law partner amount, eligible dependant amount, caregiver amount or infirm dependent amount of the qualified person.

Two people can claim the credit, but the expenses are limited to $10,000.

If you have a Registered Retirement Income Fund,  your minimum annual withdrawal has been reduced.

If you receive funds from your RRIF on a monthly basis and you don’t need the funds in the current year, you could recontribute the difference between the old minimum and the new minimum so that you can use the funds later on.

This recontribution doesn’t need to go back into the same RRIF.

If you have a fishing or farm property and you wish to sell it, the lifetime capital gains limit has now been increased to $1 million on those kinds of properties.

If you received education credits in 2014 and qualified for the family tax cut, you were not able to transfer those education credits between you.

This has now been rectified with this budget as Canada Revenue Agency has indicated it  will automatically prepare adjustments for anyone that was affected.

Some other changes are that the maximum amount of expenses for the adoption expense tax credit have been increased.

There have been additions to the medical expense tax credit to include costs of service animals for people with severe diabetes as well as the cost of individualized therapy plans.

There is also now a search and rescue volunteer tax credit.

You will find that you no longer need to file a form to apply for the GST/HST credit as CRA will automatically determine whether you are eligible when you file your tax return.