Blog Archives

2016 Community Volunteer Income Tax Clinics

If you had modest income in 2016 and a simple tax situation then you may be able to have your 2016 personal tax return prepared for free at a Community Volunteer Income Tax Clinic.  For information on the definition of modest income and simple tax situation please visit this Canada Revenue Agency webpage.  This webpage also includes a link to assist in finding a tax clinic near you.

Students and credit cards

This is another interesting article from MoneySense regarding post-secondary students and credit cards. Some of their findings may surprise you!

From MoneySense:

Canada’s post-secondary students get an ‘A’ when it comes to credit card habits.

Nearly nine in 10 college and university students have a credit card and 65% use it regularly making 12 purchases a month on average. What’s more, 80% of them pay off their balance—in full—every month, according to an annual survey for BMO. Pretty impressive, especially when you consider the wider population was carrying on average $3,556 in credit card debt in the second quarter, TransUnion Canada data shows.

Read the full article here.

RESP babies

MoneySense posted a short article on the number of students who now wish they had an RESP (registered education savings plan).

We will be writing a post regarding the tax implications involved when you withdraw those funds.

From MoneySense:

A new poll for BMO suggest one-third of Canadians enrolled at a post-secondary institution have an RESP to help pay for tuition, books, room and board. Among students with a RESP to tap, three-quarters said they would not be able to afford university/college without it. Among students without an RESP, a whopping 84% said they wish they had one and 91% said they plan to set one up for their kids one day. It’s no wonder. A four-year university degree can cost upwards of $60,000, according to the bank. For children born in 2013, costs could reach $140,000 by the time they attend a post-secondary institution. Pick up the September/October issue of MoneySense magazine on newsstands now for additional information on students and RESPs or try out our RESP Calculator.

November is financial literacy month

November is financial literacy month.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) defines financial literacy as “the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions”.

FCAC’s website provides resources, information, produces and services to assist Canadian’s in improving their financial literacy.  These resources include a money suggestion of the day and events held throughout the country.

Example of “money suggestion of the day”:

November 1, 2012
It pays to know that you can cash a Government of Canada cheque for free at any bank, even if you are not a customer, as long as the cheque is for $1,500 or less and you show acceptable identification.

Back to school! Save your receipts!

This is from CRA’s website. Check out their website for more information.

Did you know?

If you’re moving for school this year you may be able to claim a tax deduction for moving expenses when you file your income tax and benefit return. You may also be able to claim a non-refundable tax credit based on the cost of your transit passes. So don’t forget to keep your receipts!

In addition, there are other benefits and non-refundable tax credits that students may be eligible to claim. Non-refundable tax credits reduce your federal tax; however, if the total of these credits is more than your federal tax, you will not get a refund for the difference.

  • Education amount: You may be able to claim a full-time education amount of $400, or part-time amount of $120, for each month or part of a month in the year in which you were enrolled in a qualifying program at the post-secondary level.
  • Textbook amount: You may be able to claim a textbook amount for each month that you qualify for the education amount.
  • Tuition amount: You may be able to claim the fees you pay for the courses taken at the post-secondary level or at an educational institution certified by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. To qualify you must have paid more than $100 in tuition fees for the year.
  • Interest on student loans: You may be eligible to claim an amount for the interest paid in 2012 or the preceding five years on your student loan if you received it under the Canada Student Loans Act, the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act, or a similar provincial or territorial government laws.
  • Goods and services tax/ harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit: The GST/HST credit is a tax-free quarterly payment that helps individuals and families with low or modest incomes offset all or part of the GST or HST that they pay.

Keep your receipts!

It is important for Canadians to keep all their records and receipts after filing their income tax and benefit return in case the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) asks to see them later. Each year, the CRA looks at income tax returns to review deductions and credits and ensure that various income amounts have been correctly reported. Keep your receipts and supporting documents for six years.

For more information for students, go to www.cra.gc.ca/students.