Provincial and federal governments have released some new changes that may affect your tax return this year. As you prepare for this upcoming tax season, it’s important to understand what these changes are and how they may impact you. Here, Lisa Gittens, tax expert at H&R Block, provides a breakdown of what you need to know.
Ontario. If you reside in Ontario, there are a couple tax changes that may affect you. First, the low-income individuals and families – or LIFT – credit is designed so that taxpayers who only earn minimum wage with no other sources of income do not pay provincial tax. “That’s an estimated return of $450 per family,” says Gittens.
There’s also the childcare access and relief from expenses (CARE) refundable tax credit. If you are a parent or caregiver living in Ontario and have a net family income of less than $150,000, you’ll see a significantly larger refund based on income and eligible childcare expenses. That’s estimated to be $1,250 on average per family for nearly 300,000 households.
New Brunswick. With a new government in place, the tuition tax credit that was previously eliminated in 2017 has been restored. The credit can also be applied retroactively so that in addition to claiming tuition fees in 2019, students can also claim any fees paid in 2017 and 2018 as a carry forward.
British Columbia. The provincial government has announced its decision to eliminate the education credit effective for 2019. But Gittens says this doesn’t apply to tuition fees; you will still be able to claim those costs to help reduce your taxes.
Alberta. Although the provincial government eliminated the provincial carbon tax as of July 1, 2019, the federal government has imposed a new carbon tax effective January 2020. “As a result, all taxpayers in Alberta will now receive the Climate Action Incentive on their tax returns, an incentive that increased the returns of many across the country in participating provinces,” says Gittens.
Climate Action Incentive. The Climate Action Incentive will be significantly increased for taxpayers in provinces where the credit already exists, including Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The credit differs based on your family composition – whether you’re single, have a spouse or partner, or a family – so it’s important to understand how this impacts you. (NC)