How to know which federal tax credits you're entitled to claim

December 21, 2014

Dreading tax time? You're not alone. But the real question is: which federal tax credits are you entitled to claim? The answer could save you big bucks!

How to know which federal tax credits you're entitled to claim

The federal government provides credits that can significantly reduce the amount of income tax you owe. But given the big maze of deductions and credits, it can be hard to see what you can claim. That’s why the question needs to be asked: which tax credits am I entitled to claim?

Here are the main non-refundable federal credits that can help you reduce your tax burden:

Medical costs

Non-refundable tax credits can help reduce the income tax you'll be asked to pay back. However, if you paid for certain medical expenses, for example, you can ask for a credit.

The list of eligible medical expenses is quite long, and you should consult the Canada Revenue Agency's website for a complete list. Some of the things you may be able to claim include:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Medical exams and treatments, including eyeglasses (lenses and frames), contact lenses and laser surgery
  • Dental costs, as well as orthodontist or denturist expenses
  • Medical equipment that was leased or purchased, such as crutches, wheelchairs, hearing aids and braces

Which tax credits am I entitled to if I have a child?

You can apply for various deductions and benefits if you have children, including the universal child care benefit and the exemption amount for children under the age of 18.

In addition, the federal government offers two tax credits directly related to your children’s extracurricular activities:

  • The children’s fitness tax credit
  • The children's arts tax credit

Your child must be under age 16 in order to claim either of these tax credits. Of course, you’ll need to provide the Canada Revenue Agency proof that your child was actually involved in the activity, so keep all receipts of payment.

Other tax credits

If you want to be sure to get all the tax credits you may be entitled to claim, the best thing is to have an accountant or specialist fill out your income tax return. What's more, be sure to flag any deductions that you may qualify for, such as:

  • The first homebuyer’s credit
  • The public transit tax credit
  • The moving expenses credit
  • The family caregiver amount
  • The tax credit for a tradesperson’s tools
  • The credit for charitable donations
  • The volunteer firefighters’ credit
  • Income splitting for pensioners

There are dozens more credits and deductions your tax expert may be able to calculate. What's more, for students, workers and seniors, there are plenty of other tax credits that are worth investigating. The bottom line is this: if you want to pay less tax, the key is to find and claim the credits to which you are entitled.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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