The deadline to file taxes is starting to creep up; it’s April 30, 2021. Unless you’re self-employed or have a spouse or a common-law partner who is self-employed, then the deadline to file your taxes is June 15, 2021.
The Canada Revenue Agency has a directory of community organizations hosting free tax clinics. Some clinics that are currently operating may complete and file taxes for free, by videoconference or by phone. To find a clinic in your community, check the directory, which is updated regularly. Before visiting a clinic, call to learn about any COVID-related restrictions or protocols.
Please note: many clinics that have provided services in the past may have been cancelled or postponed due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.
You may be able to claim medical expenses on your tax return. To help you understand what is eligible, Canada Revenue Agency has an online list of items. The list is in alphabetical order and starts with air conditioners and ends with wigs. It captures various items, including bathroom aids, prescription drugs, orthopedics, closed captioning decoders, and braille tools. The list indicates if an item is an eligible expense and if you require a prescription, certification in writing or a T2201 form to claim on your taxes.
Disability Tax Credit
The disability Tax Credit (DTC) was created to offset the extra living costs related to living with a disability. If you or a dependent spouse or common-law partner have a serious or prolonged physical or mental impairment, you may be able to reduce the amount of tax you pay.
To determine eligibility, you must first complete a Disability Tax Credit Certificate—Form T2201—and have it certified by a medical practitioner. If you or your dependent are eligible, you could get help with expenses related to assisted living, elder care, home care services, and other disability services. In some cases, you may be able to apply for a DTC after someone has passed away.
B.C. Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities
The Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities is also for family members living with seniors and persons with disabilities. It assists eligible individuals with the cost of particular permanent home renovations to improve accessibility and daily living activities.
If you qualify, you can claim up to $10,000 in eligible home improvements on your tax return. The amount of money you receive for renovations is calculated as 15 percent of the eligible expenses you claim. For example, if you spend and then claim $10,000 worth of eligible expenses, you could get $1,500 back.
Some things you can claim include:
- Walk-in bathtubs
- Widening doorways
- Installation of non-slip flooring
- Raised toilets
- Touch and release drawers and cupboards
- Replacing doorknobs with lever handles
- Lowering sinks, light switches, counters, and cupboards to be more accessible
Age amount tax credit
You or an elderly family member can claim the Age amount tax credit if they were over 65 on December 31, 2016, and have a net income is less than $82,353.
Pension income amount
If you reported eligible pension, superannuation or annuity payments on your tax return, you may be able to claim up to $2,000 as a non-refundable tax credit. Alternatively, you may wish to transfer the credit to your spouse or common-law partner.
Splitting pension income with your spouse or common-law partner
If you’re receiving a pension, you may be able to split up to 50% of your pension income with your spouse or common-law partner. Income that doesn’t qualify is Old Age Security (OAS) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) payments.