Tuesday, April 19, 2016

2015 Tax Tips

Every April I put out a short list of the changes to the Tax Rules and here is this year's list. Check the bottom of the article for links to additional resources and information.
CRA goes High Tech
MyCRA is a mobile app from the Canada Revenue Agency. Using this app, you can view your notice of assessment, tax return status, benefit and credit information, and RRSP and TFSA contribution room.
If you self-file using the software packages available, you may have noticed that this year, you can download your T4, T4A, T3, T5 and RRSP slips (by signing into your CRA MyAccount) and you no longer need to enter the information manually. Don't forget to double-check the CRA's data before you file.
Tax Brackets and Tax Rates
Check the table below to see if you are impacted by the changes to the tax brackets and to the rates. Note - these are Federal rates only,
Personal income tax brackets
2015 income
2015 federal tax rate
2016 federal tax rate
2016 income
more than $138,586
more than $200,000
TFSA limit change
The limit for 2016 is a return to $5,500, down from 2015's limit of $10,000. If you have been eligible for the TFSA since its inception and never contributed, your total contribution room is $46,500. Don't forget that you cannot replace money taken out until the following calendar year (unless you still have contribution room).
Child tax credit and UCCB 
The child tax credit, worth an average of $337 per child, is gone and parents must pay tax on the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) they started receiving last summer. The UCCB amounts are $160 a month for every child under age six and $60 a month for children aged six to 17 since last July. If you had a spouse or common-law partner in 2015, the partner with the lower income claims the UCCB as income on line 117.
On July 1, 2016 this will change again, when the new CCB (tax-free and tied to income), replaces the UCCB, the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) and the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS, part of CCTB).
Foreign income verification statement
Over the last several years there have been several revisions to form T1135. These changes have increased the amount of information that people were required to disclose about their foreign property and income.
For 2015, the reporting requirements have been simplified for people who own more than $100,000, but less than $250,000 in foreign holdings, including rental properties, trusts and investments. If you own $100,000 to $250,000, you need to report only the total income from property held and any gain or loss from its disposition.  If you hold more holdings, you must give more detailed descriptions of each type of investment in each country.
Links and Resources
For more information, check out the following links:

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