Did you know that according to a report on Global news we pay 42.5% of our income in tax? That's a sobering thought so we need to make sure that we know about any new deductions that can be claimed on our return.
The 2019 tax filing season was off and running on February 19th, the official day when the CRA began processing returns. According to the CRA, improvements have been made to ensure that tax-filing is a user friendly, fast, easy and secure process. There have been improvements to their call-centres, featuring improved accessibility for callers. When you call you will now get an estimated wait time, so you can decide to wait, call back or use the self- serve options that are available. Call-centre agents have also received improved training to enable them to better answer questions from callers.
For most of us the filing deadline is April 30th but If you are self-employed you usually have until June 15th to file. However, as this date falls on a Saturday, you get two extra days! Returns are due by midnight July 17th; however, any balance owing is still due by April 30th.
So, what else is new for individuals and families in 2019?
- Increases to the Canada Workers Benefit– for an individual this increases to $1355 for a single person and $2335 for a single parent or couple, this is an increase of between $300 and $400.
- Climate Action Incentive– an extra tax credit for Canadians living in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick to offset the cost of the carbon tax in provinces that have not established a carbon price of their own.
- Medical expense credit for service animals – Canadians suffering from severe mental impairment are now able to claim the cost of caring for a service animal as a medical expense.
- Accelerated capital cost allowance rates – If you are a business owner or are self-employed you may be able to get more money back for the cost of your business equipment and office furniture bought after November 2018. The former amount you can claim in the first year has increased by 50%. Unfortunately, this change will only apply until the end of 2023 and will be phased out between 2024 and 2027.
- Lower Tax Rate for small businesses – The federal small business tax rate which applies to business incomes up to $500,000 has dropped from 10.5% to 10% in 2018 and dropped to 9% in January of 2019.
- Pay your taxes with an app – You can now pay your taxes through your phone. The MyCra web based app lets you view and pay your tax balance with Interac, or Credit card or by pre-authorised debit.
For more information about filing your taxes in 2019 see the CRA website at https://www.fin.gc.ca/n18/data/18-123_1-eng.asp