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What Tax Benefits Really Exist For the Seniors?

Being as we are now in a tax season every individual looks at what is best for them when it comes to getting breaks on their taxes.   One group of people that gets very confused and overwhelmed during tax season is the seniors.

As a result of this they often lose out on a lot of the credits and benefits that are available to them.   Unfortunately they often have to rely on resources to assist them with the completion of their tax filing.  They have to do this on blind trust as they don’t know enough about their taxes to be able to review them themselves to know whether they have been done properly or not.  This is why it is highly important that seniors are able to rely on the proper professionals to ensure that their taxes are done right.   The CRA has set up several benefits for seniors that will afford them credits that can easily be  missed. Some of them are very common and there is never much of a problem with this.

Age amount is one that is the most common and even the novice tax preparer is aware of this one.

What can get buried is the pension income amount where seniors are allowed to claim up to $2000 of eligible pension income.

Then there is the pension income splitting which has become really important to many seniors and this one can be easily missed.

Another one that gets lost is the disability amount. Many seniors feel that because they are aging that their disabilities that have developed are not applicable to the tax credit that they may get for this. This is something that should be determined by a professional that understands what qualifies for disability.

Another area that gets overlooked is the medical expenses. With all of the cutbacks in what is covered for medical costs for seniors, often they end up having a substantial amount of medical cost that they have to pay for themselves. Some of these may be eligible for a tax credit and they should be looked at very carefully.

There are some that are on guaranteed income supplement and they have to renew themselves in this program, which they can do if they file their return by April 30th.  If they don’t file a by this time it they may have to complete the renewal form separately.

It is important that the seniors take a look at what savings they have to see if they are going to get any tax breaks regarding this. This could be the RRSP or the registered disability savings plans. Seniors must be sure that that they are going to receive their credits for the GST/HST credit.

Many seniors have a family caregiver and this caregiver may be entitled to a tax credit as well.

Then there is also the potential credit for  public transit that seniors may be eligible for.

While there seems like a lot of potential credits and benefits when it comes to taxes for the seniors which there is, many of them  get overlooked and this is not fair to the senior that doesn’t understand what their tax situation is.

 

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Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
629 Sheppard Avenue West
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 2S3

Telephone: (416) 398-1700
Fax: (416) 398-6226

Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, Licensed Public Accountant

Email: sam@torontoaccountant.ca

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