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Tax season is coming soon.  The Income Tax slips started coming this week in the mail.  A letter sent recently by Canada’s Minister of Seniors, Deb Schulte, to RTAM states at the outset “Filing taxes is important to make sure individuals get all the benefits they are entitled to, especially low-income seniors.”

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She mentions “there are four benefits alone that can add up to more than a thousand dollars for middle-income seniors, or thousands for low-income seniors.” They are:

  • The GST/HST credit, a tax-free quarterly payment to offset all or part of the GST or HST paid by individuals with low or middle incomes, including seniors.
  • The age amount which provides a deduction for those over age 65
  • The climate action incentive payment which returns proceeds from carbon pricing to residents of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba or Ontario and
  • The Guaranteed Income Supplement, which provides a monthly benefit for low-income seniors.”

Go to www.canada.ca/taxes-help  to find Doing Your Taxes.   Some benefit areas mentioned are:

If you received COVID-19 emergency or recovery benefits from CRA in 2020 you will receive a T4A slip.  You must report these amounts on your 2020 income tax and benefit return.

Other benefits mentioned:

  • The home accessibility tax credit: seniors who spend up to $10,000 in a year to make their home more accessible can get a tax credit worth up to $1,500.
  • The Canada caregiver credit is a non-refundable tax credit that can help Canadians-including seniors-support a spouse, common-law partner or a dependent with a physical or mental impairment.
  • The disability tax credit is a non-refundable tax credit that helps persons with disabilities-or their supporting family members-reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay.
  • Couples may be able to take advantage of pension income splitting.
  • You may be able to claim the medical expenses credit for eligible medical expenses that you or your spouse paid in the tax year of did not claim in the previous tax year. You may also be eligible to claim related credits:
  • The refundable medical expense supplement which provides additional support to working individuals with low incomes and high medical expenses; and
  • The disability supports deduction, which may allow you to claim some medical expenses if you have an impairment in physical or mental functions.

Ways to File your tax return::

Using Software – Find a list of certified desktop, online and mobile software products at www.canada.ca/netfile .   Some are free.

Due to COVID-19 paper filing may delay your assessment.

Using the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program.  Free tax clinics are generally offered between March and April across Canada.  To find a tax clinic near you go to www.canada.ca/taxes,help

Part of filing your income tax is also going to www.manitoba.ca/finance/personal taxes & credits/personal income tax.  Information about forms to use, further benefits that are available from the Manitoba Government and filing instructions are available.

Plan ahead for tax filing season.

Avoid delays – sign up for direct deposit and file online.

Keep your personal information up to date with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Filing your taxes is the only way to take full advantage of all the benefits the Government of Canada offers to seniors” is the final quote from Minister Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors for Canada.

Above all:        BE SURE TO FILE YOUR INCOME TAX AND BENEFITS RETURN.