2017 Changes To Personal Income Tax

The time to prepare, file and pay your personal income taxes is here.

April 30th is a stone throw away from this date.

Cue music from random horror movie….now the appropriate mood has been set for those of you who are contemplating your 2017 taxes for the first  time.  This doom and gloom scenario is hopefully only for the few stragglers who have not planned for their 2017 taxes.

Rest assured the information you will learn below is both for the prepared and in unprepared.  It is my intent that the music we will all cue after this article will be in line with the happy ending of a Disney movie.  I know a TALL order, so let’s begin.

Knowledge is the key to every challenge we are faced with in life, below you will find knowledge for your personal tax challenges.

Changes That Impact 2017 Personal Income Taxes

The Canada child care benefit (CCB)

The Canada child care benefit (CCB) replaces the Canada child tax benefit, universal child care benefit, and the National child benefit supplement of the prior year. The CCB is tax-free, paid monthly and available to eligible families who have children under the age of 18.

The Family Tax Cut 

The family tax cut credit which allowed the higher income spouse/common-law partner to split a portion of his/her income with his/her lower income spouse/common-law partner has been eliminated.

However the spousal/common-law partner split for pension income remains for the 2017 tax year.

Sale of your principal residence 

The 2016 taxation year introduced the reporting on your tax return of the disposition of your principal residence. The information required to be reported in 2016 and subsequent years includes the date of acquisition, proceeds of disposition and the address of the property in order to claim the full principal residence exemption. There are no taxes payable on the gain on sale of your principal residence if it was your principal residence for all of the years of ownership.

The Canada Caregiver Amount 

This is a new tax credit in 2017. This tax credit impacts you If you’ve previously claimed:

  • The Family Caregiver Amount;
  • The Caregiver Amount; or
  • The Amount for Infirm Dependants aged 18 or older.

The Canada Caregiver Amount replaces all three of these amounts as of 2017.

Tuition

In prior years only tuition paid for post-secondary level courses qualified for a tax credit. The fees for other courses at a college, university, or other educational facility were not permitted to be used for the tuition tax credit. In 2017 the definition of tuition has been expanded.

If a taxpayer took a course to improve basic reading or math skills, upgrade occupational skills, or attended second language classes, these fees may qualify for the tuition tax credit.

Eliminated Tax Credits in 2017

The following tax credits have been eliminated in 2017:

  • The Children’s Fitness Tax Credit,
  • The Children’s Arts Amount,
  • Education and textbook amounts. 
  • Public transit (from July 2017 and subsequent months).

It is advisable to seek professional advice to understand the tax laws that impact your particular situation, and to guide you through the complexities of Canadian Income taxes.

 AWFS Consulting Inc. offers professional tax, business advisory, and accounting services to clients. The company’s mission is to offer financial leadership and support to clients in this ever-changing economic environment by empowering clients with financial knowledge.