D. Smith: Tax filing ideas for parents

Remember to use the credits and deductions available to you for children and dependents.

It costs a lot to have children, raise children and educate children.  During this tax filing season, remember to use the credits and deductions available to you.

You can claim to a maximum of $500 per child the fees paid in 2013 relating to the cost of registration or membership for your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s child in a prescribed program of physical activity.

This includes physical activity, recreational, cultural, artistic or a development activity.

The program must be for eight weeks or longer or five days if it is a day camp.

Adoption expenses apply for adopting a child under the age of 18 is eligible for a tax credit of up to $11,669 for 2013.  In 2014, the limit for expenses will increase to $15,000.

The Canada child tax benefit (CCTB) is available for children under the age of 18 to receive a tax free monthly payment. The benefit amount depends on family income, province of residence and number of children in the family. Low-income families may be entitled to an additional benefit supplement.  Children with disabilities may be eligible for the Canada disability credit. Information you provide on your income tax and benefit return is used to calculate your CCTB payments.

Going to school is expensive. If your child is enrolled in a qualifying postsecondary program, a credit can be claimed for tuition fees. The tuition, education, and textbook amounts allows you to reduce any income tax you may owe.

Your educational institution will provide you with a slip that has the total eligible tuition fees paid as well as the months you were enrolled either part-time or full-time.  You must claim your tuition, education, and textbook amounts first on your own return. You may need to use all of the credit, or just some of the credit depending on how much tax you owe.

If you did not need to use all of the credit, you can choose one of the following options:

You can transfer an amount equal to $5,000 minus the amount you used to reduce your own tax payable.

You can transfer the remainder to your spouse or common-law partner; or your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s parent or grandparent.

Moving expenses can be claimed by students.

You can claim eligible moving expenses if you moved to study courses as a student in full-time attendance enrolled in a post-secondary program at a university, college or other educational institution that offers courses at a post-secondary school level.

However, you can only deduct these expenses from the part of your scholarships, fellowships, bursaries, certain prizes, and research grants that is required to be included in your income.


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