It’s Payback Time: Eight Tax Credits and Benefits for Seniors
Find out if you may claim up to $7,125 or more on your latest annual return
You’ve worked hard all your life, and it’s about time you reaped the fruits of your labor. Even if you aren’t a senior citizen yet, it helps to know what benefits and credits you or your loved ones may claim.
Simply answering the following questions to find out if you qualify for any tax credits or benefits:
- Were you 65 years or older, as of December 31, 2016? Is your net income less than $83,427?
If you answered yes to both questions, then you may claim up to $7,125 under Age Amount benefits. The amount may still vary, depending on your income.
- Do you or your spouse or common law partner contribute to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)?
If you do, you can use some of these RRSP contributions to lower your taxes.
- Did you make any eligible pension, superannuation, or annuity payments?
Make sure to report these on your tax return. This may help you qualify for up to $2,000 in tax credits for your pension income amount.
- Are you married or with a common law partner? Do any of you receive a pension?
You may split up to 50% of your eligible pension income with your spouse or common law partner. You may choose which spouse will do this each year, even if both of you have eligible pension income. This can help reduce your taxable income.
- Did your family pay for medical expenses in 2016?
Health is wealth, and as a senior citizen, getting medical care should not be a financial burden to you. The good news is that you may claim the total amount you spent on eligible medical expenses. To qualify, you must meet the following conditions:
- You or your spouse or common law partner paid for the medical expenses.
- The expenses were for you, your spouse or common law partner, or any of your children born after 1999.
- The amount should not have been claimed in the past.
You may claim expenses for attendant care or in a medical establishment.
- Do you, your spouse or common law partner, or any of your dependents have any disabilities?
Find out if you are eligible for disability tax credit (DTC). Fill out Form T2201 (Disability Tax Credit Certificate), get it certified by a medical professional, and file it online.
- Are you a resident of Canada? Did you file your income tax and benefit return in 2014 or later?
You can offset what you paid for in Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST). You don’t need to file a separate application to qualify. Make sure you file your yearly tax and benefit return, regardless of your income. Only one of you or your spouse or common law partner may receive this quarterly benefit.
- Did you take any public transit to travel within Canada in 2016?
You may get back what you or your spouse or common law partner spent in unlimited transit passes for local buses, streetcars, subways, commuter trains, commuter buses and local ferries within Canada. Some short term passes and electronic payment cards used for transportation costs may also be eligible.
Your senior years can offer you the best opportunity to make the most out of life. By fully enjoying these tax benefits and credits available for senior citizens, you can move a step closer to the life you want and deserve.
Learn more about other benefits you may qualify for as a senior citizen.