Skilled-trade workers who buy new tools for work are eligible for a deduction of up to $500 this tax season.
Automotive service technicians can claim the Tradesperson’s Tool Deduction as long as their employees certify that the tool was purchased
* by the claimant
* for the claimant’s sole use
* to be used at the claimant’s place of work.
Techs may also be able to get a rebate on the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) they paid. For more information on deducting the cost of eligible tools, go to www.cra.gc.ca/trades.
Employees who pay dues for membership in a trade union should hold on to the receipt. That amount, including any GST/HST paid, may also be tax deductible. Find out more by searching “annual union, professional or like dues” on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website.
Those who are self-employed, may also be able to deduct reasonable expenses that were paid to earn income — including vehicle expenses, job supplies, and office expenses. If part of your home is used for business, you may be able to deduct a portion of your maintenance costs such as heat, home insurance, electricity, and cleaning materials. To find out more, go to www.cra.gc.ca/smallbusiness and select business expenses.
Shopowners who hire a qualified apprentice working in an approved Red Seal trade may qualify to claim the apprenticeship job creation tax credit. This non-refundable investment tax credit is equal to the lesser of $2,000 or 10 percent of the eligible apprentices’ salaries or wages. Don’t need to use the whole credit amount this year? Carry the unused amount back three years or carry it forward up to 20 years! For more information on the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit and other investment tax credits, go to www.cra.gc.ca/smallbusiness and select investment tax credit.
Most Canadian income tax and benefit returns for 2015 are due on April 30, 2016. However, since this date is a Saturday, the CRA will consider your return as filed on time and your payment to be made on time if it receives your submission or it is postmarked by midnight on May 2, 2016. Self-employed individuals and their spouses or common-law partners have until June 15, 2016, to file their income tax and benefit returns, but any balance owing is still due no later than May 2, 2016.
Filing electronically with NETFILE is easy, secure and allows the CRA to process your return much faster. If you use NETFILE and are expecting a refund, your money can be directly deposited in your account in as little as eight business days (weeks faster than if you filed on paper). For a list of software and web applications, including some that are free for everyone, go to www.cra.gc.ca/netfilesoftware. Also, new this year, the CRA’s Auto-fill my return service is available through some certified software. This secure service automatically fills in certain parts of your income tax and benefit return. To use the Auto-fill my return service, you must be fully registered for My Account at www.cra.gc.ca/myaccount.
You can deal with many of your tax matters online, and at your convenience, by using My Account or My Business Account, which are both available at www.cra.gc.ca/electronicservices. Change your return, track your refund, change your address, and much more, all with a few clicks of a mouse. With so many services available online, it’s easy to stay on top of your tax affairs year-round. You can also choose to receive your notice of assessment online, so you can view your mail when it’s convenient for you.
The MyCRA mobile app allows you to access key portions of your tax information directly from your mobile device.