8 changes you should know for the 2019 tax season

The new year always brings changes. We join fitness classes to change our bodies. We clean our homes of clutter to clear our minds. And we make new resolutions to change our lives. There are some changes we have no control over, however, and that’s changes to income tax laws.

What may have been a credit or deduction last year may not be so this year. It’s always important to know what the changes are so you can take advantage of the ones that pertain to you. Knowing what you can and can’t claim is the first step to proper tax planning. TAXplan has put together a list of 8 changes to the tax laws that may have the most affect on your 2018 tax return.

  1. Medical Expenses and service animals

While you were able to claim medical expenses in the past this year Canadians suffering from severe mental disorders will be able to claim the cost of caring for a service animal. If your service animal has been specially trained to help you cope with severe mental impairment you will be able to claim expenses such as costs to maintain your service animal, veterinary expenses and food. To find out if you qualify ask a TAXplan TAXpro for more details.

2. The Climate Action Incentive

New for residents of New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan is the Climate Action Incentive tax credit.  Starting April 2019 residents of these provinces will be charged a federal carbon tax called a “fuel charge”. You’ll see the added tax when you fill up for car fuel or added to your home heating bill. So if you live in these provinces you will receive an added incentive of $598 in Saskatchewan, $248 in New Brunswick, $300 in Ontario and $336 in Manitoba. Your TAXplan TAXpro can fill you in on the details and will make sure you receive the credit if you are eligible.

3. Canada Child Benefits now available to “Foreign Born Status Indians”

“Foreign-born status Indians” (individuals that reside in Canada and are Indians under the Indian Act but are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents) are now allowed to retroactively apply for CCB for the 2005 taxation year through to June 30, 2016.

4. New changes for parents!

The 2018 federal budget has made changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) parental sharing benefit that allows parents to take up to five additional weeks of time off, starting in March 2019 after the birth or adoption of a child. To be eligible you must be a parent with a child born or placed for adoption on or after March 17, 2019 and both new parents must share the time at home with the new baby. To learn more contact a TAXplan TAXpro for details.

5. Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance Rates

If you’re a business owner this will affect you. Changes to CCA takes effect for purchases of equipment made on or after November 21, 2018 and before 2024 and will affect the amount claimed on the 2018 tax return. Initially business owners were only able to claim 50% of the cost in the year of purchase but now with the new “accelerated investment incentive”150% of the normal CCA rate can be claimed. That’s 3 times the original amount!

6. Elimination of the home relocation loan

As per changes that were proposed in the 2017 federal budget, the home relocation loan deduction will be eliminated as of 2018.

7. Reduction of the small business corporate tax rate

More good news for small business owners: the small business corporate tax rate was reduced from 10.5% to 10% effective for 2018 with a further reduction to 9% for 2019!

And lastly:

8. Retirement income security benefits for veterans now qualify for pension splitting.

This will be retroactive to 2015. If you’re a veteran receiving retirement income security benefits you will now be eligible for pension splitting. The cap on the amount that can be split is $103,056 for 2018.

There you have it….TAXplan’s list of the top 8 changes to the tax act that will likely have an affect on the average Canadian. To learn more about changes to the tax laws for this year visit the Canada Revenue Agency website or contact a TAXplan TAXpro for details.

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