There are many changes for the 2017 tax year. Changes to some of the more common tax credits are detailed below:

Canada Caregiver Credit

Beginning with tax year 2017, the Infirm Dependent Credit, Caregiver Credit, and Family Caregiver Credits have been consolidated into the new Canada Caregiver Credit (CCC). The rules for this new credit are complex, however, a couple of changes of interest are:

·         Taxpayers can now claim this new credit for infirm dependents 18+ years of age that do not live with them.

·         Taxpayers will NOT be able to claim non-infirm senior parents or grandparents.

Children’s Arts Tax Credit

This credit has been eliminated beginning in the 2017 tax year and for future years.

Children’s Fitness Tax Credit

This credit has been eliminated beginning in the 2017 tax year and for future years.

Education and Textbook Credits

Beginning in 2017, Education and Textbook credits have been eliminated; however, Federal Tuition credits will continue to be eligible. Note that any carryforward Education and Textbook amounts from tax year 2016 or earlier will be honoured and can still be claimed in 2017 and future years. Tuition and Education Amounts for the Province of Ontario can be claimed only for studies before September 5, 2017 only.

Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit

Beginning in 2017, the Province of Ontario has discontinued the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit. The Federal Home Accessibility Tax Credit continues to be available.

Home Accessibility Tax Credit

Beginning in tax year 2016 and continuing for 2017, the Federal government has offered a non-refundable tax credit that benefits the taxpayer by 15% of up to $10,000 spent on qualifying home renovations. To qualify, the taxpayer must be 65 years or older or claiming the DTC or have a family member meeting these requirements living with them. This new federal credit is non-refundable. Taxpayers may have an eligible expense that also qualifies as a medical expense.  If so, the expense can be claimed as a medical expense and a home accessibility expense.

Beginning in 2017, the Province of Ontario has discontinued the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit.

Ontario Seniors’ Public Transit Tax Credit

This is a refundable credit available to seniors (65 years of age or older) who lived in Ontario by the end of the year and have incurred eligible public transit expenses. Taxpayers can claim up to $3,000 in expenses per year ($1,500 for 2017, as only half of the year is applicable), and receive up to $450 each year ($225 in 2017).

Principal Residence Disposition Reporting Requirements

Beginning in 2016 and continuing for 2017, Canada Revenue Agency is requiring taxpayers to report the sale of all properties, including those that are considered to be their primary residence and therefore eligible for a full exemption from capital gains or losses. The taxpayer must report:

a)      Description of the property (address)

b)      Date of acquisition

c)       Proceeds of disposition

·         The penalty for late reporting is $100/month to a max of $8,000 and is payable even if no tax was payable on the disposition

·         Beginning in 2017, in all cases where a disposition of a principal residence has been realized, form T2091 or T1255 must be completed.

Public Transit Tax Credit

The Federal Public Transit Tax Credit has been eliminated for amounts paid for eligible transit passes after June, 2017.

The Province of Ontario has introduced a credit for certain amounts paid by seniors beginning July 1, 2017 (See the ‘Ontario Seniors’ Public Transit Tax Credit’ section above for more information).

Teacher and Early Childhood Educator School Supply Tax Credit

Starting in 2016 and continuing for 2017, this new tax credit will allow employee taxpayers who are eligible educators to claim a 15% refundable tax credit based on an amount of up to $1,000 of purchases of eligible teaching supplies by the employee in a taxation year. To be eligible, the supplies must be:

·         purchased for teaching or facilitating learning, and directly consumed or used in an elementary or secondary school or in a regulated child care facility in the performance of the teacher or educator’s duties of employment;

·         not reimbursable and not subject to an allowance or other form of assistance

·         not deducted or used in calculating a deduction from any person’s income for any taxation year.

·         consumable, with the exceptions of games and puzzles, books, containers such as plastic boxes or bankers boxes, and educational software, which will all be eligible

Other non-consumable items such as tablets, computers, rugs for children to sit on are NOT eligible.

To claim this credit, the taxpayer must be able to produce a signed certificate from a school official on request.