Thursday, March 1, 2012

helpful tax rules that are new for 2011

It's that time of year again, don't we all hate tax time! I'm an accountant and still hate this time of year! ...wonder why :)

There are some new simple tax rules that are in affect for 2011 and everyone should be aware and take advantage of these new rules:

1. The Children's Arts Tax Credit - this is my favourite addition to the tax deductions because I never thought it was fair to have a Children's Fitness Tax Credit (still available) but nothing available to use the more creative side of your brain.

This credit can provide a max of $75 per child! There is a 15% non-refundable federal tax credit on the first $500 spent for your child's artistic, musical, and cultural development they participated in 2011. Fun stuff! Make sure your child is under 16 years of age to be eligible for the credit and the program must be at least 8 weeks long (or 5 days long for camp programs)

2. Students - exam fees now qualify for the tuition tax credit (finally!)

The catch is that the total fees must be at least $100 and the exam must be required to obtain professional status or to be licensed or certified in a profession/trade.

3. TSFA - please don't forget to contribute your max contribution of $5,000 for 2011 (for a total of $20,000)!

4. First Time Home Buyers - If you bought your first home in 2011, then you will be eligible to save up to $750.

5. Medical Expenses - There is now no limit to the maximum medical expense claim for a dependent relative (not including spouse, common-law, or child). Before 2011, the maximum expense claim was $10,000.

6. Tax Brackets & Expense Claims - were raised in 2011 due to inflation! Don't forget to check out what the new rates and deduction maximums are since they change each year!

7. Changes to the CPP (Canada Pension Plan) for people who are 60 to 70 years of age.

**Always keep your receipts!!

If I discover any new tax news, I will be sure to update this post before the deadline - April 30th

PS. There is a Giveaway happening over at a peek inside the fishbowl - be sure to check it out!

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