Rescuing Unclaimed Tax Credits
The 2016 Personal Income Tax season is underway! I look forward to helping our clients get their taxes done on time and as complete and as accurate as possible. My goal is to make sure you receive the largest refund as legally possible or have you pay the least amount you should. Now and in the future.
I admit I really look forward to meeting new clients to see how I can help them with their current and previous taxes. I’m looking for credits that were not claimed because the taxpayer didn’t know. You do not know what you do not know!
"He that knows not, and knows not that he knows not is a fool.
He that knows not, and knows that he knows not is a pupil.
He that knows, and knows not that he knows is asleep.
He that knows, and knows that he knows is a teacher." (Arabic proverb)
You can be my pupil; let me be your teacher.
A few months ago I gave a flyer to every resident in one of the retirement homes I attend regularly during the year. I wanted the residents to at least come and talk with me so I can see if they have any unclaimed tax credits that needed rescuing.
Success! During the past few months, I met with several clients and every single one of them had credits that were not claimed in the past. These new clients live in a Senior Assisted Residence in Winnipeg. Part of their rent includes payment for meals and housekeeping. The cost of the wages to the staff who provide these services is considered a medical expense called Attendant Care and can be included on their taxes.
After asking how long they had been living there and asking to review the years they lived there, we determined they have missed out on the Attendant Care expenses. Most of them are saving up to $2500 per year. Yes, that is a refund to their bank account for every year.
I have gained some new fans at this Senior’s home in Winnipeg; just by rescuing some unclaimed credits.
How do these credits get missed by their previous tax preparers? Some of them were family members that did not know. But for some of them, their taxes were professionally prepared by accountants or other tax service businesses (fools or asleep?)
Attendant Care as a medical expense is not well understood or known. I make it my business to know about all tax credits that taxpayers can legally claim. That’s what professional tax professionals that focus on their clients do. I ask lots of questions. I don’t just “enter your information into the tax software”.
Canada Revenue Agency does not know your situation and cannot know what credits you may qualify for. They are not the ones to advise you.
Let me be your teacher, you can be my pupil.
Another example is the Manitoba Graduate’s Tuition Tax Rebate. At the end of February I met a new client at my satellite office in Lorette. I completed her basic taxes which included two T4s. After she had left, I reviewed her tax information she has with Canada Revenue Agency (she authorized me to do so). I could see that she had been a student and claimed the tuition credits, but I didn’t see that she had claimed the Manitoba tuition rebate.
I confirmed with her that she did indeed graduate and explained the rebates she had been missing. Can I say I have another fan? Once I receive from her a copy of her degree and copies of her tuition receipts, we will be adjusting her taxes from 2013 to 2016 to get back the tuition rebate that was unclaimed. Rescued more tax credits!
The Disability Tax Credit is another credit that has often been missed. Since 2004 when I started filing tax returns for clients, I have handed out “hundreds” of disability tax credit application for clients to have their doctor’s complete. Many people have been saving hundreds or thousands of dollars over the years.
Do you have tax credits that need rescuing? Or maybe someone you love? Your parents? Call me and let’s see what we can find. Seniors, students and those with impairments are the ones I can help the most.
We rescue unclaimed tax credits!
Anni Markmann is a Personal Income Tax Professional and Certified Financial Planner; living, working, and volunteering in our community. Contact her at 204.422.6631 or 36 Dawson Road in Ste Anne (near Co-op) or Info@SteAnneTaxService.ca