Gather your Papers for 2013 Taxes
Here's a list of some items to gather for your 2013 taxes; whether you do it yourself or use a tax professional like myself. Get these items together in a folder or envelope to make it easier for yourself and to pay the least taxes (legally) possible.
Tax-Slips (normally receive by early March; some from investments or mutual funds can be issued end of March); watch for the T4A from Co-ops: you can claim the tax deducted and only report the dividends (income) received if you use vehicle expenses as a tax deduction (authorized employee expense, or self employed)
New for 2013: T1135 -- Foreign Income Verification Statement: if you have foreign assets more than $100,000 (Canadian equivalent), you need to report it; property in US? Shares or Mutual funds held outside Canada? Make sure you report this on your 2013 taxes.
Receiving Disability Income that's taxable? Did you pay for part of the premiums? Find out from your pay stubs or your employer's payroll department how much you paid since you started paying into the plan: it's deductible from the income you received. New this year is for you to report how much you paid into the employer disability plan via your payroll. Finally a way to keep track of these premiums each year; it likely won't be on your T4, so keep your year-end paystub that shows the amount.
Moving expenses: did you move at least 40 km in order to earn employment income or attend school; you can claim the moving costs (keep your receipts for rental moving trucks and accommodations on route); the simplified method only needs the number of km to claim the rest of the travel expenses.
Medical: premiums paid via payroll or privately, travel (more than 40 km one way), out of pocket not covered by the plan; laser eye surgery; travel health insurance and more. Remember you can go back 10 years (with receipts) if you didn't claim it in the past.
Tuition (go on line to university/college to get the official receipts: T2202); the number of months reported is used to calculate education amounts and textbook amounts. Did you graduate in 2013 with a Degree/Diploma/Certificate; you may qualify for the Manitoba Tuition Fee Income Tax Rebate: claim up to 10% each year to a maximum of 60%! And students can claim the interest on student loans and can carry forward up to five years.
EI Benefits: sometimes you get on line (they don't always mail them to you); if you had your tuition at a College paid for by EI, you may have two EI tax slips.
RRSP contributions (March to December 2013 and January to March 3 2014) via employer group RRSPs and your own contributions; you may need to wait until mid March to make sure you get all the tax slips for January 1 to March 3 2014 that you can and should use on your 2013 taxes.
Children's Activities: Fitness credit and Arts credit; make sure you get the receipts for activities you paid for the 2013 tax year (for children 16 and under); maximum $500; save up to $75. The Manitoba credit is also for those 16 to 24 to claim on their own taxes.
Donations: make sure you get all the donation receipts for contributions you made during 2013. Remember spouses can claim the total on one tax return for better tax savings. And if your total is less than $200, you may want to carry them forward (up to five years) to get better tax credits. Extra credits 2013 to 2017 for the new First Time Donor's Super Credit: extra 25% credit on the first $1000.
Carrying charges (fees paid to brokers for investment counselling) and interest on investment loans; make sure you get these documents or receipts. The Safe Deposit Box can be claimed on the 2013 taxes; it's the final year you can.
Child Care Expenses; make sure you have all the receipts for the expenses you paid in 2013.
Union Dues; often this is on your T4, but sometimes you need to get a receipt direct from your union.
Disability Tax Credit; if you've already been approved from CRA, you will continue to get this credit. If you think you may qualify (walk slower than most, hearing, mental functions, diabetes (testing and adjusting insulin daily), or more than one may be considered significant), get the form and have your doctor complete; we can go back 10 years with this form with some significant tax savings if you normally have taxes payable. Even if you have no taxes payable, you can get $110 provincial credits.
Volunteer Fire Fighters Amount: be sure to get proof that you had 200 or more volunteer hours. Alternatively, your first $1000 received is tax exempt.
Public Transit Pass Amount: not common out in the rural, but some students or people living in Winnipeg may be able to claim; keep passes and receipts: good for monthly passes or tickets with at least 4 weeks in a row.
First Time Home Buyer Amount; if you qualify it can save up to $750 in taxes!
Adoption Expenses; rules can be complicated, but if you have or are in the process of adopting, just keep all your receipts and all documentation.
Spousal Support Payments: if received, they are taxable income and you may need to pay taxes you didn't expect to. If you are paying, they reduce your taxable income.
Tradespersons' Tools Expenses: get all your receipts together; it's not that great a deal: you have to spend more than $1117 up to $1617 to get a measly $75 tax savings.
Tips (tips and gratuities received by an employee) are taxable and should be reported. CRA completed a pilot project in one city in Ontario in 2010, investigating servers and audited those that did not claim reasonable tips. CRA identified $1.7 million in unreported income and collected a lot of tax dollars! Be aware!
Investments sold? Capital gains or losses are normally not on a tax slip; you may find the information on a trading summary with the end of year statement; property sold (other than principal residence) or given away to family (considered disposed): cottage, rental property, vacant land; make sure you know what you paid plus any capital improvements to calculate your "cost" so you can determine your capital gain.
Home Buyer Plan (RRSP) repayments required? Check your 2012 Notice of Assessment.
EI Repayment? If you received EI and your net income will be more than $59,250, it may make sense to buy RRSPs to bring income down and avoid EI Repayment; figure this out before the March 3 deadline!
Non-Capital losses carry-over from previous years: check your 2012 Notice of Assessment), and Net Capital losses of other years; find out how you can use these in the future.
Political donations: make sure you get your official receipt and claim it on your tax return: you can get back up to 75%!
Tax installments -- did you have to make quarterly installment payments, be sure to include this info for your taxes; CRA normally sends out a yearly statement in February to confirm what your payments were.
Renting: gather all your receipts so you can claim the Province of Manitoba Education Tax Credit. Remember only one tenant can claim.
Property Taxes: check to see if you did not receive the $700 credit on your bill; did you purchase a home in 2013? You may not have received the credit on your property taxes. Also check to see if your property is considered "farm property": you may qualify for the Farmland School Tax Rebate (has nothing to do with you farming or not!)
Manitoba Primary Caregiver Tax Credit (up to $1,275); do you care for someone (spouse, parent, sibling, neighbour, friend)? You may qualify. Find out.
Turning 19? File a tax return for GST Credit even if you have nothing else to report (no employment income or tuition).
Anni Markmann is a Tax Professional, a Certified Financial Planner, and a Certified Professional Consultant on Aging living, working, and volunteering in our community. Contact her at 204.422.6631, anni@SteAnneTaxService.ca or 36 Dawson Road in Ste Anne.