One of the first signs of spring? T4 slips.
That’s right. Despite all that we endured over the past 12 months, tax season has now returned, too.
Whether you file online, by snail mail, or use a tax professional, we want to make the experience as painless as possible. (Approximately 10 percent of Canadians still file paper returns, according to the latest statistics from the Canada Revenue Agency.)
This year’s filing deadline is May 1, 2023.
New tax benefits announced to help with the rising cost of living
Both the Federal and Provincial governments have announced new tax benefits to help Canadians cope with the rising cost of living. In all instances, Canadians will have to have filed their 2021 tax return.
NEW FEDERAL AFFORDABILITY BENEFITS
A temporary doubling of the GST/HST Credit in a lump sum:
The amounts used to calculate the GST/HST Credit will be temporarily doubled for a period of six months. But instead of being added to the quarterly instalments people typically receive, the additional amount will be paid in a lump-sum, sometime before the end of 2022.
The amounts that recipients can expect to receive if they are fully eligible are shown in the table below.
Not everyone receives a GST/HST credit payment. People must earn under a certain threshold to receive this, and that’s still the case with the double-up payment.
Regular quarterly payments for July & October 2022 and January & April 2023 & Additional Lump-Sum Payment in fall of 2022:
Basic Credit: $76.50 $153
Amount for an Eligible Dependent: $76.50 $153
Qualified Child: $40.25 $80.50
Single Supplement: $40.25 $80.50
Taxpayers will not need to apply for the additional payment but will need to have filed a 2021 tax return in order to get both their regular GST/HST cheque and the additional supplement.
One-time top-up of the Canada Housing Benefit:
A one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit program will provide a tax-free payment of $500 for low-income renters with adjusted net income of less than $20,000 for individuals or $35,000 for families.
Taxpayers will need to have filed a 2021 tax return but will not receive the payment automatically. They will need to apply to the CRA and attest that they are paying at least 30% of their adjusted net income on shelter and paying rent for their own primary residence in Canada.
To confirm eligibility, they’ll also need to provide:
• The address of the rental property
• The amount of rent they paid in 2022
• The landlord’s contact information
• Consent to the CRA verifying their information
The payment will be launched by the end of the year.
The payment will not affect eligibility for other federal income-tested benefits, such as the Canada Workers Benefit, the Canada Child Benefit, the GST/HST Credit, and the Guaranteed Income Supplement.
The last date for applications is Friday, March 31, 2023. Additional details can be found on our dedicated blog, here.
Canada Dental Benefit:
The Canada Dental Benefit will provide payments of up to $650 per child for children under 12 to cover anticipated dental expenses. The payments are contingent on the family’s adjusted net income. Per child, that equals:
• $650 for income under $70,000
• $390 for income between $70,000-$79,999
• $260 for income between $80,000-$89,999
Parents or guardians of eligible children will need to prove that:
• Their child does not have access to private dental care coverage
• They will incur dental care expenses for which they will use the benefit
• They understand that they may need to provide documentation later to verify the expenses incurred
Health Canada and the CRA are working on an application platform that would deliver payments in a timely fashion. The CRA will start receiving applications for the Canada Dental Benefit on December 1, 2022, for expenses incurred retroactive to October 1, 2022. It’s important to note that the Canada Dental Benefit is not taxable.
Alberta Inflation Relief Benefit:
Alberta has introduced an inflation relief benefit for seniors and families with children under 18 years old, to be paid in $100 instalments over 6 months, to a total of $600.
MORE TO READ: Q&A: Stories and sign-ups at AMA Registries
• If you’re filing online, make sure the program is NETFILE-certified with the Canada Revenue Agency.
• A complete list of NETFILE-certified tax software is available via the CRA’s website: including free and paid programs from different companies.
• Compare programs before you start to prepare your taxes. Paid software features more options such as transferring last year’s tax data, unlimited tech support, access to tax experts, and adjusting previously filed returns.
• If you want to be able to track your mailed tax return, send it by registered mail. You’ll get a receipt noting the day your return was filed, plus the ability to track the package on its way to the CRA.
MORE TO READ: All the ways AMA Registries can help you launch your small business
• Send your return by May 1, 2023 to avoid late-filing penalties.
• Due to COVID-19, processing times for paper returns are longer this year—10 to 12 weeks instead of the usual eight weeks. That’s six times longer than digital returns. The CRA is encouraging Canadians to file electronically.
H&R Block offers basic tax prep starting at $49.99 (plus GST) until March 31, 2023. Whether you upload your documents securely from home, drop them off at an office or file online using their do-it-yourself software, H&R Block offers a Maximum Refund Guarantee*, so you can be confident you’re getting back everything you’re owed.
HOW TO SAVE
Assisted tax filing: Show your AMA membership and receive a discount on assisted tax filing at H&R Block. First-time customers save 20% and returning clients save 10%. Upload your documents securely from home or drop them off at an H&R Block office and a tax expert will prepare and file your return remotely.
DIY tax filing: Want to file your taxes yourself? AMA members can access H&R Block’s tax software at no cost. Plus, AMA members and their partner also save 20% on any 2022 H&R Block online tax software paid products.
VIEW OFFER: AMA members save at H&R Block
*If you discover an H&R Block error on your return that reduced your refund (or increased your liability), we will amend the return at no additional charge to correct our error. If H&R Block makes an error in the preparation of your tax return that costs you any interest or penalties on additional taxes due, although we do not assume the liability for the additional taxes, we will reimburse for the interest and penalties.