Tax tips for commonly missed deductions
Tax time is the busiest time of year for tax experts like Vancouver CGA Brian Blamey. He gets a lot of questions from clients about what tax credits they might be eligible for.
"In general, people seem to be pretty aware of those kinds of credits. They are just not aware of how they work or where they claim it on their tax return," Blamey told CTV News.
There are several relatively new credits that people might miss, like the employment credit -- a $1,000 write off for anyone with a job that saves you $150. There's also a new credit for first time home buyers
"They can get a credit of $5,000, which will save them $750 in taxes," he said.
The home renovation tax credit is well known -- but many don't know it also applies to strata developments. So, if your strata council has done work, like put on a new roof or fix up a club house, you can write off your share.
"If someone knows their strata has done that last year, they should ask about a letter to find out what their share of those expenses is," Blamey said.
Everyone knows they can write off moving expenses like the cost of a mover, but you may miss the really big write-offs, like commission paid to a real estate agent, legal fees and the property purchase tax on your new home. Keep all the receipts.
"Almost 100 per cent of the time, CRA [Canada Revenue Agency] will ask for receipts," Blamey explained.
Getting braces put on a child's teeth is expensive and also a valid medical expense deduction, along with many other things like dentist visits, prescription drugs, and prescription glasses.
Private health care premiums are deductible, too, but not MSP. Health care premiums should be claimed by the lowest income spouse who has enough taxable income.
There are even special write-offs for single parents, which could save you a couple of thousand dollars in taxes a year if you know what line to fill out on the tax form.
Inside your tax package is a handy reminder of some of the changes that will save you money. Take a look before starting your 2009 taxes.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Chris Olsen.
Below you'll find further links to commonly missed deductions.