Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

February 09, 2015 17:05 ET

Minister Findlay Highlights Tax Relief and Benefit Measures for Canadian Families on the First Day of Tax Filing Season

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 9, 2015) - Canada Revenue Agency

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, attended a Family Day event today to encourage Canadian families to take advantage of the new and enhanced tax relief measures this filing season.

Last fall, to better meet the needs of families, our Government proposed a new family tax cut as well as increases to the universal child care benefit and the child care expenses deduction. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers on behalf of the Government several benefits and tax credits to help families with their expenses throughout the year and reduce the amount they owe at tax time.

Once implemented, the new tax relief and benefit package will mean more money in the pockets of Canadian families. The new credits and benefits include:

- The new family tax cut is a non-refundable credit of up to $2,000 for couples with children under the age of 18, and will take effect starting with the 2014 tax year.

- The universal child care benefit (UCCB) will increase to $160 per month for children under the age of 6, starting on January 1, 2015. Also, parents may receive a benefit of $60 per month for eligible children aged 6 through 17. Payments of the additional amount and expanded amount will start in July of 2015. Parents will now receive $1,920 per child, per year.

- The UCCB will be expanded to children aged 6 through 17. As of January 1, 2015, parents will receive a benefit of $60 per month for children aged 6 through 17. Parents will receive $720 per child, per year.

- The limits used to calculate the child care expenses deduction will increase by $1,000 starting in the 2015 tax year: from $7,000 to $8,000 for children under 7; from $4,000 to $5,000 for children aged 7 through 16; and from $10,000 to $11,000 for children who are eligible for the disability tax credit.

- The children's fitness tax credit has doubled from $500 to $1000. Families may be able to claim up to $1,000 per child for the cost of an eligible program of physical activity. If the child is eligible for the disability tax credit and the program cost is at least $100 in registration or membership fees, families can claim an additional $500.

Starting today, families can file online and take advantage of these new benefits and credits. By filing online and using direct deposit, refunds can be received in as little as eight business days. Also, in addition to the proposed new measures, families can still benefit from the following:

- Canada child tax benefit (CCTB) - By filing an income tax and benefit return even if they received no income in 2014, eligible individuals and families may be entitled to a tax-free monthly payment that helps with the cost of raising children under the age of 18.

- Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit - The GST/HST credit is a tax-free quarterly payment that helps individuals and families with low and modest incomes offset all or part of the GST or HST they pay. To receive this credit, they must file an income tax and benefit return every year, even if they received no income in the year. Only one spouse or common-law partner can get the credit. It will be paid to the person whose return is assessed first. The amount will be the same, regardless of who in the couple receives it.

- Children's arts tax credit - Families whose children participated in an eligible program of artistic, cultural, recreational, or developmental activity (such as tutoring) in 2014 may be able to claim up to $500 per child for the fees paid for the program. If the child is eligible for the disability tax credit and the program costs at least $100 in registration or membership fees, families can claim an additional $500.

- Public transit amount - People who used public transit in 2014 may be able to claim the cost of certain public transit passes or electronic payment cards with this 15% non-refundable tax credit.

- Working income tax benefit (WITB) - Working individuals and families with low income may be able to claim this refundable tax credit. It includes a supplement for individuals who are eligible for the disability tax credit. Individuals and families may be able to apply for 2015 advance payments.

For more information on these and other credits, go to www.canada.ca/taxsavings. For step-by-step help with filing a return, go to www.cra.gc.ca/getready.

Quotes

"Our Government is fulfilling our promise to balance the federal budget, and we are committed to helping families balance theirs. We remain focused on helping hard-working Canadian families make ends meet by making important priorities like child care and after-school sports more affordable. Under our Government's plan, every family with children will have more money in their pockets to spend on their priorities as a family."

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue

"This tax season will see money returned to the pockets of Canadian families where it belongs. And returned faster - the CRA will begin depositing refund cheques into Canadian bank accounts next week. Those who file online and sign up for direct deposit can expect their refunds in as little as eight days."

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue

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Contact Information

  • Rebecca Rogers
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of National Revenue
    613-995-2960

    Philippe Brideau
    Media Relations
    Canada Revenue Agency
    613-941-6269