Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

March 09, 2012 13:23 ET

Tax Tip: Credits and Benefits for Seniors

Did you know?

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 9, 2012) - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is here to help you through tax season. Here are some helpful hints for seniors when filing your tax returns.

Important fact

  • Following are two changes that might affect you:

- Canada Pension Plan (CPP): If you are between 60 and 65 years of age, you receive a CPP or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) retirement benefit, and you are still working, you will now have to contribute to the CPP. If you are 65 to 70 years of age, receive a CPP or QPP retirement benefit, and are still working, you will now have to contribute to the CPP unless you elect to stop contributing to the CPP.

- Medical Expenses for an eligible dependant: You may be able to claim a non-refundable tax credit based on the cost of medical expenses for any 12-month period ending in 2011.

Save on your taxes

There are credits, benefits, and deductions you might be entitled to. Some of these are:

- Age amount: If you were 65 years old or older on December 31, 2011, and your net income was less than $76,541, you might be able to claim this non-refundable tax credit.

- Pension income amount: If you reported eligible pension, superannuation, or annuity payments on your return, you might be able to claim this non-refundable tax credit.

- Pension income splitting: If you and your spouse or common-law partner split your pension income by completing Form T1032, Joint Election to Split Pension Income, you (the pensioner) can claim a deduction for the elected split-pension amount.

- Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP): Deductible RRSP contributions may be used to reduce your tax.

- Goods and services tax / harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit: Low- and modest-income individuals and families may apply for this quarterly payment by completing the application on the first page of their 2011 income tax and benefit return.

- Disability tax credit: If you had a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions in 2011 and meet certain conditions, you might be able to claim this non-refundable tax credit.

- Public transit tax credit: Did you use public transport in 2011? You might be able to claim the cost of your eligible transit passes or electronic payment cards as a non-refundable tax credit.

Other credits, deductions, and benefits might be available to you. For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/seniors.

Pay tax by instalments

If you receive income that has no tax withheld or does not have enough tax withheld for more than one year, you might have to pay tax by instalments. This can happen if you receive rental, investment, or self-employment income, certain pension payments, or income from more than one job. For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/instalments.

The CRA's online services make filing even easier

With the CRA's online services, you can file your return, track your refund, and change your personal information. You can also sign up for direct deposit to receive your refund directly into your account at your Canadian financial institution - no more waiting for cheques to arrive in the mail. It's fast, easy, and secure. For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/getready.

Get help filing your return

If you have a simple tax situation you might be able to take advantage of the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program and have a trained volunteer help you complete your 2011 income tax and benefit return. For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/volunteer or call 1-800-959-8281.

Get CRA publications in different formats

If you have a visual impairment, you can get our publications in braille, large print, etext (CD or diskette), or MP3 by going to www.cra.gc.ca/alternate or by calling 1-800-959-2221. You can also get your personalized correspondence in one of these formats by calling 1-800-959-8281.

Stay connected

To receive updates when new information is added to our Web site, you can:

- Follow the CRA on Twitter - @CanRevAgency

- Subscribe to a CRA electronic mailing list.

- Add our RSS feeds to your feed reader.

You can also visit our YouTube Channel for tax-related videos.

Contact Information

  • Noel Carisse
    Media Relations
    Canada Revenue Agency
    613-952-9184