Here are some excerpts from an article by Jamie Golombek, one of Canada’s top tax experts – as you push to wrap up your tax filings.
His article, ‘The five most wrongly claimed tax deductions’, provides a succinct review of the five most
common errors and misunderstandings related to claiming deductions.
1) Moving Expenses:
Expenses that don’t qualify: Home staging costs, the cost of house
hunting and job hunting trips, mail-forwarding charges, storage fees near
your former residence, the cost of repairs to former residence prior to
Helpful tip: If you moved for business-related reasons in 2014, you
can write off your moving expenses if the distance between your old
residence and new work location is at least 40 kilometers greater than the
distance between your new residence and new work location.
2) Medical Expenses:
What cannot be claimed: Cost of vitamins, natural supplements,
over-the-counter medications, as well as medical supplies such as rubbing
alcohol, bandages and shoe inserts.
Helpful tip: Valid medical expenses qualify for a 15% federal credit
as well as a provincial credit, provided they exceed a minimum threshold
equal to the lesser of 3% of your net income or $2,171.
3) Public Transit Amount:
Transit costs can’t be deducted when: The transit pass is not
submitted or does not include a name or unique identifier. There are also
frequency and period of use requirements that must be met.
Helpful tip: Passes must permit unlimited travel for at least 20
days in each 28 day period on either local buses, streetcars, subways,
commuter trains, buses or ferries.
4) Interest on Student Loans:
Doesn’t qualify: interest on a student’s personal loans and foreign
student loans. Receipts for valid student loans must show the student’s
Helpful tip: Student loan interest is generally eligible for a tax
credit but only for interest paid on a student loan made under the Canada
Student Loans Act, the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act, or a similar
provincial or territorial government law.
5) Tuition, Education and Textbooks:
What can’t be claimed: The tuition credit where an invoice is
submitted rather than an official receipt that includes the student name.
Also, the educational institution must be a recognized institution.
Helpful tip: The education amount is $400 for each month of
full-time attendance and $120 for each month of part-time attendance. The
textbook amount is $65 per month of full-time attendance and $20 per month
for part-time attendance.