Being a parent isn’t cheap, especially when you have twins. Besides the cost of clothes, shoes, activities and toys, there are the everyday expenses associated with a home and family.
So this tax season, wouldn’t it be nice to not owe the government any money?
Making an error on your taxes can mean you pay more than necessary, so Cleo Hamel, Senior Tax Analyst with H&R Block Canada, offers the following tips on how to make the most of your tax return:
- File even with no income: Whether or not you have earned any money this year, make sure you file a tax return. There are benefits like the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) and GST/HST benefit that are triggered once you file a return. If both parents live together, they each need to file in order to receive payments. Depending on where you live, you may also be eligible for provincial benefits. You do not need to have earned an income to qualify for these benefits. But if you don’t file, you won’t be paid.
- Do your homework: Missing a credit is like leaving money on the table. Make sure you look into all of the credits and deductions you are eligible to claim, including RRSP contributions, employment expenses, charitable donations, tuition and medical expenses. If you are missing receipts, take the time to track them down. It will pay off. Every piece of paper represents a little less tax you have to pay.
- Pool receipts: Married and common-law spouses may be able to pool charitable donations and medical expenses to maximize their tax savings. Parents can also claim the Transit Pass Credit for children younger than 19. The passes have to be for a period of at least one month, or they can be weekly passes purchased over a period of four consecutive weeks. Electronic payment cards may also qualify.
- File on time: A tax refund is money you have overpaid the government over the course of the year. File your return on time to get your money back. The government doesn’t pay interest on the money.
- Avoid a refund: When you file your return, the ideal situation is to not owe the government any money. If your situation has changed over the year, ask your payroll department if you can update your TD1 Form to reflect the changes. It may mean every paycheque has a few more dollars on it because you are not overpaying your taxes.
If you’re unsure of what credits or claims are allowed, consider online tax preparation software like H&R Block Tax Software, which identifies every deduction or credit, calculates your return as you go, and ensures you get the maximum refund.
**If you file before March 31, you can file one tax return for free.
If you need additional support, consider visiting an H&R Block office.
This is a sponsored post for H&R Block. As always, the opinions on this blog are 100% my own.