With tax season just around the corner, many Quebecers will soon be busy gathering their documents in preparation for filing their income tax return.
• Also read: SMEs do not apply for tax credits due to time constraints
In an interview with LCN, H&R Block tax expert Yannick Lemay shares six tips to consider before filing your tax return to ensure you make the most of available deductions.
Make sure you have documents you sometimes forget on hand
“There are more than 400 credits and deductions available to Canadians and Quebecers, so sometimes it's easy to forget certain things. We often tend to forget about credits and deductions for which we don't receive tax receipts in the mail or email. I’m thinking, for example, of charitable donations or doctor’s receipts that force us to wade through our paperwork.”
Pay attention to items that have changed
“There are things with COVID that we don’t pay attention to anymore, like interest rates on student loans. In recent years there has been a holiday, but in 2023 we have resumed the payment of this interest. Once we have paid part of it in 2023, we will have to think about claiming our settlements for the coming taxes.
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“In Quebec […]The first two tax brackets decreased by a percentage. This is a tax saving that will be reflected in the pockets of many Quebecers.”
Mr. Lemay also points out that certain credits paid outside of income tax returns have also been improved.
“One of the things we've seen in the last few years with COVID is there have been various programs that the state has paid for outside of the income tax return,” he said. Other programs continue to run, such as the solidarity tax credit and the work allowance tax credit, which can also be withdrawn early.”
Take advantage of the deductions associated with telecommuting
“For the past two years, we have been eligible for a temporary or simplified method that allowed us to receive a deduction calculated on the basis of two dollars per day, depending on the number of days we worked over the course of of the year have teleworked, but this method is no longer available.
“We now need a signed form from our employer and then calculate the actual expenses we incurred during the year.”
Check to see if you have any uncashed checks
“Revenue Canada set up an entire program specifically for people who had not cashed the checks sent to them. When you connect directly to our online My File, a tab has been added for checks made out to your name but not yet cashed.
Contribute to an RRSP before February 29th
The deadline to count an RRSP contribution for 2023 is February 29, meaning any amount paid after that date will count toward the 2024 tax year.
Although it is already possible to submit a tax return, this will be processed electronically from February 19th.
Watch the full interview in the video above