Seniors and tax

4 key tax credits

1. Age amount

You must be 65 years or older at the end of the year to qualify. Once your income passes a certain level, the age amount starts to drop. At a certain point, you no longer qualify for the credit.

2. Disability amount (for yourself)

You must have a physical or mental impairment for a continuous period of at least 12 months to qualify for the disability amount. Examples: blindness, a “markedly restricted” ability to speak, hear, walk, feed or dress yourself, or control bowel or bladder functions.

To claim:

  1. Complete Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate.
  2. Have a qualified practitioner sign the form, such as a doctor, optometrist or psychologist, depending on the disability.

3. Pension income amount

If you reported eligible pensionPension A steady income you get after you retire. Some pensions pay you a fixed amount for life. Others save up money for you while you are working. You use that money to create income after you retire.+ read full definition, superannuation or annuityAnnuity A contract usually sold by life insurance companies that guarantees an income to you or your beneficiary at some time in the future. An annuity is a contract with a life insurance company. When you buy an annuity, you deposit a lump sum of money, and the insurance company agrees to pay you a guaranteed…+ read full definition payments on your taxTax A fee the government charges on income, property, and sales. The money goes to finance government programs and other costs.+ read full definition return, you may be able to claim a tax creditTax credit The amount you can deduct from your income when you file your taxes. This lowers the tax that you owe.+ read full definition. You can claim up to $2,000 for the pension income amount.

4. Public transit amount

The 2017 federal budgetBudget A monthly or yearly estimated plan for spending and saving. You work it out based on your income and expenses.+ read full definition proposed to eliminate the public transit tax credit after June 2017. For the 2017 tax year, you can only claim the credit for eligible amounts until June 30, 2017.

For eligible credit periods as noted above, you can claim for the full amount you paid for a public transit pass during the year. The public transit amount covers monthly or annual passes for unlimited travel within Canada on local buses, streetcars, subways, commuter trains or buses, and local ferries. You can’t claim day passes, tokens or tickets. You can only claim a monthly or annual transit pass.

Home Accessibility Tax Credit (HATC)

Beginning in the 2016 tax year, there is a new non-refundable tax credit on up to $10,000 of eligible expenditures (for a maximum credit of $1,500) to renovate a home to make it more accessible, or to improve mobility within the home, for seniors 65 and over who are entitled to claim the Disability Tax Credit. Learn more about the HATC.

Sharing tax credits with your spouse

If your spouse or common-law partner qualifies for certain tax credits, but doesn’t need the whole amount to reduce the tax they owe to zero, you may be able to claim all or part of their unused credits for the:

  • age amount
  • disability amount
  • pension income amount
  • tuition, education and textbook amounts

Splitting pension income with your spouse

You may be eligible to split some of your pension income with your spouse or common-law partner:

  • income that qualifies – sources that are eligible for the pension income amount.
  • income that doesn’t qualify – Old Age Security (OAS) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) payments.

Learn more about pension income splitting.

Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant

If you’re 64 or older, a resident of Ontario and pay property taxes, you could qualify for a property tax grant of up to $500. The amount you receive will be based on your income.

How to apply

If you have a spouse or common-law partner, only 1 of you can claim this grant. That person must file a tax return and report the amount of property tax you paid on line 6112 on the Application for the 2017 Ontario Trillium Benefit and the Ontario Senior Homeowners’ property Tax Grant (ON-BEN).

Take action

Find out if you qualify for the:

  • age amount
  • disability amount
  • pension income amount
  • public transit amount

Key point

You may be able to reduce your taxes owing by sharing tax credits or splitting pension income with your spouse.

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