The following tips may be helpful to tax payers. They are explained in more detail in the annual CRA General Income Tax and General Benefit Guide or on their web site.
Note: T4A CPP and T4OAS slips are now being mailed in the same envelop, one is pink and the other is yellow.
All Canadians 19 years of age or older must file an income tax return for the current year to receive the GST and OST credit, even if they have no source of income to declare. Returns must be filed by April 30th of the following year to avoid interest and penalties if amounts are owing. CRA will accept late filed returns for up to ten years, but only if manually filed and receipts are included.
Tax payers under 18 who have earned income or are eligible for child care benefits as explained below are also required to file a return.
Old Age Security (OAS) / Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) applications
When Canadian citizens reach the age of 65, they become eligible for the
OAS Pension, and depending on their level of income, may also be eligible for GIS. To receive these benefits, an application must be filed on time with Service Canada at least 6 months before their 65th birthday.
A tax return must be filed each year to continue the GIS portion of this benefit.
Net family income
Net family income is the combined income of both partners in a relationship and is used to determine the credits described below. This benefit is net family income dependent and will decline as income increases.
Common law couples are treated in a similar manner to married couples for tax purposes. It is therefore necessary that returns for each partner be prepared at the same time since the software we use does not allow us to prepare either return without at least the name, Social Insurance Number (SIN), date of birth and total income of the partner.
Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) Credit
Low income tax payers, (aged 19 and over for GST) are eligible to receive non taxable GST / HST Credits, however, a tax return must be filed with CRA in order to receive them.
Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB)
A tax payer with children under the age of 18 is eligible to receive a child-care benefit for each child. This benefit is nontaxable but a tax return must be filed each year to continue to receive this benefit. This benefit is net family income dependent and will decline as income increases.
Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB)
Tax payers with children aged 6 years and younger are eligible for the UCB benefit but this benefit is taxable and must be included in the income of the person receiving the benefit.
Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC)
If you pay rent or property tax, you could get up to $917 for 2011 to help with the sales tax you pay on energy and the property taxes you paid.
Qualifying seniors can get up to $1,044 for 2011. These amounts will be adjusted for inflation each year.
The Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit and the new Ontario Trillium Benefit
Effective July 2012, payments of the Ontario Sales Tax Credit, Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit and Northern Ontario Energy Credit will be combined into a single benefit payment called the Ontario Trillium Benefit and delivered on a monthly basis.
Government of Canada commonly called numbers
- Individual Income Tax Enquiries: 1-800-959-8281
- Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security & Guaranteed Income Supplement: 1-800-277-9914
- Universal Child Care Benefit and Canada Child Care Benefit: 1-800-387-1193
- GST/HST credit: 1-800-959-1953
- T.I.P.S. Automated Tax Information Phone Service: 1-800-267-6999