It’s time to file your income tax return. The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) have put together a series of tax tips for the 2017 tax year to help British Columbians navigate through their income tax returns. Here are four general filing tips to help British Columbians get started on their income tax filings:
1. How much income tax do I have to pay?
The amount of taxes you have to pay is based on your annual income. The federal income tax brackets have changed for the 2017 tax year. Be sure to check them out before filing your income tax return. To reduce your taxes, check to see if you are eligible for any tax credits or tax deduction measures.
2. What is the deadline for filing my personal income tax return?
The deadline for filing personal income tax returns and paying any taxes owing for the 2017 tax year is Monday, April 30, 2018. However, if you are self-employed, the filing deadline for you (and your spouse or common-law partner) is Friday, June 15, 2018.
3. I have unused tax credits from my 2016 tax return, can I apply them in my tax return this year?
If you were unable to use certain deductions or tax credits from a previous tax year, you might be able to use them for the 2017 tax year. Some common items include:
Charitable donations: unused charitable donations may be carried forward five years;
Interest on student loans: unused student loan interest expenses may be carried forward five years; and
Home office expenses: excess un-deducted home office expenses of an employee or a self-employed individual may be carried forward indefinitely and applied against income from the same office or employment, or from the same business.
4. Can I transfer income tax credits to my spouse?
You can transfer some income tax credits to your spouse or common-law partner. Transferable credits include the age credit, disability credit, pension income credit, and your own education and tuition fee credit. If you are able to reduce your taxes payable to zero without using all of your available credits, you might consider transferring some of these unused credits to your spouse’s return. Don’t let your credits go to waste.
Learn more about the changes for the 2017 tax year and other tax tips with CPABC’s RRSP and Tax Tips at www.rrspandtaxtips.com.
Submitted by Chartered Professional Accountants British Columbia