Do We Still Get to “Income Split” For 2015 If We Are a Married Couple with Young Children?
Although this option will soon be gone, for the 2015 taxation year it is still possible for a married couple with children to receive a tax credit of up to $2000. You calculate your eligibility for this credit in the same way as for 2014.
How Can I Get My Tax Forms and Guides Without Leaving Home?
Don’t forget you don’t have to trudge to the post office to pick up your income tax guides and forms. Nor do you just have to wade through them online. You can order free mail delivery of any forms or guides from the CRA.
Go the CRA webpage at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/cgi-bin/puborder.cgi?lang=en and complete the Online Order form.
Although I use free tax filing software like GenuTax and StudioTax, I still like to have a paper copy of the guides and forms to review. I ordered my forms a week ago and they arrived today.
What Free Software Can I Download to Help Calculate and NETFILE my Tax Return?
I have used two of the free tax programs in past years. (Well, I send them a donation but I decide how much and they are small Canadian businesses not large impersonal corporations.) They are
- StudioTax and
- Genutax Standard.
StudioTax is now fully approved to file this year’s returns using NETFILE. You can download it to your computer from their website at http://studiotax.com/en/
Genutax Standard is still waiting on the CRA to issue their final approval but hope to receive it on March 2, 2016. When it’s approved, you’ll be able to download it from their website at http://genutax.ca/
As usual, I’ll be running some test scenarios this year to see if I like how the software is working.
In particular, I’ll be interested to see if they have taken advantage of a new CRA option where you can “preload” your forms with some information from your previous year’s tax returns.
New Way To Reduce Typing Old Tax Return (2014) Information Into Your New (2015) Tax Return in Spring of 2016
If you use a computer program to help complete your income tax return, you may be able to save yourself some typing this year. The CRA has created a bridge to allow certified software to download your information from your previous year’s tax return into this year’s program. For example, it can download information about
- Tuition and education credits you are carrying forward
- Capital losses you are carrying forward
- RRSP contributions you did not deduct yet
And so on.
It will also try to fill in your fields for forms containing information for this year’s tax return including tax slips such as your
- T4 Income Statement from Employer
- T4A Statement of Pension or Other Income
- T4A(P) Statement of CPP Payments
- T4RIF Statement of Retirement Income Fund Income
- T5 Statement of Investment Income
- RC62 Universal Child Care Benefit Statement
- RC210 Working Income Tax Benefit Advance Payments Statement
You can read more details on the CRA website at: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/auto-fill/
Not all tax programs are capable of getting this information automatically. Check your program before you get your hopes up! (It looks like StudioTax may have this feature. If so, I’ll try a test of it.)
Also, be very very sure to review your tax return before filing it. It’s quite possible for a T5 or other important slip to be missing from the government’s website. It’s up to you to make sure you are declaring all of your income, not them. If you don’t declare it all, they can zing you with very harsh penalties and interest charges. Read it through very carefully before you NETFILE or mail it in!
Caution: Watch Out If You Provide Your Email Address!
Remember if you give the CRA your email address you are agreeing that they will stop mailing you your Notice of Assessment and other important letters. Instead, they will send you an email telling you to sign in to your online My Account profile to read these letters.
Have you used the new auto-fill option with your tax software? What did you think? Please share your experiences with a comment.