Ready to file your 2017 Personal Income Tax Return? Beware of these 2017 federal tax changes!

Firstly, the following personal tax credits have been eliminated for Federal tax purposes:

  • The Education and Textbook tax credit;
  • The children’s fitness and arts tax credits; and,
  • The public transit tax credit – this credit was eliminated effective July 1, 2017. Therefore, one can make a claim for the period January 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017.

Tuition Tax Credit

Eligible tuition expenses available for the federal tuition credit have been expanded to cover fees paid for occupational skills courses not offered at the post-secondary level. The student must be at least 16 years old by December 31, 2017.

Scholarships, fellowships, bursaries, and artists’ project grants exemption

The eligibility for the exemption has been enhanced under certain conditions to include scholarships and bursaries received for occupational skills courses that are not at the post-secondary level.

Reporting of the Principal Residence Exemption

As you may recall, effective January 1, 2016 the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) will only allow you to claim the principal residence exemption if you report the sale and make the principal residence designation on your personal income tax return.

Commencing in 2017, CRA requires you to complete Form T2091, Designation of a Property as a Principal Residence by an Individual (Other Than a Personal Trust), when reporting the disposition of a principal residence.

Please note that this new reporting requirement will also apply to deemed dispositions of a principal residence, including those arising because of a change in use.

CRA will accept late-filed reporting on the disposition of a principal residence subject to a penalty. This penalty is the lesser of:

  • $8,000; and
  • $100 for each complete month from the original due date of the personal income tax return to the date of the late-filed designation.

Certification of the Disability Tax Credit

Nurse practitioners now have the ability to certify the eligibility of a person for the disability tax credit.

Eligible costs for the Medical Expense Tax Credit

Costs related to reproductive technology use are now eligible costs for the tax credit, where such costs are incurred by an individual who requires medical intervention to conceive a child, even where the treatment is not on account of medical infertility.

Any expenses incurred in previous years can be claimed by electing that these costs apply to the immediately preceding ten taxation years.

Canada Caregiver Amount

The Canada Caregiver Amount has replaced the Family Caregiver Amount, the amount for infirm dependants age 18 or older (line 306), and the Caregiver Amount (line 3150

If you have any questions concerning these changes, or how they apply to your situation, please do not hesitate to contact the experienced accountants at Hogg, Shain & Scheck Professional Corporation.