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What’s new for the 2017 tax-filing season?

Did you know?

There are changes and enhancements to existing services, credits, and amounts for individual taxpayers for the 2017 tax-filing season!

Important facts

  • Updated notice of assessment – The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has improved the notice of assessment! The new, simpler format provides the most important information about your assessment on the first page. This is part of the CRA’s effort to improve its correspondence with individuals. Online tax records are as official as a paper record.
  • Auto-fill my return – The CRA’s “Auto-fill my return” service is now available through some certified tax software. This service allows you to automatically fill in certain parts of your income tax and benefit return. To use the Auto-fill my return service, you must be fully registered for My Account.
  • Online mail – Online mail is the fast, easy and secure way to manage your tax correspondence. Get statements such as your notice of assessment online in My Account, instead of in the mail. To register, provide us with an email address on your income tax and benefit return or register directly online at www.cra.gc.ca/myaccount. New correspondence, such as benefits statements (summer 2017), will be added this year!
  • Universal child care benefit (UCCB) – For the 2017 tax year, under the UCCB, families will receive $160 per month for each child under 6 and $60 per month for each child aged 6 through 17.
  • Disability Tax Credit – This year, Canadians claiming the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) will be able to file their T1 return online regardless of whether or not their Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate has been submitted to the CRA for that tax year.
  • Children’s fitness amount – As of January 1, 2015, this is now a refundable tax credit available to families with children enrolled in a prescribed program of physical activity. For tax years prior to 2015, this credit was non-refundable.
  • Child Care Expense Deduction limits – As of the 2015 tax year, the Child Care Expense Deduction dollar limits have increased by $1,000. The maximum amounts that can be claimed have increased to $8,000 for children under age seven, to $5,000 for children aged seven through 16, and to $11,000 for children who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.
  • MyCRA mobile app – Get your tax information anytime, anywhere, on your mobile device! In October 2015, new features were added to the mobile app such as personalized benefit payment information, enhanced tax return status, and Canada child tax benefit application status. Starting February 2016, you will also be able to update your address, manage your online mail with the CRA, and sign up for direct deposit.

New and improved benefits and credits

  • Canada child benefit (CCB) –The CCB is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under the age of 18. The CCB might include the child disability benefit and any related provincial and territorial programs. It replaces the Canada child tax benefit, national child benefit supplement and the universal child care benefit.
  • Northern residents deductions – If you have lived, on a permanent basis, in a prescribed northern or intermediate zone for a continuous period of at least six consecutive months, you may be eligible for a deduction. For 2016 and later years, the basic and the additional residency amounts used to calculate the northern residents deductions will be increased from $8.25 to $11 per day.
  • Eligible educator school supply tax credit – Eligible educators may be able to claim a 15% refundable tax credit based on up to $1,000 of eligible teaching supplies bought during the tax year.

New services

  • Express NOA – This new service delivers an instant assessment result message and provides a notice of assessment directly into the certified tax software the next day. To use the service, you must be registered for online mail and file electronically using a certified tax software.
    Account alerts – As a fraud prevention measure, this new service notifies you by email when an address has changed, banking information for direct deposit has changed, or if mail sent to you by the Canada Revenue Agency was returned. You may register for this service through My Account or MyCRA mobile app.
  • Link between My Account and My Service Canada Account – You can now access these two accounts through a single sign-in session.
  • MyBenefits CRA mobile app – You can use the CRA's new web-based mobile app to securely view your next benefit payment dates and amounts, the status of your CCB application, update your marital status, and change information about children in your care.

Enhanced services

  • Online mail – This service provides you with the option to sign up to receive certain CRA correspondence in your secure CRA My Account instead of by paper mail. Throughout 2016 additional types of correspondence were added to the online mail service, including benefit notices and slips, and instalment reminders.
  • Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) – The CVITP helps Canadians with modest income and a simple tax situation by preparing their tax returns free of charge. This year, we are recruiting more organizations and volunteers to help expand the program in more communities. Now more Canadians than ever can receive help to do their taxes and ensure they are receiving the credits and benefits they are eligible for.
  • Auto-fill my return – Enhancements to this service include extended log-in sessions so you can stay logged into the service for a longer period than before, more tax slips, and the use of the service for previous-year returns.
  • MyCRA mobile app –The MyCRA mobile app now allows you to update your marital status and sign up for account alerts.

Other changes

  • Income splitting tax credit – The family tax cut has been eliminated for the 2016 year and future tax years. However, if you are receiving a pension, you may be able to split your eligible pension income with your spouse or common-law partner to reduce your taxes.
  • Children’s fitness tax credit – For 2016, the maximum eligible fees in the year is reduced from $1,000 to $500, but the additional amount of $500 for children eligible for the disability tax credit has not changed. Therefore the maximum credit is reduced to $75 ($150 for a child eligible for the disability tax credit).
  • Children’s arts tax credit – For 2016, the maximum eligible fees in the year is reduced from $500 to $250, but the additional amount of $500 for children eligible for the disability tax credit will not change. Therefore the maximum credit is reduced to $37.50 ($112.50 for a child eligible for the disability tax credit).
  • Home accessibility tax credit (HATC) – For 2016 and subsequent tax years, you can claim a non-refundable tax credit for eligible expenses incurred for work performed or goods acquired for a qualifying renovation of an eligible dwelling of a qualifying individual.
  • Reporting the sale of your principal residence – Starting with the 2016 tax year, you are required to report basic information (date of acquisition, proceeds of disposition (e.g. sale) and address) on your tax return when you sell your principal residence to claim the full principal residence exemption. You do not have to pay tax on any capital gain when you sell your house if it was your principal residence for all the years you owned it and you did not use any part of it to earn income.
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