Income Tax Credits and Federal Budget Updates

Budget 2015 presented by the federal government on April 21, 2015 contained some good news for seniors:
  • Introduction of the Home Accessibility Tax Credit which will allow a 15 percent, non-refundable income tax credit on up to $10,000 of eligible home renovations expenditures per year (therefore a maximum of $1,500). Eligible expenditures include wheelchair ramps, walk-in tubs, wheel-in showers and grab bars.
  • Changes to RRIF withdrawal rules which will reduce the amount of money seniors 71 and older must take out of their Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) annually.
  • Increase of the annual contribution limit for tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs) to $10,000 from $5,500.
  • Extension of Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits from six weeks to six months to better support Canadians caring for gravely ill and dying family members.

What You May Not Know

In addition to the changes to the budget there are some income tax credits that may not be known to people who pay income tax. These credits apply to:
  • Medical expenses for the purchase of a walking cane or scooter.
  • Individuals who have a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions (this credit can be retroactive).
More information on these credits is available from the Canada Revenue Agency:
You can also phone 1-800-959-2221 from Monday to Friday 8:15am to 5:00pm (local time) and request copies of these documents.
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