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2017-18 federal and provincial benefit year commencing in July

The federal government and many of the provinces provide child and family benefits through a number of programs, most of which are administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

For many programs, both eligibility for and the amount of a particular benefit depend, in whole or in part, on the income of the recipient for the previous year. The current “benefit year” for most such programs begins in July 2017 and so, starting this month, eligibility is determined by the recipient’s 2016 income, as reported and assessed on their 2016 income tax return. 

Consequently, taxpayers who have not yet filed a return for 2016 will not receive any such federal or provincial benefits starting in July 2017. Once the return is filed and assessed, however, benefits can be paid retroactively.

More information on how the benefits payments system works can be found on the CRA website at https://www.canada.ca/en/services/taxes/child-and-family-benefits.html.

Inflation rate down slightly in June

The most recent release of Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Index shows that the overall rate of inflation for the month of June was 1%, while the rate posted for May stood at 1.3%. Both rates were as measured on a year-over-year basis.

For the month of June, prices were up in seven of the eight major components of the Index, with the greatest price increase recorded for the shelter index, which rose by 1.6%. Among the provinces, consumer prices rose less on a year-over-year basis in nine provinces in June than they had in May.

More details of the inflation picture for the month, by index component and by province, can be found in the July release of the Consumer Price Index, which is available on the StatsCan website at www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170721/dq170721a-eng.htm?HPA=1&indid=3665-1&indgeo=0.

Registering for online mail from the Canada Revenue Agency

Owing to security concerns, the Canada Revenue Agency does not transmit personal tax information by e-mail, and most CRA correspondence is therefore sent and received by regular mail.

The CRA does, however, provide a service in which individuals can receive on-line mail from the Agency through its website. Taxpayers who sign up for that service are advised of any new communication by an e-mail to their regular e-mail account, and they can then log on to the CRA website to access that on-line communication.

Details on how to register for the service are outlined on the CRA website at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-individuals/online-mail-helping-you-organize-your-canada-revenue-agency-mail.html

Federal government consultation on tax planning strategies

Finance Canada has announced that it will be holding public consultations with respect to planned changes to the tax rules governing private corporations.

The planned changes will eliminate tax planning strategies which the federal government views as providing an unfair tax advantage to those able to utilize them. Those strategies include income splitting within a family group, the retention of passive investment income in a corporation and the conversion of regular corporate income into capital gains.

The consultation process will take place until October 2, 2017, and more information on that process can be found in the Finance Canada press release, which is available at

http://www.fin.gc.ca/n17/data/17-066_1-eng.asp

Unemployment rate down slightly in June

The most recent release of Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey shows a slight decline in the overall unemployment rate for the month of June. That rate stood at 6.5%, down by 0.1% from the previous month.

During June, overall employment rose by 45,000, most of that in part-time work. Employment was unchanged for most demographic groups, but increased for women aged 55 and older.

More details of the employment picture for the month, by province, demographic group, and industry, can be found in the July release of the Labour Force Survey, available on the StatsCan website at www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170707/dq170707a-eng.htm?HPA=1&indid=3587-2&indgeo=0.

Bank of Canada increases benchmark interest rate

As expected, in its regularly scheduled interest rate announcement made on July 12, the Bank of Canada increased the bank rate from 0.75% to 1.0%.

In the announcement of the rate increase, which can be found at www.bankofcanada.ca/2017/07/fad-press-release-2017-07-12/, the Bank indicated that, in its view, both the global and Canadian economies continue to strengthen. As well, overall inflation has eased in recent months, and the Bank’s three core measures of inflation all remain below 2%.

The Bank’s next regularly scheduled interest rate announcement will take place on September 6, 2017.

Inflation rate down slightly for May

The most recent release of Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Index shows that the overall rate of inflation slowed slightly during the month of May. The year-over-year rate for that month stood at 1.3%, as compared to a 1.6% gain recorded for the month of April.

The major contributor to the slowing inflation rate was the price of gasoline, with the year-over-year growth rate in gasoline prices slowing to half of what it was in April. That decline helped offset prices increases in six of the eight major index components.

More details of the inflation picture for the month, by province and by index component, can be found in the June release of the Consumer Price Index, available on the StatsCan website at www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170623/dq170623a-eng.htm?HPA=1&indid=3665-1&indgeo=0.

CRA to provide new small business services

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has announced that, following its consultation with respect to services provided by the Agency to small businesses, a number of new services will be provided. Those new services will enable small businesses to do the following:

  • receive a CRA security code by email

  • call a new dedicated telephone service for tax preparers that helps with more complex technical issues

  • provide T4 information slips to their employees in electronic format (certain conditions apply)

  • use T2 Auto-fill through commercial software; and

  • create their own filing and balance confirmation letters online.

Details of these and other service improvements can be found in the CRA press release, available on the Agency’s website at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/news/2017/06/minister_lebouthillierannouncesimprovementsatthecratobetterserve.html.

Tax changes effective July 1 for ride-sharing services

As announced in this year’s federal Budget, effective July 1, 2017 self-employed commercial ride-sharing drivers who provide taxable supplies of ride-sharing services will be required to register for the GST/HST (regardless of their total annual revenues from taxable supplies), charge and collect the GST/HST on the ride-sharing services, report the GST/HST, and remit the GST/HST.

The CRA has issued a new publication outlining and explaining the obligations which will be imposed as of July 1. That publication, which can be found at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/gi/gi-196/gi-196-e.html, explains the various simplified GST/HST measures that are available, including registering online, filing and remitting annually and online, and using the Quick Method to calculate net tax if the taxpayer meets the relevant conditions.

New return adjustment feature added to EFILE

The Canada Revenue Agency has introduced a new feature to its existing EFILE service, which will allow EFILE service providers to submit adjustment requests using certified software. Currently, the new ReFILE service can be used to request adjustments to returns filed for the 2015 and 2016 taxation years, if those returns were initially filed online. The ReFILE service allows users to request changes to the same lines of the tax return that individuals can with the Change my Return (CMR) service in My Account.

More information on the new service is available on the CRA website at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/esrvc-srvce/tx/bsnss/rfl/menu-eng.html?utm_medium=Carousel.

Public transit tax credit eliminated after June 2017

As announced in the 2017 federal Budget, the federal tax credit for public transit costs is eliminated after June 2017.

Taxpayers should note that the cancellation of the credit is effective for costs relating to travel on public transit after June 2017, regardless of when those costs were paid. Consequently, taxpayers who purchase, before the end of June, a monthly transit pass for use in July or later months will not be able to claim the public transit tax credit for the cost of that pass or passes. Similarly, taxpayers who purchased an annual transit pass for 2017 will be able to claim only the portion of the cost of that pass that relates to travel prior to July 2017. A public transit tax credit for qualifying costs incurred for travel before July 2017 may still be claimed on the 2017 tax return.

The Canada Revenue Agency has posted on its website an FAQ document to provide information about the cancellation of the credit and that document can be found at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/bdgt/2017/qa06-eng.html.

Prescribed interest rates for first three quarters of 2017

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has announced the interest rates which will apply to amounts owed to and by the Agency for the first three quarters of 2017, as well as the rates that will apply for the purpose of calculating employee and shareholder taxable benefits.

                                         Debit rate          Credit rate       Shareholder Benefits

January 1 – March 31              5%                1% / 3%                      1%

April 1 – June 30                     5%                1% / 3%                      1%

July 1 – September 30             5%                1% / 3%                      1%

The credit rate of interest to be paid on overpayments of tax differs for individual and corporate taxpayers. The lower of the two credit rates shown is paid on corporate tax overpayments.

A listing of these and other interest rates for the first three quarters of 2017 can be found on the CRA website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/interestrates/.

CRA holding public consultation on changes to Voluntary Disclosure Program

Canadian taxpayers who are in default of their filing and/or tax payment obligations can voluntarily disclose that default and have any associated penalties or interest charges waived under the federal government’s Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP).

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has carried out a review of the VDP and has announced that it is holding a public consultation program with respect to the following possible changes:

  • narrowing the criteria of who is eligible;

  • ensuring that severe cases of non-compliance do not benefit from the same level of penalty and interest relief;

  • ensuring that requests that disclose proceeds of crime are excluded from relief; and

  • requiring payment of the estimated taxes owing as a condition to qualify for the program.

A link to details of the consultation process, which will continue for 60 days, can be found on the CRA website at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/consulting-canadians-voluntary-disclosures-program.html. Any changes to the program will be announced in the fall of 2017.

Unemployment rate up slightly in May

The most recent release of Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey shows that, while employment rose by 55,000 during the month of May, the overall unemployment rate increased by 0.1%. That result was attributed by StatsCan to an increase in the number of Canadians in the work force.

The overall unemployment rate for the month of May stood at 6.6%. More details of that rate, by province, demographic group, and sector can be found in the June release of the Labour Force Survey, available on the StatsCan website at www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170609/dq170609a-eng.htm?HPA=1&indid=3587-2&indgeo=0.

CRA to host webinar on determining employee status

Determining whether a particular individual is an employee or a self-employed independent contractor can be difficult, and an employer’s responsibilities with respect to each are quite different.

The CRA will be holding a webinar for employers on Wednesday June 21, to answer questions about the employer-employee relationship and how to determine if a person is an employee or is self-employed.

There is no charge for the webinar, but pre-registration is required. More information on how to pre-register and other details about the webinar can be found on the CRA website at https://www1.webcastcanada.ca/cra-arc/home/index-e.php?utm_medium=Carousel.

Upcoming income tax instalment due date

The second instalment payment of individual income taxes for the 2017 tax year is due on or before Thursday June 15, 2017. Individual taxpayers who pay taxes by instalment will have received an instalment reminder earlier this year on which the amount payable is specified, and such taxpayers may also receive an automated telephone reminder call from the Canada Revenue Agency.

There are a number of ways in which instalment payments of tax can be made, and information on how to do so can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/instalments/.

Upcoming filing deadline for self-employed taxpayers

The second instalment payment of individual income taxes for the 2017 tax year is due on or before Thursday June 15, 2017. Individual taxpayers who pay taxes by instalment will have received an instalment reminder earlier this year on which the amount payable is specified, and such taxpayers may also receive an automated telephone reminder call from the Canada Revenue Agency.

There are a number of ways in which instalment payments of tax can be made, and information on how to do so can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/instalments/.

Federal government to match famine relief donations

The federal government has announced the creation of a Famine Relief Fund in response to the famine and resulting humanitarian crisis which is occurring in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen.

As has been the case in previous such crises, the federal government will fund the Famine Relief Fund by matching all qualifying donations for famine relief made by individual Canadians between March 17 and June 30, 2017. To qualify, donations must be made by individuals and must not exceed $100,000 per individual. In addition, the donations must be:

  • monetary in nature (not donations of goods or services);

  • made to a registered Canadian charity that is receiving donations for this crisis; and

  • specifically earmarked in response to the crisis.

Finally, the charity receiving the donation must declare that donation to Global Affairs Canada by July 7, 2017.

More information about the matching program can be found on the federal government website at www.international.gc.ca/gac-amc/campaign-campagne/famine/index.aspx?lang=eng.

Bank of Canada maintains interest rates at current levels

In its regularly scheduled interest rate announcement made on May 24, the Bank of Canada indicated that, in its view, no change is need to current interest rates. Accordingly, the bank rate remains at 0.75%.

In its announcement, which is available on the Bank’s website at www.bankofcanada.ca/2017/05/fad-press-release-2017-05-24/,

the Bank noted that its three measures of core inflation remain below 2% and that wage growth remains “subdued”, indicating that there is ongoing excess capacity in the Canadian economy. The Bank also expects that very strong economic growth during the first three months of 2017 will be followed by “some moderation” during the second quarter.

The Bank’s next regularly scheduled interest rate announcement will take place on July 12, 2017.

Inflation rate for April unchanged

The most recent release of Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Survey shows that there was no change in the overall inflation rate during the month of April 2017. That rate stood at 1.6%, as measured on a year-over-year basis.

There was a change in price gains in components of the index, as energy prices rose more on a year-over-year basis than they had in the previous month, while declines in food prices moderated.

More details of the inflation picture for the month, by province and by index component, can be found in the May release of the Consumer Price Index, available on the StatsCan website at www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170519/dq170519a-eng.htm?HPA=1.

Changes made to procedures for online access by business representatives

Businesses can appoint someone else, often a tax professional, to deal with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on their behalf. In order to have online access to tax information about the business, the representative must currently file a Form RC59 with the CRA.

The CRA has announced that, after May 15, Form RC59 will no longer be used to obtain such online access. Instead, the representative will need to carry out the following steps.

  1. Log into Represent a Client.

  2. From the Welcome page, select "Review and update."

  3. Select "Authorization request" at the bottom of the "Manage clients" tab and follow the instructions.

  4. Print the signature page for the client to sign.

A signed copy of the signature page should then be scanned and sent to the CRA using Submit documents. More detailed information about the new procedure can be found on the CRA website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/txtps/2017/tt170504-eng.html?rss.

Upcoming webinar on employee taxable benefits

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will be holding a webinar for employers on the subject of employee taxable benefits. The webinar will be held on Wednesday May 24, 2017.

The webinar is free of charge, but pre-registration is required. The times for the English and French language sessions, and a link to the pre-registration site, can be found on the CRA website at https://www1.webcastcanada.ca/cra-arc/home/index-e.php?utm_medium=Carousel.

Tax relief available for taxpayers affected by flood disaster

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has issued a notice reminding Canadian taxpayers who have been affected by this spring’s floods of the availability of relief in relation to their tax filing and payment obligations.

Individuals, businesses, and first responders may have been unable to file their 2016 tax returns or to make required tax payments on time. Those who are or were unable to so can make a request for relief from the imposition of interest and penalties which would usually result from late filing and/or payment.

Affected taxpayers can make such a request online, using Form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief, or can call the CRA at 1-800-959 8281 (for individuals) or at 1-800-959-5525 (for businesses). All requests made are considered on a case-by-case basis.

More information on the CRA’s Taxpayer Relief Program can be found at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/cmplntsdspts/cnclwvpnlty/menu-eng.html and the CRA’s notice is available at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/news/2017/05/government_of_canadaofferstaxpayerrelieftocanadiansaffectedbyflo.html.

Slight decrease in unemployment rate for April

The most recent release of Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey shows a slight decrease in the overall unemployment rate for the month of April 2017, which dropped from 6.7% to 6.5%. The 6.5% rate is the lowest unemployment rate recorded since October 2008.

During the month of April, employment increased among Canadians aged 55 and older, while declining for men aged 25 to 54. Both British Columbia and Prince Edward Island recorded increases in employment, but the figures were largely unchanged in other provinces.

More details of the employment picture for the month by province, economic sector, and demographic group can be found in the May release of the Labour Force Survey, available on the StatsCan website at www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170505/dq170505a-eng.htm?HPA=1&indid=3587-2&indgeo=0.

Interest charges on unpaid taxes begin May 2, 2017

Taxpayers who have unpaid tax balances for 2016 are subject to interest charges on those unpaid balances as of May 2, 2017.

The current (until June 30, 2017) rate imposed on unpaid tax amounts by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is 5%. As well, the interest calculation is compounded daily, meaning that interest is levied each day on the interest charged the day before.

Information about how to make payments to the CRA is available at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/pymnts/n-flng-eng.html. Taxpayers who have a balance owing but cannot make payment in full can contact the CRA at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/cllctns/cnntpyfll-eng.html to make payment arrangements.

Changing source deductions for 2017

This year’s federal Budget repealed and replaced several federal tax credits affecting caregivers of infirm and non-infirm family members. Those changes can in many cases affect the tax payable by such caregivers for 2017.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has re-issued the T1 And T1 Worksheets for 2017 to take account of those changes. Affected taxpayers can use those revised forms to determine required adjustments in their source deductions for the year.

The revised forms can be found on the CRA website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/td1/?rssand http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/td1-ws/?rss.

Decrease in inflation rate for March 2017

The most recent release of Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Index shows a drop in the overall inflation rate for the month of March 2017. The rate for that month stood at 1.6%, as measured on a year-over-year basis. The rate for February, also as measured on a year-over-year basis, was 2%.

Inflation during March was broad-based, as prices rose in five of the eight index components. The cost of transportation and shelter contributed most to the year-over-year rise in prices, while costs for food and clothing and footwear declined.

Details of the inflation picture for the month, by province and by index component, can be found in the April release of the Consumer Price Index, available on the StatsCan website at www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170421/dq170421a-eng.htm?HPA=1&indid=3665-1&indgeo=0.

Individual tax payment deadline May 1, 2017

For all individual Canadian taxpayers, the deadline for payment of tax amounts owed for the 2016 taxation year is midnight on Monday May 1, 2017.

Payments which are not made in full by that deadline will be subject to interest charges. The current interest rate imposed is 5%, and any interest charges levied are compounded daily.

Information on how to make a payment to the Canada Revenue Agency can be found on its website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/mkpymnt-eng.html.

Prescribed interest rates applicable for leasing rules purposes in April and May

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has announced the prescribed interest rates which will apply for purposes of the leasing rules during the months of April and May 2017. They are as follows.

April ………………… 3.29%

May ………………… 3.14%

A listing of prescribed leasing interest rates from 2008 to the present can be found on the CRA website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/fq/ls-eng.html.

Payment deadline and options for 2016 tax balances owed

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has issued a reminder to taxpayers that all tax amounts owed by individuals for the 2016 tax year are due by the end of April 2017. Since April 30 falls on a Sunday this year, payments made by midnight on Monday, May 1 will be considered to have been paid on time.

Although self-employed taxpayers and their spouses have until June 15 to file their 2016 returns, any balance of tax owed is nonetheless due by the May 1, 2017 deadline.

The CRA reminder outlines the various payment options available to individual taxpayers (as well as information on how to make a payment arrangement where the taxpayer is unable to pay taxes owed in full), and that reminder can be found on the CRA website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/txtps/2017/tfsk17-eng.html?rss.

Bank of Canada maintains current interest rates

In its regularly scheduled interest rate announcement made on April 12, 2017, the Bank of Canada indicated that, in its view, no change was needed to current rates. Accordingly, the bank rate remains at 0.75%.

In the press release outlining its reasons for the decision, which is available at www.bankofcanada.ca/2017/04/fad-press-release-2017-04-12/, the Bank indicated that domestic inflation is now at its 2% target. As well, while recent data shows that domestic economic growth has been faster than was expected, it is, in the Bank’s view, too early to conclude that the economy is on a sustainable growth path.

The Bank’s next regularly scheduled interest rate announcement date is May 24, 2017.

Unemployment rate up slightly for March 2017

The most recent release of Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey shows a small increase in the unemployment rate for the month of March 2017. That rate rose by 0.1%, to 6.7%.

Among demographic groups, employment increased for men aged 25 to 54, with little change recorded for other groups. Employment rose in Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba, fell in Saskatchewan, and was relatively stable in the other provinces.

More details of the employment picture for the month, by industry, province, and demographic group can be found in the April release of the Labour Force Survey, at www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170407/dq170407a-eng.htm?HPA=1&indid=3587-2&indgeo=0.

Applying for advance payment of Working Income Tax Benefit

The federal government provides a Working Income Tax Benefit for lower-income Canadians who earn a minimum amount of income from employment or self-employment.

The WITB is claimed on the annual tax return. However, taxpayers who are eligible for the benefit for 2017 can file a claim to receive advance payment of up to 50% of the benefit. That advance payment is made in equal instalments payable in April, July, and October 2017, and January 2018.

The final deadline for applications for advance payment of the WITB for 2017 is August 31, 2017. The application form for 2017, and more information about the advance payment process can be found on the CRA website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/rc201/rc201-17e.pdf.

Extended hours provided for CRA’s individual tax help line

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) provides an Individual Income Tax Enquiries Line (reachable at 1-800-959 8281) for taxpayers who need general information about taxes, or have specific questions about their own tax situation.

Until April 30, 2017, that Individual Income Tax Enquiries Line will be accessible for extended hours, as follows:

  • Monday to Friday – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. – local time

  • Saturday – 9 a.m. to 5. p.m. (except Easter weekend) – local time

The Individual Income Tax Enquires Line is not available on Sundays. More information about the Enquiries Line, and the CRA’s automated personal tax information service, can be found at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/cntct/phn-eng.html.

Slight decrease in inflation rate for February

The most recent release of Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Index indicates that the inflation rate for the month of February stood at 2%, as measured on a year-over-year basis. The comparable rate for January 2017 was 2.1%.

Inflation during the month was broad-based, as prices were up in seven of the eight major index components. The greatest increase was recorded for transportation costs, which rose 6.6% on a year-over-year basis.

More details of the inflation picture for the month, by index component and by province, can be found in the March release of the Consumer Price Index, available on the StatsCan website at www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170324/dq170324a-eng.htm?HPA=1.

Federal Budget projects $28.5 billion deficit for 2017-18

The federal Budget brought down on March 22, 2017 by Minister of Finance Bill Morneau included projections of a $28.5 billion deficit for the federal government for the current (2017-18) fiscal year.

That deficit is projected to decrease slightly to $27.4 billion in 2018-19 and to decrease again to $23.4 billion in 2019-20. According to federal government projections, which can be found at www.budget.gc.ca/2017/docs/plan/overview-apercu-en.html#Toc477707294, the deficit will reach $18.8 billion in fiscal 2021-22.

Budget 2017 - Review of Tax Planning Using Private Corporations

The Budget 2017 documents revealed that the government has been undergoing further reviews of various planning strategies relating to the use of private corporations that reduce personal income taxes of high income earners. The government will be releasing a paper in the next few months which will contain proposed policy responses to various tax planning strategies involving private corporations—no specifics were provided with respect to which kinds of strategies will be targeted.

Budget 2017 - Taxi and Ride-Sharing Services

Effective July 1, 2017, Budget 2017 proposes to extend the GST/HST on taxi operators to ride-sharing services. Taxi operators are required to collect and remit GST/HST on their fares with no dollar exemption limit. In order to ensure GST/HST is consistently applied, ride-sharing service providers will be required to register for GST/HST and charge the tax on their fares.

Budget 2017 - Billed-Basis Accounting

Generally, taxpayers are required to include the value of their work in progress (“WIP”) in their income whether or not they have actually received payment for performing the work.  However, certain professionals such as lawyers, doctors, veterinarians, and chiropractors are not required to include the WIP in their income until the work is billed to the client. Budget 2017 proposes to eliminate billed-basis accounting effective in taxation years that begin on or after March 22, 2017, with a transitional period. Going forward, professionals must include WIP in their taxable income even though they have yet to bill the client for that work.

Budget 2017 - Home Relocation Loans Deduction

If a taxpayer receives a loan by virtue of their employment with an interest rate below a prescribed rate, he or she is deemed to have received a taxable benefit. However, taxpayers can claim an offsetting deduction to the extent that the loan (not exceeding $25,000) was for the purpose of acquiring a new home when moving to a new work location. Budget 2017 proposes to eliminate this offsetting deduction, effective 2018 and subsequent years.

Budget 2017 - Medical Expense Tax Credit

Budget 2017 proposes to expand the medical tax credit to include costs paid for the purpose of conceiving a child regardless of whether the medical procedures involved are not medically indicated due to infertility. This change clarifies that such reproductive technologies are eligible for the credit in cases of medical intervention—prior to this change, such expenses were only eligible in cases of medical infertility.

Budget 2017 - Public Transit Tax Credit

Budget 2017 announced that the public transit tax credit will be repealed as of July 1, 2017. The non-refundable credit provided a 15% tax reduction with respect to eligible public transit passes such as monthly passes and electronic fare cards.​

Budget 2017 - Disability Tax Credit

Budget 2017 proposes to amend the eligibility criteria for the disability tax credit. One of the conditions required for the credit is that a medical practitioner certifies on CRA Form T2201 that the taxpayer has a physical or mental impairment that markedly restricts the taxpayer’s ability to perform a basic life activity. Generally, medical practitioners include medical doctors, optometrists, psychologist, etc. Applicable to certifications made on or after March 22, 2017, nurse practitioners are granted the power to certify a taxpayer’s eligibility for the credit.

Canada Tax Alerts