Six Tax Updates To Know Before Filing in 2017


It’s that time of year again when one thing is top of mind – taxes!

2017 was a big year in the world of tax. With several significant updates coming into play, there could be noticeable changes to Canadians filing taxes this year and for years to come. Particularly, there were three new deductions and credits introduced and three that were eliminated. With that in mind, it’s important to be informed about these key changes and understand how they could impact you.

Here are the six Canadian tax changes to know before filing your taxes this year:

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1 | Medical Expenses - Up until now, individuals had to be diagnosed as medically infertile in order to claim the cost of reproductive technologies and fertility treatments as part of their medical expense tax credit. 

Effective for 2017 tax returns, you are eligible to claim the same expenses as individuals with medical infertility if you need medical intervention to conceive a child. What this means is that you do not need to be diagnosed as medically infertile to be eligible to claim medical expenses relating to reproductive technologies or fertility treatments. In addition, single parents and same-sex couples, are able to claim the costs of assisted human reproduction procedures.

Moreover, you can also request an adjustment to claim these medical expenses on any income tax return for the 10 previous calendar years.


2 | Canada Caregiver Amount - The Canada caregiver amount has replaced three former related credits - the "caregiver amount", the "amount for infirm dependants", and the "family caregiver amount". If the person you are making this claim for has an impairment in physical or mental functions, you could be entitled to claim this amount in the calculation of certain non-refundable tax credits.


3 | Disability Tax Credit Certification - As of March 22, 2017, nurse practitioners have been added to the list of medical practitioners who may certify eligibility of a person for the DTC.


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1 | Federal Public Transit Amount - The public transit amount has been eliminated. However, you are able to claim any bus passes/tickets that you've purchased up until June 30, 2017. Any bus passes/tickets purchased after July 1, 2017, are not eligible as this credit is being phased out. 


2 | Federal Education and Textbook Amounts - The federal education and textbook credits were eliminated, effective January 1, 2017. These amounts allowed students enrolled in part-time or full-time study to claim a non-refundable credit. However, you can still carry forward unused education and textbook credit amounts from years prior to 2017.

The tuition amount has not been eliminated. However, the eligibility criteria for the tuition amount has been enhanced under certain conditions to include fees paid for occupational skills courses that are not at the post-secondary level.


3 | Federal Children’s Fitness and Arts Amounts - These credits allowed you to claim the fees you paid for enrolling your children, under the age of 15, in fitness and arts programs. In 2016, the maximum amounts eligible to be claimed were reduce. In 2017, these credits have been eliminated entirely.


Disclaimer:  The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal or professional advice. It is not intended to replace, and should not be interpreted or relied upon as professional advice.



Joanna Sheth