Federal taxes & programs

2017 Federal Budget

From defence and deficit to ride-sharing and skill-building, there were a lot of key developments in the 2017 Federal Budget that happened on March 22. To make it easier to understand how these updates will affect your personal financial situation, we’ve combed through all of the technical details and compiled a list of the main points from the revised fiscal plan.

  • The 15 per cent non-refundable Transit Pass Credit has been eliminated, and riders will only be able to deduct passes this year up until June.
  • Nurse practitioners will now be able to help people with disability fill our Form T2201 so they can get access to the various disability benefits.
  • Uber and other ride-sharing services will be imposed with GST/HST on fares. Read more about our Tax Tips for Uber Partners.
  • Increased taxes on alcohol and tobacco come into effect March 23.
  • Foreign tourists will no longer be eligible for a GST/HST rebate on the cost of their accommodations or tour packages.
  • The long-running Canada Savings Bonds program will be ending this year.
  • The Family Caregiver, Caregiver Amount and Infirm Dependant will be combined into the Canada Caregiver Credit.
  • The fitness credit and art credit program will be eliminated.
  • The education and textbook credits will also be eliminated. Learn more about your last chance to claim these credits.
  • The CRA’s budget will be increasing to ensure greater compliance.
  • Women will be able to claim Employment Insurance maternity benefits up to 12 weeks before their due date (as opposed to the current 8 weeks).
  • Costs related to reproductive technologies (even if such treatment were not due to medical infertility) can be claimed as medical expense tax credits. This is applicable from 2017 onwards, and is also retroactive for the immediate preceding 10 years.
  • More flexibility will be given in Employment Insurance benefits for caregivers.
  • Employment Insurance parental benefits will have an option to be extended to 18 months, but at a lower rate of 33% of average weekly earnings.
  • Increase in subsidized child care spaces, with access to affordable child care encouraging greater participation in work, education or training.
  • Significant investment in the promotion of STEM programs that target young people, including young women to provide better career and income opportunities.
  • Increases in the Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up benefit, which goes towards helping seniors who are single.
  • Access thresholds to student financial aid will be lowered, particularly for part-time students as well as students supporting a family.

For more answers on questions you might have about your personal tax situation, do check out our blog – we’ve got a wide range of topics that can help you get the biggest refund when you file with TurboTax.