From defence and deficit to ride-sharing and skill-building, there were a lot of key developments in Canada’s 2017 Federal Budget announced on March 22, 2017. To make it easier to understand how these updates may affect your personal financial situation for the 2017 tax year, we’ve combed through all of the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) details and compiled a list of the main points from the revised fiscal plan.
Here are some things to keep in mind when preparing your tax year 2017 tax return (due on April 30, 2018):
- 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, 2017.
- Nurse practitioners will now be able to help people with disabilities complete form T2201, so they can get the various disability benefits.
- Uber and other ride-sharing services will need to collect GST/HST on fares. Read more about our Tax Tips for Uber Partners.
- Increased taxes on alcohol and tobacco came into effect March 23, 2017.
- 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 ended in 2017.
- The Family Caregiver, Caregiver Amount and Infirm Dependant will be combined into the Canada Caregiver Credit.
- The fitness credit and art credit program were eliminated in the 2017 tax year.
- The education and textbook credits were eliminated for tax year 2017. Learn more about your last chance to claim these credits.
- The CRA’s budget will increase 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.
- Increases in subsidized child care spaces, with access to affordable child care to encourage greater participation in work, education or training.
- Significant investment in the promotion of Science Technology Engineering and Math (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 single seniors.
- 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, 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.