Tax News

Tax Changes for 2017

As the ancient Chinese proverb says, “the only thing that’s constant is change”. Your 2017 tax return has a number of significant changes. How these changes affect your bottom line depends on your personal tax situation. Here’s what you need to know about tax changes for 2017.

New Credits

The Canada Caregiver Amount is new for 2017. If you’ve previously claimed:

  • The Family Caregiver Amount
  • The Caregiver Amount or
  • The Amount for Infirm Dependants aged 18 or older,

this change affects you. The Canada Caregiver Amount replaces all three of these amounts as of 2017. To see if you qualify, check out our tax tip Canada Caregiver Amount.

Changes to Existing Credits

Until 2017, only tuition paid for post-secondary level courses qualified for a tax credit. If you took other courses at a college, university, or other educational facility, your fees weren’t tax-deductible. Now, with the expanded definition of tuition, your expenses may equal a tax break.

Tuition is no longer limited to post-secondary courses. If you went back to school to improve your basic reading or math skills, took courses to upgrade your occupational skills, or attended second language classes, your fees may be deductible.

Say Goodbye to These Credits

Along with the credits being replaced by the Canada Caregiver Amount, 2016 brought the end to a number of other credits. As of 2017, these credits no longer exist:

  • The Children’s Fitness Tax Credit,
  • The Children’s Arts Amount,
  • Education and textbook amounts.

Additionally, the public transit amount made an exit mid-year. This means that you can only claim bus passes and other qualifying public transit amounts purchased for travel between January 1 and June 30 2017.

Other Notable Tax Changes for 2017

  • If you’re applying for the Disability Tax Credit, your doctor isn’t the only one who can complete the paperwork. Nurse practitioners have been to the list of medical practitioners who can certify your eligibility.
  • Costs associated with treating infertility are now included as eligible medical expenses. This change is retroactive which means that if you’ve paid for fertility treatments within the past 10 years, you can request an adjustment of past tax returns to include these amounts.
  • As of March 22, 2017, expenses for the creation of child care spaces are no longer eligible for the investment tax credit.
  • The tax credit for the purchase of shares of federally registered labour-sponsored venture capital corporations has been eliminated as of January 1, 2017.

References & Resources

Department of Finance Canada: Budget 2016

Department of Finance Canada: Budget 2017