As the ancient Chinese proverb says, “the only thing that’s constant is change”. In 2017, your personal tax return saw a number of significant changes. How these changes affected the bottom line depended on your personal tax situation. Here’s what you need to know about the tax changes we saw back in 2017.
New Credits for 2017
The Canada Caregiver Amount was new for 2017 and combined three existing credits. This change affected you if you had previously claimed one of the following credits:
- The Family Caregiver Amount
- The Caregiver Amount or
- The Amount for Infirm Dependants aged 18 or older,
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.
This means 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, as of 2017, your fees may have been deductible.
2017 Said Goodbye to These Credits
Along with the credits replaced by the Canada Caregiver Amount, 2017 brought the end to a number of other credits.
As of 2017, these credits no longer existed:
- 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 could 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 were applying for the Disability Tax Credit, as of 2017, your doctor wasn’t the only one who could complete the paperwork. Nurse practitioners were added to the list of medical practitioners who could certify your eligibility.
- Costs associated with treating infertility were included as eligible medical expenses. This change was retroactive, which means that if you paid for fertility treatments within the past 10 years, you could request an adjustment of past tax returns to include these amounts.
- As of March 22, 2017, expenses for the creation of child care spaces were no longer eligible for the investment tax credit.
- The tax credit for the purchase of shares of federally registered labour-sponsored venture capital corporations was eliminated as of January 1, 2017.
References & Resources
Jennifer is the Social Care Manager for TurboTax Canada. When she’s not helping customers on Facebook, Twitter, and TurboTax’s community forum AnswerXchange, Jennifer is busy researching the latest tax changes.
Jennifer has been preparing tax returns for over 30 years and enjoys holding tax seminars for seniors in her hometown of St. Vincent’s, Newfoundland.