The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) is constantly streamlining the tax return procedure so that the process is easier for the public. This 2016 CRA has released a set of changes that you should be aware of before you file your tax returns. With more and more people getting online, CRA has many updates to ensure the online processes are as simple as possible.
So before you start sending in your tax returns, here are the changes you should know about.
Notice of Assessment
The CRA has an improved system of notice of assessment. It’s a new and simpler format that provides the most critical information of your assessment on the first page. This simple step enhances CRA’s correspondence with individuals. Online tax records are as official as paper records.
Auto-Fill my Return
CRA has made the Auto-fill my return feature available through a few certified tax applications. Through this feature, you can automatically fill in certain parts of your income tax and benefits return.
To gain access to Auto-fill my return feature, you need to have an account on CRA’s My Account. As the year goes on, more and more certified tax applications will have this feature.
Online mail offers the quickest, easiest and most secure way to manage your tax correspondence. Rather than getting your notice of assessment through mail, you can receive it through online mail. This way, you avoid the waiting period that the mail takes to reach your home from CRA.
To get online mails, ensure that you either provide an email address on your income tax and benefits return, or register with CRA’s My Account.
New correspondence, like benefits statements, will be added this year.
Universal Child Care Benefits
Universal Child Care Benefits (UCCB) was introduced to provide additional financial assistance to parents. For the 2015 tax year, families will receive $160 every month for each child under the age of 6, and $60 every month for each child from the age of 6 to 17.
Disability Tax Credit
Canadians filing their T1 return form, claiming Disability Tax Credit, will be able to file the form online. This is regardless whether or not the Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, has been submitted to CRA for this tax year.
Children’s Fitness Amount
As of January 1, 2015, Children’s fitness amount is a refundable tax credit available to families who have children enrolled in a prescribed physical activity program. This credit was non-refundable prior to the tax years of 2015.
Child Care Expense Deduction Limits
Since the January 1, 2015 tax year, the Child Care Expense Deduction dollar limits have increased by $1000. So, now the maximum amounts that can be claimed have increased to $8,000 for children under the age of 7, $5,000 for children at age 7 through to the age of 16, and $11,000 for children who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.
MyCRA Mobile App
Last October 2015, CRA gave their mobile app an update and loaded tons of new features on it, like personalized benefit payment information, enhanced tax return status, and Canada child tax benefit application status. You are also able to update your address, manage your online mail with CRA, and sign up for direct deposit.
So ensure you update your tax filing process and take advantage of these new changes!