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Tax changes for new families and small businesses


There are many changes that will impact taxes this year, and Canadians need to be aware of how these updates will affect their tax return.

“The changes will be positive for the average person, with parental benefit sharing extended, additional medical expenses allowed for claims and incentives for carbon reduction,” explains Lisa Gittens, H&R Block tax expert. “The government has also made clear that Canadian business is a priority, with the reduction in corporate taxes for small businesses.”

Here are the tax laws most likely to have the biggest impact on returns.

EI parental sharing benefits. The supplemental parental sharing benefit will provide an additional five weeks of benefits when both parents agree to share parental leave, designed to provide greater flexibility to families. This pilot program allows claimants to keep 50 cents of their EI benefits for every dollar they earn, up to a maximum of 90 per cent of their EI benefits.

Medical expenses. Effective this year, taxpayers suffering from a severe mental impairment will be able to claim the costs of caring for a service animal. However, animals that provide comfort or emotional support, but have not been specially trained to perform the tasks above, will not be eligible.

Climate Action Incentive. As part of the government of Canada’s climate change plan, residents of New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan will receive a new tax credit called the Climate Action Incentive when they file their 2018 tax return in early 2019.

The government estimates that the average household will receive an incentive of $598 in Saskatchewan, $248 in New Brunswick, $300 in Ontario and $336 in Manitoba. People who live in more rural areas will get 10 per cent more than those in cities to account for using more energy and not having many public transportation options as a way to reduce their fuel consumption.

Small business corporate tax. The small business corporate tax rate was reduced from 10.5 per cent to 10 per cent effective for 2018 and will be reduced to 9 per cent for 2019.

Veterans. Retirement income security benefits received by veterans are now eligible for pension income splitting. This provision is retroactive to 2015. The amount that can be split is subject to a cap of $103,056 for 2018.

Consult an H&R Block tax expert for more information.

– News Canada 

Posted: Mar 1, 2019

September 2019

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