New benefits and credits
Canada Child Benefit.
The new Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a tax-free monthly payment made to
eligible families to help with the cost of raising children under the age
of 18. The CCB is meant to replace the Canada Child Tax Benefit, National
Child Benefit Supplement, and the Universal Child Care Benefit.
Northern Residents’ Deduction.
If you have lived, on a permanent basis, in a prescribed northern or
intermediate zone for a continuous period of at least six consecutive
months, you may be eligible for a Northern Residents’ Deduction. For 2016
and later years, the basic and the additional residency amounts used to
calculate the Northern Residents’ Deductions will be increased to $11 per
day from $8.25.
Teaching supplies credit.
Eligible educators may be able to claim a 15% refundable tax credit based
on up to $1,000 of eligible teaching supplies bought during the tax year.
New CRA services
Express Notice of Assessment.
This new service delivers an instant assessment result message and provides
a Notice of Assessment directly to your certified tax software the next
day. To use the service, you must be registered for online mail and you
must file electronically, using a certified tax software.
. As a fraud prevention measure, this new service notifies you by email
when an address has changed, banking information for direct deposit has
changed, or if mail sent to you by the CRA was returned. You may register
for this service through “My Account” on the CRA website or the MyCRA
You can now access the CRA My Account and the My Service Canada Account
(online sign in) through a single sign-in session.
MyBenefits CRA mobile app
. You can use the CRA’s new web-based mobile app to securely view your next
benefit payment dates and amounts, the status of your CCB application,
update your marital status, and change information about children in your
This service provides the option of signing up to receive certain CRA
correspondence in your secure, online CRA My Account instead of by paper
mail. Throughout 2016, additional types of correspondence were added to the
online mail service, including benefit notices and slips, and instalment
Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP).
The CVITP helps Canadians with modest income and those in a simple tax
situation by preparing their tax returns free of charge. In order to expand
this program to more communities, the CRA recruited more organizations and
volunteers to help such Canadians do their taxes and ensure they are
receiving the credits and benefits they are eligible for.
Auto-fill my return.
Enhancements to this service include extended log-in sessions so you can
stay logged into the service for a longer period than before, more tax
slips, and the use of the service for previous-year returns.
MyCRA mobile app. The MyCRA mobile app now allows you to update your marital status and
sign up for account alerts.
Income-Splitting Tax Credit.
The family tax cut has been eliminated for the 2016 year and future tax
years. However, if you are receiving a pension, you may be able to split
your eligible pension income with your spouse or common-law partner to
reduce your taxes.
Children’s Fitness Tax Credit.
For 2016, the maximum eligible fees in the year is reduced to $500 from
$1,000, though the additional amount of $500 for children eligible for the
Disability Tax Credit has not changed. Therefore, the maximum credit is
reduced to $75 ($150 for a child eligible for the Disability Tax Credit).
Children’s Arts Tax Credit.
For 2016, the maximum eligible fees in the year is reduced to $250 from
$500. The additional amount of $500 for children eligible for the
Disability Tax Credit will not change. Therefore, the maximum credit is
reduced to $37.50 ($112.50 for a child eligible for the disability tax
Home Accessibility Tax Credit (HATC).
For 2016 and subsequent tax years, you can claim a non-refundable tax
credit for eligible expenses incurred for work performed, or goods acquired
for a qualifying renovation of an eligible dwelling of a qualifying
Reporting the sale of your principal residence. Starting with the 2016 tax year, you are required to report basic
information (date of acquisition, proceeds of disposition, and address) on
your tax return when you sell your principal residence to claim the full
principal residence exemption. You do not have to pay tax on any capital
gain when you sell your house as long as it was your principal residence
for all the years you owned it and you did not use any part of it to earn
Samantha Prasad, LL.B., is a Partner with Toronto law firm
Minden Gross LLP, a Meritas Law Firm Worldwide affiliate, and specializes in corporate,
estate, and international tax planning. She writes frequently on tax
issues, and is the co-editor of various
Wolters Kluwer Ltd. tax publications. Portions of this article first appeared in
The TaxLetter, published by MPL Communications Ltd., © 2017, used with permission.
© 2017 by Fund Library. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in
part by any means without prior written permission is prohibited.
The foregoing is for general information purposes only and is the opinion
of the writer. This information is not intended to provide specific
personalized advice including, without limitation, investment, financial,
legal, accounting or tax advice.