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Tax Tips

The 15-per-cent credit may be claimed on the portion of eligible expenditures exceeding $1,000, but not more than $10,000, meaning that the maximum tax credit that can be received is $1,350.

The credit can be claimed on eligible expenditures incurred on one or more of an individual’s eligible dwellings. Properties eligible for the HRTC include houses, cottages and condominium units that are owned for personal use.

Renovation costs for projects such as finishing a basement or re-modelling a kitchen will be eligible for the credit, along with associated expenses such as building permits, professional services, equipment rentals and incidental expenses.

Routine repairs and maintenance will not qualify for the credit. Nor will the cost of purchasing furniture, appliances, audio-visual electronics or construction equipment.

Who Can Claim the HRTC?

About 4.6 million families in Canada are expected to benefit from the credit.

Taxpayers can claim the HRTC when filing their 2009 tax return.

Eligibility for the HRTC will be family-based. For the purpose of the credit, a family is generally considered to consist of an individual, and where applicable, the individual’s spouse or common-law partner.

Family members will be able to share the credit.

Examples of HRTC Eligible and Ineligible Expenditures


  • Renovating a kitchen, bathroom, or basement
  • New carpet or hardwood floors
  • Building an addition, deck, fence or retaining wall
  • A new furnace or water heater
  • Painting the interior or exterior of a house
  • Resurfacing a driveway
  • Laying new sod


  • Furniture and appliances (refrigerator, stove, couch)
  • Purchase of tools
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Maintenance contracts (furnace cleaning, snow removal, lawn care, pool cleaning, etc.)

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Which Medical Expenses Are Eligible?

The cost of any of the following items can be claimed at line 330 or used in the calculation for a claim at line 331. When you click on any of the medical expenses below, a brief description of the expense is given along with any certification needed, including the need for an approved Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate. This list is not exhaustive.

For a more detailed list and additional information of allowable medical expenses, see IT519, Medical Expense and Disability Tax Credits and Attendant Care Expense Deduction.

The person with the impairment may be able to claim some of the following expenses as a disability supports deduction on line 215. He or she can claim these expenses at either
line 215 or line 330, or split the claim between lines 215 and 330 as long as the total of the amounts claimed is not more than the total expenses paid. The person may claim whichever is better for him or her. 

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Who can deduct moving expenses?

You can deduct eligible moving expenses from employment or self-employment income you earn at your new location if you move and establish a new home to be employed or carry on a business.

You can also deduct moving expenses if you move to study courses as a full-time student at a college, university, or other institution offering post-secondary education. However, you can only deduct these expenses from the part of your scholarships, fellowships, bursaries, certain prizes, and research grants required to be included in your income.

Your new home must be at least 40 kilometers (by the shortest usual public route) closer to the new place of work or educational institution. You must establish your new home as the place where you ordinarily reside. For example, you have established a new home if you have sold or rented (or advertised for sale or rent) your old home.

Generally, your move must be from one place in Canada to another place in Canada.

Expenses you can deduct

You must first determine if you qualify to deduct moving expenses.

You can deduct reasonable amounts that you paid for moving yourself, your family, and your household effects. Not all members of your household have to travel together or at the same time.

Eligible moving expenses include:

  • transportation and storage costs (such as packing, hauling, in-transit storage, and insurance) for household effects, including items such as boats and trailers;
  • travelling expenses, including vehicle expenses, meals, and accommodation, to move you and members of your household to your new residence (you can choose to claim vehicle and meal expenses using the simplified method;
  • costs for up to 15 days for meals and temporary accommodation near either residence for you and the members of your household (you can choose to claim meal expenses using the simplified method; and
  • the cost of cancelling a lease for your old residence, except any rental payment for the period during which you occupied the residence.

When your old residence is sold as a result of your move, eligible moving expenses also include:

  • legal or notarial fees for the purchase of the new residence, as well as any taxes paid (other than GST/HST or property taxes) for the transfer or registration of title to the new residence, if you or your spouse or common-law partner sold the old residence, and
  • the cost of selling your old residence, including advertising, notarial or legal fees, real estate commission, and mortgage penalty when the mortgage is paid off before maturity.

If you moved after 1997, and your moving expenses were paid in a year after the year of your move, you may be able to claim them on your return for the year you paid them against employment or self-employment income earned at the new location. The same possibility is also extended to students reporting scholarships, fellowships, bursaries, certain prizes, and research grants. You can carry forward any unused amounts and deduct them only against such income earned at the new location in the following years.

This may apply if your old residence did not sell until after the year of your move. If this is the case, you may be asked to submit Form T1-M, Moving Expenses Deduction, with the receipts and explain the delay in selling your home.

If this affects how you would have filed your return for a previous year, you can ask us to change it.

Be sure to keep receipts and documents supporting your claim.

Instead of claiming your actual expenses (the detailed method), you can choose the simplified method of claiming vehicle and meal expenses. Although you are do not have to submit detailed receipts for actual expenses if you choose to use the simplified method, we may still ask you to provide some documentation to establish the duration of temporary lodging.

To find out the amounts that apply to you, visit our Web site at or call our Tax Information Phone Service (T.I.P.S.) at 1-800-267-6999.

Incidental costs related to the move
You can claim the cost of:

  • changing your address on legal documents;
  • replacing driving licences and non-commercial vehicle permits (not including insurance); and
  • utility hook-ups and disconnections.

Costs to maintain your old residence when vacant
You can claim, to a maximum of $5,000, the cost for interest, property taxes, insurance premiums, and heat and utilities expenses you paid to maintain your old residence when it was vacant after you moved, and during a period when reasonable efforts were made to sell the home.

The costs must have been incurred when your old residence was not ordinarily occupied by you or any other person who ordinarily resided with you at the old residence just before the move. You cannot deduct these costs during a period when the old residence was rented.

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First-Time Home Buyers Tax Credit (HBTC)

1. What is the Home Buyers Tax Credit (HBTC)?

For 2009 and subsequent years, the budget proposes to introduce a new non-refundable tax credit, based on an amount of $5,000, for certain home buyers that acquire a qualifying home after January 27, 2009 (i.e., closing after this date).

2. How is the new HBTC calculated?

The HBTC is calculated by multiplying the lowest personal income tax rate for the year (15% in 2009) by $5,000. For 2009, the credit will be $750.

3. Who is eligible for the HBTC?

An individual will qualify for the HBTC if:

  • they acquire a qualifying home; and
  • neither the individual nor the individual’s spouse or common-law partner owned and lived in another home in the year of purchase or any of the four preceding years.

If you are a person with a disability or are buying a house for a related person with a disability, you do not have to be a first time home buyer.  However, the home must be acquired to enable the person with a disability to live in a more accessible dwelling or in an environment better suited to the personal needs and care of that person.

4. What is a qualifying home?

A qualifying home is a housing unit located in Canada. This includes existing homes and those being constructed. Single-family homes, semi-detached homes, townhouses, mobile homes, condominium units, and apartments in duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, or apartment buildings, all qualify. A share in a co-operative housing corporation that entitles you to possess and gives you an equity interest in a housing unit located in Canada also qualifies. However, a share that only provides you with a right to tenancy in the housing unit does not qualify.

As well, you or the related person with a disability must intend to occupy the home as a principal place of residence no later than one year after buying it.

5. If I buy a house, can my spouse or common-law partner claim the HBTC?

Either one of you can claim the credit or you can share the credit.  However, the total of both your claims cannot exceed $750.

6. My friend and I intend to purchase a home, and we both meet the conditions for the HBTC. Can we both claim the credit?

Either one of you can claim the credit or you can share the credit.  However, the total of both your claims cannot exceed $750.

7. Do I have to register the acquisition of the home under the applicable land registration system?

Yes.  The individual s interest in the home must be registered in accordance with the applicable land registration system.

8. Who is considered a person with a disability for purposes of the HBTC?

For the purposes of the HBTC, an individual eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) is one for whom an amount can be claimed under the DTC for the year in which an agreement to acquire the home is entered into, or could be claimed if costs for an attendant care or care in a nursing home were not claimed for the [Medical Expense Tax Credit].

9. How will I claim the HBTC?

Beginning with the 2009 personal income tax return, a new line will be incorporated to allow you to claim the credit.

10. Do I have to submit any supporting documents with my income tax return?

No. However, you must ensure that this information is available, should it be requested by the CRA.

11. Is the HBTC connected to the existing Home Buyer s Plan?

No. Although some of the eligibility conditions for the HBTC and the Home Buyer s Plan are similar, they are not connected. Your eligibility for the HBTC will not change whether or not you also participate in the Home Buyer s Plan.

12. Where can I get more information about the new HBTC?

The CRA encourages taxpayers to check our Web site often - all new forms, policies, and guidelines will be posted here as they become available.

Documents are also available immediately at Department of Finance s Budget 2009 for details.

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Child Care Expenses Summary

The purpose of the legislative provisions regarding child care expenses is to provide some relief for taxpayers who incur child care expenses in order to work, carry on a business or undertake certain educational activities.

A taxpayer is allowed to deduct in computing income for a taxation year an amount paid as or on account of child care expenses incurred for services rendered in the year. The deduction is limited to:

  • a maximum of $10,000 per year for each eligible child in respect of whom the taxpayer may claim the disability tax credit for the year;
  • a maximum of $7,000 per year for each other eligible child who is under 7 years of age at the end of the year; and
  • a maximum of $4,000 per year for each other eligible child.

Depending upon the circumstances, qualifying child care expenses may be deducted by the taxpayer making the payment, by a supporting person or by both. Payments do not qualify as child care expenses if they are made to a parent or supporting person of the child, or to a person who is under 18 years of age and related to the taxpayer.

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Public Transit Tax Credit

On July 1, 2006, the Government of Canada launched its program to offer individual Canadians a non-refundable tax credit to help cover the cost of public transit. Because it is a non-refundable tax credit, anyone who applies does not receive the money in the form of a refund. Instead, the amount claimed is multiplied by the lowest personal income tax rate for the year (15% for 2007, 2008) and then is deducted from the amount of tax owed for that year. Visit the Canada Revenue Agency Web site for additional information about how to qualify and claim the public transit amount.

What does the tax credit for public transit mean for me?

If your monthly transit pass costs $100, the amount you can claim in 2008 would be $1,200, resulting in a tax credit of $180.00 (twelve months multiplied by 15%).

You will be eligible to claim amounts you have paid for travel that occurs during the 2008 calendar year, but you must have proof of purchase. At a minimum you need to keep your expired public transit passes and receipts for electronic payment cards to support your claim. Visit the Canada Revenue Agency Web site for additional information about how to qualify and claim the tax credit for public transit. 

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Homeowners, don t miss the deadline!

Did you know…

The non-refundable Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC) is based on eligible expenses for work performed or goods acquired after January 27, 2009, and before February 1, 2010, in respect of an eligible dwelling, pursuant to an agreement entered into after January 27, 2009.

Canadian homeowners should be aware of the deadline to ensure they are able to claim the non-refundable tax credit of up to $1,350 for their home renovation or alteration. Eligible expenses for goods acquired during this period, even if they are installed after January 2010, will still qualify. If an eligible expense involves work performed by a contractor or a third party, and the work is not completed by the end of the eligible period, only the portion that is completed before February 1, 2010 will qualify even if a payment has been made.

In addition, there is no requirement that homeowners pay the amount in full before the deadline. For example, if you are billed by a contractor for goods acquired and work performed before the deadline and you do not pay the bill until after the deadline, your expenses would still be eligible for the HRTC provided that you met all the other requirements.

Non-refundable tax credit

It is also important to note that the HRTC is non-refundable and will reduce your federal income tax, if you have any. However, if the total of your non-refundable tax credits is more than your federal income tax, you will not receive a refund for the difference.  

Supporting documentation

To qualify, the expenses you claim for the HRTC must be supported by acceptable documentation, such as agreements, invoices, and receipts, and must clearly identify the type and quantity of goods purchased or services provided, including, but not limited to, the following information, as applicable:

  • information that clearly identifies the vendor/contractor, their business address and the GST/HST registration number;
  • a description of the goods and the date when the goods were purchased;
  • the date when the goods were delivered (keep your delivery slip as proof) and/or when the work or services were performed;
  • a description of the work performed including the address where the work was performed;
  • the amount of the invoice;
  • proof of payment.  Receipts or invoices must indicate paid or be accompanied by other proof of payment, such as a credit card slip or cancelled cheque; and
  • a statement from the co-operative housing corporation or condominium corporation (or, for civil law, a syndicate of co-owners) signed by an authorized individual identifying:
    • the amounts incurred for the renovation or the alteration work;
    • as a condominium owner, your portion of these expenses if the work is performed on common areas;
    • information that clearly identifies the vendor/contractor, their business address and, if applicable, their GST/HST registration number; and
    • a description of the work performed and the dates when the work or services were performed.

For more information on the HRTC and eligible expenditures, visit the Canada Revenue Agency Web site at or call CRA s individual income tax enquiries service at 1-877-959-1-CRA (1-877-959-1272).

Are you self-employed or an employee?
Depending on whether you are an employee or independent contractor your entitlements will be diversely different and will impact on your ability to collect Employment Insurance or make certain deductions on your income.

Meal Allowance and Taxation for Canadians
The maximum amount you can claim for food, beverages, and entertainment expenses is 50% of either the amount you incur or an amount that is reasonable in the circumstances, whichever is less. These limits also apply to the cost of your meals when you travel or go to a convention,.

Credits benefits services from CRA
Credits benefits & services from CRA for the 2009 tax season.

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