Since more than 25 million Canadians file their personal income tax return every year, it is the taxpayer’s responsibility to ensure tax deductions, credits, and elections are properly identified to make the appropriate claims. Here are 10 tax return filing tips that can help you incorporate essential information in order to access targeted benefits.1. Charitable Donations. You do not have to include your donation receipts when filing electronically, but you need to ensure all of your receipts are located and claimed in your taxes. Make sure you retain all your receipts, as the CRA can request them at a later time.2. First-time Donor’s Super Credit. If you or your spouse have not claimed a charitable donation tax credit in the past five years, you or your spouse are eligible for the first-time donor’s super credit. This limited time credit adds an additional 25 per cent tax credit on the first $1,000 of charitable donations.3. Political Donations. A significant amount of tax credits can be accumulated from political donations. The maximum federal credit you can receive for a donation of $1,275 or more to a federal political party or candidate is $650.4. Investment Expenses. Interest expenses related to investment loans, investment counsel fees, and other investment expenses may be eligible for deduction. 2013 is the last year to make a deduction for safety deposit box fees.5. Capital Gains Deduction. You may be entitled to a capital gains exemption if you recognize your eligibility and enter the deduction on your tax return.6. RRSP Deduction. You have the option to make contributions to your RRSP up to the available RRSP room. If you made any RRSP contributions made within the first 60 days of 2014, you have the option of deducting them from either your 2013 or your 2014 tax return.
7. Family Caregiver Amount. If you maintain a dwelling where you support a related dependent (because of mental or physical infirmity), this amount is available to you provided you complete the appropriate paperwork to demonstrate your eligibility.
8. Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts. Students can claim their tuition credits and textbook amounts, or the amount unclaimed may be eligible for transfer to a parent or spouse. To transfer tuition credits, the appropriate election form must be completed for both the student and the person receiving the credits.
9. Pension Splitting Election. If you are a senior, you can split qualifying pension income if the appropriate forms are filed with your tax returns.
10. Persons with Disabilities. If you are a person with a disability, you may be eligible for a tax credit if you file the appropriate forms to claim the credit. You may also make a retroactive claim for a limited period of time.