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What's New For Tax Year 2012?

Access code is no longer used to NETFILE a return
The Canada Revenue Agency has eliminated the requirement for the NETFILE Web Access Code (WAC). The WAC was the four-digit personalized code printed on the information sheet of the T1 personal income tax return package. You will still be able to use NETFILE to file your 2012 individual Income tax and benefit returns. The only information you now require, to access the NETFILE, is your Date of Birth (DOB) and your Social Insurance Number (SIN).
Tax law changes that affect most taxpayers:
  • Family care giver amount
    If you have a dependant with impaired physical or mental functions, you could be eligible for an additional amount of $2,000 in the calculation of certain non-refundable tax credits.

    For details, check the CRA website here.

    As long as you mark a person as infirm or disabled and someone is claiming the children amount (line 367), spouse amount (line 303), eligible dependant amount (line 305), infirm children amount (line 306) or care giver amount (line 315), Tax Chopper will calculate the credit automatically.

  • CPP working beneficiaries contributions for resident outside Quebec:
    Starting in 2012, if you are under 65 and you work while receiving your CPP retirement pension, you and your employer will have to make mandatory CPP contributions. These contributions go toward the new Post-Retirement Benefit (PRB).

    If you are at least 65 but under 70 and you work while receiving your CPP retirement pension, you will make CPP contributions that will go toward your Post-Retirement Benefit (PRB) or you can elect not to contribute. To stop CPP contributions, you need to send form CPT30 to CRA, or if you are self-employment only, you can elect to stop CPP contributions using the Tax Chopper.

    For details about stopping CPP contributions, you can read more on CRA's web site or our explanations..
Provincial Changes
  • For British Columbia residents
    There are two new non-refundable tax credits for British Columbia parents. You can claim the children's fitness amount for eligible expenses paid for the registration or membership of your child in a prescribed program of physical activity. You can also claim the children's arts amount for eligible expenses paid for the registration or membership of your child in a prescribed program of artistic, cultural, recreational, or developmental activity. These credits are clones of the federal fitness /arts credits. As long as you have claimed the federal children's fitness / arts amount, Tax Chopper will claim these provincial credits for you.

    The $10,000 limit for the allowable amount of medical expenses for other dependants has been eliminated.

    The British Columbia seniors' home renovation tax credit has been introduced for expenses paid or incurred for certain permanent home renovations.

    The credit can be claimed by seniors, whether they own their home or rent, and by individuals who share a home with a senior relative.

    Employers whose principal business, for the part of the year after September 30, 2012, was the construction, repair or conversion of ships in British Columbia can claim the new British Columbia shipbuilding and ship repair industry tax credit.

  • For Manitoba residents
    Individuals that carry on the business of farming may now be eligible for the Manitoba nutrient management tax credit.

  • For Ontario residents
    The Ontario healthy homes renovation tax credit has been introduced to help with amounts paid or incurred for permanent home renovations. The credit can be claimed by seniors, whether they own their home or rent, and by individuals who share a home with a senior relative. The new schedule ON(S12) is used to calculate this credit.

    The labour sponsored investment fund tax credit has been eliminated.

  • For Prince Edward Island residents
    There is a new refundable tax credit for volunteer firefighters residing in Prince Edward Island. The criteria for this credit are exactly the same as the federal volunteer firefighters' amount. As long as you have claimed the federal credit, Tax Chopper will claim this $500 credit for you automatically.

  • For Saskatchewan residents
    You can claim a new non-refundable tax credit for the home buyers' amount if you purchased a qualifying home after December 31, 2011 (the date of sale identified in the purchase agreement of the home). The criteria for this credit are the same as federal homebuyers' amount, except that the home must be located in Saskatchewan.

    The active families benefit has changed. It can now be claimed for children of 18 years of age or younger on the last day of the year in which the eligible fees were paid.

    The graduate retention program has changed. The new Saskatchewan graduate tuition tax credit is now Form SK428, Saskatchewan Tax, and is used to reduce your Saskatchewan tax payable. If you do not need all of your credit to reduce your provincial tax to zero, any unused credit can be claimed as the graduate tuition refund on Form SK479, Saskatchewan Credits. The new Form RC360, Saskatchewan Graduate Retention Program, is used to determine these amounts. You won't notice any difference in the software, but it is calculated behind the scenes and the software will generate form RC360 for you.

  • For Yukon residents
    There is a new non-refundable tax credit for Yukon parents. You can claim the children's arts amount for eligible expenses paid for the registration or membership of your child in a prescribed program of artistic, cultural, recreational, or developmental activity. This credit is a provincial clone of the federal claim so as long as you claim the federal arts credit, Tax Chopper will claim the provincial credit for you.

Other Highlights
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