Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has announced a number of federal and provincial tax changes, applicable to tax year 2015. H&R Block’s Tax Software reflects these tax changes and will help you claim maximum tax credits applicable to your situation.
Based on updates from the CRA, the following are the major federal and provincial changes for 2015. Click on each link to jump to the section that interests you the most.
- Provincial tax changes for 2015
Federal personal amounts
Certain federal personal amounts, such as Basic Personal amount and Age amount, are increased each year based on inflation. Click this link for more information on changes to federal personal amounts.
Personal tax measures
A number of personal tax measures were announced in fall of 2014. Some of these, such as the Family Tax Cut and increase to the Children’s Fitness tax credit, were available to Canadians for their 2014 tax returns. Other previously announced personal tax measures and those proposed in the 2015 Budget take effect starting 2015.
- Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB)– Effective January 1, 2015, this benefit is increased to $160 per month for eligible children under age six. Parents may also receive a benefit of $60 per month for eligible children six to 17 years of age.
- Amount for children under 18– The non-refundable Child Amount is removed for 2015 and subsequent tax years due to enhancements to the UCCB.
- Child care expense deduction– The maximum amount that can be claimed for child care expense deduction is increased by $1,000 to:
- $8,000 for children under age seven;
- $5,000 for children ages seven to 16; and
- $11,000 for children eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.
- Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)– The TFSA annual contribution limit is increased to $10,000.
Tax benefits for seniors
- Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIF)– The minimum withdrawal factors on RRIFs for seniors 71 to 94 years old is reduced to let seniors keep more of their retirement savings for future retirement income needs. For example, the RRIF factor at age 71 is reduced from 7.38% to 5.28%. For seniors at age 95 and above, the RRIF factor remains at 20%.
- Home Accessibility Tax Credit (HATC)– A new 15% non-refundable Home Accessibility Tax Credit is introduced in 2016 and subsequent tax years for seniors and persons with disabilities that lets them make home improvements for increased safety and accessibility. The tax credit is applicable on eligible renovation expenditures for up to $10,000 per year, providing $1,500 in tax benefits.
Other tax changes
- Lifetime capital gains exemptions (LCGE)– The Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption on disposition of qualified farm or fishing property is increased to $ 1 million.
- Exempting donations involving private shares and real estate from capital gains tax– Effective 2016, individuals and corporate donors are exempt from tax on the sale of private shares or real estate if, the purchaser is at arm’s length from both the donee and donor and the proceeds are donated within 30 days after disposition.
Provincial tax changes for 2015
- Two new personal income tax rates are added:
- A fourth for taxable income $125,000 to $175,000 at tax rate of 13.8%; and
- A fifth for taxable income more than 175,000 at a tax rate 14.3%.
- The Venture Capital Tax Credit lifetime maximum is capped at $75,000.
A new low-income reduction amount is introduced for seniors 65 years or older.
The sports and recreational expenses for children tax credit is eliminated.
- Two new personal income tax rates are added:
- A fifth for taxable income $150,000 to $250,000 at tax rate of 21%; an
- A sixth for taxable income over $250,000 at tax rate of 25.75%.
- A new New Brunswick Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Creditis introduced to help seniors with eligible costs incurred for permanent home renovations that improve accessibility or functionality of the home. Use Schedule NB (S12), Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit to calculate this credit.
The Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit is changed. You may be eligible to this tax credit if you hired one or more eligible apprentices in a qualifying skilled trades during the first 36 months of an apprenticeship program that commenced on or after April 24, 2015. For programs that commenced after March 26, 2009 and before April 24, 2015, the first 48 months of the apprenticeship program qualify for the tax credit for eligible expenditures. The maximum credit for each apprenticeship is $5,000 per year and the maximum credit over the first 36-month period of the apprenticeship is $15,000.
- Two new non-refundable tax credits are introduced – Volunteer Firefighter’s amount and the Search and Rescue Volunteer’s amount.
- The Primary Caregiver Tax Credit maximum is increased to $1,400.
- Effective January 1, 2015, the eligible investment period for the Manitoba Community Enterprise Development tax credit is extended to the first 60 days after the end of the calendar year.
- The Graduate Tuition tax credit is now non-refundable and must be used to reduce your Saskatchewan income tax payable.
- The Active Families Benefit is now only available when the adjusted family income is less than $60,000.
- For the Seniors’ Drug Plan, effective July 2015, the individual income threshold is reduced to $65,515 from $80,255.
- Currently families may be eligible to receive the Saskatchewan Employment Supplement until children turn 18 years of age. Effective October 1, 2015, eligibility for new applicants will be limited to families with children age 12 and under.
- Four new income tax rates have been added for taxable income over $125,000:
- Taxable income $125,000 to $150,000 is at a rate of 10.5%;
- Taxable income $150,000 to $200,000 is at a rate of 10.75%;
- Taxable income $200,000 to $300,000 is at a rate of 11%; and
- Taxable income more than $300,000 is at a rate of 11.25%.
- Two new non-refundable credits are introduced – Children’s Fitness Equipment amount and Education Coaching amount.
- BC Mining Flow-through Share tax credit and BC Employee Venture Capital tax credit are extended until the end of 2015.
- The Training tax credit for individuals and employers is extended until the end of 2017.
- The Children’s Fitness amount is now a refundable tax credit.
- A fifth personal income tax rate is added for taxable income over $500,000 at a rate of 15%.
- The surtax of 5% and the Low-income Family Tax Credit are eliminated and removed from tax forms.