For the 2018 tax season, the government has made many important adjustments to the welfare and tax offsetting options and has also made a series of improvements in the tax and other related processes. This article will help you reviewing the new changes you must know about tax filing going forward.

Tax Credits Changes for 2018

  • Canada caregiver credit amount – This non-refundable tax credit replaces the previous three separate tax reliefs; they are the family caregiver credit; the credit for infirm dependants age 18 or older; and the caregiver credit.
  • Disability tax credit certification – Canadian nurses can participate in the certification of tax deductions for persons with disabilities. Previously, nurses weren’t allowed.
  • Medical Expense Tax Credit – If you need medical help to raise a child, you may also be eligible to apply for certain fees as a tax credit, similar to a credit for your own health condition. If you had any child-bearing medical costs in the past 10 years, that haven’t been reported on your tax return, you can request that you change your prior income tax returns and receive a tax credit/refund for such costs.
  • Starting from January 1, 2017, the Canada’s Federal education and textbook tax credit amount as a form of relief policy is cancelled! If you haven’t reported your education amount applicable for the previous years, the education amount can still be deducted for those years this year.

However, not all is completely lost. The introduction of the new policy now allows even previously exempt vocational training and tuition fees to reduce your taxable income as a result.

  • Starting from January 1, 2017, the children’s arts and fitness activities tax credits were eliminated
  • Starting from July 1, 2017, the transportation fee was also eliminated since it wasn’t as effective as it was initially thought to entice tax payers use the public transportation to reduce traffic and eliminate pollution by sharing the ride with your fellow citizens.

Any qualifying transportation expense that occurred between January 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017 will still qualify for the tax credit as a form to reduce your taxable income.

New changes in tax filing methods for 2018: mail-to-door, telephone tax filing and tax software

  • The tax office mails personal income tax forms and tax returns to the taxpayer’s home – former residents must go to the Canadian post office or Service Canada to get the required tax forms. From this year onwards, the Canada Revenue Agency will mail 2017 income tax and welfare tax refund guidelines to tax residents’ homes. Residents who did not receive the CRA mailing form as of February 26 may also order it from the official Canada Revenue Agency’s website. Each person has nine opportunities for ordering and mailing.
  • Use File My Return to call for taxation – This new service allows Canadians with a simple tax situation to file a tax return over the phone. It only takes a few questions to complete the tax return.
  • Use the Canada Revenue Agency’s software BizApp to view transactions and pay balances – CRA released a mobile application called CRA BizApp. This application allows small businesses and self-employed individuals to view their business account balances and set up a pre-authorization for regular repayments, paying Goods and Services Tax/Unified Sales Tax (GST/HST), payroll and consumption tax through the account.

New tax reporting function in 2018

  • No need to wait for your notice of assessment – CRA will send a NOA to your registered tax software shortly after you electronically file your tax return. To use this service, you must register for online mail in My Account My Account and use certified tax software to file tax returns.
  • ReFILE allows you to use tax software to adjust your tax assessment figures – ReFILE service now allows you to use the preferred certification archiving software to adjust tax returns, but it is important to remember that you can only send changes via ReFILE after you received your NOA.
  • Get online mail directly in my account – CRA is adding a personal email address so that everyone can receive mail directly in my account. Online mailings provide information on tax-exempt savings accounts, NOA assessment notices, welfare refund notifications, etc., as well as some review notices from the Canadian Revenue Agency.
  • Pay in person at your doorstep – You can now pay taxes directly to CRA at any Canadian post office within Canada using a cash or debit card, but at first you must create a personal payment barcode online.
  • Use account notifications to protect your account – In order to increase security, CRA will send you an email notifying you of your account’s recent activity when your account is added, deleted or changed.
  • Auto-fill my tax return form – This service enables you or your authorized representative to automatically fill out your tax and tax return forms for 2015, 2016 and 2017 income tax.