Tax season is coming up, not too soon but soon enough to start thinking about it. We all should know that April 30 is the deadline to get your taxes in. There are important changes to the CRA tax year, what you can claim, and eligibility. Here is one important new update you should know, Athabasca University is now required to collect SIN’s for official income tax receipts, so make sure you update your information. Besides for that, not much changed for students. There are changes that may affect students personally though and changes that you at least should be aware of. Here are some changes to your 2020 taxes that were announced in early December.
Federal Basic Personal amounts:
The basic personal has increased from $12,069 last year, to $13,229 this year. What is the basic personal amount? It is the amount one can earn before having to pay any federal income tax. This is part of the Government’s proposal to increase the amount to $15,000 by 2023. According to a news release, this is done to help to lower taxes for the middle class and people working to join it. In addition, they claim that “When fully implemented in 2023, single individuals would save close to $300 in taxes every year, and families, including those led by a single parent, would save nearly $600 every year. It would mean that nearly 1.1 million more Canadians would no longer pay federal income tax at all.”(Dept. of Finance).
Home Buyers’ Plan:
The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) helped first-time home buyers save for a down payment by allowing them to withdraw from a RRSP to buy or build a home without having to pay tax on it. This year, the program has been extended to those individuals who did not meet the requirements of a first-time home buyer. In addition, the maximum amount that can be withdrawn increased from $25,000 to $35,000 for withdrawals made after March 19, 2019. (Dept. of Finance).
RRSP & CPP contributions:
“The 2020 RRSP deduction limit (contribution room) has increased to $27,230. This is up from the 2019 limit of $26,500” (Kasper, online). If you are putting money away already, you can maximize your contributions more starting this year because the CPP contribution rate for employees and employers went up to 5.25% this year (Golombek, online ).
Some other new changes that are noteworthy are the Personal Income Tax Credit for Digital Subscriptions, the Journalism -Qualified Donee Status, and new Additional Types of Annuities Under Registered Plans permitted, all of which you can find out about here. For students, tax time is just another distraction from studies, but at least we still have the federal tuition tax credit that allows up 15% of the amount of eligible tuition paid by students to be recovered.