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Maximize Your 2023 Tax Return

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Essential Tips and Resources for Canadian Tax Filers

With tax season in full swing, it’s crucial to stay informed, organized, and timely. Whether you’re a seasoned tax filer or tackling your returns for the first time, Luminus Financial has gathered key tips and resources to help ensure you get the most out of your tax return. Remember, the deadline for filing is April 30, so let’s get started!  

Gather your income documents and benefits statements  

On-time filing of your return is not just about settling accounts with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA); it’s also about ensuring you receive any benefits and credits you might be eligible for. It’s important that you (and, if applicable, your spouse or common law partner) don’t skip filing a return, even if you don’t owe taxes or if you had no income from this past year. Filing can help you qualify for various government programs.

To get started, gather all documents that report income from the tax year 2023. This includes T4, T4A, and any other slips that show income received from self-employment, EI or workers’ compensation, investments, pension plans, and more. For a detailed list of the types of income you are required to report, visit the CRA Personal Income Tax page.  

Decide how you’d like to file your return  

The CRA offers an electronic filing service, NETFILE, where you can file your initial T1 personal income tax and benefit return for the tax years 2017 through 2023. Amended returns for tax years 2020 through 2023 can be filed electronically via ReFILE. The biggest advantage of filing online? You receive your refund faster and avoid the hassle of paper-based delays.  

NETFILE-certified tax preparation software programs are a terrific way to minimize mistakes and make sense of the taxation landscape. However, note that these software programs are not endorsed by nor do they employ CRA representatives. If you require in-person assistance to file your tax return, consider the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) or find certified electronic filers for help.   We’re pleased to announce that Luminus Financial has teamed up with TurboTax, a leading tax-filing software provider, to offer up to 20 percent savings on all their tax-filing services, including those with expert help or full-service tax filing on your behalf. For more information and to claim your exclusive Luminus discount, click through to the TurboTax Intuit Canada website.

Everything you need to know about online filing is available on the CRA website Online Filing Information page!
Claim all benefits, credits, and deductions  

Make sure you don’t leave money on the table! Claim all the tax breaks you qualify for on your 2023 return. These might include the Canada child benefit, the disability tax credit, the GST/HST credit, and more. Visit the CRA webpage Every Dollar Counts and the CRA Tax Credits and Benefits for Individuals page for more.

What about deductible expenses?  

Knowing which expenses are deductible, such as home office expenses or medical costs, can significantly affect your return. If you are self-employed and use a home office or workspace for business purposes, you can leverage certain tax deductions.   To be eligible, the space must be the main place of business, or be used exclusively to generate business income and regularly host clients or customers. Deductible expenses include a portion of maintenance costs such as heating, home insurance, electricity, and cleaning supplies, as well as property taxes, mortgage interest, and capital cost allowance (CCA), based on the workspace’s proportion of the home’s total area.  

For more information on home office expenses, visit the CRA’s Business Use of Home page for specifics.   You can also claim a variety of medical expenses for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner, and other dependents on your tax return. These expenses include costs, such as hearing aids, heart monitoring devices, hospital services, and many more medical necessities, provided they meet the required conditions, such as prescriptions when needed.  

For example, expenses associated with an in vitro fertility program, laboratory procedures including COVID-19 tests (with prescription), and medical services both within and outside Canada can be claimed. You are also able to claim costs for a wide range of equipment and services required due to medical conditions, such as infusion pumps, insulin, orthodontic work, and even renovations to your home to accommodate certain medical needs.  

However, it is worth noting that certain costs such as over-the-counter medications, vitamins, or supplements generally aren’t eligible, even if prescribed by a medical practitioner (with the exception of vitamin B12 for specific conditions).  

The Canada Revenue Agency provides a comprehensive breakdown and instructions on their Eligible Medical Expenses You Can Claim page.  

Simplify and document!

Streamline your tax management and avoid any noncompliance penalties by using the Canada Revenue Agency’s online service, My Account. This portal offers easy access to your tax documents and personal tax information, making it convenient for you to keep track of your finances. Sign up or log in to CRA My Account to get started.  

Moreover, it’s critical to file and pay your taxes by the set deadlines to prevent any unwanted late fees or fines. To help stay organized and well-prepared for filing or any potential audits, maintain a meticulous record of all receipts and expenses. Visit Due Dates and Payment Dates and Keeping Records to help you set up a system to stay in compliance.  

Navigating your taxes can be smooth sailing with the right information and tools at your disposal. Use these tips and resources to ensure you’re taking full advantage of potential benefits and credits. For more personalized advice and services, reach out to Luminus Financial. We’re here to light the way to a stress-free tax season.  

Remember, the early bird gets the worm—or in this case, the timely tax filer gets the peace of mind.

Happy filing!

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