The 2017 federal budget is out and there are some MAJOR changes you should pay attention to.
1. Caregiver tax credit now consolidated. Dependent does not have to live with you in order for you to claim this credit. Credit can no longer be claimed for seniors who are not sick, and who reside with their adult children.
2. Elimination or modification of some tax credits – loss of public transit amount (July 2017), loss of home relocation deduction in 2018, expiration of first time donor super credit.
3. Starting July 1, 2017 GST/HST will be charged on Uber and other ride sharing services.
4. Federal tuition tax credit can now be claimed for courses that provide an individual with skills in an occupation, even though it is not at the post-secondary level. Remember that in Ontario the tuition and education amounts will be discontinued in the Fall of 2017.
5. Time taken to take care of a relative and receive EI benefits is now 15 weeks. As well, parental leave can now be taken over 18 months, but EI will be spread over that period. Women can claim EI maternity benefits from 12 weeks before their due date.
6. Newcomers to Canada will be able to start their foreign credential recognition process before coming to Canada, and will be eligible for a loan to help them get the credentials recognized.
7. Taxes on alcohol products will increase by 2%, effective today March 23rd. Cigarettes will be taxed at $0.00265 per cigarette, effective March 22nd.
8. Previously rumoured items were NOT impacted by budget – e.g. changes to principal residence exemption, taxes on employer provided health plans, changes to capital gains inclusion rate.
9. Self-employed professionals (lawyers, accountants, doctors etc) will now have to place a value on work in progress, and include this in their income (hence will have to pay corporate taxes and HST on these)
10. Government review of certain tax planning strategies used by corporations – sprinkling income (usually by paying dividends to family members that have low/nil income) ; holding portfolio investments in an active corporation (in order to take advantage of lower corporate tax rates); strategies that convert regular income into capital gains (so that it is taxed at a lower rate). A paper will be released on this in the coming months – stay tuned…
11. T4s can now be distributed electronically. No longer need employees express consent to do this.
12. If you intend on opening a child care facility, the investment tax credit you would normally get to help in your investment is now eliminated. However, there is transitional relief for persons who have already started this process.
13. Faster access to global workers, in order to help companies access talent – there will be a 2 week standard for processing visas and work permits.