Webinar - Adults 65+

Please note: The content of this presentation is accurate as of the date it was aired on February 14, 2024. For the most recent information on these topics, go to Taxes when you retire or turn 65 years old - Canada.ca.


Adults 65 years and older, doing your taxes has its benefits!

James: Hello, and welcome. My name is James. I’m with the Canada Revenue Agency, or CRA for short.

I’m very happy to be here today. I will be talking to you about the benefit and credit payments that you could be eligible for, and how to apply for them.

[Two individuals smiling and cuddling together.]

Land acknowledgement

James: I would like to begin acknowledging that the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabeg. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties, is within the lands protected by the “Dish With One Spoon” wampum agreement and is directly adjacent to Haldimand Treaty territory. Brantford, in Ontario region, is situated on the Haldimand Tract, land promised to Six Nations, which includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.

Since we are meeting virtually, I would also like to acknowledge the land that you are located on and take a moment of silence and respect.

[Indigenous symbols of an eagle, narwhal, violin, feather, ulu, and infinity symbol.]


James: I will start the presentation by going over common types of income for adults 65 years and older and the various benefit and credit payments you could be eligible for.

Then, I’ll cover some common tax credits and deductions and why it’s important to do your taxes on time.

Next, I will go over the CRA’s digital services, like My Account.

I will conclude today’s presentation by sharing the different ways you can do your taxes, and give you tools to protect yourself from scams.

[An individual smiling as they use their laptop. Another individual is smiling at them.]

Common types of income for adults 65+

James: There are many types of income for adults over 65. Income can come from government programs designed to help older Canadians stay financially independent.

In most cases, you must apply for income or benefits from a government program. If you are eligible, the amount you receive may depend on the income you already receive from other sources. The majority of programs start at age 65, but some can start earlier.

The most important thing to know is that almost all government programs need you to file a personal income tax and benefit return to be eligible.

The most common types of income you may receive are from:

You must include all of these sources of income on your tax return.

[Two individuals smiling in front of a laptop.]

Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)

James: Old Age Security, which is commonly called the OAS pension, is a monthly payment you may get if you are 65 and older.

Service Canada will let you know if you have been automatically enrolled. If you have not been automatically enrolled, you will need to contact Service Canada.

The amount you receive depends on your age, your income and how long you have lived in Canada since the age of 18.

If your income is higher than $86,912 for 2023, you will have to repay part or your entire Old Age Security pension. If you have to repay, an amount may also be withheld from your next year’s OAS monthly payments.

Old Age Security is a taxable pension. However, taxes aren’t automatically deducted. You can contact Service Canada to get the federal income tax deducted from your monthly payment.

Lower income seniors who are living in Canada may also be entitled to a non-taxable supplement known as the Guaranteed Income Supplement, or the GIS. You apply for both the GIS and the OAS pension at the same time.

For more information on the OAS and how to apply, visit canada.ca/oas. Try our new Old Age Security Benefits Estimator under the section “How much you could receive.” Learn more about GIS by visiting canada.ca/gis. If you prefer, you can call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914.

Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

James: The Canada Pension Plan, or CPP, is a monthly taxable benefit. If you qualify, you’ll receive the CPP retirement pension for the rest of your life.

The standard age to start the pension is 65. However, you can start receiving it as early as 60 or as late as 70.

If you start receiving your pension earlier, the monthly amount you’ll receive will be smaller. If you start later, you’ll receive a larger monthly amount.

There’s no benefit in waiting until after age 70 to start receiving the pension. The maximum monthly amount you can receive is reached when you turn 70.

The amount you receive depends on your CPP contributions over the years. In June 2023, the average monthly amount paid for a new retirement pension, at age 65, was $772.

You must apply online or by mail to receive the CPP. For more information on eligibility and how to apply, visit canada.ca/canada-pension-plan. You can also contact Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914.

Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP)

James: December 31 of the year you turn 71 is the last day that you can contribute to your registered retirement savings plan, or RRSP for short.

You can contribute to your spouse’s or common-law partner’s RRSP until December 31 of the year they turn 71.

[A block calendar showing December 31.]

RRSP options when you turn 71

James: In the year you turn 71, you must convert your RRSP in one of the following three ways:

Option 1: You can withdraw the funds from your RRSPs.

Any income you earned while you had the RRSP is usually exempt from tax as long as the funds remain in the plan. However, you generally will pay tax on the total amount when you start making withdrawals from that plan.

In this case, your issuer will withhold tax on the amount you withdraw.

Option 2: You can transfer your funds to a registered retirement income fund, called a RRIF for short.

A RRIF is an arrangement between you and a carrier that is registered by the CRA. The carrier can be an insurance company, a trust company or a financial institution.

You transfer funds to the carrier and the carrier pays you a minimum amount each year based on the value of the RRIF and your age.

Earnings in a RRIF are tax-free but amounts paid out of a RRIF are taxable. In other words, any income you earn in the RRSP is usually exempt from tax as long as the funds remain in the plan. However, you generally have to pay tax when you cash in, make withdrawals or receive payments from the plan. Enter these payments as income on your tax return for the year you receive them.

Option 3: You can use your RRSPs to buy an annuity.

An annuity is a plan that makes regular payments to you for life or for a specified period. You may receive a general annuity, a payment from a RRIF, or a variable pension payment. These payments are part of your total income and you must report them on your tax return.

For more information on RRSPs, visit canada.ca/rrsp.

Report or not?

James: Other common income sources for adults 65 years and older include:

Superannuation and other pensions: Most are part of your total income and must be reported on your return.

Retiring allowances: They are also called severance pay. This amount is paid on or after retirement. It is taxable income and must also be reported on your return.

Lump-sum payments: They include a one-time total or partial payment from a pension plan that is received when you leave a plan. These are taxable and must be reported on your return.

And tax-free savings accounts, or TFSA for short: These are accounts where interest, dividends, or capital gains are earned on deposits. They are generally not taxable. Income earned in or withdrawals from a TFSA don’t affect your eligibility for benefits and credits as they are not reported as income.

Benefit and credit payments you may be eligible to receive

James: Next, we’ll talk about how you could be eligible for benefit and credit payments when you do your taxes. The most common payment for adults over 65 is the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit commonly called the GST/HST credit.

[An adult and child smiling and embracing.]

GST/HST credit

James: The GST/HST credit is a tax-free payment for people with low and modest incomes. It is paid four times a year to help offset the GST or HST they pay on goods and services.

To get it, all you have to do is file your taxes every year even if you have no income to report.

The CRA will confirm if you are eligible and how much you will get when you do your taxes.

For more information, go to canada.ca/gst-hst-credit.

[Two individuals smiling and embracing.]

Canada child benefit

James: Another benefit payment you may be eligible for if you are caring for a child or grandchild is the Canada child benefit, or the CCB for short.

The CCB is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age.

The primary caregiver is the person who is primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of the child. The primary caregiver should apply for the CCB.

They can be the child’s mother, father, grandparent, or other family member.

If you’ve been a primary caregiver but have never applied for the CCB, you may even be able to get back-payments for all or part of the last 10 years by applying for the benefit and doing your taxes for those years.

For more information, visit canada.ca/canada-child-benefit.

[An individual using a laptop while two children are doing homework in the background.]

Canada workers benefit

James: The Canada workers benefit, or CWB, is a refundable tax credit that provides a financial boost to individuals and families who are in the workforce and earning a low income.

It puts more money in the pockets of those who work to help them cope with the rising cost of living.

The CWB has two parts: a basic amount and a disability supplement for those with an approved disability tax credit certificate.

CWB amounts may differ depending on the province or territory where you live.

Anyone who received the CWB in 2023 will receive the Advanced Canada workers benefit in 2024 if they file their 2023 tax return before November 1, 2024. There is no need to apply. The Advanced Canada workers benefit in a given year provides three payments that equal 50% of the CWB for the previous year with the remaining amount issued once you file your taxes for the year.

For more information on the Canada workers benefit, visit canada.ca/canada-workers-benefit.

[Two individuals working at a café.]

Common tax credits and deductions for adults 65+

James: In the next slides, we will go over some common tax credits and deductions.

Tax credits are amounts that reduce the tax you pay on your taxable income.

Some tax credits are non-refundable which means they reduce or cancel the amount of tax you have to pay. The amount of tax you owe is reduced by 15% of the total non-refundable tax credits you claim.

For a complete list of tax credits and deductions, visit canada.ca/taxes-seniors.

[An elderly couple having coffee. One individual smiles as the other kisses them on the cheek.]

Age amount

James: The age amount is a non-refundable tax credit. It reduces your tax payable if you’re 65 years of age or older and your net income is less than the yearly threshold.

For the 2023 tax year, your net income needs to be less than $98,309. The amount you’re eligible to claim depends on your net income.

You may also be eligible to claim the corresponding provincial or territorial tax credit. These amounts will be calculated automatically when you do your taxes using certified tax software.

For more information on claiming the age amount, visit canada.ca/line-30100.

[An individual smiling while talking on a cellphone.]

Pension income amount

James: If you reported eligible pension, superannuation or annuity payments on your tax return, you may be able to claim the pension income amount. This is a non-refundable tax credit that can help reduce what you pay in taxes.

A superannuation is an amount paid out of an employee’s pension plan. So, if you get regular payments from a retirement plan that was set up by your former employer, it’s a superannuation.

An annuity is a plan that makes payments to you on a regular basis. For example, it could be a general annuity, or a payment from a registered retirement income fund also known as a RRIF.

For more information on the pension income amount and a list of eligible pension and annuity income, visit canada.ca/line-31400.

[An individual with a laptop in front of them talking on a cellphone while taking notes.]

Pension income splitting

James: There are other ways you can help lower your tax bill.

For example, you may be able to split your pension income with your spouse or common-law partner if you meet certain conditions.

You can transfer up to half of your eligible pension income to your spouse or common-law partner, regardless of their age.

When you split your pension income with your spouse or common-law partner, you deduct the amount that you are transferring to them on your tax return.

Your spouse or common-law partner has to report this amount as income on their tax return.

To split eligible pension income, you and your spouse or common-law partner must each fill out Form T1032, Joint Election to Split Pension Income.

You have to fill this out for every year you want to split pension income.

Keep in mind that you cannot split your income from the Canada Pension Plan, Quebec Pension Plan, or Old Age Security.

For more information on pension income splitting, visit canada.ca/pension-splitting.

Disability tax credit (DTC)

James: The disability tax credit, DTC for short, is a non-refundable tax credit that helps persons with disabilities or their supporting family members reduce the income tax they may have to pay.

A supporting family member can be a spouse or common-law partner, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew of the person with the disability.

The purpose of the DTC is to provide some relief for unavoidable additional expenses that result from living with a disability. It helps to offset costs other taxpayers don’t have to face.

Being eligible for the DTC can open the door and act as a gateway to other federal, provincial and territorial programs, such as the registered disability savings plan, the Canada workers benefit disability supplement and the child disability benefit.

To learn more about the DTC, go to canada.ca/disability-tax-credit.

[An individual in a wheelchair smiling as they use a laptop.]

Amounts transferred to or from your spouse

James: When filling in your tax return, you may realize there is no need for you to claim all of your tax credits to reduce your federal tax to zero. But don’t let them go to waste!

You may be able to transfer your unused amounts to your spouse or common-law partner to reduce their federal tax.

Some of the credits that can be transferred include the age amount, the pension income amount and the disability amount for self.

When using most tax software programs and both spouses’ information is provided, it will calculate the most advantageous way to claim the amounts.

Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit (MHRTC)

James: The Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit (MHRTC) is a new refundable tax credit. It can be claimed on your income tax and benefit return starting in tax year 2023.

If you are eligible, you can claim this credit for certain renovation expenses spent to create a self-contained secondary unit.

The secondary unit must allow an adult 65 years of age or older, or an adult who is eligible for the disability tax credit, to live with a qualifying relative.

A qualifying relative is both:

You can claim up to $50,000 in qualifying expenditures for each qualifying renovation completed. The tax credit is 15% of your costs, up to a maximum of $7,500, for each claim you are eligible to make.

For more information, go to canada.ca/cra-mhrtc.

[Two adults and a child standing in a kitchen.]

Canadian Dental Care Plan

James: The Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) will help ease financial barriers to accessing oral health care for eligible Canadian residents with an annual adjusted family net income of less than $90,000 who do not have access to dental insurance.

For more information, scan the QR code on the screen using your cell phone camera. This QR code takes you directly to the canada.ca/dental web page.

[QR code: canada.ca/dental]

[Two dental health professionals working on a patient in a clinic.]

Application schedule by age group

James: Applications will open in phases. For example, starting in mid-December 2023, letters will be mailed to seniors aged 87 and above who may qualify, followed by those aged 77 to 86 in January 2024, then those aged 72 to 76 in February 2024 and those aged 70 to 71 in March 2024. These letters will include a personalized application code and instructions on how to apply.

Canada caregiver credit

James: Next, let’s have a look at the Canada caregiver credit.

This credit is a non-refundable tax credit for those who support a spouse or common-law partner, or a dependant, with a physical or mental impairment.

The credit may also be claimed for an individual’s or their spouse's or common-law partner's child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew.

An individual is considered to depend on someone for support if they rely on them to regularly and consistently provide them with some or all of the basic necessities of life, such as food, shelter and clothing.

For more information on the Canada caregiver credit, visit canada.ca/caregiver-credit.

[An individual's hands holding a hand of another individual.]

Home accessibility tax credit

James: You may be able to claim the home accessibility tax credit if you own a home in Canada and you paid for eligible renovations to improve the safety or accessibility of the home for yourself or for another eligible individual.

You can claim up to $20,000 each year in eligible expenses. This can result in a non-refundable tax credit of up to $3,000 that can help reduce the amount of tax you owe.

[An individual's hand grasping a grab bar in a washroom.]

Home accessibility tax credit eligibility

James: You may be eligible for this credit if you’re 65 or older or if you qualify for the disability tax credit. Or you may claim for a dependant if certain criteria are met.

The renovations must be for the main residence of the qualifying individual. And they must either:

You can find more information at canada.ca/line-31285.

Medical expenses

James: Now, let’s look at relief for the cost of medical expenses.

You can claim a wide range of products, procedures, and services, such as medical supplies, dental care, and travel expenses. But you can only claim the part of an eligible expense for which you have not been or will not be reimbursed.

You can claim eligible medical expenses that you or your spouse or common-law partner paid for yourselves and your children under 18.

You can also claim eligible medical expenses that you or your spouse or common-law partner paid for certain family members who depended on you for support and were residents of Canada at any time in the year.

For more information, visit canada.ca/taxes-medical-expenses.

Use the Benefits Finder and the online calculator

James: To find out what benefits you may be eligible for, you can use our Benefits Finder online at canada.ca/benefits-finder. Answer a few questions and the Benefits Finder will customize a list of benefits for you.

You can also use the CRA calculator. To see how much you could get in child and family benefits, go to canada.ca/child-family-benefits-calculator.

CRA digital services

In the next few slides, we will review some of the CRA’s digital services.

[An adult and child smiling at a laptop screen.]

My Account for individuals

James: My Account is a secure portal that lets you view your personal income tax and benefit information and manage your individual tax affairs online.

You can:

For more information or to sign up, go to canada.ca/my-cra-account.

[A snapshot of the CRA My Account "Overview" page.]

Digital services

James: Auto-fill my return is a secure CRA service that automatically fills in parts of your return. It makes it easier to do your taxes and helps to prevent mistakes.

Direct deposit is a fast, reliable and secure way for individuals to get payments from the CRA on time. It can be particularly important in the event of an emergency or unforeseen circumstances.

Email notifications help prevent fraud. They let you know when changes are made to your personal information in My Account or when there is mail to view online.

For more information on the CRA’s digital services, visit canada.ca/cra-digital-services.

Need help?

James: Taxpayer information is confidential. The CRA needs your permission to deal with another person, such as a family member, friend, lawyer or an accountant, who may act as your representative for income tax and benefit matters.

You can authorize a representative to have access to your personal tax account through My Account. Or you can authorize someone to communicate on your behalf by phone, fax, mail, or in person by completing paper Form AUT-01, Authorize a Representative for Offline Access, and send it to the CRA.

Make sure to choose someone you can trust! And remember to check your account if you have changed tax preparers or representatives to make sure only the people you want have access to your account.

You don’t need to authorize someone as a representative if that person is only doing your taxes.

What to do following a death

James: We recognize how difficult it can be to cope with the death of a loved one.

When someone dies, the family or the legal representative settles their tax and benefit affairs. They should call the CRA to report the deceased individual’s date of death as soon as possible by calling 1-800-959-8281.

Arrangements must also be made to stop any payments from the CRA or to transfer them to a survivor. If the CRA is not aware of the death in time to stop payments, they may still be sent out. If this happens, the legal representative must return the payments to the CRA.

For more information on what to do following a death, consult the information sheet RC4111, What to Do Following a Death. You can consult or order the information sheet at canada.ca/taxes-end-of-life.

You may have uncashed cheques from the CRA

James: There are many reasons you may have an uncashed cheque from the CRA. It may have been lost, stolen, destroyed, or you may have moved and not updated your address.

You can view any uncashed cheques in My Account and, if necessary, ask for a duplicate payment. CRA cheques never expire or become stale-dated and you can cash them for free at any financial institution in Canada.

Never miss another payment by signing up for direct deposit. Your bank teller can also help you register for direct deposit.

For more information, go to canada.ca/cra-uncashed-cheques.

[An individuals smiles for the camera while holding a coffee.]

Do your taxes on time

James: The key to receiving your benefits and credits is doing your taxes on time! This year, you can file your 2023 tax return starting on February 19.

Filing your taxes is the only way to get the many benefits and credits that are calculated based on your income, such as the GST/HST credit. So even if you didn’t earn any income in the year, or your income was tax-exempt, we need this information.

The deadline to do your taxes is generally April 30 every year. Filing by then allows us to calculate your payments and send them to you on time.

[An image of a clock.]

There are a few ways to do your taxes!

James: There are a few ways to do your taxes.

The fastest and easiest way is to do them online. If you are eligible, you can use certified software, or a web application found at canada.ca/netfile.

Some certified software is even free to use. The tax software guides you through the process. It calculates everything for you and helps make sure you don’t miss out on any benefits and credits.

If you have a modest income and a simple tax situation, a volunteer could do your taxes for you, for free. Visit canada.ca/get-tax-help for more information on free tax clinics.

You can also do them on paper by downloading a tax package for your province or territory, filling out the forms and mailing them to the CRA. You must use the package for the province or territory you lived in on December 31. If you prefer, you can fill out the forms on your computer before printing them.

To get a tax package, visit canada.ca/taxes-general-package or call 1‑855‑330‑3305.

SimpleFile by Phone

James: You may also be eligible to file your return over the phone using SimpleFile by Phone (formerly File my return) . This service is tailored to individuals with a simple tax situation and allows them to automatically file their income tax and benefit return over the phone.

If you are eligible to use the SimpleFile by Phone service, you will get an invitation letter from the CRA in mid-February. The letter will provide more information and a phone number for you to call to have your return filed. It’s as simple as that!

The SimpleFile by Phone service is free, secure, and easy to use. All you have to do is confirm some personal information and answer a series of short questions using the keypad on your phone. There are no forms to fill out or calculations to do! You do not need to speak to an agent to use the service.

If you live in Quebec, you will need to do your provincial tax return separately.

For more information on the SimpleFile by Phone service, visit canada.ca/simplefile.

[An individual speaking on the telephone.]

Free tax help

James: If you have a modest income and a simple tax situation, you may be eligible to have your taxes done by a volunteer at a free tax clinic. The program is called the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, or CVITP for short. In Quebec, it’s known as the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program, or ITAVP for short.

Generally, a modest income is less than $35,000 for a single person and less than $45,000 for a couple. Your tax situation is simple if, for example, you don’t have a small business or income from a rental property.

Tax clinics are held all year. However, most clinics are offered in March and April. If you’re interested in learning about taxes and volunteering at a free tax clinic, reach out to us!

For more information or to find a clinic near you, go to canada.ca/get-tax-help.

[An image of the CRA's Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) logo with the text "People helping people" in the centre.]

Be scam smart!

James: You should always be cautious if you receive communication that claims to be from the CRA.

It is possible to receive a direct communication from the CRA. We may, for example, need to ask you to provide information about your account or to clarify something you’ve shared with us.

We will not ask you for your credit card number, or passport number, or use threats or intimidation tactics.

Scammers often attempt to imitate the CRA to try to steal your personal information. They may target you by telephone, text, instant messaging, email or mail.

Here’s how you can be scam smart:

To learn more, go to canada.ca/be-scam-smart.

You can also check out our Be Scam Smart webinar on the Individuals video gallery on canada.ca! I’ll provide more details on this in a moment.

[Text on top of an individual's head reads, "Listen to your voice of reason before you act".]

Want to learn more about taxes?

James: We would like to invite you to try out our new online interactive tool called Learn about your taxes. Go to canada.ca/learn-about-taxes to dive in and check it out.

This online self-directed tool takes you through the purpose of taxes, completing a basic tax return, and more. It has resources such as videos, common tax terms, and links to websites where you can learn more.

And there are lesson plans for teachers and facilitators.

[A snapshot of the CRA's Learn about your taxes webpage.]

Thank you!

James: And that’s all for me! This is the end of our webinar. Thank you for joining us today. We hope it was helpful!

For more information on any related topics, visit our webpage at canada.ca/taxes.

To view previous and register for upcoming webinars, visit our Upcoming Events page at canada.ca/cra-outreach-events.

Thank you for listening and enjoy your day!

Stay connected:

Twitter: @CanRevAgency

Facebook: canrevagency

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LinkedIn: cra-arc

Instagram: @canrevagency

[An individual smiling at their laptop while holding their glasses in one hand.]

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