Webinar - Adults 65+
Please note: The content of this presentation is accurate as of the date it was aired on February 15, 2023. For the most recent information on these topics, go to Taxes when you retire or turn 65 years old - Canada.ca.
Adults 65+ - Doing your taxes has its benefits!
Sheena: Hello, and welcome.
My name is Sheena. 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 elderly individuals smile for the camera.]
Land acknowledgement/Reconnaissance des terres
Sheena: Given that we are meeting virtually, I wish to acknowledge that the lands on which I am presenting from are part of the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit.
I also want to acknowledge the lands on which you are gathered from coast to coast and invite you to take a moment of silence to have a thought for the territory in which you find yourself.
Sheena: 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.
I will go on to cover some common tax credits and deductions and explain the different ways to do your taxes and why it's important to do them on time.
I will conclude today's presentation by sharing the different ways you can do your taxes, going over the CRA's digital services like My Account, and giving you tools to protect yourself from scams.
[An individual smiles as they use their laptop. Another individual is smiling at them.]
Common types of income for adults 65+
Sheena: There are many types of income for adults over 65, including 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 your level of income. The majority of programs start at age 65, but some can start earlier.
The most important thing to know about almost all government programs is that you need to file a personal income tax return to be eligible.
The most common types of income you may receive are:
- Old Age Security (OAS)
- Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP)
- and employer-sponsored pension plans and personal savings and investments, which include: registered retirement savings plan, superannuation and other pensions, retiring allowance, and tax free savings account.
You must include all of these forms of income on your tax return.
[Two individuals smile at a laptop.]
Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
Sheena: Old Age Security, which is commonly called OAS pension, is a monthly payment you may get if you are 65 and older.
Service Canada will let you know if they automatically enrol you for the OAS pension. If you have not been automatically enrolled, you will need to contact Service Canada to do so.
The amount you receive depends on your income and how long you have lived in Canada since you turned 18.
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 OAS pension at the same time.
For more information on the OAS and GIS, and how to apply, visit canada.ca/oas (for OAS) and canada.ca/gis (for GIS) or contact Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914.
Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
Sheena: The Canada Pension Plan, or CPP, is a monthly taxable benefit.
Adults 65+ who contributed to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) during their working years can receive CPP benefits.
You can apply as early as 60 years old. But, what you receive for payments depends on your CPP contributions over the years.
For more information on eligibility and how to apply for CPP, visit canada.ca/canada-pension-plan. You can also contact Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914.
Common types of income for adults 65+
Sheena: Other common income sources for adults 65 years and older include:
Superannuation and other pensions: Most pensions and superannuation that you receive are part of your total income and must be reported on your return.
Retiring allowances: Which is also called severance pay, is an amount paid on or after retirement from an office or employment. Please keep in mind that this is taxable income and must also be reported on your return.
Lump-sum payments: These include a one-time total or partial payment from pension plans received when leaving a plan. Lump-sum payments are taxable and must be reported on your return.
And Tax-free savings account, or TFSA for short: A TFSA is an account where interest, dividends, or capital gains are earned on deposits. These are generally not taxable. Income earned in or withdrawals from a TFSA don't affect your eligibility for benefits and credits.
Benefit and credit payments you may be eligible to receive
Sheena: Next, we'll talk about the benefits of doing your taxes. You could be eligible for benefit and credit payments when you do your taxes. The most common one for adults over 65 is the GST/HST credit.
[Two adults and two children holding hands walk down a street.]
Sheena: The goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit, more commonly known as the GST/HST credit, is a quarterly tax-free payment for people with low and modest incomes. It helps offset the GST or HST they pay on goods and services.
To get it, all you have to do is 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.
Also, to support those most affected by inflation, the government recently doubled the GST credit for six months. You don't need to apply. This additional one-time payment started to be sent on November 4, 2022 to those who qualified for the GST/HST credit in October 2022.
For more information on the GST/HST credit, visit canada.ca/gst-hst-credit.
[An individual in a wheelchair smiles as another individual embraces them.]
Canada child benefit
Sheena: Another benefit payment you may be eligible for is the Canada child benefit, or CCB for short.
The Canada child benefit 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 and who should apply for the CCB.
A primary caregiver can be the child's mother, father, grandparent, or other family member.
If you've been primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of a child for all or part of the last 10 years but have never received a CCB payment, you may even be able to get back-payments by applying for the benefit and doing your taxes for those years.
For more information on the Canada child benefit, visit canada.ca/canada-child-benefit.
[An individual using a laptop while two children are doing homework in the background.]
Canada workers benefit
Sheena: The Canada workers benefit (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. The CWB has two parts; a basic amount and a disability supplement for those with an approved disability tax credit certificate.
Also, the government recently proposed to automatically issue advance payments of the Canada workers benefit to people who would have been entitled for the benefit in the previous year. The proposed changes would start in July 2023 and this initiative is pending Royal Assent.
For more information on the Canada workers benefit, visit canada.ca/canada-workers-benefit.
[Two individuals working at a café.]
One-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit
Sheena: The government has approved a one-time payment of $500 to assist lower-income renters 15 years and older. This benefit is available to renters who:
- have an adjusted family net income for 2021 of:
- $35,000 or less for families;
- $20,000 or less for individuals;
- and have paid at least 30% of their 2021 adjusted family net income on rent in 2022 for their own principal residence in Canada and can provide their landlord's contact information.
For example, if the cost of your rent in 2022 is $500 per month, that means an expense of $6,000 for 12 months. If your adjusted family net income in 2021 was $20,000 or less, then you paid at least 30% of your 2021 adjusted family net income on rent for your principal residence in Canada in 2022.
Applications for this single payment opened on December 12, 2022.
One-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit
Sheena: You can apply for the Canada housing benefit through My Account which is the quickest, easiest and most secure way to complete your application. If you apply online and are signed up for direct deposit, you could receive your payment within 5 business days!
Did you know that you can also securely access CRA's My Account from your My Service Canada Account without having to sign in again or revalidate your identity? The link will take you directly to your CRA My Account within a single secure session, where you can then apply.
If you are unable to apply online or would prefer to call us, there is also the option of applying over the phone by calling 1-800-282-8079.
For more information on the Canada housing benefit, visit canada.ca/one-time-housing-benefit.
Common tax credits and deductions for adults 65+
Sheena: 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 your taxes payable.
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.]
Sheena: The age amount is a non-refundable tax credit that allows you to reduce your tax payable if you're 65 years of age or older at the end of the tax year and your net income is less than the set yearly threshold. For the 2022 tax year, your income needs to be less than $92,480.
The amount you're eligible to claim depends on your net income for the year.
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 smiles while talking on a cellphone and holding a tablet.]
Pension income amount
Sheena: 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 your tax payable.
A superannuation is an amount paid out of an employee pension plan.
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 (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 talks on a cellphone while taking notes.]
Pension income splitting
Sheena: 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 (CPP), Quebec Pension Plan (QPP), or Old Age Security (OAS).
For more information on pension income splitting, visit canada.ca/pension-splitting.
Disability tax credit (DTC)
Sheena: 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, and the child disability benefit.
For more information on the DTC, visit canada.ca/disability-tax-credit.
[An individual in a wheelchair smiles as they use a laptop.]
Amounts transferred to or from your spouse
Sheena: When claiming tax credits on your income tax return, you may not need 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.
Canada caregiver credit
Sheena: Next, let's have a look at the Canada caregiver credit.
The Canada caregiver 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
Sheena: 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.
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:
- be for a permanent part of the home and allow the qualifying individual to access the home or to be mobile or functional within the home, or
- reduce the risk of harm within the home or in accessing the home
You can find more information on the home accessibility tax credit at canada.ca/line-31285.
[An individual's hand grasping a grab bar in a washroom.]
Sheena: Now, let's look at relief for the cost of medical expenses.
You can claim eligible medical expenses that you or your spouse or common-law partner paid for yourselves and your children under 18 years of age.
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.
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.
For more information on eligible medical expenses, visit canada.ca/taxes-medical-expenses.
Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP)
Sheena: December 31 of the year you turn 71 years old is the last day that you can contribute to your RRSPs.
You can contribute to your spouse's or common-law partner's RRSP until December 31 of the year they turn 71.
For more information on RRSPs, visit canada.ca/rrsp.
[A block calendar shows December 31.]
RRSP options for the year you turn 71
Sheena: In the year you turn 71, you must convert your RRSP in one of the three ways:
Option 1: You can withdraw the funds from your RRSPs.
In this case, your issuer will withhold tax on the amount you withdraw.
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 when you start making withdrawals from that plan.
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. 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.
Use the Benefits Finder and the online calculator
Sheena: To find out what benefits you may be eligible for, you can use our Benefits Finder online at canada.ca/benefits-finder. By answering a few questions, the Benefits Finder will customize a list of benefits that you may be eligible for.
You can also use the CRA calculator at canada.ca/child-family-benefits-calculator to see how much you could get in child and family benefits.
[An image of a calculator.]
My Account for Individuals
Sheena: My Account is a secure portal that lets you view your personal income tax and benefit information and manage your individual tax affairs online on your own. You can track your refund, view or change your return, check your benefit and credit payments and statements, manage direct deposit, change your personal information, view any uncashed cheques, view your CRA mail online, such as your notice of assessment, and more.
For more information or to sign up, go to canada.ca/my-cra-account.
[A snapshot of the CRA My Account "Overview" page.]
Sheena: There are many digital services available from the CRA. Here are a few that I would like to tell you about.
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-electronic-services.
Sheena: Taxpayer information is confidential. The CRA needs your permission to deal with another person, such as a family member, friend, or an accountant, who may act as your representative for income tax and benefit matters.
You can give permission to another person in My Account, or on paper by filling out Form AUT-01, Authorize a Representative for Offline Access, and sending 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 to have access to your account can do so.
You don't need to authorize someone as a representative if that person is only doing your taxes.
Following a death
Sheena: Coping with the death of a loved one is hard and we recognize how difficult of a time it can be.
When an individual passes away, 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.
Arrangements must also be made to stop any payments from the CRA or 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, visit canada.ca/taxes-end-of-life and consult the information sheet RC4111, What to do following a death.
You may have uncashed cheques from the CRA
Sheena: 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
Sheena: The key to receiving your benefits and credits is doing your taxes on time!
Filing your taxes is the only way to get the many benefits and credits that are calculated based on your income.
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!
Sheena: There are a few ways to do your taxes:
You can do your taxes online. This is the fastest way as tax returns filed electronically are typically processed within two weeks. Certified software is available to make online filing easy, and some software products are even free. The tax software guides you and calculates everything for you. It helps make sure you don't miss out on any benefits and credits. For more information, visit canada.ca/netfile.
Volunteers may be able to help you do your taxes for free. There are tax clinics hosted by community organizations across Canada for those with a modest income and a simple tax situation. For more information, go to canada.ca/get-tax-help.
You can also get help from a family member, a friend, or a tax preparer.
Or, you can download a tax package, fill out the paper forms and mail them to the CRA. You must use the package for the province or territory you lived in on December 31. Filing a tax return by paper can take up to 10–12 weeks to process. To get a package, go to canada.ca/taxes-general-package or call the CRA at 1-855-330-3305.
File my Return
Sheena: You may also be eligible to file your return over the phone with the File my return service. This service is tailored to individuals with a simple tax situation to automatically file their income tax and benefit return.
All you have to do is confirm some personal information and answer a series of short questions over the phone. There are no forms to fill out or calculations to do! The File my return service is free, secure, and easy to use.
If you are eligible for the File my return service, you will get a 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!
If you live in Québec, the service only files the federal income tax and benefit return. You will need to do your provincial tax return separately.
For more information on the File my return service, visit canada.ca/file-my-return.
Free tax help
Sheena: You may be eligible to have your taxes done by a volunteer at a free tax clinic if you have a modest income and a simple tax situation.
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 a 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!
Sheena: You should always be cautious if you receive a 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 provide you information about your account or ask you to clarify something you've shared with us.
We will not ask you for your bank account number, 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:
- never be afraid to question why the CRA needs your personal information
- when in doubt, check My Account or My Business Account to see if you have mail or any amount owing
- you can also call the CRA to check on communications
- and, go to canada.ca/be-scam-smart to learn more!
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.
[An image of an individual's forehead with the text, "Listen to your voice of reason before you act." above.]
Want to learn more about taxes?
Sheena: 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 much 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.]
Sheena: And that's all for me! This is the end of our webinar. Thank you so much for joining us today. We hope it was helpful!
For more information on any related topics, visit our webpage at canada.ca/taxes.
We also encourage you to visit our Upcoming Events page at canada.ca/cra-outreach-events to view and register for any of our upcoming webinars.
Thank you for listening and enjoy your day!
CRA general enquiries: 1-800-959-8281
Taxes – Canada.ca: canada.ca/taxes
Individuals video gallery – Canada.ca: canada.ca/individuals-video-gallery
Upcoming events – Canada.ca: canada.ca/cra-outreach-events
[An individual smiles at their laptop while holding their glasses in one hand.]
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