Here are some tips from our review programs to reduce the number of changes we make to returns each year. For more information, including how to get forms, guides, and other publications about the common adjustments listed below, click on the topic.
If you do not send us the information we asked for within the time given in the letter, we will review your claim based on the information available to us and may change or deny your claim.
If you move, let the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) know your new address as soon as possible. Otherwise, your mail may be sent to the old mailing address. If we do not get a reply to our request for information, your claim may be changed or denied which may result in an amount owing. Always make sure that the CRA has your new mailing address.
You may also authorize someone to act on your behalf so we can reach them if additional information is needed.
When you authorize a representative, you are letting that person represent you for income tax matters at the level of authorization you specify, for the tax year or years you indicate. Income tax matters include issues related to information on your tax return.
Do not wait to send your return because you do not have all your slips or receipts. If you cannot get the missing slip by the filing due date, use your pay stubs or statements to estimate your income as well as any related deductions and credits you may be eligible to claim.
If your return is selected for review, all receipts and documents that we asked for have to be sent to us at that time. If you do not send us the information we asked for within the time given in the letter, we will review your claim based on the information available to us and may change or deny your claim.
If any of your documents are in a foreign language, we need a copy of the original documents written in the foreign language with an acceptable English or French translation.
To be acceptable, the signatory’s name has to be printed, in the Latin alphabet, and the translation has to meet one of the following conditions:
- be certified by an official with the authority to administer an oath or solemn declaration (commissioner of oaths, notary public, or lawyer) unless it was done by a translator who is a member in good standing of one of the provincial or territorial organizations of translators and interpreters of Canada;
- have the seal and signature of an official from the foreign country’s embassy, high commission, or consulate confirming it is a true translation;
- have the seal and signature of the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), or Certified General Accountant (CGA) confirming it is a true translation;
- have a written statement indicating the profession and the signature of a teacher, professor, or a religious leader confirming it is a true translation.
To be acceptable the taxpayer's name cannot be the same as the signatory's.
You can claim moving expenses if you moved and established a new home to work or to run a business at a new location. You can also claim moving expenses if you moved to be a student in full-time attendance in a post-secondary program at a university, college, or other educational institution.
The new home has to be at least 40 kilometers (by the shortest usual public route) closer to your new work location or school.
Eligible moving expenses may include:
- transportation and storage costs;
- travel expenses;
- temporary living expenses up to a maximum of 15 days;
- the cost of cancelling the lease;
- the cost to maintain your old home when vacant up to a maximum of $5,000;
- the cost of selling your old home;
- the cost of buying your new home;
- incidental costs related to your move.
Employed or Self-employed
If you moved to a new home to work or run a business at a new location, you can claim eligible moving expenses from the employment or self-employment income you earned at your new work location.
You cannot claim you moving expenses from any other type of income, such as investment income or employment insurance benefits even if you received this income at your new location.
If you were a student enrolled in full-time attendance in a post-secondary program at a university, college or other educational institution you may be able to deduct your moving expenses from the parts of your scholarships, fellowships, bursaries, certain prizes, and research grants that have to be included in your income.
Claim on line 23200 (previously line 232) any allowable amounts not deducted on any other line on the return. Specify the deduction you are claiming in the space provided on the return. Attach a note to your paper return if you claim more than one deduction or if you need to explain your deduction in more detail.
Various items that are not deductible, such as funeral expenses, wedding expenses, loans to family members, a loss on the sale of a home, and other similar items, are sometimes claimed in error on this line. These items will be disallowed.
If you lived, on a permanent basis, in a prescribed northern zone or in a prescribed intermediate zone for a continuous period of at least six months, you may be able to claim the northern residents deductions. This period can begin or end in the tax year.
There are two deductions:
- a residency deduction for having lived in a prescribed zone;
- a deduction for travel benefits received from your employer in a prescribed zone that was included in your income.
You cannot claim the additional residency amount if another person has claimed the basic residency amount for the same period and dwelling.
You do not need to send us detailed receipts for your meal and vehicle expenses if you are using the simplified method to calculate your meals and vehicle expenses. However, if these are the only travel expenses you are claiming, we may ask that you send us documents to support your claim.
If you were not married or living common-law at any time in the year and were supporting a dependant who was living in your home, you may be able to claim the amount for an eligible dependant at line 30400 (previously line 305).
If you are claiming an amount for an eligible dependant, you must send Schedule 5, Amounts for Spouse or Common-Law Partner and Dependants, with your paper return. If you are filing online, have the Schedule 5 completed and ready to send to us if we ask for it.
If you claim this amount for a child under the age of 18, we may ask you to send us proof that you have custody of the child. In a shared custody situation where both parents are eligbile to claim the dependant, you both will have to agree on who will make the claim. If you can't agree, neither of you can claim the credit.
If you had to make support payments for the child being claimed, you are not eligible to claim the amount on line 30400 (previously line 305). For more information on child support obligations and claiming an eligible dependant, see Child custody and the amount for an eligible dependant.
If you claim this amount for a child over 18 years of age, they have to be dependent on you because of an impairment in their physical or mental functions.
If you claim this amount for a parent or grandparent, you may be asked to send us proof that they depend on you for support.
Canada caregiver amount - Line 51100 (previously line 5110) of Schedule 5
If the eligible dependant you claimed at line 30400 (previously line 305) was 18 years of age or older and dependant on you because of an impairment in physical or mental functions, you may be able to claim the Canada caregiver amount for your eligible dependant at line 51100 (previously line 5110) of Schedule 5.
We may ask you to tell us how the dependant's mental or physical impairment causes them to be dependent on you for a lengthy time.
If the eligible dependant you claimed at line 30400 (previously line 305) is your or your spouse's or common-law partner's infirm child under 18 years of age, you have to claim the Canada caregiver amount for the dependant at line 30500 on the tax return (previously line 367 of Schedule 1), Canada caregiver amount for infirm children under 18 years of age, and not at line 51100 (previously line 5110) on Schedule 5. For more information, see Line 30500 - Canada caregiver amount for infirm children under 18 years of age.
Schedule 11, Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts, has to be sent with the student's return and not with the return of any individual designated by the student to claim the transfer of tuition, education, and textbook amounts.
For 2019 and later years, a new Form T2202, Tuition and Enrolment Certificate, will replace Form T2202A, Tuition and Enrolment Certificate. Form TL11B, Tuition and Enrolment Certificate - Flying School or Club, will be eliminated and flying schools or clubs will now report on Form T2202 the information currently reported on Form TL11B.
The tuition receipt issued by the educational institution has to clearly show the name and academic level of the course or program, otherwise your claim may be disallowed.
You have to claim a deduction for tuition fees based on the calendar year, not the academic year. Fees that were reimbursed to you or to a parent or spouse or common-law partner on your behalf cannot be claimed unless the reimbursed amount is included in income. Only the eligible tuition fees minus the amount received as a tuition reimbursement can be deducted.
If we ask for supporting documents, make sure you send us the official receipt issued by the educational institution.
Tuition, education, and textbook amounts transferred from a child - Line 32400 of the return (previously line 324 of Schedule 1)
The maximum amount that can be transferred from each child is $5,000 minus the amounts the student needs to use, even if there is still an unclaimed part. Tuition, education, and textbook amounts that the student carried forward from a previous year cannot be transferred.
The student has to complete Schedule 11, Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts, to calculate the transfer amount.
The student also has to complete the designation area on one of the following forms:
For 2019 and later year, a new Form T2202, Tuition and Enrolment Certificate, will replace Form T2202A, Tuition and Enrolment Certificate. Form TL11B, Tuition and Enrolment Certificate - Flying School or Club, will be eliminated and flying schools or clubs will now report on Form T2202 the information currently reported on Form TL11B.
If we ask for supporting documents, make sure you send us the official receipt(s) issued by the educational institution for all amounts transferred.
If you are the student's spouse or common-law partner, the transferred amount is claimed at line 36000 (previously line 360) of Schedule 2, Federal Amounts Transferred From Your Spouse or Common-Law Partner.
Make sure receipts are dated, indicate "paid", and clearly show the type of goods or services received. We may ask that you send us a breakdown of the type of expenses claimed and all receipts, forms, medical certificates, and other supporting documents related to each expense to support your claim. If so, tell us how much of the expense was or will be reimbursed (for example, the amount covered by insurance plain).
Amounts paid for over-the-counter products such as vitamins and supplements are not deductible, even if prescribed by a medical practitioner and recorded by a pharmacist.
Attendant care or care in an establishment
Generally, you can claim the entire amount paid for full-time care in a nursing home or schools, institutions, or other places providing care or care and training. In all other cases, the fees claimed have to be for salaries and wages paid to all employees doing tasks or services related to attendant care. There are special rules when claiming the disability amount and attendant care as medical expenses.
If you claimed attendant care expenses paid to a facility, we may ask you to send us a detailed breakdown from the facility confirming the amount of wages or salary paid for attendant care services.
Non-business income tax paid to a foreign country - Line 43100 (previously line 431) of Form T2209, Federal Foreign Tax Credits
You may be asked to send us a copy of different documents to support your claim. The following are some examples of the documents you may be asked to send:
- a completed Form T2209, Federal Foreign Tax Credits;
- a notice of assessment or equivalent document from the foreign tax authority;
- an account transcript from the IRS (U.S.);
- a statement from the applicable foreign tax authority showing foreign income and final tax liability;
- foreign income slips;
- a statement from the employer (if it is a pay as you earn (PAYE) tax system) indicating foreign income and final tax liability;
- a foreign tax return and all attachments.
If you are unable to send us documents from the applicable foreign tax authority showing your foreign income and final tax liability, we will accept proof of a refund received or payment made to them.
This may be in the form of bank statements, cancelled cheques, or official receipts. The following information has to be clearly shown:
- the payment was made to or received from the applicable foreign tax authority;
- the amount of the payment or refund;
- the tax year to which the payment or refund applies; and
- the date that the amount was paid or received.
If you are sending photocopies of a cancelled cheque, you will need to copy both sides of the cheque.
You may have to send information for more than one year if the foreign country’s tax year is not the calendar year (for example, the United Kingdom).
Rent does not include condominium fees, board (for example, meals, cleaning, laundry), or utility charges (for example, water, electricity or parking) that you paid, unless these charges are included as part of rent in your rental agreement.
Property tax does not include amounts billed to you by the municipality in the form of user charges (for example, water), common expenses incurred by you if you were a condominium owner, or any property tax interest or penalty that you paid in the year.
If you shared a principal residence with one or more persons other than your spouse or common-law partner, only enter your share of the rent or property tax you paid for the year.
If we ask for supporting documents, make sure the official receipts show "paid."
Copies of lease agreements are not accepted as rent receipts.
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