Personal income tax: What's new for 2020?
We have outlined major tax changes and improvements to services below.
We have noted changes to income tax rules including those that were announced but that were not yet law when this guide was published. If they become law as proposed, they will be effective for 2020 or as of the dates given.
You will find more information about some of these changes throughout the guide.
The CRA’s services
The 2020 Income Tax Package includes the Federal Income Tax and Benefit Guide, return, schedules, and worksheet. It also includes a Provincial or Territorial Information Guide, provincial or territorial schedules and a worksheet.
We have made several changes to the tax package to enhance our services such as making the guide less complex and reducing paper use by removing text for income, deduction, and credit lines that are rarely used.
If you need information that is not provided in the guide, call 1-800-959-8281.
- Home Buyers’ Plan
- If you are not considered a first-time home buyer for the purposes of the HBP, and you experience a breakdown in your marriage or common-law partnership, you may be able to participate in the HBP under certain conditions. For more information, go to What is the Home Buyers' Plan (HBP)?
- Other employment expenses
- Line 22900 of the return – If you worked from home in 2020 due to COVID-19, you may be able to claim certain employment expenses.
- Basic personal amount
- Line 30000 of the return – This amount has increased for most taxpayers.
- Spouse or common-law partner amount
- Line 30300 of the return – This amount has increased for most taxpayers.
- Amount for an eligible dependant
- Line 30400 of the return – This amount has increased for most taxpayers.
- Digital news subscription expenses
- Line 31350 of the return – For the 2020 to 2024 tax years, you may be able to claim a non-refundable tax credit for expenses you paid in the year for a digital news subscription with a qualified Canadian journalism organization.
- Your tuition, education, and textbook amounts
- Line 32300 of the return – The Canada training credit that the student claims for the year reduces the amount that they can use to calculate their tuition tax credit, transfer to a designated individual, or carry forward to a later year.
- Donations and gifts
- Line 34900 of the return – We have simplified the calculation on Schedule 9 for most individuals. Also, for 2020 and later tax years, you may be able to claim a non-refundable tax credit for donations made to registered journalism organizations.
- Canada training credit
- Line 45350 of the return – If you meet certain conditions, you will be able to claim a Canada Training Credit, a new refundable tax credit that is available for 2020 and later tax years.
- Canadian journalism labour tax credit (CJLTC)
- Line 47555 of the return – For 2019 and later tax years, if you are a member of a partnership that is a Qualifying Journalism Organization, you can claim this new, refundable credit allocated to you by the partnership.
- Mineral exploration tax credit for flow-through share investors
- This investment tax credit is extended for an additional 5 years to March 31, 2024.
New box numbers on 2020 T4 slips
If you received employment income in 2020, you will see new box numbers (57, 58, 59, and 60) at the bottom of your 2020 T4 slip. These boxes are only for CRA use and no action is required by you.
These amounts include employment income paid between March 15 to September 26, 2020, which are already included in box 14 of your T4 slip.
Amounts received related to COVID-19
During the year, you may have received federal, provincial, or territorial government COVID-19 payments such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). If these amounts are taxable, you will have received a slip, such as a T4A or T4E, with instructions for how to report these amounts. These slips also are available in My Account.
If you are self-employed, you may have received federal, provincial, or territorial government COVID-19 assistance for your business, such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). Generally, you have to either include these amounts in business income or reduce your expenses by the amounts that you received. You may also have received a government loan. The loan itself is not taxable, but you have to include in your business income any portion of the loan that is forgivable.
Even if you received an information slip showing taxable income, if you received any part of these amounts based on income that is exempt from tax under the Indian Act, complete Form T90, Income Exempt From Tax Under the Indian Act.
If you received the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), you may have to repay all or part of it, if your net income after certain adjustments is more than $38,000. The repayment is calculated on the Worksheet for the return at line 23500, as part of the social benefits repayment calculation.
For details: COVID-19 benefits and your taxes
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