Free Tax Topics ebook. We Are Here To Help! TAX TIPS & SOFTWARE HELP FOR FAMILIES & DEPENDANTS

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1 Free Tax Topics ebook We Are Here To Help! TAX TIPS & SOFTWARE HELP FOR FAMILIES & DEPENDANTS

2 Tax Tips & Software Help for Families & Dependants What s in this ebook? 3-9 INTRODUCTION How to Navigate the Software How to Use Self-Help What s Carry Forward? 10 ABOUT FAMILIES & DEPENDANTS Marital Status Dependants 31 SUPPORT Tax Protection & Review TAX BREAKS FOR FAMILIES & DEPENDANTS Family Tax Breaks Medical Expenses Children s Sports & Fitness Credit Children s Arts Credit Child Care Expenses Amount for an Eligible Dependant Public Transit Tuition UCCB 33 FILE YOUR TAX RETURN Due Dates 35 AFTER YOU FILE H&R Block Canada, Inc All Rights Reserved Copyright is not claimed for any material secured from official government sources. Screen captures are accurate at time of publishing and are subject to change. This document should not replace tax advice and is meant to be used only as a guide 2

3 WHY SHOULD I READ THIS BOOK? It s tax time, and we ve created our best and easiest tax software ever for Canadians. If you need help when you re preparing your taxes, you can access our help content, which was written by tax professionals, within our tax software. That same help content is available in the easy-to-read format of this ebook. Each of our ebooks is filled with checklists, tax tips, and screenshots from our software, so you ll know exactly what to do to complete your tax return. ABOUT H&R BLOCK We ve taken H&R Block s more than 50 years of experience preparing tens of millions of tax returns and put it into our software, to help guide you through your tax return. We ll help maximize your refund for your unique tax situation. We ll take you through your entire tax preparation process: from what you need to get started, to entering your tax information, filing your tax return, and receiving your refund (or paying a balance owing). LET S GET STARTED! 3

4 How to Navigate the Software READY, SET, FILE! After you install the Desktop Software on your computer or sign in to your account in our Online Software, you will see the Home screen. This is the page where all the tax returns you prepare will be listed, and where you can access any of our H&R Block Tax Software ebooks. You can access this page any time by clicking the Home button in the navigation menu at the top. To start a tax return, simply click the large green Start a New Return button. It looks like this: You can navigate through your tax return by clicking on the Save & Continue or Back buttons that appear at the bottom of every page in our software. Here s what they look like: 4

5 How to Navigate the Software We ve also designed a new navigation menu, which appears at the top of every page. If you find a tax slip or receipt you forgot to enter, you can click on the links in this menu to navigate to pages directly. The navigation menu is also an easy way for you to see exactly how far along you are in completing your tax return. This menu is based on your specific tax situation and links are added to the menu as you prepare your tax return. When you enter the first name of the person you re preparing the tax return for on the Tell us about yourself page, you ll notice the name appears in the top-left corner of the page, as well as a feature we call the Refund-O-Meter. Here s what it looks like: 5

6 How to Navigate the Software Once you ve started entering your tax data in the software, every time you click the Save & Continue button at the bottom of a page, the value in the Refund-O-Meter changes. This shows you in real time how much of a refund you ll get or your balance owing, based on the information you ve entered up to that point. 6

7 Before you Start your Tax Return Make sure you have all the tax slips and receipts you ll need before you start your tax return. Here s a quick checklist of what you ll need: All the tax slips you ve received electronically or in the mail, such as T4s for employment income, and T3s and T5s for interest, dividends, and mutual funds. Any receipts you have, such as donations made to charities or political parties, medical bills, and moving expenses. If you have dependants, don t forget to find slips and receipts for expenses like child care, arts and sports programs, and bus passes, or for income and benefits such as the Universal Child Care Benefit (known as the RC62 form). If you have dependants and are separated, you might make or receive support payments you can claim, so make sure you have information about the amounts you received or paid. Other specialty government slips, such as for workers compensation or social assistance (it s a slip called the T5007), tuition (a slip called the T2202A), and employment insurance benefits if you are self-employed (known as the T4E). Check out our handy checklist on our website. Get comfortable, and grab a coffee, tea, or cocoa. Download and install our tax software on your computer, or do your taxes online from your computer, phone, or tablet (it s FREE). You re ready to start! Just don t spill your drink on your tax forms or electronics! 7

8 How to Use Self Help Our software is very easy to use, but we want to make sure you didn t get stuck anywhere. So, we ve written hundreds of articles with tips, tricks, and troubleshooting help to make sure you don t! We ve put links to these articles right beside the line items they apply to, or right on the page you ll need them most, so you won t have to search for them. Look out for pages that have a Need Help? link in the top right-hand corner, like this: Or, look out for lines that say Learn More, Why is this important?, or Tax Tip beside them, like these examples: To make it easy to find them, all of our self-help links are orange. 8

9 What s Carry Forward? When you start a tax return, the first page you see will ask you whether you want to import your tax data from last year s return. If you did your own taxes with software last year whether or not you used H&R Block software you should be able to import your personal information and unused tax credits from your last year s tax return. The carry forward feature can import more than 100 fields of tax data from your last year s tax return. With our Desktop software, you can import your last year s tax return if you did your taxes with H&R Block, TurboTax*, or UFile* Desktop or CD software. With our Online software, you can import your last year s tax return if you did your taxes with H&R Block Online software, or TurboTax* or UFile* Desktop or CD Software. If you don t want to or can t carry forward information from your tax return last year, don t worry! Entering your personal information and tax data in our software is easy. We ll help you along the way with convenient self-help on many pages and beside many of the fields were you need to enter your information. 9

10 All About Taxes for Families & Dependants When you have children or dependants, you have many, many expenses during the year. Did you know that you can claim some of these expenses on your taxes? This ebook will explain the different types of expenses you can claim and how to claim them in our software. To claim these expenses, you ll need to have receipts such as: Receipts from your daycare or babysitter Medical receipts for expenses like dental, eye glasses, or prescription drugs Receipts from an activity your child participated in such as dance, hockey, or piano lessons These can all be claimed on your tax return to increase your refund or decrease the amount of tax you owe. 10

11 Marital Status WHAT S YOUR MARITAL STATUS? On the first page of our interview, on the Tell us about yourself page, we ask what your marital status is. This is because your marital status determines what credits and deductions you can claim. If you re married or living common law, you can decide to prepare a couples return for you and your spouse or common-law partner. But, you don t have to. Here s what the marital status section looks like: 11

12 Marital Status SPOUSE OR COMMON-LAW PARTNER TAX BREAKS If you supported your spouse or common-law partner at any time during the year, you re eligible for a tax break if they earned less than $11,138. We automatically calculate this claim for you in the software. If you re completing a couples return for you and your spouse or common-law partner, in the Wrap-up section after you ve entered all your income, deductions, and tax breaks we ll ask you if you want to maximize your refund or reduce the balance you and your spouse or common-law partner owe. We do this by automatically calculating any unused tax credits. Here s what the page looks like where we ll ask you about your unused tax credits: 12

13 Dependants WHAT S A DEPENDANT? A dependant is someone who s related to you by blood, marriage, common-law partnership, or adoption. Your son or daughter is a dependant, but your parent or grandparent, brother or sister, or even an aunt, uncle, or cousin can also be considered a dependant. To qualify as a dependant, your son or daughter must be under 18, or he/she must have a disability or mental impairment, and rely on you for financial support. You can t claim a child as a dependant if you make child support payments for him/her. MAKING TAX CLAIMS FOR YOUR DEPENDANTS? You might be able to claim a tax break for each of your dependants if you supported them financially. You can only make this claim on your taxes if you don t have a spouse or common-law partner, or, at some point during the year, you weren t living with, supporting, or being supported by your spouse or common-law partner. Only one dependant claim per household is allowed. If you re married or living common law, only one of you can make this claim. If you re completing a couples return, the software will maximize the refund of you and your spouse or common-law partner, whether you enter your dependants under the first or second person in the tax return. 13

14 Dependants ENTERING YOUR DEPENDANT S INFORMATION IN THE SOFTWARE On the first page of our interview (Tell us about yourself), just after we ask you about your marital status, we ask if you have any dependants. We then ask you to enter in some basic information about your dependants. This is what that section looks like: As soon as you choose Yes for the Do you have dependants question, we add a Dependants icon to the navigation menu. The Dependants section is dedicated to all of the tax breaks you can claim for your dependants and other information we need about your dependants to complete your taxes. Here s what the navigation menu looks like with the Dependants section added: 14

15 Dependants You can enter your Dependants on the Tell us about yourself page or on the first page of the Dependants section. Here s what the first page of the Dependants section looks like, where you can add a new dependant or review the information for dependants you entered on the Tell us about yourself page 15

16 Dependants Once you ve entered and reviewed the information for each of your dependants, you ll see a page with all the claims you can make for your dependants. This is what that page looks like: 16

17 New Tax Breaks for Families & Dependants NEW! FAMILY TAX CUT FOR 2015 The Family Tax Cut is a new tax credit that will be available for couples with at least one child under 18. The Family Tax Cut provides a credit that s equal to the tax savings that would be realized if family income was split equally between a couple. You could receive up to $2,000 back. You might qualify for the Family Tax Cut if you and your spouse or common-law partner: Were both Canadian residents at the end of the year Aren t separated because of a breakdown in your relationship Have at least one child under 18 who lives with you Haven t split pension income or claimed bankruptcy Are filing your taxes 17

18 Family Tax Breaks You ll be asked in the Wrap-up section after you ve entered all your tax forms, slips, and receipts if you want to make a claim for the Family Tax Cut, as you can see in this example: Choose Yes and the software will automatically determine if you qualify and add the tax break you re entitled to to your refund or reduce your balance owing. 18

19 Medical Expenses Prescription eyewear, dental work, and prescription drugs are just a few of the medical expenses you can claim for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner, and your children under 18. If they depend on you for support, you can also claim expenses for other dependants, such as a child over 18, grandchild, grandparent, or parent. You can claim expenses for yourself and/or your spouse or common-law partner under the Other Expenses & Deductions section by checking the box for Medical expenses, as you can see here: 19

20 Medical Expenses You can claim medical expenses for your dependants by checking the box for Medical expenses in the Dependant section. On the Medical expenses page in the software, you can enter as many medical bills as you need to. Just click on the green Add New button to enter a medical bill. To add more medical expenses, keep clicking the Add New button. Here s what the page looks like where you ll enter in expenses for yourself or your spouse or common-law partner: And here s what the page looks like where you ll enter medical expenses for your dependants: 20

21 Children s Sports & Fitness Credit DOUBLED THIS YEAR! WHAT CAN I CLAIM? Do you have children who were under 16 at the beginning of the year? In previous years, you could claim up to $500 in tax savings if they were enrolled in fitness activities. This year, the tax break is doubled to $1,000! Examples of sports and fitness activities you can claim include: soccer swimming equestrian ice hockey gymnastics ballet HOW TO CLAIM THIS CREDIT To enter this credit in the software, check the box for Children s fitness amount on Dependant deductions & credits page. Then, enter the amount you spent on one or more fitness activities for your dependent child, like in this example: If your child has a disability certificate on file with CRA and is under 18, you qualify for an additional $ tax break. 21

22 Children s Arts Credit WHAT CAN I CLAIM? With the children s arts credit, you can claim the cost of enrolling your dependent children in artistic, cultural, and recreational activities. To claim the registration cost for these activities, your child must have been 16 at the beginning of the year, or under 18 if they have a disability. Examples of arts activities include: art lessons chess music lessons dramatic arts piano acting guitar boy scouts girl guides public speaking tutoring HOW TO CLAIM THIS CREDIT To enter this credit in the software, check the box for Children s arts amount on Dependant deductions & credits page. 22

23 Children s Arts Credit Then, enter the amount you spent on one or more arts activities for your dependent child, up to $500, like in this example: If your child has a disability certificate on file with CRA and is under 18, you qualify for an additional $ tax break. 23

24 Child Care Expenses WHAT CAN I CLAIM? We all like to have a night out and leave the kids home with a babysitter. But can you claim this? Unfortunately not. To be eligible to claim child care expenses as a tax break, the expenses must have been paid so you or your spouse/common-law partner could do one of these activities: Work as an employee, self-employed worker, or business partner Conduct research or similar activities that you received a grant for Attend school (including high school) for at least three consecutive weeks for at least 10 hours per week or 12 hours per month You can also claim child care expenses if your spouse or commonlaw partner was unable to care for your child because of a mental or physical infirmity. You can claim payments for these types of child care expenses: Daycare centres, nursery school, or pre-kindergarten school care Kindergarten or other educational institutions if they provide daycare (you can t claim expenses from kindergarten related to education) Advertising expenses or placement agency fees you paid to find a child care provider Day camps or day sports schools where the primary goal of the camp was to care for children Boarding schools or overnight camps (including overnight sports schools)daycare (you can t claim expenses from kindergarten related to education) 24

25 Child Care Expenses HOW CAN I CLAIM THIS CREDIT? To enter this credit in the software, check the box for Child care expenses on the Dependant deductions & credits page. Then, enter the amount you spent on one or more child care bills for your dependent child, like in this example: 25

26 Amount for an Eligible Dependant If you are a single taxpayer supporting other dependants you may be eligible to claim the amount for an eligible dependant in place of the spouse or common-law partner amount. Like the spouse or commonlaw partner amount, the amount for an eligible dependant is reduced by their net income. 26

27 Public Transit Passes HOW CAN I CLAIM THIS CREDIT? Just like with medical expenses, you can claim these under the Other expenses & deductions section for yourself and your spouse or common-law partner and for your dependants in the Dependant deductions & credits section. Here s what the Expenses for public transit passes page in the Dependants section looks like: 27

28 Public Transit Passes WHAT CAN I CLAIM? If you, your spouse or common-law partner, or your dependants travel on city buses or the subway (or commuter buses or trains, streetcars, or even local ferries), you can claim the cost of your annual or monthly passes, if they were issued by a Canadian transit organization and allow for unlimited travel. You can claim public transit expenses if they meet one of these conditions: You have a monthly pass that gives the user unlimited travel for an uninterrupted period of at least 28 days. You have a weekly pass that allows you to travel for 20 days in a 28- day period. You have an electronic payment card that gives you up to 32 oneway trips during an uninterrupted period that s not more than 31 days. 28

29 Tuition Not only can you claim tuition for yourself, you can also claim up to $5,000 from your child, grandchild, spouse, or common-law partner as a tax break. He or she must have attended an educational institution, such as a college or university, and received a Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts Certificate, known as a T2202A tax slip. You ll indicate you want to transfer this amount on the Tuition and education amounts page in the software. Your child must claim his/her tuition on his/her return first. If your child doesn t need the full amount of this credit to reduce the taxes he/she owes, then your child can transfer the remaining amount to you. 29

30 UCCB There are other income and tax breaks you can claim, such as the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) you might receive from the government, the eligible dependant benefit if you re a single parent, adoption expenses, or the ability to transfer amounts to your spouse or common-law partner to reduce his/her balance owing or collectively maximize your refunds. Don t forget to review the third page of our interview, Your year in review, so we can personalize your tax return with the lists of income, deductions, and tax breaks specific to your tax situation. You ll also need to review the list of items in each section to match against your tax forms, slips, and receipts. 30

31 Support UNLIMITED ONLINE CHAT, PHONE, & SUPPORT If you ve read this ebook and the self-help content written by our tax pros and software designers and still need help, don t worry! These same people, Canadians located in Calgary and Winnipeg, are just an online chat, phone call, or away. Simply visit click the Support link near the top-right corner of the page, and find out how to contact them. 31

32 Tax Protection & Review TAX PROTECTION Sometimes your tax return might be assessed or audited by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) up to seven years after you file it. For our Online software clients, we can offer support if your tax return is audited or reviewed. For the low price of $9.99 per return, we ll store your tax return for seven years so you can access it whenever you need to, and provide you with dedicated support from one of our tax pros. For our Desktop software clients, we offer support from our tax pros if your tax return is reviewed or audited for $ This applies to all returns associated with the software activation code. PRO REVIEW If you want to have the tax return you prepared reviewed by one of our tax pros, you can! For only $34.99, you can speak to one of our tax pros by telephone, and he or she will review your return with you. Or, for $59.99, you can have your tax return reviewed by a tax pro at one of our over 1,200 retail offices across Canada. To find the H&R Block retail office closest to you, enter your postal code or city in our Office Locator, available at 32

33 File Your Tax Return After you ve entered all of your tax slips and receipts, and completed the Wrap-up section, you ll be taken to the File section, where you can electronically file your tax return, or print and file it yourself. Here s what the File page looks like: Click the green Send Now button to electronically file your tax return(s). You ll receive a confirmation number for each tax return you ve filed successfully. If you don t want to file your tax return(s) electronically, click the green Print & File button, which will allow you to save a PDF of your tax return. Print out the form and mail it as directed on the document. At the bottom of this page, click the Save & Continue button to access a PDF copy of all the forms and schedules that make up your tax return. You should save a copy of this PDF for your records. You might need access to your tax return in the future if your tax return is assessed or audited by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), to apply for a mortgage, or for other reasons. 33

34 File Your Tax Return DUE DATES Individuals: April 30, 2015 Self-employed taxpayers: June 15, 2015 Deceased taxpayers: If the taxpayer passed away between January 1 and October 31, the due date for the final return is April 30 of the following year. If the passing occurred between November 1 and December 31, the due date for the final return is six months after the date of death. 34

35 After You File WAITING FOR A REFUND? If you received a refund, electronically filed your tax return, and have set up direct deposit with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) via their My Account feature, you ll receive your refund in as few as eight days. If you haven t signed up for direct deposit, it could take three weeks or more to receive your refund. To sign up for direct deposit, visit: PAY YOUR BALANCE OWING If you have a balance owing, you can make your payment in one of these ways: Use the CRA s My Payment feature Mail a cheque or money order, payable to the Receiver General Pay at your financial institution, via online banking or by wire transfer My Payment is an electronic payment service offered by the CRA that uses Interac Online to allow individuals and businesses to make payments directly to the CRA from their online banking account. For more information, visit: Payments to the CRA are due no later than April 30. But, we recommend you pay your balance due as soon as possible to avoid penalties and/or interest. 35

36 Conclusion STAND UP AND STRETCH YOU RE DONE! Thank you for using H&R Block Tax Software to file your taxes. See you next year! 36

37 50 Years of H&R Block This ebook has been brought to you by: THE H&R BLOCK S DIGITAL TAX GROUP

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