# Mining Your Tax Return for Extra Money This Spring

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2 Let s look at an example that shows how a tax deduction yields tax savings at the marginal tax rate 2 that varies with your income level, while a tax credit yields tax savings at a fixed rate. Suppose you have total income of \$50,000. Chart 2 shows how deductions and credits reduce the tax that you pay in The amount of the deduction is subtracted from income, so that this amount of income is not taxed. In Chart 2 a \$1,000 tax deduction yields \$220 of tax savings, calculated as the \$1,000 deduction multiplied by the marginal tax rate that would have applied to the income (22%). Consequently, a deduction yields tax savings at your marginal tax rate. With tax credits, a fixed rate is applied to eligible amounts and the resultant credit amount offsets taxes payable. Chart 2 shows that when the federal tax credit rate of 15% is applied to a \$1,000 amount, \$150 of tax savings results. When you add provincial tax savings to the federal savings above, the total tax savings can range from about 20% for the combined credits and up to 54% for a deduction. The value of selected tax deductions, credits and other amounts Since the value (tax savings) from a tax deduction is based on your marginal tax rate, a tax deduction can provide greater value for those who have higher levels of income. Since the value of a tax credit is based on a rate that is fixed for all taxpayers, a tax credit yields the same value regardless of income level or marginal tax rate. 3 Chart 3 shows the hypothetical values you can realize from a variety of tax deductions, credits and other amounts. The tax rates used in the examples were chosen to approximate the average combined federal / provincial rates for an individual with \$50,000 of total income. You may be surprised to learn that many commonly-claimed items have relatively little value, while some lesser-known ones can produce up to a 300% taxassisted benefit on your money. The assumptions used to come up with the savings are reviewed in detail below. Chart 2: Value of a \$1,000 Federal Tax Deduction and Tax Credit in 2016 No deduction or credit Tax Deduction Tax Credit Total income \$50,000 \$50,000 \$50,000 Deductions n/a ( 1,000) n/a Taxable income \$50,000 \$49,000 \$50,000 15% on first \$45,282 \$ 6,792 \$ 6,792 \$ 6,792 22% on remaining income 1, ,038 Total tax payable before credits \$ 7,830 \$ 7,610 \$ 7,830 Tax credit 15%) n/a n/a ( 150) Total tax payable \$ 7,830 \$ 7,610 \$ 7,680 Value of deduction / credit \$ 220 \$ 150 2

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