Here are some tips from the Canada Revenue Agency’s review programs. Following these tips should help reduce the number of adjustments the CRA needs to make to returns each year.

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If you do not provide the information requested within the timeframe indicated on the letter, the CRA will deny or modify your claim based on the information available to them.

Due to possible changes to your mailing address during the year, the CRA’s mail may unknowingly be misdirected. This could result in your claim being disallowed resulting in an amount owing. Therefore, always make sure the CRA has your current mailing address.

What if you don’t have all your information slips?

Do not delay filing an income tax return because of missing T4s or other information slips. If you cannot get the missing slip(s) by the filing due date, use your pay stubs or statements to estimate your income and any related deductions and credits you may be eligible to claim.

If your return is selected for review, all requested receipts and supporting documents have to be provided at that time. If they are not provided within the set timeframe, your claim may be reduced or disallowed.

Documents in a foreign language 

If any of your documents are in a foreign language, the CRA needs 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.

Tuition fees

Schedule 11, Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts, has to be filed with the student’s income tax return and not with the income tax and benefit return of any individual designated by the student to claim the transfer amounts.

Fees for non-credit courses or courses that are below the post-secondary level are not deductible. The tuition receipt provided by the educational institution has to clearly identify the name and academic level of the course or program, otherwise your claim may be disallowed.

Claims have to be based on fees for a period during the calendar year, not the academic year. Fees that were reimbursed to you or to a parent or spouse on your behalf cannot be claimed unless the reimbursed amount is included in income.

Education and textbook amounts

You can claim only one education and textbook amount for each eligible month, either the full-time amount or the part-time amount.

Claims have to be based on the calendar year, not the academic year. You cannot claim the education and textbook amounts if the tuition fees paid for the course were reimbursed to you or to another person on your behalf.

Tuition, education, and textbook amounts transferred from a child

The maximum amount that can be transferred from each child is $5,000 minus the amounts the student uses. Tuition, education, and textbook amounts that the student carried forward from a previous year cannot be transferred.

Medical expenses

Amounts paid for vitamins, supplements, or similar medicaments are not deductible even if prescribed by a medical practitioner and recorded by a pharmacist.

Generally, you can claim the entire amount paid in a nursing home (full-time). In all other cases, the fees claimed have to be for salaries and wages paid for attendant care services.

Attendant care expenses may be eligible as medical expenses and for the disability supports deduction.  The total you claim cannot be more than the total amount paid. Special rules apply when claiming medical expenses as well as the disability tax credit or the attendant care expenses.

If you have not filed your return and would like more information on various programs, deductions and credits that can help save you money, contact The lions Accounting Group Ltd., Chartered Professional Accountants at 604 926 3522.