What’s new for this tax-filing season?

THE Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) would like to remind Canadians of new or improved tax relief measures and online services available for the 2014 tax-filing season.

* Children’s fitness amount – The maximum amount of eligible fees for each child has increased to $1,000.

* Search and rescue volunteer amount – As a search and rescue volunteer, you may be able to claim an amount of $3,000.

* Family Tax Cut – A proposed non-refundable tax credit of up to $2,000 is available to eligible couples with children under the age of 18, and is effective starting with the 2014 tax year.

* Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) – This benefit is being increased for children under age six. Effective January 1, 2015, parents will be eligible for a benefit of $160 per month for each eligible child under the age of six—up from $100 per month. Under proposed changes to expand the UCCB, parents may also receive a benefit of $60 per month for eligible children ages six through 17. Payments of the additional amount and expanded amount will start in July of 2015.

* Emergency services volunteers – Rules for the $1,000 exemption for emergency services have changed.

* Adoption expenses – The maximum amount of eligible expenses for each child has been increased to $15,000.

* Medical expenses – Amounts paid as salary for designing of personalized therapy plans for persons eligible to claim the disability tax credit and costs for service animals used to help manage severe diabetes are now eligible as medical expenses.

* Investment tax credit – Eligibility for the mineral exploration tax credit has been extended to flow-through share agreements entered into before April 2015.

– GST/HST credit – You no longer have to apply for the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit. When you file your return, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will determine your eligibility and will advise those who are eligible to receive the credit.

– Online mail – When you register for online mail, you’ll have instant access to your tax records anytime, anywhere. Choose to receive an email notification when your notice of assessment or reassessment is available online. Provide us with an email address on your T1 return or register directly online at www.cra.gc.ca/myaccount.

– MyCRA mobile app: View your return status, condensed notice of assessment, and RRSP and TFSA contribution room on the go. MyCRA also links you to several webpages where you can quickly find help with income tax and benefit matters.

Go to www.cra.gc.ca/getready to find more information about the various credits you may be eligible for to reduce your taxes this year.