Tax time quick tips for older Canadians

(NC)—For many Canadians over 65 years old, the tax season can seem overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be, however. Cleo Hamel, a senior tax analyst at H&R Block Canada, offers tips for seniors who want to get the most from their 2011 tax return:

Pension Income Splitting: Canadian residents can split up to half of their eligible pension income with their spouse or common-law partner. Income splitting allows some seniors to receive a substantial tax reduction. Tax software packages like H&R Block At Home will automatically determine the best income split to get the most tax savings.

Benefit from Your Benefits: Seniors who receive Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) through Old Age Security should file on time to ensure their benefits continue without interruption.

Split your CPP and Save: You may be able to split part of your CPP retirement benefits with your spouse depending on how long you have lived together when you were contributing to the plan. This is an advantage if one senior is in a higher tax bracket than the other. Remember though, you must apply to Human Resources & Social Development Canada using Form ISP-1002. It can’t be done on your tax return.

Hamel points out that everyone can take the pain out of filing 2011 taxes by using tax preparation software to highlight all of the deductions and credits to which we are entitled.


Photo © Brad Killer