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Money-saving tips for retirees at tax time

(NC) – After years of working, you can finally call it quits and enjoy the golden years of retirement. Your days may be filled with activities such as golfing, skiing, playing bridge, or maybe even volunteering for your favourite charity. One activity you may not find as enjoyable, however, is filing your taxes.

There are, however, many credits and benefits you can take advantage of to provide some motivation to get through the process and maybe even help stretch your retirement dollars, as follows:

• You may be able to split your pension income with your spouse or common-law partner, allocating up to 50% of your eligible pension income to him or her, to lower your combined taxes.

• If you use public transit to get around in your daily life, you may be able to claim a 15% non-refundable tax credit based on the costs of certain public transit passes on your tax return.

• If you, your spouse, or common-law partner has a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions, you may be eligible for the disability tax credit.

• If you care for a spouse or other family member who has an impairment in physical or mental functions that makes them dependent on you for care, the family caregiver amount could also save you money.

• When you file your return, you can apply for the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit which helps to offset all or part of the GST or HST that you pay.

All the information seniors need to know at tax time can be found at www.cra.gc.ca/seniors. Here's one more tip: file online this year and use direct deposit, and you can start enjoying your tax refund dollars in as little as eight days. 

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