If you are 18 years of age or older it is your responsibility to file a personal tax return. Crowe MacKay’s tax team reviews what you need to be aware of when filing your T1 tax return and how COVID-19 supports that you received may impact your 2020 taxes.
Tax Filing Deadline
As of the date of this article, the CRA has not extended the filing deadline for personal tax returns. Ensure you file your T1 by April 30 to avoid any late filing penalties and interest.
Even if you earned little or no income in the year, you should considered filing your T1 tax return. Doing so will ensure you are eligible for various credits, such as the quarterly GST/HST credit and related provincial/territorial programs.
If you attended post-secondary school, you can claim tuition credits against your income in the year, or carry forward unused credits to claim when you start earning income.
You also may be able to claim a deduction for interest paid on student loans.
Did you know some of your moving costs may be claimed?
If you moved at least 40 kilometres to be closer to your work or post-secondary institution (and are studying full-time), you may be able to claim a portion of your moving expenses. If you moved to attend a post-secondary institution, the moving expenses can only be deducted against taxable income from scholarships, awards, bursaries, grants, etc. If you moved for work, the moving expenses can only be deducted against employment or self-employment income earned at your new location.
Impacts of COVID-19 on Your Taxes
In 2020, both the Federal and Provincial/Territorial governments introduced a variety of economic support programs for individuals. Many of these are considered taxable income and must be claimed on your T1. The following are COVID-19 benefits you may have received:
If you did receive any of these benefits, you will receive a T4A and/or a T4E to report this income on your T1.
Only the CRB, CRSB, and CRCB had taxes withheld at the source.
Don’t be surprised! You may have a larger balance owing on your tax return than expected due to these benefits having little or no withholding when they were distributed.
Home Office Expenses
If you worked from home during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be able to claim your home office expenses under either the flat rate method or the detailed method.
To claim office expenses under the detailed method, your employer must provide you with a Form T2200S or T2200.
Learn more on claiming your home office expenses and what method is right for you here.
You should consult with your professional Crowe MacKay advisor before implementing any of the suggestions in this article.