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25 Canadian Tax Credits

These are the tax credit amounts for the 2014 tax year:

Basic Personal $11,138.00
Spouse $11,138.00
Age Amount (65+) $6,916.00
Disability $7,766.00
Caregiver $4,530.00
Infirm & Family $6,589.00
Caregiver Amount
Child Amount < 18 $2,255.00
Child Amount < 6   $2,255.00
Pension Amount $2,000.00
Medical Exp. $2,171.00 (in excess of 3% net inc)
Adoption $15,000.00
Education PT $120.00 / mo
Education FT $400.00 / mo
Textbooks PT $20/mo
Textbooks FT $65/mo
Canada Employment $1,127.00

These are all deductions that count against your taxes owed. The way it works is any of the above that are applicable are added up, then multiplied by .15 (15%) and the result is subtracted from your tax owing.

Most of these are non-refundable, meaning they can only be used in the year they are generated.

Student credits, however, are refundable, meaning they can be carried forward indefinitely.

The reason they are only multiplied by 15% is because the first tier of federal tax is levied at 15%. It keeps the playing field balanced, because if the credits were applied from the top down, meaning at the highest tax bracket possible, the higher tier tax payers would benefit the most. This way, everyone benefits the exact same from the tax credits. Anyone paying tax, that is.

More details can be obtained here: http://www.taxtips.ca/nrcredits/tax-credits-2014-base.htm

There are even more credits that can be applied to reduce your taxes:

Child Fitness
Bus Pass Receipts
Charitable Donations
Political Contributions
First-time Homebuyer’s Amount
First-time donation Super Credit

RRSP Contributions*

*RRSP Contributions require some forethought. There has to be room in your contribution limit (you can find this information online with your CRA account, OR on your latest Tax Assessment).

Also, you can contribute to RRSPs within the first 3 months of the year and apply the credits to your previous years’ tax return. RRSP contributions are credited at the highest tax bracket possible, since they are literally coming off the top of your income. It is quite possible to generate a sizeable tax return by making your contributions just before you file your taxes. Money in the bank AND in your pocket!

You can also deduct any expenses that you are required to spend in the pursuit of your income: driving expenses for drivers, home office expenses, travel expenses, etc etc.

Be sure to keep the receipts for any of these expenses! They are as good as gold come tax time.


Beware The Financial Industry

Creditors prey on low-income earners with high interest rates and steep late payment penalties.

Pay-day loan companies are legally allowed to charge interest rates of 546% per year.

Investment companies churn through applicants looking for “salesmen to become financial consultants.”

The credit score companies, Transunion and Equifax charge a fee to disclose your own credit score!

Financial advisors and consultants charge between $250-$500 per hour or package rates of up to $3000-$5000 per client to manage their investments for them.

The industry isn’t interested in helping anyone. They hide their fees in confusing numbers and push their “products” like used cars. The industry is designed to bleed the unwary customer dry.

We have a different philosophy:

  • we market education and life skills
  • services tailored to the individual
  • flexible and accessible
  • realistic fees
  • no sales culture

We teach the best way to manage money and live free of financial predators.


Why do we Overspend?

The simplest explanation for overspending is the biochemical reward from our brain whenever we receive something we want. It’s the reason we do most things, really.

Getting stuff feels good. Ever heard the expression, “retail therapy?”

It works, too. Ice-cream, chocolate, toys, cars and jewelry can all produce a profound biochemical reaction. What’s worse, they create a reward-system of behavior. Doing things that feel good is natural, hence, the behavior of overspending, even though we probably should know better.

Fortunately, humans have evolved the pre-frontal cortex specifically to moderate unchecked emotions. The “executive center” of the brain. We can consciously decide what impulses we want to respond to. We call this self-control.

The average human doesn’t reach full developmental maturity until the approximate age of 26. Which is why unscrupulous marketers target younger audiences. But even most adults can be swayed if the prize is shiny enough.

Knowing this about ourselves can help us make better choices in general. Rational decision making is aided by access to unbiased information. The single best tool you can have at your disposal is the financial spreadsheet.

The Cash Dash is the perfect tool for limiting overspending.