Tax Tip: Top Things Families Should Know About Taxes

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OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire -03/08/12)- The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has a number of benefits, credits, and services to help families meet their financial obligations throughout the year, reduce the amount that they owe at tax time, and provide them with convenient online options.

Important facts

The following tips may help you or your family:

- Child benefit amounts: Use our online benefit calculator to find out if you qualify for these benefits.

- Working income tax benefit (WITB): Working individuals and families with low income may be able to claim this refundable tax credit. The WITB includes a supplement for individuals who qualify for the disability tax credit. Eligible individuals and families may also apply for advance payments.

- Children's fitness tax credit: Did your children play soccer, take ballet classes, or participate in another prescribed program of physical activity in 2011? If so, you can claim up to $500 of the money spent on these activities per child for a non-refundable tax credit of up to $75.

- Children's arts tax credit: Did your children participate in a prescribed program of artistic, cultural, recreational, or developmental activity in 2011? If so, you may be able to claim up to $500 of the money spent on these activities per child for a non-refundable tax credit of up to $75.

- Child care expenses: Did your children attend daycare or another program such as a summer day camp in 2011? You or your spouse or common-law partner may be able to claim the amounts spent on eligible childcare in 2011.

- Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit: Apply for this quarterly payment for low- and modest-income individuals and families on your income tax and benefit return.

- Public transit tax credit: If you or your eligible dependant use public transit and have bought certain transit passes or electronic payment cards, you may be able to claim this non-refundable tax credit.

- Home buyer's tax credit: Did you buy a home in 2011? You may be able to claim a non-refundable tax credit of up to $750 for the purchase of a qualifying home.

- Medical expenses: You may be able to claim a non-refundable tax credit based on the medical expenses paid for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner, or your children for any 12-month period ending in 2011.

- Child disability benefit: a tax-free monthly benefit to help eligible families who care for children under the age of 18 who qualify for the disability tax credit.

- Canada child tax benefit: a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under the age of 18.

- Universal child care benefit: a $100 monthly taxable benefit for eligible families of all children under the age of six, to help support child care choices.

- Disability tax credit: If you or a family member has a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions and meet certain conditions, you may be able to claim this non-refundable tax credit on your 2011 income tax return.

- Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP): If you saved for your retirement in 2011 by investing in RRSPs, you may be able to deduct your RRSP contributions to reduce your tax.

- Safe and secure electronic services: Family life is busy. File your return on your own schedule using NETFILE, access your CRA account anytime using My Account, sign up for direct deposit, and more. Electronic transactions mean faster refunds!

Stay connected

To receive updates when new information is added to our Web site, you can:

- Follow the CRA on Twitter - @CanRevAgency

- Subscribe to a CRA electronic mailing list.

- Add our RSS feeds to your feed reader.

You can also visit our YouTube Channel for tax-related videos.

Contact:

Noel Carisse
Media Relations
Canada Revenue Agency
613-952-9184

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