MP Report by Jay Hill, M.P.
“Helping You Pay Less Tax”
This is the time of year when many of us begin to think about filing our income tax returns. By law, all employers must issue their employees’ T4 slips by the last day of February, so you should have received your T4 over the past few weeks.
Believe it or not, many Canadians still don’t claim all that they are entitled to when filling out their income tax return. Are you paying more than you need to? This year when it comes time for you to complete your income tax return, take a closer look. You may be in for a pleasant surprise.
Here are just some of the ways you can take advantage of tax savings on your 2008 return:
Basic Personal Amount
The income tax system includes personal credits to allow individuals to receive a basic amount of tax-free income. For 2008, the basic amount that all Canadians can earn without paying federal income tax is $9,600. 
Children’s Fitness Tax Credit
This non-refundable tax credit is available on eligible amounts of up to $500 paid by parents in 2008 to register a child under 16 years of age in an eligible program of physical activity.
Working Income Tax Benefit
This refundable tax credit provides tax relief for eligible working low-income individuals and families who are already in the workforce as well as to encourage other Canadians to enter the workforce.
Medical Expense Tax Credit
You can claim eligible medical expenses paid for by you or your spouse or common-law partner in any 12-month period ending in 2008 and not claimed in 2007.
Tradesperson Deduction for Tools
This deduction provides employed tradespersons with an annual deduction of up to $500 to help cover the cost of new tools necessary to their trade.
Education Amounts
You can claim this amount for each whole or part month in 2008 in which you were enrolled in a qualifying educational program. If you were under 16 at the end of the year, you can claim this credit only for courses you took at the post-secondary level.
Age Tax Credit for Seniors
The age credit is targeted to low and middle income Canadians aged 65 or older on December 31, 2008. In increasing the amount that an individual can claim, more middle income seniors are eligible for a portion of the credit. For 2008, if your net income was less than $66,697, you can claim all or a portion of the age amount of $5,276.
Caregiver Amount
If you live with a relative who is dependent on you because of a physical or mental illness, or if a parent or grandparent was born in 1943 or earlier, you may qualify to claim a maximum amount of $4,095.
Remember, income tax returns should be filed by April 30, 2009 to avoid delays in any benefit payments.
For more information regarding your 2008 income tax return and how you can take full advantage of the tax savings you have earned, visit