Expert Blog

Ten tax deductions you probably don’t know about

Posted April 4th 2014

light bulbsTax filing isn’t intuitive. Since the average person may not be super-knowledgeable about tax policies, there is always the chance of missing a credit or deduction, and then paying more tax than you should. Here are 10 deductions you probably don’t know about that could help your return:

Travel medical insurance: Planning a trip outside the country? If you purchase travel medical insurance it is considered a medical expense for tax purposes. However, trip cancellation or interruption insurance does not qualify.

Stock trade costs: If you trade stocks on your own, the cost of trades can be claimed as a deduction when you’re calculating your capital gains or losses.

Hearing aid batteries: If you’re purchasing batteries for your hearing aids, you can claim the batteries as a medical expense. Make sure you get a receipt.

Employer healthcare premiums: Premiums paid for an employer healthcare plan can be claimed them as a medical expense.

Children’s Arts Tax Credit: If your child has a tutor, those costs qualify for this credit. If you’ve enrolled your child in language lessons or music lessons, the activities may qualify for the Children’s Arts Tax Credit.

Public transit: If you purchase monthly or annual transit passes, the cost of these passes qualify for a credit regardless of why you are using the transit system. One-trip tickets cannot be claimed.

Sandwich generation: If you provide care for an elderly parent who resides in your home, you may be able to claim the caregiver amount depending on the parent’s income and age.

Healthcare deductibles: If your healthcare plan requires that you pay a deductible on your prescriptions or dental bills, that amount is considered a medical expense.

Safety deposit boxes: If you have investments, this is considered an expense and it can be claimed. Strictly speaking, the deduction is only allowed if the box is used to store items related to the income-producing process, such as Canada Savings Bonds or share certificates. And unfortunately, this is the last year this deduction will be allowed.

Vehicle expenses: If you drive your personal vehicle for work but do not receive substantial reimbursement from your employer to cover your auto expenses, you can make a claim. However, you have to report the reimbursement that you do receive from your employer as income. You can then claim a percentage of your insurance, registration, gas and car payments based on how many kilometers you drive for work.

You work hard for your money, so when it comes to getting a tax refund, every dollar counts. Ensure you’re maximizing the money you get back by claiming every credit or deduction available to you.

 

H&R Block offers a variety of tax services – for students, seniors, and everyone in-between! Whether you would like one of our tax professionals to prepare your taxes, or if you would prefer to file them on your own, HRB has a solution for you.

 

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