Personal Tax Returns: Common Mistakes

Personal Tax Returns: Common Mistakes

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has provided a detailed list of the most common mistakes found with personal tax returns. Understanding these common errors will help you save time and money in the long run.

The common mistakes as noted by the CRA are:

Moving Expenses

  • Costs associated with home staging, job and house hunting, renovations, mail forwarding, storage costs (near former residence), and short­-term accommodation are all expenses that are not eligible to be claimed.
  • Receipt issues, such as date of receipt being inconsistent with date of move, or the receipt specifying payment occurred at a later date, but contains no proof of later payment.

Student Loans

  • Non­-eligible interest cannot be claimed. Interest is only eligible to be claimed on loans received under a federal or provincial/territorial government law. Interest paid on personal loans, student lines of credit, or foreign student loans is not an eligible deduction.
  • Only official receipts with the taxpayer’s name are eligible for claim. Tuition, Education and Textbooks
  • Only official receipts with the course name appearing on the receipt are eligible for claim. Invoices do not replace an official receipt.
  • Part­-time months cannot be claimed as full-­time months – and vice versa.
  • Attending an educational institution not recognized by the CRA.

Medical Expenses

  • Common expenses that cannot be claimed are:
    • Vitamins, natural supplements, and over­-the­-counter medication,
    • Medical supplies, such as bandages, shoe inserts, etc.,
    • Non­medical furniture such as recliners and non­-hospital beds; and
    • Cosmetic procedures.

Public Transit

  • The copy of the transit pass must be complete. It cannot have your name missing or an illegible signature.
  • Electronic payment cards must meet the minimum 32 one­-way trip requirement in a 31 day period.

To ensure that any of the mistakes above are not being made, consult with your accountant if you have any questions regarding your personal tax return.

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