Children’s Arts Tax Credit
This new credit announced in the Federal budget allows for up to a $500 tax credit for registration for children under 16 years old who participate in non-physical activities such as music lessons or art classes. This, when combined with the Children’s Activity Tax Credit, now provides a combined credit of $1,000 per child.
Volunteer Fire Fighters
Volunteer Fire Fighters have long had a $1,000 income exemption. The credit for volunteer firefighters has been enhanced and qualifying taxpayers now have a choice. A taxpayer may now choose between the $1,000 income exemption or a new tax credit of $3,000 – whichever is to their best advantage.
In past years, the transfer of medical expenses from “Other Dependants” has been limited to $10,000. Effective for 2011 this ceiling has been eliminated for qualifying medical expenses. It is important to note that the ceiling remains in effect for individuals who qualify for the Disability Tax Credit and are claiming Attendant Care expenses. This restriction will most notably affect individuals who require attendant care, such as a nursing home.
Note that if the attendant care expenses exceed the limitation of the Disability Tax Credit and $10,000, it may be beneficial to NOT claim the Disability Tax Credit and claim 100% of the Attendant Care fees.
Healthy Homes Tax Credit
Unique to Ontario, the Healthy Homes Tax Credit is designed to allow seniors to remain in their homes by providing a tax credit up to $10,000 for renovations to their home that improves accessibility or allows a senior to be more functional or mobile at home.
This credit will be claimed on the 2012 personal tax return, however the qualifying period is October 1, 2011 through December 31, 2012.
Post Secondary Tuition
A slight change to qualifying tuition credits now allows for a tuition tax credit for fees incurred to write licensing or registration exams in order to work in your profession. In the past, examination fees were not qualifying expenditures. In addition, the 13-week course length requirement for overseas post-secondary education has been reduced to 3 weeks.
For a complete list of changes for 2011 see the Canada Revenue Agency site.