Nobody wants to leave money on the table at tax time. With a bit of knowledge and planning, you can ensure that you’re receiving the highest refund you’re due. Let’s review the top 3 tips to boost your tax refund.
1. Organize your paperwork
The simplest way to make sure you’re claiming all of your credits is to get organized before you start.
- Ask for a printout for the full year from your dentist or pharmacy. It may take a day or two to receive the paperwork, but you’ll be sure you’re claiming ALL of your medical expenses.
- Dig out last year’s return. Sometimes, a quick review of what you claimed last year will jog your memory as to what you’ll need this year.
If you’re married or living common-law, some credits and deductions can be claimed by either spouse. These include:
- Medical expenses
- The Canada Caregiver Amount
- Charitable donations
- Moving expenses
- The Home Buyers’ Amount
- Adoption expenses
- Tuition transferred from a child
In most cases, assigning these amounts to the higher earning spouse will result in a higher refund overall for the couple. Each couple’s tax situation is different, so try assigning the amounts to one spouse first, then to the other spouse to see which way gives you the most benefit overall.
Other amounts are transferable to your spouse if you cannot fully use the amounts. For example, if your spouse’s income is too low to make full use of the Age Amount credit, the leftover amount can be transferred to you!
3. Use Auto-fill My Return
If you’ve ever made a typo when entering your tax info, you know how much a misplaced decimal can affect your bottom-line. With the Canada Revenue Agency’s Auto-fill My Return (AFR) service, your T slips (including your T4 from work) will be imported right into the proper spots of your return. And T slips are just the tip of the AFR iceberg. You’ll also be able to import:
- RRSP contributions
- Unused tuition, education & textbook amounts
- Home Buyers’ Plan and Lifelong Learning Plan balances and amounts due
- Losses from previous years
To use AFR, you just need to have a CRA My Account and use tax preparation software, like TurboTax.
In addition to helping you access Auto-Fill My Return, using TurboTax can help you save time and money by automatically searching through more than 400 credits to ensure you take advantage of all the ones that apply to you. It also does all of the calculations for you, while also staying up to date on all the tax laws, so you don’t have to! Plus, it’s backed by our Maximum Refund Guarantee, so you can be confident that you’re getting your biggest refund.
About Jennifer Gorman:
Jennifer is a tax expert and leads TurboTax’s social customer support team. With more than 20 years of tax preparation experience, she enjoys holding yearly seminars in her hometown in Newfoundland to teach seniors and students how to use TurboTax to prepare their own returns.