Taxes will be top of mind for Canadians this month as the deadline of May 2 approaches.
That's the last day to file your income taxes without a penalty. The deadline is later this year with the usual Tax Day, April 30, falling on a weekend.
Estevan MNP Senior Manager Jay Vanstone says there are a couple of new things to keep in mind this year as you prepare to file.
"The first one is the Saskatchewan Home Renovation Tax Credit. This is a new credit that is available this year to individuals who have home reno costs that they've been incurred from October 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021," Vanstone said.
"The credit is given on any amount over a thousand dollars of home reno costs, up to a maximum of 12 thousand dollars."
Vanstone said the credit will be available again in 2022, up to a maximum of 10 thousand dollars.
There's also a change to the climate action incentive, which is normally paid to individuals on their personal tax return.
"That's not the case for 2021. It'll now be changed to a quarterly payment. So rather than it adding to your refund on your tax return, it'll be paid to you a few times through out the year," he said.
Vanstone said filing your taxes is relatively easy nowadays given the online programs available.
"It can be very, very simple because a lot of those tax programs will allow you to automatically import some of that data from CRA," he said. "Sometimes you may want to reach out to a tax proprietor company just to make sure you're claiming all of the deductions that you can and getting the most money back that you possibly could."
He adds that CRA online is always a good resource to use. And he says any local tax proprietor company, such as MNP or H&R Block, can likely answer your questions as well.
Vanstone says his company's main focus is to educate people on what they can and cannot claim, and that people are claiming the right things that they're eligible to claim.
"You know, if people are finished university, making sure that they're aware of the graduate retention programs if they're still living in Saskatchewan. Medical expenses...making sure that everything they're claiming is an eligible medical expense. Moving expenses...making sure what they're trying to deduct there is eligible," he said.
"So that if they ever are reviewed by CRA, CRA has no issues with the items being claimed."
Some trends that they often see include people claiming donations without a charitable donation receipt, and people trying to claim over the counter medications without doctor prescriptions. On the other side of the coin, people often don't claim the home office expense for self employment, which is eligible.
"It definitely does go both ways," Vanstone said.
Vanstone said it's a hard deadline of 11:59 p.m. on May 2 for each time zone across the country.
"The penalties are five per cent of the taxes owing in the year, and then it can be up to one per cent per month after that," he said. "If you've filed late more than once in a row, so if it's like your second time filing late, it can be up to 10 per cent of the taxes owing."