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2013 Tax Tips and TurboTax Canada giveaway

Thanks to the great folks at TurboTax, I have six (6) codes to use with their TurboTax online system this year.  I don’t need all of these codes, so maybe you want one?

In a few days I’ll be giving away all these codes to a few lucky readers so make sure you enter here.

I’ll draw the winners at random and if you’re a lucky winner I will email you.  Make sure you enter a valid email address.   You’ll have 48 hours to respond to my email and if you don’t, I’ll draw another name.

While this giveaway is on I thought I’d share a few more tax tips for 2013:

Had a side business in 2013?

Don’t forget if you were self-employed or had a small business you can take advantage of many tax deductions.  Here are just a few to consider:

  • Claim business-related meals and travel.
  • Claim mortgage interest or rent.
  • Claim property taxes.
  • Claim heat, hydro and utility bills.
  • Claim office supplies and your new laptop.

You can find more information from the Canada Revenue Agency here.

Did you move in 2013?

Don’t forget if you moved a specified distance and then some in 2013, you can include a whole bunch of tax deductions.

Receiving pension income in 2013?

Don’t forget about pension income splitting to reduce your tax burden.  Read more here.

Are you a first-time donor to a charitable donation in 2013?

Starting this year, there is a supplement to the charitable donation tax credit (CDTC), which effectively adds 25% to the rates used in the calculation of the CDTC for up to $1,000 of monetary donations. “As a result, a first-time donor will be allowed a 40% federal credit for donations of $200 or less, and a 54% federal credit for the portion of donations over $200 but not exceeding $1,000.”  Read more here.

Looking for a tax-free shelter?

Don’t forget about the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA).  The contribution limit to this account was $5,500 for the 2013 year and recently $5,500 for this year.  This makes the TFSA contribution room for this account since inception $31,000 per person.  Read more about the TFSA from CRA here.

Looking for a tax-deferred shelter?

Don’t forget about the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).   The maximum RRSP deduction limit for the 2013 year is $23,820.  However, if you did not use the full RRSP deduction limit over the last couple of decades, by carrying forward unused deductions, your deduction limit could be more than $23,820.  Read more about the RRSP from CRA here.

Were you a student in 2013?

Tuition fees for students enrolled on a full- or part-time post-secondary basis in Canada and, in some cases outside Canada are eligible for tax credits.  For the education amount, you can claim a credit for every month you were enrolled.  You can also claim a credit for your textbooks if you qualify.  Read more here.

Don’t leave money on the table!   Learn about all the tax deductions and credits available to you using TurboTax this year.

Do you have any tax tips to share with me?  What are some claims and deductions others should know about?

Filed in: Giveaways, Taxes

10 Responses to "2013 Tax Tips and TurboTax Canada giveaway"

  1. Tall_Gal_in_Toronto says:

    Great tips! Question; If one has a rental property or two, can you claim the expenses for your home office to do the following: find and screen renters (using your office, phone, internet and computer), prepare and print leases, keep records, etc.

    Thanks

    • Mark says:

      My understanding of tax law, and I’m not a tax accountant or tax lawyer, is that rental income is not considered a business, it is rental income.

      Rental income is treated differently than a business or self-employment or home office business.

      I suspect there is a “it depends” factor here, how much time you’re taking to do bookkeeping, etc. but I suspect you would need to demonstrate that to CRA and justify it’s significant. You would likely run the risk of an audit if you do this. This is why there are separate tax guidances for small business or self-employed vs. rental income. Again, just my take.

  2. I love TurboTax but I’m still dragging my feet getting started this year. If only there were some tips to keep me from procrastinating then I’d be in good shape.

  3. I need to look into it more, but I thought you could only claim a portion of heat, hydro and property taxes for a home office. I am partially self employed (on my blogs, online, etc) but I don’t know if that counts.

    • Mark says:

      Yes Daisy, you can only claim a portion of those things for your home office. It’s a %tage of your house that is used for your home business. Blogs definitely count for a home business or self-employed.

  4. Helen_in_Toronto says:

    To Mark: Thank you for the explanation. I was having self doubts that perhaps I was missing some tax deductions. One can claim direct expenses; e.g.. a package of printer paper, postage stamps, all expenses to fix things at the property, etc. .
    To Daisy: The most important fact is are you deriving an income (of any amount) from your
    online activity? If so, then you can claim expenses against that income.

    • Mark says:

      No sweat Helen. You can always follow-up with a CRA pro, but I’m fairly confident rental income is not treated the same as (small) business income. At least it wasn’t when I filed taxes, since I’ve had both.

      Thanks for your comments!

  5. Tall_Gal_in_Toronto says:

    To Mark: Your comment makes sense. I was having self-doubts. Thank you.
    To Daisy: You must actually earn money (income) from your blogs. I mention this because some people just blog for fun, not income. And, you can’t run a business that is all expenses (tax deductions) and not show any earned income. The tax people don’t like that.

    • Mark says:

      No worries!

      Yes, for Daisy and I running blogs, there is income (which is good) so expenses like home office can be offset against that. Looks like I made a small profit this year on the site, which is nice. Hopefully that continues.

  1. […] Anybody need a free copy of TurboTax? Mark from My Own Advisor gives us 2013 Tax Tips and TurboTax Canada giveaway. […]

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