Make sure you file your tax return on time if you have a balance due, even if you cannot pay them right away. By doing so, you will at least avoid the late filing penalty. This is currently calculated as five percent of your balance due, plus one percent per month for a maximum of 12 months.
If you turn 19 before April 1, 2020, make sure you file a 2018 income tax return in order to receive the GST/HST credit. You will get at least one GST/HST Credit cheque for the payment dates following your birthday. For example, if you turn 19 in March 2020, you will receive the last quarterly payment for the July 2019 to June 2020 benefit period, which is paid in April 2020.
Contributions to a political party get a bigger tax credit than contributions to charities. In fact, for federal political contributions you get a credit of 75% on your first $400 contributed. If you are contributing to a political party or candidate in this year’s election, make sure to keep your receipts for political contributions separate from your charitable receipts.
Old charitable donation receipts that you forgot to claim in previous years should not be thrown away. Charitable donation receipts are good for five years after the year in which the donation was made.
If you are a resident of Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba or Saskatchewan, you will begin paying the federal carbon tax on April 1, 2019. That is the bad news. The good news is that the government is refunding you what you will have to pay upfront in the form of the Climate Action Incentive. This is a refundable tax credit which you can only get by filing an income tax return.