Get Set for Taxes

This year, before you file your taxes, make sure that you're taking full advantage of all the deductions that you can.

Most of us are familiar with the tax savings that are available to us when we make contributions to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). Each year we are allowed to make a contribution to our RRSP that is roughly equivalent to 18% of our yearly income.

One of nice things about the RRSP contribution is that you can carry amounts forward from previous years. So, let's say that you didn't make a full contribution in 2011, but in 2012 you had some extra income, you can make your full RRSP contribution for 2012 plus the difference from the year before.

An RRSP is a great way for Canadians to help reduce the amount of income tax they pay each year. Depending on your total income and the amount of your RRSP contribution, you may even see a refund on your income tax statement.

Besides your RRSP contributions, there are several other deductions that may be available to you and your household. Taking advantage of them can mean some extra savings that you can use for other things. Here are a few deductions that you may not be aware of.

Child care expenses: If you have a child under 16 years old and you've paid child care expenses so that you could go to work or attend school, you may be eligible for a child care tax deduction.

Sports and arts activities for children: There are children's programs and activities that are eligible for tax credits.

Typically the program administrator should be aware if their program qualifies – it doesn't hurt to ask. Here are some general guidelines for eligible programs:

  • Program must be at least eight weeks consecutive or five days long.
  • At least half of the activity must involve significant physical or artistic activity.
  • Sports must build muscular strength, endurance, flexibility or balance.
  • Arts must focus on literary, visual, or performing arts, music or language.

Medical expenses: You can claim non-refundable tax credits for medical expenses. Non-reimbursed medical expenses can be claimed, including prescription medication, dental surgery that's not covered by insurance, or laser eye surgery.

Moving expenses: If you had to move at least 40 km to be closer to a new job, run your business or attend school then you're likely eligible to deduct moving expenses. These expenses include transportation, storage costs, reasonable costs for meals and accommodations, and costs related to changing your address, such as replacing your driver's licence and connecting or disconnecting utilities.

Most of us assume that many of the years expenses just aren't eligible, but it can really pay off to make sure that you are claiming every eligible expense that you are entitled too. As the saying goes, "a penny saved is a penny earned."

Morning Super Smoothie

Are your mornings too hectic to sit down and enjoy breakfast? This is the reality
for many of us, but we still shouldn't miss out on the most important meal of
the day. Getting some nutrition into your body to start the day has many
benefits: balanced blood sugar levels, increased energy and mental
awareness, just to mention a few.

Even if you find your mornings busy and rushed, you can probably
find a few minutes to put some ingredients in a blender and take
your breakfast to go.

Super C Orange Smoothie

    1 navel orange, peeled

    1/4 cup fat-free yogurt

    2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate

    1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

    4 ice cubes
Blend until smooth, then enjoy.

Over the next few issues we'll share with you some
great smoothie recipes. Enjoy!

Stress Reducer

“I was trying to come up with some extra
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explains. “I found dealing with Richard very
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Every month, Capital Direct helps Canadians just like
you to realize their dreams. What about you? Your home
equity is something you've worked hard to build, so
why not 'let your house lend a hand' © when you need
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to discover your options.

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and I now have the extra cash to do some things with.”

February Sudoku

5   7
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Capital Direct's Eco-friendly Calculator

Do you know how large your home’s eco-footprint is? Under the ecoEnergy Retrofit program, homeowners can take advantage of available grants when improving the energy efficiency of their home. Not only will you be reducing your home's energy consumption but you can receive money back through available grants.

Visit Capital Direct's Eco-friendly Calculator online at, Calculate the environmental impact of your household and find out ways of reducing it, then give us a call to learn how we can help you apply for available retrofit grants.

Request our new booklet: Borrowing for Success

How to Borrow What You Need to Succeed Guide

Learn how you can use your home equity to your greatest advantage.
To receive your FREE copy of this informative new booklet, email us at [email protected] with the subject line: “New Guide Request”. Please include your full name and postal address, and we'll send you a copy via Canada Post.

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