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Last-minute tax tips

Vancouver Sun

Published: Tuesday, April 29, 2008

- Remember to claim the transit pass tax credit on your 2007 personal tax return. You may also be able to claim the credit for monthly passes used by your spouse or child under 19.

- If you are employed, claim the employment tax credit on up to $1,000 on your 2007 tax return to help cover your work-related expenses. The credit is worth up to $150 in tax savings.

- If you or your spouse or common-law partner carried on a business in 2007 (other than a business whose expenditures are primarily in connection with a tax shelter), you have until midnight on June 16 to file your 2007 return. You still have to pay any balance owing by April 30.

- If you have any children under the age of 18 at the end of 2007, you can claim the new, non-refundable Child Tax Credit based on the amount of $2,000 for each eligible child. In 2007, the credit is worth about $300 per child.

- If you have qualifying child-care expenses, you may be able to deduct $7,000 for each child under seven and $4,000 for each child aged seven to 16.

- If you have a child under the age of 16 enrolled in an eligible fitness program, starting in 2007, you may be able to claim up to $500 of related expenses under a non-refundable children's fitness tax credit.

- If you earn income eligible for the pension income tax credit, starting in 2007, you and your spouse or common-law partner may be able to reduce your overall tax bill through a new pension income-splitting measure.

- If you're married, don't claim charitable donations separately -- combine them and claim them on the higher-income spouse's return. If you donated public company shares to a charity in 2007, you will not have to pay tax on any capital gain on the shares.

- If you started working at a new location of employment or started a new business in 2007 and you moved to a home that is 40 km closer to your new work location than your old home was, you may be able to deduct many of your moving expenses, providing that the expenses were not reimbursed by your employer.

- If your family has medical expenses totalling more than three per cent of your net income (or more than $1,926 if your net income is over $64,200), you may be able to claim a federal tax credit for all qualifying expenses above the threshold.

- No money? File your return on time even if you can't pay the balance owing. If you can't file your return on time but you know you owe taxes, making a payment by April 30 will help reduce late-filing penalties.