Household debt is at an all-time high, inflation is on the rise, and budgets are being stretched thinner and thinner. You need to use every dollar you have, so don’t donate to the government. We’re not talking about writing a charitable cheque to the Canada Revenue Agency; we’re talking about leaving money on the table in the form of unused tax credits. Some reports show that the government eats up more than 40 per cent of your income, and it’s time to claw some of that back.
“A penny saved is a penny earned,” says Jeff Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada. “The same is true for every dollar you add to your tax refund. These are valuable savings that can go toward paying down debt or growing your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).”
Schwartz says his team of trained credit counsellors encourages Canadians to take more of an active role in their financial well-being.
“All too often, Canadians practice a ‘hands-off’ approach to personal finance, and we miss out on valuable opportunities,” says Schwartz. “You work long hours to earn your pay cheque; why not do everything you can to keep it?”
If you read our tax preparation article, you have all the necessary receipts and documents ready to file your taxes (and hopefully you are getting a slow and steady head start on next year’s taxes as well). Now that it’s almost time to file, here are a few key tax credits that you do not want to forget about:
- Interest paid on your student loans – Mention student loans around recent grads, and you can count the groans. Follow that up by informing them of the silver financial lining: you can claim the interest paid on government student loans. And tell them to keep that chin up – odds are, the investment they made in themselves will pay off in the long run.
- Moving expenses – If you moved to work or run a business at a new location, you can claim items from a long list of eligible moving expenses. Remember, you must file your taxes according to the province you were residing on December 31 of the previous year – and be aware that the provinces have different tax rates.
Make use of the available tax credits and maximize your potential tax refund. If it seems impossible to take control of your finances because you are drowning in debt, it’s time to call 1-888-294-3130 to speak to a trained credit counsellor for free advice on how you can get back in charge. You can also get the ball rolling by using our Free Debt Analysis online.