Ernst & Young's recipe for tax savings

A baker's dozen of our top tax tips for 2010

TORONTO, April 7 /CNW/ - Ernst & Young is serving up practical tips to help save you money this tax season.

    
    1.  Rewarding renovations. If you undertook any home renovations,
        remember the one-time home renovation tax credit. Projects undertaken
        between January 27, 2009, and January 31, 2010, are eligible for the
        credit, up to a maximum of $1,350.

    2.  Home, sweet home. If you bought your first home after January 27,
        2009, you are entitled to a $750 credit.

    3.  Turn your losses into gains. Capital losses can be applied against
        capital gains. Your net capital losses for 2009 can be carried back
        three years and applied to net gains in any year from 2006 to 2008.
        If you incurred business investment losses, you can claim them
        against any income in the year, not just capital gains. And if you
        have net capital losses from prior years, you can apply them to
        reduce taxable capital gains realized in 2009.

    4.  Share the love... and your income. If you received eligible pension
        income in 2009, up to 50% can be reported in your spouse's or
        common-law partner's tax return.

    5.  Helping others pays off. If you gave to charity in 2009, you need to
        look into the federal tax credit for donations. This will help you
        decide if you should accumulate donations made over a few years or
        claim at once for the higher-rate credit. If you've donated stocks,
        bonds or mutual funds, additional tax benefits exist.

    6.  Sometimes less means more. You should claim all the family's medical
        expenses in the lower-income spouse's return. But remember - the
        individual who is making the claim should have sufficient income to
        absorb the entire credit. Dependent relatives' expenses can sometimes
        be included.

    7.  Keeping it in the family. From child tax credits for children under
        18 to an adoption expense credit or the child fitness credit - your
        family could be eligible for a host of tax reductions. Make sure you
        look into the possibilities.

    8.  Who's the boss? If self-employed, you can claim a number of business-
        related expenses and reduce the tax you pay. Car and parking
        expenses, business association fees, convention costs and home office
        expenses, salaries paid to assistants including family members: the
        list is long. Exhaust all possibilities.

    9.  Check your files - twice. Some old receipts may still have value in
        your 2009 return. Receipts for charitable donations and medical
        expense receipts could be of particular interest.

    10. Moving on up? If you moved in 2009 to start a new job, business or
        post-secondary education, you may be able to claim certain expenses
        from the cost of moving to travel costs, including meals and lodging
        while en route.

    11. Don't forget the kids. Filing tax returns for children who had part-
        time jobs or have been paid for various small jobs (lawn care,
        babysitting) establishes contribution room for RRSPs (contributions
        can be made in any future year). Filing returns for older teens can
        also mean a refundable tax credit or GST credit.

    12. Do you have any carry-forward balances? Check your prior year return
        and Notice of Assessment to see if you have any carry-forward
        balances that may be used as deductions or credits for 2009.

    13. Go high tech. Using income-tax software to prepare your tax return
        has many benefits. Return preparation is generally quicker, easier
        and less open to mechanical errors. Remember, even if you file
        electronically, keep your receipts.
    

Ernst & Young's Guide to Preparing 2009 Personal Tax Returns offers more detail on these suggestions and ideas. Of course, it doesn't hurt to get started on 2010 tax savings now. Look into how you can take advantage of a tax-free savings account this year. RRSPs are also a great way to optimize tax-deferred investment income.

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 144,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

For more information, please visit ey.com/ca.

Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients.

The Ernst & Young organization is divided into five geographic areas and firms may be members of the following entities: Ernst & Young Americas LLC, Ernst & Young EMEIA Limited, Ernst & Young Far East Area Limited and Ernst & Young Oceania Limited. These entities do not provide services to clients.

SOURCE EY (Ernst & Young)

For further information: For further information: Samantha Goldsilver, samantha.goldsilver@ca.ey.com, (416) 943-3458; Brooke Morris, brooke.morris@ca.ey.com, (604) 899-3597; Marie-Ève Graniero, marie-eve.graniero@ca.ey.com, (514) 874-4313


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