/R E P E A T -- April showers bring May cash flowers? Ernst & Young's top tax tips for 2009/



    TORONTO, March 31 /CNW/ - What do your kids, your new home and your
capital losses have in common? They're three of the ways you can save money
this tax season. Ernst & Young is offering practical tips that can help in
this turbulent economy.

    
    1.  Turn your losses into gains. Capital losses can be applied against
        capital gains. Your net capital losses for 2008 can be carried back
        three years and applied to net gains in any year from 2005 to 2007.
        If you incurred business investment losses, you can claim them
        against any income in the year, not just capital gains

    2.  Share the love... and your income. If you received eligible pension
        income in 2008, up to 50% can be reported in your spouse's or common-
        law partner's tax return.

    3.  Doing good in your community pays off. If you gave to charity in
        2008, 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 to claim at once for the higher-rate credit. If
        you've donated stocks, bonds or mutual funds, additional tax benefits
        exist.

    4.  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.

    5.  We are 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 refunds. Make sure you look into the
        possibilities.

    6.  Are you 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.

    7.  Check your files - twice. Some old receipts may still have value in
        your 2008 return. Receipts for charitable donations and medical
        expense receipts could be of particular interest.

    8.  On the move? If you moved in 2008 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.

    9.  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 teenagers can
        also mean a refundable tax credit, or GST credit for certain people.

    10. 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 2008.

    11. 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 2008 Personal Tax Returns offers more
detail on these suggestions and ideas. Of course, it doesn't hurt to get
started on 2009 tax savings now. Look into how you can take advantage of a
tax-free savings account this year. If you're renovating, be sure to save your
receipts. Anyone who spends $10,000 or more between January 28, 2009, and
January 31, 2010, is eligible for a credit of $1,350 against 2009 income
taxes.

    About Ernst & Young

    Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and
advisory services. Worldwide, our 135,000 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.




For further information:

For further information: Amanda Olliver, amanda.olliver@ca.ey.com, (416)
943-7121; Brooke McLachlan, brooke.mclachlan@ca.ey.com, (604) 899-3597


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