Struggling Canadians may be leaving money on the table



    
    Nearly three quarters of Canadians say they did not claim any new tax
    credits last year
    

    CALGARY, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - H&R Block is reminding Canadians that one way to
make ends meet in our troubled economy is to take advantage of new tax credits
this tax season. That advice follows the results of a recent poll conducted
for H&R Block that indicates nearly 75 per cent of Canadians did not take
advantage of any new tax credits on their 2007 tax return.
    The poll conducted by Angus Reid Strategies asked 1,010 Canadians if they
took advantage of any new tax credits last year, and if so, which ones. The
results show that only one-in-four people surveyed claimed any of the new tax
credits introduced for the 2007 tax year. Those new tax credits included the
Children's Fitness Credit, Child Tax Credit and Pension Income Splitting.
    "Last year, a number of tax credits and changes were introduced that
would benefit just about every Canadian taxpayer," says Cleo Hamel, Senior Tax
Analyst, H&R Block Canada. "But if you don't claim all the credits and
benefits you are entitled to, you are overpaying the government with your hard
earned money."

    Western Canadians more likely to claim new tax credits

    The poll showed considerable variance across Canada when it came to
claiming new tax credits. Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan (42 per cent)
were more likely to take advantage of new tax credits in 2007, while Quebec
(18 per cent) had the lowest proportion in the entire country.
    For taxpayers who did take advantage of the new tax credits on their 2007
tax return, 18 per cent said they claimed the Child Tax Credit. Pension Income
Splitting (16 per cent) and the Transit Pass Credit (15 per cent) were the
next most popular. The Children's Fitness Credit (14 per cent) and the Working
Income Tax Credit (11 per cent) were the other tax credits mentioned.
    "Not every Canadian will be able to claim the Child Tax Credit but there
are others like the Canada Employment Credit that had little awareness among
Canadian taxpayers," explains Hamel. "This credit is available to anyone with
employment income but only seven per cent of those surveyed said they claimed
the $1,000 non refundable credit."

    Age and Family Status major determining factors in tax credits claimed

    The results also showed that age was a major factor in which tax credits
were claimed, reflecting their life stage. Respondents 18 to 34 were more
likely to claim the Child Tax Credit (30 per cent) and the Transit Pass Credit
(24 per cent) while those aged 35 to 54 took advantage of the Children's
Fitness Credit (26 per cent). Pension income splitting was claimed by 48 per
cent of Canadians over age 55 who took advantage of the new tax credits in
2007.
    This Canadian public opinion poll was conducted online by Angus Reid
Strategies, from December 15 to December 16, 2008 and surveyed 1,010, randomly
selected adult Canadians. The margin of error for the total sample is +/-3.1%,
19 times out of 20.

    
    About H&R Block Canada
    ----------------------
    
    H&R Block Canada has been preparing taxes for more than 40 years and is
Canada's leading tax preparation firm. Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, the
company serves Canadian taxpayers in more than 1,100 offices across the
country. H&R Block Canada Inc. is a subsidiary of H&R Block, Inc., a
diversified company with subsidiaries providing a wide range of financial
products and services. Additional information about H&R Block Canada is
available at 1-800-HRBLOCK or visit www.hrblock.ca for more tax tips.





For further information:

For further information: Tina Quelch, Calador Communications, (416)
925-6034, tina@calador.ca


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