The proposed Dutch Meadows residential development on the west side of Morrisburg is the largest residential development in the 18 year history of South Dundas. The development fills a need in South Dundas for condominiums […]
I am firm believer that some of our government’s proudest accomplishments have been providing financial support and tax relief to Canadian seniors who have built our great country.
Whether it has been actions like pension splitting for seniors or increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement, millions of seniors across Canada have seen a lower pension burden and more support from our government.
Another key demographic of our country’s success is ensuring the strength and financial viability of Canadian families. And I’m really proud of our government’s recent announcement of a package of tax cuts and increased benefits to make life more affordable for Canadian families.
Here’s how families can put more money in their pockets in 2015:
1. The Family Tax Cut
The new Family Tax Cut can lower a family’s overall tax bill by allowing a spouse to effectively transfer up to $50,000 of taxable income to a spouse in a lower tax bracket for federal tax purposes, providing tax relief up to a maximum of $2,000.
This measure is aimed at couples with children under the age of 18, where one spouse is in a higher income tax bracket than the other.
For example, if one spouse earns $75,000 per year and the other earns $15,000, the higher- income earner could effectively transfer $30,000 to the lower-income spouse for federal tax purposes.
This would reduce the amount of tax the couple pays by bringing the higher-income spouse into the lowest income tax bracket, resulting in the maximum tax savings of $2,000.
Couples can claim the Family Tax Cut on their 2014 tax returns. To benefit, each spouse must file a tax return, and either spouse may claim the credit.
2. The Universal Child Care Benefit
As part of its family-friendly measures, the Government is also proposing to enhance the Universal Child Care Benefit.
Parents with children under the age of 6 would receive $160 per month, up from $100.
In addition, parents with children aged 6 through 17 would receive $60 per month.
These changes will take effect on January 1, 2015 and be reflected in monthly payments to recipients beginning in July 2015, pending approval of the necessary legislation. The July 2015 payments would include six months of benefits to cover the January to June 2015 period.
Parents already receiving payments for children under the age of 6 will automatically receive higher monthly benefits, starting in July 2015.
The July 2015 payment will include up to six months of benefits to cover the January to June 2015 period.
Parents eligible for the new benefit, for children aged 6 through 17 will begin receiving $60 per month for each eligible child, starting in July 2015. The July 2015 payment will include six months of benefits to cover the January to June 2015 period.
How do parents qualify? By completing the Canada Child Benefits Application form. Parents who have already completed this form to access other child-related benefits do not have to resubmit the form unless their family situation has changed.
3. The Child Care Expense Deduction
Parents incurring child care expenses to go to work or school can deduct child care expenses from their income when filing their tax returns.
Starting in the 2015 taxation year, the Government has proposed that the maximum dollar amount that can be claimed each year increase by $1,000. The new maximum dollar limits would be:
• $8,000 per child under age 7;
• $5,000 per child aged 7 to 16 (and for infirm dependent children over age 16); and
• $11,000 for children who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.
4. The Children’s Fitness Tax Credit
If parents have kids enrolled in sports, they can now claim expenses of up to $1,000 per year for each eligible child. That’s double what they could have claimed previously.
Parents can take advantage of the new $1,000 limit when they file their tax returns for 2014.
Starting in 2015, the credit will become refundable, which means that families with incomes too low to be taxable will also benefit when they file their 2015 tax returns.
Our government understands the importance of strong Canadian families. If constituents would like more information, my staff and I are available to assist you at 1-888-805-2513 or email@example.com.
Where did summer go?
The last time I wrote for this column the kids were just done school, Canada Day celebrations were upon us, the weather was warm, vacation plans were being made, the garden was growing, swimming lessons were at hand. “Summertime and the livin’ is easy…”
And here it is September.
And part of me is looking forward to a more structured routine. We are creatures of habit and while it is good to get away and take a break we generally like some order and routine to life, crazy as it often is.
And I am getting back to a more regular routine even though part of me is still up at the lake. It was wonderful to sit out under the stars, hear the haunting call of the loons, the sound of the water and waves sweeping into the shore.
There in the relaxed, quiet times there is no problem finding God in my life. In nature, in my family, in the wonderful, surprising daily blessings of life God is there.
Oh that it was as simple to find God in my life when all the craziness of life runs full speed again beginning in September. Definitely something I need to work on.
Maybe I need to schedule in some more intentional quiet times, leave everything else behind so God has a chance to find me. And maybe that’s the more important thing here.
Not so much where is God in my life, but turn it around, where am I in God’s life. Oh I know that’s not good theology. It’s not all about me and should be all about God. But, I wonder…
Where am I in God’s life ?
It seems to me that the Scriptures plainly show that God has a place for us in His life. Always has. The record of the Bible is virtually a one chorus song with God reaching out, making room, inviting us into His life, His love, His plan and His purpose. Isn’t that what Jesus was all and is all about ?
God wants to be a part of our lives but more importantly God has a place in His life for us, for you, for me.
And seeing it from that perspective helps me to find room in my life for God.
Where is God in my life, in your life? Where am I, where are you in God’s life.
Something to think about.