What Canadian seniors need to know about COVID-19 and their finances.
August 28, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone around the world. No matter your income, your age, or your family situation, there’s a lot of information to take in, and the information is changing all the time.
Don’t worry! H&R Block has done the legwork to help you keep up with everything you need to know as a senior, about how COVID-19 could impact you and your finances. If you’re looking for a specific benefit, you can use this list to navigate the article:
- Personal income tax considerations
- Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
- Reduction of RRIF Minimum Withdrawals
- Additional Provincial Measures
- How H&R Block Can Help
Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
Eligible Canadian seniors should have received a one-time, $300 tax-free payment for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, plus an additional $200 for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). The payments were provided automatically to all eligible recipients as of July 6th 2020.
For seniors who haven’t yet filed their 2019 taxes, GIS and Allowance payments will be temporarily extended to ensure that there is no interruption in payments until October. To avoid an interruption in benefits, we’d recommend you file your 2019 taxes as soon as possible, and no later than September 30th, 2020. Need help filing? Reach out to one of your local H&R Block tax experts today!
Reduction of RRIF Minimum Withdrawals
The minimum amount that seniors must withdraw from their Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) in 2020 has been reduced by 25%. Similar rules also apply to individuals receiving variable benefit payments under a registered pension plan (RPP) and a pooled registered pension plan (PRPP). Unfortunately, this reduction doesn’t apply to individual pension plans.
Additional Provincial Measures
Many Canadian provinces created additional financial assistance programs for seniors, to help them through this difficult time. We recommend you review your provincial government’s website to find out additional details that are relevant to you:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
How H&R Block Can Help
If you have any questions about the impact of these changes, or if you’re wanting to prepare and file your taxes for any tax year but aren’t sure where to start, H&R Block Tax Experts are here to help. As a matter of fact, H&R Block clients who filed their 2019 tax return and received a refund saw an average refund increase of $117! You can learn all about the ways that H&R Block is providing service to our clients during the COVID-19 crisis, or if you’re ready to file your taxes now, find the H&R Block office nearest to you to get started today.