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What’s new for Canadian taxes in January 2021.

5 février 2021

Let’s review some of the federal and provincial changes announced this month which might affect your tax situation. This monthly update includes:

T4A and T4E slips will include your Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payments

If you applied for the CERB through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), you’ll receive a T4A slip with the amount of CERB you received in box 197. If you received your CERB payments from Service Canada, this amount will be included with your regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in box 14 on your T4E slip instead. Québec residents will still find this amount in box O of their RL-1 slip. Visit our blog for information about how COVID-19 benefits (like CERB) might affect your taxes this year.

The CRA began sending T4A slips for COVID-19 emergency benefits

The CRA began sending T4A slips for COVID-19 emergency benefits this month, including the following federal relief measures:

If you haven’t received yours yet – don’t worry. Slips will be delivered on an ongoing basis until March 10, 2021.

Service Canada will begin sending T4E slips for CERB in February 2021.

More Canadians can claim their childcare expenses and the disability supports deduction

If you received Employment Insurance (EI) or COVID-19 emergency benefits (including CERB), you might be able to claim your childcare expenses and/or the disability supports deduction, even if you weren’t working or going to school. Both types of benefits will be considered “earned income,” increasing the amount you can claim for your expenses and/or deductions on your return. These changes only apply to 2020 and 2021 returns.

Tax-free savings account (TFSA) contributions for 2021

The annual TFSA dollar contribution limit is still $6,000 (this is the same limit as 2020). This means you’ll have to pay penalties if you add more than $6,000 to your TFSA in 2021.

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Québec Pension Plan (QPP) contributions for 2021

If your earnings are between $3,500 and $61,600 in 2021, the percentage of your income you’ll need to contribute to the CPP has increased from 5.25% to 5.45%. For contributions to the QPP, the rate has increased from 5.7% to 5.9%.

Ontario Small Business Support Grant applications are open

Applications for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant opened on January 1, 2021.

Small businesses who needed to close or significantly restrict their services because of the province-wide shutdown that began on December 26, 2020 can apply for up to $20,000 to help cover lost revenue.

To be eligible, a small business must:

  • Have fewer than 100 employees; and
  • Have experienced a revenue decline of at least 20% when comparing April 2020 to April 2019 (new businesses that were established after April 2019 can select a different time frame).

Essential businesses and businesses that were already closed prior to October 10, 2020 can’t apply for this grant.

You can apply for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant online.

Second payments of the Manitoba Bridge Grant

On January 8, 2021, the provincial government started sending second payments of the Manitoba Bridge Grant to the same businesses who applied for the first period between November 16 to December 31, 2020. This is a flat-rate payment of $5,000, although home-based businesses might receive less than that.

No action was needed to receive the second payment. You’ll get an email confirming when it was deposited in your bank account.

If you didn’t receive your second payment of the grant by January 15, 2021, you should contact the Manitoba Bridge Grant administration office. You can find their contact information, along with your Application Confirmation number, on the email you received at the time of your 2020 payment.

With nearly 60 years of experience preparing and filing all sorts of Canadian taxes, H&R Block has tax solutions that will fit your needs and gives you access to the largest network of reliable Tax Experts. Choose from one of four convenient ways to file: File in an Office, Drop-off at an Office, Upload from Home, or Do It Yourself Tax Software.

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