At Ste Anne Tax Service, we are thinking about taxes all the time. Here are some tips from all of the team you need to remember as we approach the end of the year.

Darlene: Remember the new Manitoba Senior’s School Tax Rebate. This is the second year and it’s been increased up to $470. You do need to apply each year (it’s not automatic like the $700 education credit we all get). And included this year are those on leased land (Paradise Village residents). The deadline to apply is March 31 2016.

Ruth: When it comes to medical expenses there is so much to remember. First, keep your 2015 calendar if that’s where you record all your doctor appointments. We may need it to claim all trips you made that were more than 40km to see a health care professional that is not available any closer.

Regarding prescriptions, we recommend you go to your pharmacy in January and ask for a detailed print out for the entire 2015 calendar year. Easier than keeping all those little receipts!

Remember all medical expenses: premiums for health plans you pay yourself through work, or pension, or directly; dental; chiropractor; eye exams and glasses; travel health insurance premiums; portion of rent if you are in senior assisted living or supportive housing; laser eye surgery; and any expenses that you pay out of pocket that is not covered by a plan.

Erik: Students need to get their T2202 Tuition receipt (normally on line from University or College). Any unused tuition and education credits can be transferred to a parent, grandparent, spouse, or carry them forward and claim in a future year. Remember once you graduate and continue to pay taxes in Manitoba, you can claim the Manitoba Tuition Fee Income Tax Rebate. And remember to claim your Student Loan Interest as a credit.

Cheryl: For small businesses and those that are self employed: read your vehicle odometer on December 31st and hope you did on January 1st so you know how many km you drove to compare to your log of business related trips. Maybe stock up on some supplies so you can claim in 2015 and maybe your capital purchases, too. Start organizing your receipts by category if you haven’t yet: it will be much easier to do it now then next Spring when you are near the filing deadline.

Anni: so many other receipts to keep: donations are usual ones; children’s activities for the fitness and arts credits (and it’s refundable this year to help lower income families); RRSPs (remember the March to December 2015 and the January and February 2016 receipts); political donations; child care; union dues and other professional fees, transit passes and receipts, tools receipts if you are a tradesperson. Keep your last pay stub of every year (forever!) in case you pay for disability premiums and can claim them as a deduction in the future if you are ever off work.

This year all families with children under 18 will have the Universal Child Care Benefit ($60 per child) to claim as income. If you do not get the receipt, we can get it for you.

The December 31st deadline is important for making charitable donations, incurring medical expenses, contributing to spousal RRSPs (if you are close to retirement), and RRSP withdrawals if you are in a low tax bracket.

Also, December 31st 2015 is the final deadline for making any changes to your 2005 taxes. Why would you? Maybe you should have qualified for the Disability Tax Credit back then? Or maybe you incurred some capital losses that were not claimed? We need to get that adjusted now. December 31st 2015 is also the deadline to claim the Manitoba Primary Caregiver Tax Credit for 2012 (we can only go back three years).

To make it easier for you, we can now access our client’s files at Canada Revenue Agency (with your written authorization);so if you are missing any Tax Slips (T4, CPP, OAS, EI, T4A, UCCB), we may be able to retrieve them so you don’t have to go hunting or making phone calls.

If you haven’t gone south yet and need Snowbird Mail Service, give us a call and arrange pick up of your mail while you are gone.

Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Frohe Weihnachten, Glaedelig Jul

Ste Anne Tax Service team (Anni, Ruth, Cheryl, Darlene & Erik)

Anni Markmann is an independent financial planner and tax professional working, living, playing, and volunteering in our community. Contact her at 422-6631 or or at 36 Dawson Road in Ste Anne.