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Here are the most important tax changes for 2024, according to accountants

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It’s annual tradition – for your check book.

Monday marked the official start of tax season. Now it’s time to file your income tax ahead of the April 30 deadline.

“It can be a pretty stressful experience just because there is a lot of record keeping to do,” said Pushpinder Singh, a certified personal accountant with AccoTax CPA.

To find out what you need to know this year, CTV Kitchener spoke to two accountants.

Changes for hybrid/remote workers

For home office expenses, the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) flat rate of $2 per day throughout 2020 to 2022 is no longer active for the 2023 taxation year.

Now forms will need to be submitted through your employer, and you’ll only qualify if you work from home more than half the time.

“If you have a hybrid thing where two days of the week you’re at home, three days you’re at the office, you still don’t qualify,” said Brad Dunbar, a certified personal accountant at Dunbar & Associates.

New multigenerational home renovation tax credit

If you’re renovating a your home, adding additional dwellings for seniors or eligible adults can qualify you for a new tax credit worth up to $50,000.

The secondary unit must allow a senior or adult who is eligible for the disability tax credit to live with a qualifying family member, the CRA says.

You can claim up to $50,000 in expenditures for each renovation that is completed. The tax credit is 15 per cent of your costs, up to a maximum of $7,500, for each claim you are eligible to make.

Bad news for house flippers

Any income made from a property purchased and sold within a 12-month window is now fully taxed as business income instead of capital gains.

“[For] capital gains, you pay tax on 50 per cent, business income is 100 per cent,” Dunbar said. “Another one is principal residence exemption. If you bought a house, you lived in it for eight months and decided it just wasn’t for you, you still can claim the principal residence exemption on this.”

Other tips

If you decide to file your own taxes, experts urge everyone to be thorough – and make sure all necessary documents are included.

“If a slip hasn’t been uploaded or if there’s an amended slip, at times the CRA site isn’t updated for this,” Dunbar said. “It takes them a while to get that updated. You might be filing a return that has the wrong information… the worst-case scenario is an audit. As long as you’re not being fraudulent, that’s the worse case scenario.”

The CRA did not introduce any new tax breaks this year. Instead we’ve seen more tax hikes in 2024, which means more of your money going into the Canada Pension Plan and employment insurance.

If you still haven’t finished your taxes yet, you have plenty of time. But if they aren’t filed by April 30, you’ll be looking at a five per cent penalty on top of what you owe, plus another one per cent for each month after that.

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