March means many different things to many different people across the country but if you’re Canadian, chances there’s at least one meaning common to most of us and that is, March is the onset of tax season. If you’re an older adult; considering retirement, downsizing or a move to either a care facility or to be closer to family, it’s this time of year more than any other that you need to ask yourself, “Are you ready?” Is your paperwork in order and are your investments secure? March is the month to get organized and prepared for actually filing your taxes in April. The good news is, Goshenite can help!
No, Goshenite hasn’t recently branched out into the business of preparing tax returns for seniors. We’ll leave that to the professionals like your own financial advisor, accountant or even the team at any one of the various support companies that spring up this time of year and who are often able to handle the more straightforward types of tax returns. Rather – what we meant by helping is that Goshenite can provide other services that will enable you to get your taxes done with ease! How? We are the experts at organization and decluttering. We help seniors downsize and go through the process of putting organizational and systems structures into place that will make life easier and keep you organized well into the future. We can even help with senior move transitions both locally and across the country.
A Short List of What We Do
- Senior Move, Transition or Relocation Services
- Estate and Content Sales
- Home Support and/or Home are Services
- Transportation/Driving Services
That’s great but what has that got to do with Taxes?
The Goshenite team believes everything we do is something to do with taxes – perhaps just not in the way you might expect. Rather than actually completing your tax returns, we’ve prepared this short guide of opportunities and concerns you can discuss with your own financial professional:
- One of the easiest questions to ask yourself or your tax professional is whether you’ve maximized your RRSP contribution limits or, if you are aged 71, how to transfer RRSP holdings to RRIF’s.
- You should get into the habit of keeping receipts for all the care and/or services provided for you or your loved one in the event that you might be able to claim them. Many seniors don’t know for example, that in Ontario a program exists that allows YOU to arrange, hire and pay for home care and then potentially claim those expenses back through your local health care unit or the Ontario government. Goshenite provides a wide range of home care options from in-home nursing care to light housekeeping. Click here to learn more.
- Taxation support and assistance is also available to seniors, for free, under certain circumstances. For people with a modest income, or who might be considered to have a more simplified tax return, contacting the CRA might mean free help. The Canada Revenue Agency is sometimes able to partner seniors with fully qualified volunteers who will complete a tax return free of charge. Click here to learn more.
- As a senior completing a tax return be sure that you are current on the latest information for both RRSP’s and RRIF’s in order to minimize reported earnings so you can maximize your tax savings.
- You might also want to investigate the following tax credits to see if any apply to you:
- Pension Income Credit
- Home Accessibility Credit
- Goods and Services Tax credit
- Canada Caregiver Tax credit
- Disability Tax Credit
- Age Credit or the
- Medical Expense Tax credit
- Ask your accountant if there are others or simply visit the Canada Revenue Agency’s own website for more information. As well, don’t forget to make a decision on OAS, your Old Age Security options. You can begin collecting at age 65 but are also eligible to collect a reduced amount between 60-64 under certain circumstances.
Once again Goshenite can help you or your family by arranging for needed health care services, helping your loved one to transition, declutter and downsize and by helping you get ready for the retirement years. When it comes to taxes, we even offer driving services so we can help get you wherever you need to be, whether that’s to meet with your accountant, bank, financial planner or the team at your local storefront tax services provider!
Don’t stress just yet! Canadians have until April 30th to file and pay any outstanding taxation monies owing without penalty and if you don’t owe money, the deadline is more fluid. The whole topic of taxes can be overwhelming for some families, just like the thoughts of downsizing, relocating or transitioning into a retirement care setting might also seem too much to cope with. At Goshenite we truly believe in supporting families experiencing transitional life stages; with dignity, respect, care and our ongoing commitment to always listening to you – our clients – to hear and guide, never judge or apply pressure. We are, your experts in lifestyle transitions, homecare services and health care navigation!