If you are a Nova Scotia graduate in 2009, you have reason to celebrate.  Beginning with 2009 the Nova Scotia government is allowing graduates to claim a tax rebate on their taxes.

Graduates are required to graduate from a recognized post-secondary institution, and they must have been taking a program offered on a full-time basis.  You are allowed to take the program part time.

University graduates can claim a maximum of $2,500 against their Nova Scotia taxes in the year of graduation, and the following 5 years. ¬†That’s a total of $15,000! ¬†College grads can clailm $1,250¬†against their Nova Scotia taxes in the year of graduation, and the following 5 years, for a total of $7,500.

Obviously, since the intent is to keep grads working in Nova Scotia, you must file a Nova Scotia tax return each year. ¬†This rebate is non-refundable, which simply means that if you haven’t earned enough income to pay provincial taxes, you can’t claim back the difference.

This rebate replaces the old Graduate Tax Credit, worth a mere $2,000.  However, if you had graduated from a different program in an earlier year, but then return to school and graduate again in 2009 or later years, you can also claim this new rebate.

You can read more about this exciting tax rebate by clicking here.

Filed under: Consumer Tax by David Boese 1 Comment »

Disability Tax Credit

March 18th, 2010

The Disability Tax Credit seems to be an often over-looked tax credit. ¬†That’s probably because it’s one of those credits that sort of sneaks up on a person. ¬†Frequently, though certainly not always, this credit applies to seniors who are slowly becoming infirm. ¬†Let’s use an example. ¬†This example is based strictly on a fictional situation.

Let’s use a senior we’ll call Mr. John Doe (always a nice safe name.) ¬†Mr. Doe has been living by himself for the last 18 years. ¬†He retired from his job 15 years ago, and his now 82. ¬†Mr. Doe is in good health, but over the last few years his hearing has begun to worsen. ¬†Now, even with the use of a hearing aid, he is not able to follow a conversation very well. ¬†This hearing impairment didn’t happen overnight, but rather gradually, over the last number of years.

At a certain point, Mr. Doe will qualify for the Disability Tax Credit.  This credit will save him as much as $1,496 in taxes per year.  To qualify for the Disability Tax Credit, Mr. Doe will need to visit his doctor or audiologist and have them complete form T2201.  This T2201 is then sent to the government, who determines whether or not Mr. Doe will qualify for the Disability Tax Credit, and for which years he qualifies.  Once Mr. Doe qualifies he can claim the Credit on his tax return, and does not need to send in a new form unless his condition improves, or if the government asks him to send in a new form.

As you can see from the above example, the challenge sometimes is to determine exactly when to apply for the Disability Tax Credit.  There are a number of other medical conditions with which you may qualify for the Disability Tax Credit, including speaking, walking, feeding, dressing, hearing, mental functions, and others.  Click here for a full list.

If you think you may qualify for the Disability Tax Credit, consult with your doctor.  Most doctors are very familiar with these forms.  Also, if you know of a friend or family member who may be eligible and is not aware of this credit, you should suggest they consider applying.  After all, it could save them nearly $1,500 / year!

Filed under: Personal Tax by David Boese No Comments »

If you receive a T slip after you have already filed your tax return, don’t just put it aside. ¬†You need to file an adjustment to your tax return to include this missed income. ¬†You can file the adjustment using the T1-ADJ form available on the government’s website, at


Filed under: Business tax, Personal Tax by David Boese No Comments »

Federal Budget 2010

March 1st, 2010

Finance Minister Flaherty will deliver the 2010 federal budget on March 4 at around 4:00 on EST (that’s 5:00 pm for those of us in Nova Scotia.)

We have been duly warned not to expect anything in this budget except bare-bones stuff.  No more renovation tax breaks.  No more big breaks for homeowners.

We’ll see if the current Conservative government can resist slipping in a couple of tax breaks, for the headlines they will make if nothing else.

Filed under: Other tips, Personal Tax by David Boese No Comments »