Tax Tips for Retired Educators

2018 Tax Season – Make A Check list

BCRTA does not offer income tax advice, but here are some common deductions to help you complete your return to your maximum advantage.

ELIGIBLE MEDICAL DEDUCTIONS

Any eligible medical costs that you pay that exceed 3% of your net income can be deducted when you complete your income tax return this year. A couple usually should combine all medical expenses on one tax return – usually the one with the lowest income – to gain the highest value deduction.

Eligible medical expenses are those payments made by you or your spouse that were not fully reimbursed by an insurance plan. Some examples that you should explore:

  • Prescribed medications
  • Payments to a medical doctor, dentist, and most paramedical service providers such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, massage therapy, etc.
  • Access the complete list of eligible expenses at www.canada.ca. Type ‘eligible medical expenses’ in the search window.
  • Premiums that you paid for any health service plan but not MSP. If you pay for your benefits directly from your Teachers’ Pension the deduction will show in Box 135 of your T4A.
    If you participate in our Johnson’s with Prestige Travel Plan you should have received a letter that itemizes your claimable premiums as well as your claims history that shows your eligible deduction.
  • If you participate in MEDOC and have requested a letter that shows the eligible amount of premiums in a previous year you should have received it already. If you have never requested one, call Johnson’s at 1.800.563.0677 and you will automatically receive one every year.
  • If you are signed up for Extended Health Coverage with Green Shield and premiums are deducted from your Teacher’s Pension Plan payments, GSC premiums are always shown in Box 135 of the T4 you received from TPP. See more about tracking GSC claims at www.bcrta.ca/gscclaims

Age tax Credit

If you were 65 or older on Dec. 31, 2018 you may be able to claim an age tax credit. The credit is geared to income with the maximum discount for those whose income is less than $36,976 and it gradually is eliminated as your income increases. There is a corresponding provincial tax credit as well. This deduction can also be transferred to a spouse. Search for Line 301 – Age amount on the Canada.ca website for the full information.

Need help filing your return?

There are several low-cost or free tax filing programs available on-line. Search for “on-line tax filing.”
There are also many volunteer run tax preparation clinics at Seniors’ and Community Centers around the province. A listing can be found at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/vlntr/clncs/bc-eng.html or call the CRA at 1-800-959-8281.

CRA Scams

Be on the alert for phone calls, e-mails or letters pretending to be from the Canadian Revenue Agency. If you receive one of these, provide NO information. Rather contract CRA directly by calling 1-800-959-8281 or check your CRA My Account on-line.

To see Revenue Canada’s longer list
of tax credits for seniors, visit:
www.bcrta.ca/tax-tips-2