CRA Lists Most Common Tax Mistakes

par Andrew Rickard | March 26 2015 01:57PM

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has put together a list of the most common mistakes Canadians make on their income tax returns.

In its most recent tax information newsletter for individuals, published on March 24, the CRA says that moving expenses, student loans, tuition and education costs, medical expenses, and public transit deductions are the five areas where they tend to find errors.

The CRA says that people sometimes claim ineligible kinds of moving expenses, such as costs for home staging, mail-forwarding, or storage. In other cases, the problem is with the proof; the moving receipts are not included, have a date that does not support the claim, or they do not indicate that a payment was made in full.

photo_web_1130Student loans sometimes pose a problem for taxpayers because they try to claim interest that is not eligible, such as interest on student lines of credit or foreign student loans. They may have also failed to include official loan payment receipts that show the taxpayer's name.

Another problem area is claims involving tuition, education, and textbooks. Once again, the CRA says that taxpayers fail to provide official receipts. Claiming part-time months as full-time months is also a problem, as is claiming part-time and full-time credits for the same months. In some instances, the CRA says that taxpayers attempt to claim tuition amounts from unrecognized educational institutions.

As for medical expenses, taxpayers sometimes try to make claims for money spent on massage, kinesiology, or cosmetic treatments received from medical practitioners who are not recognized by the applicable provincial authority. The CRA also notes that things such as vitamins, natural supplements, or over-the-counter medications are ineligible, as are expenses involving recliners, non-hospital beds, and medical supplies such as rubbing alcohol, bandages, and shoe inserts.

Finally, when claiming the public transit amount, taxpayers fail to provide the transit pass or the receipt, or the transit pass they have was not complete. The CRA points out that the transit pass must include the taxpayer's name or unique identifier, and the signature or identifying information should be legible. In other instances, taxpayers do not qualify for the public transit amount because of their age, because they did not make enough trips in a month, or because travel for the period was interrupted or limited.