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(NC) — A lifetime dedicated to your career has finally paid off in precious retirement years. You've worked hard, and you deserve to enjoy your future. While retirement is often referred to as the golden years, living on a fixed income can be challenging and requires some smart financial planning. Here are a few ways that you can stretch your retirement dollars by saving money at tax time:
• Public transit saves money that you might otherwise spend on rising gas prices, parking, and car maintenance. Not only do seniors typically pay less for public transit, but the cost of certain public transit passes can be claimed on your tax return.
• You may be able to split your eligible pension income with your spouse or common-law partner, allocating up to 50% of your pension to him or her, to lower your combined taxes.
• If you, your spouse, or common-law partner has a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions, and meets certain conditions, you might be eligible for the disability tax credit.
• If you care for a spouse or other family member who has an impairment that makes them dependent on you for care, the family caregiver amount could save you money.
• Applying for the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit helps to offset all or part of the GST or HST that you pay.
• If you receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement or Allowance benefits under the Old Age Security program, you can usually renew your benefit simply by filing your return by April 30. If you choose not to file a return, you will have to complete a renewal form. This form is available from Service Canada.
Other helpful tax-time information for seniors can be found at www.cra.gc.ca/seniors. To make filing easy this year, why not consider filing online? It's fast, easy and secure. Information to get you started is available at www.cra.gc.ca/getready.