Tax season is upon us, and Saskatchewan people are encouraged to take advantage of an array of provincial credits as they fill out their returns.
"We provide a range of credits that can help Saskatchewan people keep more of what they earn," Finance Minister Ken Krawetz said. "Our Graduate Retention Program for recent post-secondary graduates is especially popular, and we also have credits for Saskatchewan people with lower incomes, recent first-time homebuyers, people with children enrolled in sports programs or cultural or recreational activities, as well as workers who are required to purchase tools as a condition of their employment."
Provincial tax credits include:
• First-Time Homebuyers Tax Credit - a non-refundable income tax credit of up to $1,100, based on the first $10,000 of an eligible home purchase (a similar federal credit of up to $750 is also available).
• Active Families Benefit - a refundable income tax credit of up to $150 per child 18 years of age or younger that helps Saskatchewan families with the cost of their children's participation in cultural, recreational and sports activities. For more information, visit the Saskatchewan Parks, Culture and Sport website at www.pcs.gov.sk.ca/afb.
• Graduate Retention Program - income tax credits provided over a seven-year period that refund up to $20,000 of tuition fees paid by eligible post-secondary graduates who live in Saskatchewan and file a Saskatchewan tax return. For more information, visit the Saskatchewan Advanced Education website at www.aeei.gov.sk.ca/grp.
• Saskatchewan Low-Income Tax Credit - a refundable income tax credit paid quarterly to assist lower-income Saskatchewan people. The credit is paid in conjunction with the federal Goods and Services Tax Credit. For more information, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/bnfts/rltd_prgrms/sk-eng.html.
• Employees' Tool Tax Credit - a non-refundable income tax credit that helps with the cost of purchasing, replacing or upgrading eligible tools by qualifying employees as a condition of their employment. The credit consists of a one-time trade entry amount and an annual maintenance amount.
"We hope all Saskatchewan taxpayers take advantage of the provincial credits they qualify for, saving money to spend on their families or keep for a rainy day," Krawetz said. "In 2014 alone, tax reductions introduced by our government are expected to save Saskatchewan people more than $479 million. Since 2007 Saskatchewan people have saved more than $2.8 billion as a result of these measures."
Last year in Saskatchewan, nearly 7,000 new homeowners claimed the First-time Homebuyers Credit, more than 45,000 families claimed the Active Families Benefit, about 50,000 recent graduates claimed the Graduate Retention Program tax credits, more than 270,000 households claimed the Low-Income Tax Credit, and about 6,000 tradespersons claimed the Tool Tax Credit.
For more information about eligibility or about how to claim any of the credits, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca.