The filing deadline for 2015 taxes has come and gone, but there are still benefits for many people filing in May. Recent provincial and federal budget announcements have meant that low-income individuals and families will have access to more benefits in the near future.
Progressive taxation is a fair and balanced way for Albertans to move toward a more equitable society. Women are more likely to be living in poverty, and are more likely to be in single parent households. These new benefits and enhancements will have a positive impact.
- The new Alberta Child Benefit, accessible to all families earning less than $41,220 per year (including families on AISH and Income Support) launches in July. Women with one child can receive up to $1,100, annually, or $2,750 for four or more children. This benefit comes in August, November, February and May of each year.
- The Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit (deposited in January and July) is available to women who work and have children under the age of 18. With one child, the maximum credit is $754. With four or more children, the maximum credit is $1,987.
- The Carbon Levy and Rebate system starts on January 1, 2017. While everyone will see some costs increase for fuel, the rebates are geared to lower and middle-income Albertans. The rebate for the first year will be $200 for a single adult, $100 for a spouse, and $30 for each child under 18.
- In Alberta, the federal Canada Child Benefit is different depending on the age of your children. It ranges from $533 per month for children under 7, to $450 per month for children 6 to 17 years old. CCB payments are scales back when net family income is over $30,000.
- The Working Income Tax Benefit is for low income individuals and families for those that are employed during the year. A benefit of up to $1,109 per individual and $1,663 for families with employment income over $7,060. The benefit is scaled back when income is over $11,525.
- You can use the Government of Canada benefits calculator to get an idea of what your returns could look like.
All of these benefits are now tax free but you must file your tax return in order to qualify for them.
The Women’s Centre free tax clinic runs until May 12, and then switches back to drop-in clinics on Tuesdays at noon and Wednesdays at 5pm. After filing, volunteers can also use Benefits Navigator to help you find all the different programs and supplements you’re eligible for. To book an appointment for your 2015 taxes, please call 403-264-1155.