Still Working?

  • Maximum RRSP contribution: The maximum contribution for 2021 is $27,830; for 2020, it was $27,230.
  • TFSA limit: In 2021, the annual limit is $6,000, for a total of $75,500 for someone who has never contributed and has been eligible for the TFSA since its introduction in 2009. The annual limit for 2020 was also $6,000.
  • Maximum pensionable earnings: For 2021, the maximum pensionable earnings amount is $61,600 ($58,700 in 2020), and the basic exemption amount remains $3,500 for 2020 and 2021.
  • Maximum EI insurable earnings: The maximum annual insurance earnings (federal) for 2021 is $56,300, up from $54,200 in 2020.
  • Lifetime capital gains exemption: The lifetime capital gains exemption is $892,218 in 2021, up from $883,384 in 2020.
  • Low-interest loans: The current family loan rate is 1%.
  • Homebuyers’ amount: Did you buy a home? You may be able to claim up to $5,000 of the purchase cost and get a non-refundable tax credit of up to $750.
  • Medical expenses threshold: For the 2021 tax year, the maximum is 3% of net income or $2,421, whichever is less. For 2020, the max was 3% or $2,397.
  • Basic personal amount: The basic personal amount for 2021 is $13,808 for taxpayers with a net income of $151,978 or less. At income levels above $151,978, the basic personal amount is gradually clawed back until it reaches $12,421 for a net income of $216,511. The basic personal amount for 2020 ranged from $12,298 to $13,229
  • Eligible educator School Supply Credit: The Eligible Educator School Supply Tax Credit, a refundable tax credit at rate of 15% for amounts up to $1,000, is available to teachers and early childhood educators employed at an elementary or secondary school or regulated child care facility who purchased eligible teaching supplies.
  • Defer a Bonus: If you are going to receive a bonus for 2020, you may want to talk to your employer about deferring the bonus until January of 2021.  That way, you can defer paying income taxes on the bonus for a full year, although a certain level of payroll withholdings will still be required. To avoid income tax withholdings entirely (to the extent that you have RRSP contribution room available) you can have your employer transfer the bonus directly into your RRSP in January or February 2021.
  • Investment Counseling Fees: You may be eligible to claim a tax deduction if you paid investment counseling fees for non-registered accounts during the year. Since income earned in registered accounts, such as an RRSP or a TFSA, is tax-sheltered, counseling fees paid to manage these accounts are not deductible


Over 65?

  • Age amount: You can claim this amount if you were 65 years of age or older on December 31 of the taxation year. The maximum amount you can claim in 2021 is $7,713, up from $7,637 in 2020.
  • OAS recovery threshold: If your net world income exceeds $79,845 in 2021 or $79,054 in 2020, you may have to repay part of or the entire OAS pension.

Have kids?

  • Canada caregiver credit: If you have a dependant under the age of 18 who’s physically or mentally impaired, you may be able to claim up to an additional $2,295 for 2021 and $2,273 for 2020 in calculating certain non-refundable tax credits. For infirm dependants 18 or older, the amount for 2021 is $7,348 and the 2020 amount was $7,276.
  • Disability amount: The amount for 2021 is $8,662 (non-refundable credit; $8,576 in 2020), with a supplement up to $5,053 for those under 18 (the amount is reduced if child care expenses are claimed; $5,003 in 2020).
  • Child disability benefit: The child disability benefit is a tax-free benefit of up to $2,915 (2021) for families who care for a child under age 18 with a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions. For 2020, the amount was $2,886.
  • Canada child benefit: In 2021, the maximum CCB benefit is $6,833 per child under age six and up to $5,765 per child aged six through 17. In 2020, those amounts were $6,765 per child under age six and up to $5,708 per child aged six through 17. Eligible recipients received $300 more per child earlier this year as part of the government’s financial support during the Covid-19 pandemic.


  • Home Accessibility Tax Credit: Qualifying individuals, their spouses or common-law partners, or those for whom the qualifying individual is an eligible or infirm dependent, may claim up to $10,000 of eligible expenditures per calendar year per eligible dwelling under the non-refundable Home Accessibility Tax Credit.

Qualifying individuals include seniors (individuals who are sixty-five years of age or older at the end of the taxation year) and persons eligible for the Disability Tax Credit at any time in the taxation year.

  • Moving Expenses: If you moved within Canada during the year, your moving expenses may be deductible.  In order to qualify, you must start employment or operating a business at a new location, and your new home must be at least 40km closer to the new location than your old home.  The deductibility of moving expenses is limited to the income earned at the new location in the year and can be carried forward indefinitely.  Moving expenses include out-of-pocket costs for moving, realtor’s commissions and legal fees on the sale of your old home, and the property transfer tax and legal fees paid on the purchase of your new home.

If you moved into or out of Canada during the year but remained a Canadian resident for income tax purposes while you were abroad, you may also be able to deduct your moving expenses.

  • Charitable Donations: Charitable donations must be made on or before December 31, 2020, to qualify for a tax credit in 2020.  Donations may be claimed up to an amount not exceeding 75% of net income.  Donations in excess of 75% of net income can be carried forward and deducted for up to 5 years.  For deceased taxpayers, the limit is increased to 100% of net income in both the year of death and the preceding year (taking into account bequests or legacies in the deceased’s will).



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