What’s new for 2019 personal tax filing

Service enhancements and major changes, including announced income tax changes that were not law

What's new for 2019

The CRA list the service enhancements and major changes below, including announced income tax changes that were not law. If they become law as proposed, they will be effective for 2019 or as of the dates given.Find out standard processing times

With the Check CRA Processing Times tool, you can quickly find out when you can expect us to complete your request or get back to you. To use the tool, select the relevant information from the drop-down menus, and it will display a target time for your request to be done or the length of time we expect it will take, based on our service standards.

The CRA’s services

Your income tax package has a new look. The 2019 Income Tax Package includes the Federal Income Tax and Benefit Guide, a Provincial or Territorial Information Guide, the return, schedules, and worksheets. For 2019 and future tax years, some of the line numbers that were previously 3 and 4 digits are now 5 digits. We have made several changes to this package to enhance our services.These changes include:

  • using plain language where possible
  • reducing the number of forms by eliminating schedule 1 and the Worksheet for Schedule 1. You can now find any charts that were on these forms on the Income Tax and Benefit Return and the Worksheet for the Return
  • updating worksheets to simplify certain calculations
  • increasing font size and white space

PayPal – You can make your payments using PayPal through a third party service provider. For more information, go to Payments to the Canada Revenue Agency

Individuals and families

1. For residents of Alberta – The Climate Action Incentive is a new refundable credit. For more information, see Schedule 14, Climate Action Incentive.

For residents of New Brunswick – As New Brunswick is implementing its own price on carbon pollution, the federal fuel charge will no longer apply in New Brunswick as of April 2020. This means that residents of New Brunswick will no longer receive Climate Action Incentive payments.

2. Enhanced Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan – Starting in 2019, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) are being gradually enhanced. This means that if you contribute to either the CPP or the QPP, you will receive improved benefits in exchange for making higher contributions. You can claim a deduction for your enhanced contributions to the CPP or QPP. For more information on how to claim your CPP or QPP contributions on your return, see Schedule 8 or Form RC381, whichever applies.

3. Canada Training Credit Limit – As of January 1, 2019, if you meet certain conditions, you will be able to accumulate $250 per year, to a maximum over your lifetime of $5,000, to be used in calculating your Canada Training Credit, a new refundable tax credit that will be available for 2020 and future years. Based on information from your return, the CRA will determine your Canada Training Credit Limit for the 2020 tax year and provide it to you on your Notice of Assessment for 2019. For 2020 and future years, you may be able to claim a Canada Training Credit equal to your Canada Training Credit Limit for the year or 50% of your eligible tuition and fees paid to an educational institution in Canada, whichever is less.

4. Canada Workers Benefit – For 2019, the Canada workers benefit (CWB) replaces and strengthens the working income tax benefit (WITB). The CWB is an enhanced, more accessible, refundable tax credit. For more information, see Schedule 6, Canada Workers Benefit.

5. Income exempt under the Indian Act – A new section called “Indian Act – Exempt income” has been added to page 2 of the Income Tax and Benefit Return, and a new form has been created, Form T90, Income exempt under the Indian Act. The information provided on the return and form will allow the CRA to calculate your Canada Training Credit Limit for the 2020 tax year and may also be used to calculate your CWB for the 2019 tax year, if applicable.

6. Communal organizations – For 2014 and later tax years, income from a business earned by the trust that is then allocated to a member of the congregation is deemed to be income from a business carried on by that member. This may allow members of a communal organization to claim the CWB for 2019 and later years, and the WITB for the 2014 to 2018 tax years. For more information on how to request an adjustment to a return from a previous year, see How to change a return.

7. Kinship Care Providers – For 2009 and later years, for the CWB and the former WITB, a care provider may be considered to be the parent of a child in their care, regardless of whether they receive financial assistance from a government under a kinship care program. As a result, the care provider may be entitled to claim the child as an eligible dependent for purposes of claiming the benefit. Also, for these years, financial assistance payments received by care providers under a kinship care program are not included in income and not included when determining entitlement to benefits and credits based on income.

8. Home Buyers’ Plan – The maximum amount you can withdraw from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) under the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) increased from $25,000 to $35,000 for withdrawals made after March 19, 2019. If you are not considered a first-time home buyer for the purposes of the HBP, and you experience a breakdown in your marriage or common-law partnership, you may be able to participate in the HBP after 2019 under certain conditions. For more information on the HBP, see What is the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP)?.

9. Medical Expenses Tax Credit – For expenses incurred after October 16, 2018, certain cannabis products purchased for a patient for medical purposes will be considered eligible medical expenses for the medical expense tax credit, once they become permitted for legal sale under the Cannabis Act. For more information, see Guide RC4065, Medical Expenses.

10. Donations and gifts (line 34900 of the return) – For donations made after March 18, 2019, in order to qualify for the enhanced tax incentives for donations of cultural property, the property no longer needs to be of national importance.

11. Allowances for members of legislative assemblies and certain municipal officers – For 2019 and later tax years, non-accountable allowances paid to elected members of legislative assemblies, certain municipal officers, and members of public or separate school boards are required to be fully included in income.

12. Zero-emission vehicles – If you are self-employed or claiming employment expenses, you may be able to claim capital cost allowance on zero-emission vehicles. Starting in 2019, there is a temporary enhanced first-year capital cost allowance of 100% for eligible zero-emission vehicles. Eligible vehicles must be acquired after March 18, 2019, and become available for use before 2024. The enhanced allowance decreases if the vehicle becomes available for use after 2023 and before 2028. For more information and for the conditions the vehicle has to meet, see Guide T4002, Self-employed Business, Professional, Commission, Farming, and Fishing Income, if you are self-employed. If you are claiming employment expenses, see Guide T4044, Employment Expenses.

Interest and investments

13. Investment tax credit (line 41200 of the return) – Eligibility for the mineral exploration tax credit for an individual (other than a trust) has been extended to flow-through share agreements entered into before April 2024. See Form T2038(IND), Investment Tax Credit (Individuals).