The federal age amount is a non-refundable tax credit that allows you to reduce your tax payable if:
- You’re 65 years of age or older at the end of the year and
- Your net income is less than $83,427 for 2016
The amount you’re entitled to claim depends on your net income for the year. If your 2016 net income is $35,927 or less, you can claim $7,125. If, however, your net income was more than $35,927, the amount you can claim is calculated by subtracting $35,927 (base amount) from your net income and multiplying the difference by 15%. This amount is then subtracted from the maximum claimable amount.
For example, let’s say you turned 65 in 2016 and your net income for the year is $50,000. Based on the following calculation method, the age amount you can claim is $5,014.05.
Net income minus base amount: $50,000 - $35,927 = $14,073
Difference multiplied by 15%: $14,073 X 15% = $2,110.95
Subtract result from maximum: $7,125 - $2,110.95 = $5,014.05
Note: If you declared bankruptcy during the year or if you’re no longer a Canadian resident for tax purposes, special rules apply. Refer to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website for more information.
Remember, if you’re eligible to claim the federal age amount, you’re also entitled to claim a corresponding provincial age amount, which varies in amount depending on which province or territory you live in:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Can I transfer my age amount to my spouse?
Yes, you can transfer all or a part of your age amount to your spouse or common-law partner if you don’t need it to reduce your tax payable to zero.
Transferring your age amount (if you don’t need it) to your spouse is a great way to optimize your return. For example, if you only owe $3,000 in taxes and your age amount was $5,014.05, the remaining $2,014.05 ($5,014.05 - $3,000) will be useless as it can’t be claimed as a refund or carried forward for use in a future year. However, you can transfer this amount to your spouse to help decrease his or her tax liability.
Where can I claim this?
H&R Block’s tax software will automatically claim both your federal and provincial age amount on your return for you. In fact, if you don’t need the full age amount to reduce your taxes to zero, H&R Block’s tax software will also automatically transfer the unused portion to your spouse’s return.