How can I optimize my return?

H&R Block’s tax software helps you optimize all the information you’ve entered into your tax return, by exploring some opportunities that will allow you to lower your taxable income, apply for additional credits, and even split tax credits or transfer them to your spouse (if applicable) to get the most out of them.

While you’re on the Optimization page, you can see how your optimization adjustments impact your return by clicking the Update Refund or Tax Owing button on your screen. In real time, you’ll see the bottom line on your tax return update as you go!


Personal amounts

You can see how the credits and expenses you’ve reported so far have impacted your tax return. For example, you’ll be able to see how your medical expenses, donations, transit expenses, or applicable provincial amounts have helped you increase your refund or reduce your tax owing. You’ll also get a chance to apply for any additional credits that you haven’t claimed so far, based on your eligibility, like the Working Income Tax Benefit.


Dependant amounts (if applicable)

You can make sure that you’ve claimed all your eligible dependant credits, and optimized your dependant’s amounts, including childcare expenses, caregiver amounts, or education amounts.


Spousal amounts (if applicable)

If you told us your marital status was “married” or “common-law”, we’ll show you a list of credits that can only be claimed by you or your spouse (things like medical expenses or transit amounts). If you’re filing your returns together, you’ll be able to choose who is claiming which credit, or how you’d like to split the claim up between the two of you.

We’ll also help you see how you’ve applied your credits and deductions so far, in your return, and give you the option to apply them differently (for example, a different split between yourself and your spouse on any applicable disability amounts), and to see how the changes you make impact your tax return.


Education transfers

On this page, we’ll show you how to get the most out of your tuition and education amounts. You’ll be able transfer any of your federal and provincial tuition and education amounts for the year (that you yourself don’t need to reduce your own taxes), to an eligible family member to help them lower their tax payable. You can transfer your unused tuition and education amounts to:

  • Your spouse or common-law partner
  • Your parent or grandparent or
  • Your spouse’s or common-law partner’s parent or grandparent

Note: Only the current year’s unused tuition and education amounts can be transferred. You can’t transfer any of the tuition and education amounts that you carried forward from previous years.

Things to keep in mind:

  • If your spouse is claiming the spousal (or common-law partner) amount on your behalf, your spouse is the only person you can transfer your unused tuition and education amounts to.
  • When transferring both your unused federal and provincial tuition and education amounts, they must be transferred to the same person.
  • The maximum credit amount that can be transferred federally and provincially is $5,000* less any amount you used on your own return.

*Note: If you’re a resident of Ontario, the maximum provincial credit amount that can be transferred is $6,820.

If you don’t want to transfer your tuition and education amounts, don’t worry – H&R Block’s tax software will carry forward these amounts so you can claim them in a future year. You’ll see the carry forward amounts on your completed return and on your notice of assessment for the year.