Government benefits you should know

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Your tax return is a gateway to accessing government benefits and supports. Filing your return allows the Canada Revenue Agency to assess your personal information to see if you are eligible for programs created specifically to assist you in your current circumstances.

Here are just some of the federal and provincial benefits you should know and may be eligible to avail:

Federal Income Tax Credits

Canada Child Benefit (CCB) – A tax-free monthly payment to help support your children under age 18. It provides up to $6,400 per child per year.
Working Income Tax Benefit – A refundable tax credit for working people with low incomes. This can provide up to $1,868 if you meet eligibility criteria.
GST/HST Credit– A tax-free, quarterly payment that helps individuals/families with low and modest incomes to offset all or part of the GST or HST (Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax) they pay.

poster on benefits and credits
Canada Revenue Agency Fact Sheet/Poster on the MANSO site.

Provincial Income Tax Credits & Programs

Personal Tax Credits – These are benefits for low-income Manitobans and their dependents. These include the Manitoba Family Tax Benefit, Manitoba’s Fitness Tax Credit, and Children’s Arts and Culture Activity Tax Credit.
Primary Caregiver Tax Credit – This is for those who provide ongoing voluntary care and support to family members, friends or neighbours who require help at home. For more information and how to apply: MB Primary Caregiver Tax Credit.
Education Property Tax Credit – This credit is for homeowners as an offset to property taxes due on the government property tax statement.
Employment & Income Assistance (EIA) program – EIA provides financial help to Manitobans who have no other way to support themselves or their families for their basic needs. It includes basic help with food, clothing, household needs, and rent.

A complete list of provincial refundable and non-refundable Personal Taxes and Credits can be found through the link.

For persons living with disabilities

Child Disability Tax Credit – This is a tax-free benefit for families who care for a child under age 18 with a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions.
Disability Tax Credit – This credit can reduce your taxes or be transferred to a spouse/partner to reduce theirs.
Working Income Tax Benefit – Disability Supplement – This additional refundable amount tops up the working income tax benefit if you are also eligible for the disability tax credit.
Refundable Medical Expense Supplement –The supplement can be claimed on the tax return of working individuals with low incomes and high medical expenses.

Housing benefits

Rent Assist – This is a monthly shelter-related financial benefit to help low-income Manitobans who pay rent in the private market. It is available to households on Employment Income Assistance (EIA) who have shelter costs and low-income Manitobans renting in the private market who are not on EIA.

Seniors & 55 Plus

55 Plus – A Manitoba program that provides financial supplement to low-income seniors 55 years or older. Payment is made four times a year based on income on the previous year’s tax return.
Spousal Allowance/Allowance for the Survivor– These are extra benefits paid to a 60-64 year old spouse/common-law of an Old Age Security (OAS) recipient or to a survivor.

Sources: Overview of child and family benefits, Canada Revenue Agency; Manitoba Income Tax. Both accessed October 17, 2017.

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Community Resources

Download the Get your benefits booklet to get a list of government benefits, links to information and assistance for financial counselling and literacy, employment and income assistance, health and addiction services, food and housing, and other services for immigrants and refugees.

You can estimate the benefit amounts you may be eligible for using the CRA’s Child and family benefits calculator.

Need help making an income tax return? Go to your nearest Immigrant Settlement Provider Organization or check these directories: Tax Preparation Clinics (Manitoba), 211 Manitoba or Manitoba Housing. You can also go to:

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