Pension income splitting

You (the pensioner) may be able to jointly elect with your spouse or common-law partner (the pension transferee) to split your eligible pension income if you meet all of the requirements.


Eligible pension income

What is Eligible pension income?

Eligible pension income is generally the total of the following amounts received by the pensioner in the year (these amounts also qualify for the pension income amount):

  • the taxable part of life annuity payments from a superannuation or pension fund or plan; and
  • if they are received as a result of the death of a spouse or common-law partner, or if the pensioner is 65 years of age or older at the end of the year:
    • annuity and registered retirement income fund (including life income fund) payments; and
    • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) annuity payments.

Pension income that is not eligible

The following amounts received by the pensioner are not eligible for pension income splitting:

  • Old Age Security payments;
  • Canada Pension Plan, Quebec Pension Plan; and
  • Amounts received under a retirement compensation arrangement.

Variable pension benefits paid from a money purchase provision of a Registered Pension Plan are not considered life annuity payments and do not qualify unless the pensioner is age 65 or older at the end of the year or the variable benefits are received as a result of the death of a spouse or common-law partner.

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Public transit amount

You can claim cost of monthly public transit passes or passes of longer duration such as an annual pass for travel within Canada on public transit for 2011.

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Children’s arts tax credit

Families may be able to claim a non-refundable tax credit of up to $75 per child for eligible expenses (maximum $500) of enrolling in a prescribed program of artistic, cultural, recreational, or developmental activity.

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New in taxes for 2010

Here are the major changes per CRA guide:

Universal Child Care Benefits (UCCB): A single parent can choose to include all UCCB amounts in the dependant’s income.

Elect to defer Security option benefits: If you exercised an option and bought eligible securities, the election to defer the benefits will no longer be available.

Special relief for tax deferral elections on security option benefits: You may elect for special relief in respect of gains from a disposition of eligible securities on which you elected in a previous year to defer the option benefits.

Scholarship exemption and Education amount: Programs consisting mainly of research are eligible for scholarship exemption and the education amount only if they lead to a college or university degree. Post-doctoral fellowships are taxable. For a scholarship received with a part-time program for which you can claim the part-time education amount, scholarship exemption is equal to the amount of tuition paid plus the cost of related materials.

U.S. Social Security benefits: You may be eligible to claim a deduction of 50% of the benefits received.

Employment Insurance premiums on self employment and other eligible earnings: You may be able to enter into an agreement with the Employment Insurance Commission to participate in the new EI Measures for the Self Employed People.

Medical expenses: Cosmetic procedures qualify as medical expense only if they are required for medical or reconstructive purposes.

Investment tax credit: Eligibility for the mineral and exploration tax credit has been extended to flow-through shares agreements up to April1, 2011.

Rollover of RRSP proceeds to a registered disability savings plan (RDSP): The existing RRSP rollover rules will be extended to allow a rollover of a deceased individual’s RRSP proceeds to the RDSP of the deceased individual’s financially dependant infirm child or grandchild.