Transit Credit Going Away for the 2017 Tax Year
Yep, you heard me right — that federal income tax credit we’re entitled to up until now is officially retired.
The 2016 tax year will be the final year Canadians can take advantage of the public transit federal tax credit. This transit credit allows Canadians to deduct 15% of their transit costs from their annual tax. I myself really like this credit, so I’m sad to see it go! The transit credit really helps to offset the costs of monthly transit passes. I don’t own a car, so rely on public transit to get to and from work every day. On my 2016 income tax return, I totalled up over $900 in transit pass costs, so the 15% credit definitely helped maximize my return.
The public transit credit also helps incentivize people to use transit over private transportation. The environment is another topic that I’m pretty passionate about, so I find the government’s decision to scrap the transit credit a bit odd, particularly since the Liberals claim to be pro-environment.
All politics aside, it looks like transportation costs will no longer be subsidized for transit users and drivers alike in Canada. Here in Montreal, the monthly pass is only around $83 so the pinch won’t be too noticeable. I ‘m feeling for those who live in other cities though, particularly Toronto where the monthly TTC pass is almost double that of Montreal’s!
The federal government announced the cancellation of the transit credit in its 2017 budget released this month. There’s a pretty good summary of both the good news and the bad in this Toronto Star article here.
What are your thoughts about the government’s decision to retire the public transit credit? Were you claiming it on your tax returns? What are public transit costs in your city? Let us know by replying in the comments below!
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