How To Fix Errors On Old Tax Return Plus Claim Your Kids Deduction

by Mike Holman

Thanks to commenter David on my recent QuickTax software review, I learned that you can claim your kids and I now need to refile my tax returns for the last two years.  It is on the federal TD1 form and is plain as day (now that I look at it). So much for saving money by doing my taxes myself!  Mr. Cheap has asked me a few times if I’ve even considered going to an accountant and I now realize that he wasn’t asking so much as he was suggesting.  🙂

The good news is that I researched how to make corrections on tax returns that you’ve already filed and it looks to be very easy.  Here is the T1 form you need to fill out.  Basically all you have to do is fill out the line number you are changing, the old value, the new value and that’s it.  CRA will recalculate your tax return.

As for the child tax credit you get a $2,000 deduction amount per child starting in 2007.  This amount goes up each year and was $2,089 for 2009 tax year.  It applies to kids who are under 18 at the end of the tax year.

In my case I had 1 kid during the 2007 tax year and then 2 kids for both the 2008 and 2009 tax years.  Please note that I’m counting my kids for multiple tax years – I don’t have 5 kids!  I believe this works out to a bit more than $300 per kid per year which means that I will get back $300 for the 2007 return, $600 for the 2008 return.  A good payoff for a fairly small amount of fixing.

I had researched writing off dependents before but I had only found this article about dependents which clearly doesn’t cover my situation and made me think that you couldn’t claim your kids.

If you live in the United States and are looking for the relevant information then check out this article called Amended tax return.

How about you guys?  Did anyone else cheat on their old returns and need to correct them?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Pat

Great post.

I just found out last night that I accidentally used all of my remaining Tuition Credits last year. Any idea if the T1 form can be used to make this adjustment? (looking at the form it appears to be quite generic).

Clarification:
I always thought you could only claim a maximum of $5000 of the tuition credit each year but it turns out that is simply the max you can TRANSFER to another person – there is no personal max you can use in any given year.

Where I’m confused is that when filling your return, it asks you for your total avail credit (and you get the amount remaining on your notice of assessment). This is the reason I ‘accidentally’ used all of my Credits last year. I had about $10000 remaining in credits and expected only ~5000 to be used – therefore I would have ~5000 remaining in both Fed and Prov credits. I threw in the numbers in UFile and that’s a difference of almost $1000 :S (hence why i want to look at my options).

Anybody know if/how there is a way to limit the amount that the CRA will actually use when processing your return?

2 Ray

Yup. I did exactly the same thing. Stupid wizard in MyTaxExpress doesn’t ask you if you have kids, and who looks at that particular field embedded deep into the tax document. Most people fill out forms. I hate how the income tax is setup where after you put all your forms in then you have to go on a flipping hunting expedition clicking all the checkboxes everywhere to see if you qualify for all the god damn deductions.

Anyways, I filed the T1A for my sister’s kids, exactly like you are doing and the rebate comes instantly. I love how the government would never tell you about the deduction you just have to know it’s there and hope your tax software highlights it. Ridiculous.

3 Mike

Ray – the annoying thing is that if you qualify for this deduction then you are probably getting the CCTB benefit ($100/month/kid) which you have to enter on the return so the tax software should flag that and ask if you have kids. Mine didn’t either apparently.

Yes, the gov’t could ask this as well….

4 David

Hey, glad to be of service! Glad you could get your credits for previous years.

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