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Public Transit Tax Credit
The public transit tax credit was expanded. Effective January 1, 2007, Super Pass and Max 5 weekly transit passes qualify for the Federal tax credit. The credit applies to purchases of at least four consecutive weekly passes. To qualify, make sure to save your weekly pass and receipt.
The transit pass tax credit, announced as part of the May 2006 federal budget, is a non-refundable tax credit for the cost of buying a monthly (or longer duration) pass for commuting on buses, streetcars, subways, commuter trains and ferries. In addition to claiming his or her own cost of transit passes, an individual can make a claim on behalf of a spouse or common-law partner, and the individual’s children under the age of 19, to the extent that they have not already been claimed by them.
Frequently Asked Questions
What public transit costs are eligible for a tax credit under the expanded public tax credit?
Beginning January 1, 2007, the public transit tax credit was expanded to include costs for:
- Weekly passes, if there are at least four consecutive weekly passes in a 28-day period and if each weekly pass provides unlimited public transit use for an uninterrupted period of five or seven days.
- Use of an eligible cost-per-trip electronic payment card, used for at least 32 uninterrupted trips between the place of departure and the destination and issued by a public transit authority that records the cost and usage and provides a receipt to that effect.
What do I need to support my claim? And, if I did not keep receipts or old passes between January 1st and today, would I still be able to claim the credit for those undocumented costs?
Taxpayers are expected to provide appropriate supporting documentation for any tax credit claimed, if requested to do so by the Canada Revenue Agency.
Keep your pass and receipt
If a transit pass displays the following information, the pass itself is sufficient to support a claim for the tax credit:
- An indication that it is a monthly (or longer duration) pass
- The date or period for which the pass is valid
- The name of the transit authority or organization issuing the pass
- The amount paid for the pass
- The identity of the rider, either by name or unique identifier
If a transit user’s pass does not contain all of this information, transit users can obtain a dated receipt, or retain cancelled cheques or credit card statements, to support the claim. The credit is available for the portion of the pass that is used on or after July 1, even if the pass is purchased before that date.
For information on how to claim the tax credit for public transit passes, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.
How do I claim the tax credit for public transit passes?
You can claim the tax credit for public transit passes on your 2006 income tax return for the amounts you have paid for travel that occurs after June 30, 2006.
How much can I claim?
You can claim the full amount paid for a public transit pass or for the cost of passes for multiple transit systems. The tax credit is a non-refundable tax credit, which means that the amount you claim is multiplied by the lowest personal income tax rate for the year (15.25 per cent in 2006) and is then deducted from your tax otherwise payable.
I use more than one method of public transit to commute. Can I claim more than one type of pass?
Yes, you can claim the full amount of any combination of transit passes.
In my area, passes for July are on sale starting mid-June. If I buy my July pass in June, does it mean that I cannot claim it?
No, as long as you keep your receipt and your pass, you can claim amounts you have paid for travel that occurs after June 30, 2006, as would be the case of your July pass, no matter when you purchased it.