The Federal Government introduced a non-refundable tax credit for the cost of buying a monthly (or longer duration) public transit pass for commuting on buses, streetcars, subways, commuter trains and local ferries. The credit applies to all passes purchased for travel after July 1, 2006 (CRA, 2006).
A non-refundable tax credit means that the amount claimed is multiplied by the lowest personal income tax rate for the year (15.25% in 2006) and is then deducted from tax otherwise payable. The full amount of any combination of transit passes for different transit systems can be claimed. 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, if they have not already been claimed by them.
In cases where a transit pass displays all of the following information, the pass itself will be 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 (CRA, 2006)
If the pass does not have all of the above information you must submit receipts, cancelled cheques or credit card statements, along with the pass(es), to support the claim. Documentation will not be submitted when the tax return is filed but must be kept on file.