Canada Revenue Agency project aims to simplify travel deduction for Northerners
Northern residents no longer have to do their own price comparisons to determine the lowest return airfare when filing their taxes.
On Monday, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) published an airfare table showing the lowest prices for tickets from airports in prescribed northern zones. The figure is used to claim the Northern Residents Travel Deduction.
The new table includes 135 airports across Canada, including those in Fort Simpson and Hay River, N.W.T., Dawson City and Old Crow, Yukon, and Cambridge Bay and Chesterfield Inlet in Nunavut.
Yukon Liberal MP Brendan Hanley spoke during the online news conference on Monday to announce the change. He was joined by Diane Lebouthillier, minister of national revenue.
"This is a really welcome service," Hanley said. "It's a pilot service, so we have time to see how it works in practice and to hopefully hear from people about how it works from them.
"So this is really a way to make it a little bit simpler for people to fill out their tax return for the Northern Residents Deduction and facilitate their tax return."
Lowest return airfare (LRA) is defined as the cost of the cheapest round-trip economy-class airfare available when your trip begins, between the airport closest to your home and the closest designated city.
Previously, residents have had to figure this out themselves by checking in with various air carriers.
For years, Yukon's Air North has published tables for the cities it serves.
In order to put its own tables together, the CRA worked with a business travel service provider to identify the amounts currently listed.
To account for fare adjustments, the CRA will add new tables every April and every October.
When claiming the deduction at tax time, northern residents may still use an airfare amount that differs from those listed in the CRA tables. However, they're asked to keep receipts and documents to support that amount in case the CRA asks for proof.