Your charitable donations entitle you to a tax credit as follows:
- 15% of the value of charitable donations for the first $200
- 29% of the value of charitable donations over $200
You can claim charitable donations up to a maximum of 75% of your net income.
To claim a tax credit in the current year, you must make your charitable donation on or before Dec 31 in that year.
You do not have to claim a charitable donation in the year in which it was made. You can carry forward any charitable donations you do not claim in the current year and claim them on your return for any of the next five years.
Visit the Government of Canada web site for the complete details about claiming a charitable donation tax credit.
Since you can carry charitable donations forward five years, save up your charitable donations for a five year period. This will maximize the amount of your tax credit.
For example, suppose each year for five years you made $100 of charitable donations. If you claimed your tax credit each year, your total tax credits would be $75:
- $15 for year 1
- $15 for year 2
- $15 for year 3
- $15 for year 4
- $15 for year 5
If you did not claim your tax credits until year five, your total tax credits would be $117:
- $0 for year 1
- $0 for year 2
- $0 for year 3
- $0 for year 4
- $117 for year 5