Doing taxes can be overwhelming, especially since each province and territory has its own system. What most Canadians want to know is how to pay less income tax — and that means taking advantage of tax credits in Canada and Quebec. \nPut simply, tax credits allow you to "write off" expenses, deducting money from the amount you owe or adding to the amount you get back from the government. Non-refundable credits help with the former and refundable credits help with the latter, FYI.\nEditor's Choice: Revenu Québec Shared An Important Tip For Declaring CERB On Your Taxes This Year\n\nWhile you can consult full lists of credits for federal and provincial income taxes, we've created a handy guide to the most common credits you didn't know you could claim. \nAs always, the key to doing your taxes is to keep receipts and other documents as proof of the expenses you claim.\nDid you do any of the 9 things below in 2020? See if you can claim them this year! \n\nMedical Care (Quebec)\nIn Quebec, you can claim a non-refundable tax credit if you paid medical expenses exceeding 3% of your net income for the year.\nThe expenses need to have been paid over the course of 12 months — either for yourself, your spouse or your dependent.\nYou can consult Revenu Québec's list of eligible medical expenses for more information. Just make sure you keep physical copies of your medical receipts as proof.\n\nDigital News Subscription (Line 31350)\nIn Canada, you can claim a non-refundable tax credit of up to $500 for qualifying news subscription expenses.\nYou must have paid the amounts to a qualified Canadian journalism organization (QCJO) that does not hold a licence to broadcast. It should be a digital news subscription to content that is primarily original news.\nIf you shared the subscription with another person, you can split the tax claim. However, the total amount of your claim and the other person’s claim cannot be more than the maximum amount allowed for the credit, the federal government says. \n\nInfertility Treatment (Quebec)\nIn Quebec, you can claim a refundable tax credit for expenses related to an in vitro fertilization, if you meet the following conditions:\n\nYou were resident in Quebec on December 31 of the covered taxation year \nYou paid the expenses in that taxation year \nNeither you nor your spouse had a child before the start of the treatment for the expenses you're claiming\nA physician has certified that neither you nor your spouse underwent surgical sterilization by vasectomy or tubal ligation for reasons that are not strictly medical\n\nRevenu Québec says you should not include expenses if you were already reimbursed for them or if you were entitled to a reimbursement — unless the reimbursement is included in your income. \n\nDonations & Gifts (Line 34900)\nIf you, your spouse or your common-law partner donated money to certain institutions, like a Canadian charity, you may be able to claim non-refundable tax credits.\nThe federal government website says, generally, you can claim all or part of the eligible amount up to a limit of 75% of your net income.\nYou can consult the Canada Revenue Agency's pamphlet on gifts and income tax for more information.\nThe Schedule 9 federal tax form covers donations and gifts.\nA tax credit for donations and gifts can also be claimed in Quebec.\n\nInterest Paid On Student Loans (Line 31900)\nYou may be eligible for a non-refundable tax credit for the interest paid on your post-secondary student loans in 2020 or the five years prior.\nThe conditions are that you must have received the loan under:\n\nthe Canada Student Loans Act\nthe Canada Student Financial Assistance Act\nthe Apprentice Loans Act\nprovincial or territorial government laws similar to those acts\n\nIf you don't have taxes to pay for the year you paid the interest, the government says it's to your advantage not to claim it on your return — you can carry the interest forward and apply it on your return for any of the next five years.\nConsult the federal government's pamphlet on students and income tax for more information.\nThe federal Schedule 11 form covers education and tuition amounts.\nYou can also claim a provincial tax credit for interest on student loans in Quebec, if you meet the criteria.\n\nFirst-Time Home Ownership (Line 31270)\nIf you were a first-time home buyer in Canada in 2020, you can claim a non-refundable $5,000 credit if the following conditions apply:\n\nYou, your spouse or common-law partner acquired a qualifying home in that tax year\nYou did not live in another home owned by you, your spouse or common-law partner in the year you bought the home or in any of the four preceding years \n\nSingle-family houses, semi-detached houses, mobile homes, townhouses, condo units, apartments in buildings and apartments in duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes all qualify.\nA tax credit of up to $750 is also available for first-time home buyers in Quebec.\nKeep all your documents for up to six years in case CRA needs to verify them. \n\nDonations To Quebec Political Parties \nYou can claim this tax credit if you made donations by cash or cheque to eligible Quebec political parties.\nThe tax credit applies to donations to:\n\nOfficial representatives of municipal political parties or independent candidates authorized under Quebec's Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities; and\nfinancial representatives of municipal party leadership candidates authorized under this Act.\n\nYou can't claim this provincial credit if you were a political party candidate, independent candidate or leadership candidate of an authorized party and you made contributions for your own benefit or the benefit of the party.\n\nVolunteer Firefighting (Line 31220)\nYou can claim a $3,000 non-refundable credit for the federal volunteer firefighters' amount (VFA) if you were a volunteer firefighter in 2020.\nTo claim Quebec's volunteer firefighters' tax credit, you need to have performed at least 200 hours of volunteer service throughout the year. \nThe Quebec government says you can't claim the VFA if you replace permanent firefighters for short periods, are regularly on duty at a fire station or are paid for your duties.\n\nVolunteer Search & Rescuing (Line 31240)\nThe $3000 search and rescue volunteers' amount (SRVA) is similar to the volunteer firefighters' amount — except that you have to volunteer for a qualifying search and rescue team in order to claim it.\nThe services you would have had to perform to claim the SRVA include:\n\nresponding to and being on call for search and rescue-related emergency calls as a search and rescue volunteer\nattending meetings held by the organization performing the search and rescue\nparticipating in required training related to search and rescue services \n\nYour search and rescue organization can tell you if it is eligible for the SRVA — but the Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada, the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association or the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary are all eligible organizations.\nYou can also claim a provincial search and rescue volunteers' credit in Quebec.