Do you, or a loved one, qualify for the Disability Tax Credit? The following article explains the requirements to qualify for this tax credit. We have included links to very detailed information on the Canada Revenue website, which describes qualifying impairments, in text and video format. If you have qualified for this credit for a number of years but have not claimed it, adjustments to your tax returns can be filed to claim it for up to 10 years.
To qualify for this non-refundable tax credit, a form T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate must be completed, certified and submitted. This form has sections on various types of physical or mental impairments. Each section asks for the year in which the impairment began. However, in order to have the disability tax credit applied retroactively, a form T1Adj must be filed for each previous tax year in which the person qualifies. See our article on changing your tax return for how to do this, and the time periods for which it can be done.
The disability amount tax credit is claimed by completing the federal worksheet included in the personal income tax return, and entering the resulting amount on line 316 of Schedule 1.
If part or all of the disability amount tax credit cannot be used by the taxpayer, it can be transferred to a spouse or common law partner, or to a supporting taxpayer (e.g. parent, child). See the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) topic Line 318 – Disability amount transferred from a dependent. A supporting taxpayer may also be able to claim the caregiver amount tax credit on line 315.
If a qualified person (usually a medical doctor) certifies that you have a severe and prolonged mental or physical impairment which markedly restricts the ability to perform a basic activity of daily living, then a disability amount may be claimed. For 2005 and later years, eligibility for the disability amount tax credit includes persons with a severe and prolonged mental or physical impairment which significantly restricts the ability to perform more than one basic activity of daily living, including
If the cumulative effect of the restrictions in performing activities is equivalent to having a single marked restriction in one activity, then the person will be eligible for the disability tax credit.
The term “markedly restricted” as defined by the Income Tax Act s. 118.4(1)(b):
“an individual’s ability to perform a basic activity of daily living is markedly restricted only where all or substantially all of the time, even with therapy and the use of appropriate devices and medication, the individual is blind or is unable (or requires an inordinate amount of time) to perform a basic activity of daily living”
If you are under 18, an additional amount may be claimed. This may be reduced by any child care or attendant care expenses that were claimed by you or a supporting person. See the tables of non-refundable tax credits for tax credit amounts and income limitations, federally, and for each province and territory.
Individuals receiving extensive therapy are eligible for the disability tax credit (DTC) if their therapy meets 3 conditions:
The following changes were made for 2005 and later years, to better define activities that are considered therapy, and will be considered as time spent receiving therapy:
– Where the therapy has been determined to require a regular dosage of medication that needs to be adjusted on a daily basis, the activities directly involved in determining the appropriate dosage will be considered part of the therapy.
– Therapy does not include activities such as following a dietary restriction or regime, exercise, travel time, medical appointments, shopping for medication or recuperation after therapy.
– The time it takes to administer the therapy must be time dedicated to the therapy—that is, the individual has to take time away from normal, everyday activities in order to receive the therapy. Further, in the case of a child who is unable to perform the activities related to the therapy as a result of his or her age, the time spent by the child’s primary caregivers (i.e. parents) performing and supervising these activities for the child can be considered time dedicated to the therapy.
With these changes, many children with Type I diabetes may be eligible for the DTC.
Don’t be misled by some companies which seem to indicate almost anyone is eligible for the disability tax credit. See the CBC news article Disability Tax Credits Under Investigation for more information. If you actually are disabled, then you shouldn’t have to pay someone a percentage of your tax credit in order to claim it, when all you need is a form completed by your doctor. If you do decide to use a paid service to help you get the credit, make sure you ask them what happens if you are subsequently audited and have to repay the refund you received. Make sure you get the answer in writing.
The information presented is only of a general nature, may omit many details and special rules, is current only as of its published date, and accordingly cannot be regarded as legal or tax advice. Please contact our office for more information on this subject and how it pertains to your specific tax or financial situation.
Reprinted from TaxTips.ca