The Disability Tax Credit

October 7, 2011

Does someone you know need help doing the things that we take for granted? Or, over the past year, has age or an unforeseen event affected the way you do the necessary activities of each day? Activities like hearing, speaking, walking, feeding and dressing in the morning.

The cost of caregivers or devices to keep us going can add up. Any extra help that we can get is a good thing. Assistance in the form of the disability tax credit may be available. This credit is available to people that qualify, regardless of their age.

What’s the Credit Worth?
If you were claiming for yourself, and are eligible in 2011 you can received a non-refundable tax credit of $7,341. The credit is used to reduce your income tax payable and is not received in cash. Non-refundable means that if you don’t use some or all of it, you lose it. It can’t be used against income in future years, it can only be used in the year that you are eligible to receive it.

If you have a family member (namely your spouse, common-law partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew) that relies on you to survive and is earning no income of their own or a low income, you can make the claim on their behalf. Your taxable income would be reduced instead of theirs.

If the disabled dependant is under the age of 18, there is an additional $4,282 that may be available. This is subject to reduction based on other claimed expenses.

That would be helpful, how do I qualify?
Your Doctor (or a certified specialist) needs to conduct an assessment of your abilities. They will have to complete a Disability Tax Credit Certificate, which you would then submit to the CRA for review. The required certification form can be sent in at any point in the year – in fact, the CRA encourages it so their verification doesn’t delay processing of your income tax at tax time.

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