"As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected
and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever
~Clarence Darrow

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Caregiver Credit ... Tales from the Disability and Estate Planning Seminar, Part II

Continuing yesterday's discussion of taxation credits for individuals with disabilities and their families...

If your child with a disability is over the age of 18 years and lives with you, you may be eligible to claim the Caregiver Tax Credit (Line 315 on your Income Tax Return). This is in addition to the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) which we discussed yesterday. In this situtaion, you are claiming the DTC as transferred from the individual with disabilties (assuming that they will not need to use it to offset their own tax payable). The Caregiver credit, however, is not transferred from the person with a disability; this credit belongs to the parent/caregiver.

The amount of the Caregiver credit is based on the income of the person with disabilties. As the disabled person's income exceeds $13,700, the amount of the credit will start to reduce.

One thing to keep in mind about the Caregiver credit is that you might want to broaden your view from just that of your disabled child. For example, if you have an elderly parent who has been "dependent on you due to mental or physical infirmity" and they have spent a week or two living in your home (perhaps after being discharged from the hospital), you might be able to claim the Caregiver credit there as well. In fact, as I understand it, it may not even be necessary for the person to have lived with you at all through the year, as long as they are in some sort of de facto dependency situation with you.

From reading the CRA website, it appears that the person does not need to even qualify for the DTC in order for the Caregiver credit to be claimed. In fact, the website appears to read that if the person is "your or your spouse or common-law partner's parent or grandparent, born in 1941 or earlier" you can qualify for the credit, without the person actually being "dependent on you due to mental or physical infirmity". Its reproduced here below. Read it yourself and see what you think.

One rather important issue here, however...


**With grateful acknowledgment to Mr. Ken Pope and the Nova Scotia Downs Syndrome Society for 'bringing him to town'.

No comments: