Difference Between the Caregiver Deduction and the Infirm Dependants Amount

Please note that starting in 2017, the caregiver tax credit, infirm dependant tax credit, and family caregiver tax credit have all been eliminated and replaced by Canada Caregiver Credit (CCC).

Time is already tight in a busy world, and the needs of an impaired or disabled family member can be physically and financially draining for the caregivers. The taxation rules set out a number of tax benefits for the disabled, ways to transfer unused credits from a dependant to a caregiver, as well as two specific tax credits available to those who provide care to disabled and impaired family members. These deductions are connected in that the maximum amount for infirm dependants includes the family caregiver amount.

The infirm dependant and family caregiver amounts cover temporary or permanent disability.

The infirm dependant and family caregiver amounts cover temporary or permanent disability.

The Caregiver amount

You may be entitled to claim the caregiver amount if you (either by yourself or with another person) maintained a dwelling where you lived along with one or more of your (or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s) dependants. Each of those dependants must have been age 18 or older and dependent on you due to physical or mental impairment. Parents and grandparents count if they were born in 1950 or earlier. Lastly, in order for you to qualify, the dependant must have earned an income (in 2015) of less than $20,343. The caregiver amount is claimed on line 315.

The Family Caregiver amount

The Family Caregiver Amount (FCA), which is different than the caregiver amount, is an additional tax credit of up to $2,093 that can be claimed if you are already eligible for certain other credits, namely:

  • Spouse or common-law partner amount
  • Amount for an eligible dependant (formerly “equivalent to married”)
  • Caregiver amount or if your child under 18 meets the requirements.

The impaired dependant must be 18 years of age or older and dependant on you, as the primary caregiver because of impaired physical or mental functions. An individual under 18 years old may also qualify if her impairment is prolonged and indefinite, and she depends upon you for greater care than other children of the same age. The FCA can be claimed for each impaired dependant.

Infirm dependant amount

You can claim up to $6,700 for the care of a infirm dependant over the age of 18. This dependant can be an infirm child or grandchild and for tax purposes, a child can refer to anyone who is completely dependent on you for support, and over whom you have legal custody. This amount includes the $2,093 FCA, and it can be split between you and your partner, but the total can’t exceed $6,700.

As with the FCA, the amount for infirm dependants requires the support of a doctor’s statement, showing the date the infirmity started and how long the condition is expected to last. As with the FCA, the infirm dependant amount can be claimed for more than one disabled dependant. The infirm dependant amount is claimed on line 306.

Exceptions for the infirm dependent amount

If you’re required to make support payments for the infirm child, you can’t claim an amount for that child. However, if you were separated from your spouse for only part of the tax year and you don’t claim any support payments, you can still claim an infirm dependant amount.

Further, these conditions must be met to claim the amount:

  • No one, including you, can claim the infirm dependant as an eligible dependant
  • No one, including you, can claim the caregiver amount for the dependant
  • The dependant’s net income was under $13,420.

Claiming all your dependant credits is easy with TurboTax – Canada’s #1 tax preparation software.

References & Resources

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