Do you support a spouse or common-law partner, or a dependant with a physical or mental impairment? If so, The Canada Caregiver Credit (CCC), a non-refundable tax credit may be available to you.
Here’s what you need to know about the Canada Caregiver Amount.
Out with the Old
The Canada Caregiver Credit replaces three credits:
- The Caregiver Amount,
- The Amount for Infirm Dependants (18 & older), and
- The Family Caregiver Amount.
The rules for claiming each of these credits were very different from each other. For example, the Caregiver Amount required that the person you were supporting live with you, while the Amount for an Infirm Dependant did not. The Family Caregiver Amount was the only one of the three available for children up to the age of 18.
Now, with the Canada Caregiver Credit, figuring out if you qualify for a tax credit is much simpler. There’s only one set of requirements; either you qualify or you don’t.
You may be able to claim the CCC if you support your spouse or common-law partner with a physical or mental impairment.
You may also be able to claim the CCC for one or more of the following individuals if they depend on you for support because of a physical or mental impairment:
- Your or your spouse’s/common-law partner’s child or grandchild
- Your or your spouse’s/common-law partner’s parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, or nephew (if they were resident in Canada at any time in the year)
An individual is considered to depend on you for support if they rely on you to regularly and consistently provide them with some or all of the basic necessities of life, such as food, shelter and clothing.
What amount can you claim?
The amount you can claim depends on your relationship to the person for whom you are claiming the CCC, your circumstances, the person’s net income, and whether other credits are being claimed for that person.
For an eligible dependant 18 years of age or older, you may be entitled to claim an amount of $2,182 in the calculation of line 305. You could also claim an amount up to a maximum of $6,986 on line 304.
For each of your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s children under 18 years of age at the end of the year, you may be entitled to claim an amount of $2,182 on line 367.
For each other dependant 18 years of age or older, who is not an eligible dependant for whom an amount is claimed on line 305, you may be entitled to claim an amount up to a maximum of $6,986 on line 307.
What documents do you need to support your claim?
When you file your income tax return, do not send any documents. Keep them in case we ask to see them.
The CRA may ask for a signed statement from a medical practitioner showing when the impairment began and what the duration of the impairment is expected to be.
For children under 18 years of age, the statement should also show that the child, because of the impairment in physical or mental functions, is, and will likely continue to be, dependent on others for an indefinite duration. Dependent on others means they need much more assistance for their personal needs and care compared to children of the same age.
You do not need a signed statement from a medical practitioner if the CRA already has an approved Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, for a specified period.
Overall What Changed?
The Canada Caregiver Credit brought three main changes:
1. The dependant you’re supporting must be “infirm”.
This means that your family member must be dependant upon you due to a physical or mental condition or “infirmity”. In the past, if you lived with a parent or grandparent over the age of 65, you were eligible for the former Caregiver Amount, even if the senior wasn’t “infirm”. That’s’ no longer the case.
2. The dependant doesn’t have to live with you.
This is good news to all the caregivers whose help allows family members to stay in their own homes. If your disabled sister lives nearby but you assist with day-to-day chores like grocery shopping or paying bills, your help could earn you a tax break.
3. Partial credit is available if your dependant’s income is too high.
Previously, if your dependant’s income was over $14,000, you may have been excluded from claiming any tax credits. The Canada Caregiver Credit features a more generous income limit for the full and partial credit.
If I pay support for my infirm dependant, can I claim the Canada Caregiver Credit?
- If you are required to pay support for the dependant, you cannot claim the Canada Caregiver Credit.
Can I split the Canada Caregiver Credit with another person?
- If more than one person cares for the infirm dependant, the credit can be shared.
What proof of infirmity is required?
- A signed statement from your dependant’s doctor or practitioner may be required by the Canada Revenue Agency. The statement should contain details on the infirmity as well as when the infirmity began and how long it is expected to last. If your dependant already has an approved Form T2201 – Disability Tax Certificate – on file with CRA, no additional paperwork is needed.