Do you support a spouse or common-law partner, or a dependent 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. The amounts also change every year. You can check schedule 5 for the required information and calculations.
For your spouse or common-law partner, you may be entitled to claim an extra amount for the Canada Caregiver Credit on top of the Spousal/Common-law Partner Amount in the calculation of line 30300. The new CCC allows you to claim another amount on line 30425 for your spouse/common-law partner that was not available prior to 2017.
For an eligible dependant 18 years of age or older, you may be entitled to claim the extra CCC on line 30400 with the Amount of an Eligible Dependant (previously was Line 305). You could also claim an amount up on line 30425 Caregiver Amount for spouse/common-law partner or eligible dependant age18 or older (previously was line 304).
For an eligible dependant under 18 years of age at the end of the year, you may be entitled to claim the CCC on line 30500 for your child (previously was line 367).
Note: If you are required to pay child support or have shared custody of the child, additional rules may apply.
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 CRA asks 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 dependent 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. You can claim CCC for your spouse/common-law partner.
This is good news to all the caregivers who support their partners. The extra credit on line 30425 was only available for other dependants over 18 years of age. Now they include spouses and common-law partners to ease the financial burdens on the caregivers.
3. Partial credit is available if your dependant’s income is too high.
The Canada Caregiver Credit features a more generous income limit for full and partial credit.
If I pay support for my infirm dependant, can I claim the Canada Caregiver Credit?
- No. If you are required to pay child support for the dependant, you cannot claim the Canada Caregiver Credit nor you can claim the Amount for Eligible dependant.
Can I split the Canada Caregiver Credit with another person?
- Yes, but only the CCC for other infirmed dependants age 18 or older on line 30450. If more than one person cares for the infirm dependant, the credit can be shared as long as the total amounts claimed on all tax returns do not exceed the year’s limit.
What proof of infirmity is required?
- A signed statement from your dependant’s doctor or practitioner is 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.
Can I claim the Canada Caregiver Amount for children under 18 on line 30500 for more than one child?
- Yes. Even if you are a single parent who can claim the eligible dependant amount (you must have custody of the child/children) the CCC will have to be claimed online 30500 not as a supplement online 30400. You multiply the amount by the number of children who are infirmed.
- If you are married or living common-law, one of you can claim the CCC on line 30500 for multiple kids (you will not be eligible to claim the Amount of Eligible Dependant line30400).
Can we split the CCC amount on line 30500 for children under 18?
- No, not even for shared custody; the parent whose turn is to claim the Eligible Dependant Amount on line 30400 is the one who claims the CCC on line 30500.
- If you have two children with infirmity, each parent can claim one child.
When can I claim the extra CCC on line 30400 with the Amount of an Eligible Dependant?
- You can claim the Canada Caregiver Credit on line 30400 if you are claiming the base amount for a dependant over 18 years of age (parents, grandparents, children over 18, etc). You have to be single to be able to claim the base amount plus the CCC.
- If you are a single parent who can claim the base amount on line 30400 for an infirmed child under 18, Do not add the CCC on this line. You have to apply for the credit on line 30500.