Caring for someone with a physical or mental disability can be expensive. To offset some of these costs, you can claim the Family Caregiver Amount as a credit against your federal taxes.
What Is the Family Caregiver Amount?
The FCA is a non-refundable tax credit that is worth $2093 as of 2015 and is increased annually to account for inflation. Since the credit is non-refundable, it can be used to lower your federal taxes, but it cannot be used to create a tax refund. In other words, if you do not pay federal taxes, you cannot receive a payment for the FCA.
The FCA is given for the care of a dependant with an impairment. The dependant with the impairment must be either:
- 18 years of age or older and dependent on you because of an impairment in physical or mental functions
- Under 18 years of age, with an impairment in physical or mental functions. The impairment must be prolonged and indefinite and the child must be dependent on you for assistance in attending to personal needs and care when compared to children of the same age.
Who Can Claim the FCA?
The FCA can be claimed one of two ways
- an additional amount on top of other credits including the spouse or common-law partner amount, amount for eligible dependant, or the caregiver amount.
- a stand-alone credit for children under 18
If you have more than one impaired dependant in your care, you may claim the FCA multiple times.
How to Claim the FCA
To claim the FCA in relation to the spouse or common-law partner amount, the amount for an eligible dependant, or the caregiver amount, you will need to complete Schedule 5 and attach it to your tax return.
To claim the FCA in relation to a child under the age of 18, enter the number of children for whom you are claiming the FCA in box 352 of your tax return. Multiply this number by $2093 and enter the total on line 367. It is important to note that if you can make a claim for the same child for both the amount for an eligible dependant and the FCA, you can only claim the FCA on line 367 for this child.
You may need to demonstrate the impairment of your dependent to the CRA. This can be done using a signed statement from a medical practitioner showing when the impairment began and what the duration of the impairment is expected to be. In the case of children under 18, the statement should also show that the child is and will continue to be dependent on others.
You do not need a signed statement from a medical practitioner if the CRA already has an approved Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, that you filed while claiming that particular credit, since the form is also accepted as proof of impairment for the FCA.