Filing Your Return -> Disabilities -> Disability Amount Tax Credit
Income Tax Act s. 118.3
To qualify for this non-refundable tax credit, a form T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate must be completed, certified and submitted. This form has sections on various types of physical or mental impairments. Each section asks for the year in which the impairment began. However, in order to have the disability tax credit applied retroactively, a form T1Adj must be filed for each previous tax year in which the person qualifies. See our article on changing your tax return for how to do this, and the time periods for which it can be done.
A medical doctor and, effective March 22, 2017 as per the 2017 Federal Budget, a nurse practitioner can certify eligibility for the disability tax credit for all types of impairments. Other medical practitioners that can certify certain impairments in their respective fields are audiologists, occupational therapists, optometrists, physiotherapists, psychologists and speech-language pathologists.
The amount of this federal tax credit is $8,001 for 2016 ($8,113 for 2017), with a supplement of $4,667 for 2016 ($4,732 for 2017) for taxpayers under 18 years of age. The supplement is reduced when total child care and attendant care expenses claimed for the taxpayer under 18 exceed a threshold of $2,734 for 2016 ($2,772 for 2017), and eliminated completely when those expenses exceed $7,401 for 2016 ($7,504 for 2017). See the tables of non-refundable tax credits for the provincial amounts and tax rates of this tax credit.
The disability amount tax credit is claimed by completing the federal worksheet included in the personal income tax return, and entering the resulting amount on line 316 of Schedule 1.
If part or all of the disability amount tax credit cannot be used by the taxpayer, it can be transferred to a spouse or common law partner, or to a supporting taxpayer (e.g. parent, child). See the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) topic Line 318 - Disability amount transferred from a dependent. A supporting taxpayer may also be able to claim the caregiver amount tax credit on line 315.
If a qualified person (usually a medical doctor) certifies that you have a severe and prolonged mental or physical impairment which markedly restricts the ability to perform a basic activity of daily living, then a disability amount may be claimed. For 2005 and later years, eligibility for the disability amount tax credit includes persons with a severe and prolonged mental or physical impairment which significantly restricts the ability to perform more than one basic activity of daily living, including
If the cumulative effect of the restrictions in performing activities is equivalent to having a single marked restriction in one activity, then the person will be eligible for the disability tax credit.
The term "markedly restricted" as defined by the Income Tax Act s. 118.4(1)(b):
If you are under 18, an additional amount may be claimed. This may be reduced by any child care or attendant care expenses that were claimed by you or a supporting person. See the tables of non-refundable tax credits for tax credit amounts and income limitations, federally, and for each province and territory.
Individuals receiving extensive therapy are eligible for the disability tax credit (DTC) if their therapy meets 3 conditions:
The following changes were made for 2005 and later years, to better define activities that are considered therapy, and will be considered as time spent receiving therapy:
With these changes, many children with Type I diabetes may be eligible for the DTC.
Don't be misled by some companies which seem to indicate almost anyone is eligible for the disability tax credit. If you actually are disabled, then you shouldn't have to pay someone a percentage of your tax credit in order to claim it, when all you need is a form completed by your doctor. If you do decide to use a paid service to help you get the credit, make sure you ask them what happens if you are subsequently audited and have to repay the refund you received. Make sure you get the answer in writing.
On May 29, 2014, Bill C-462 was passed and the Disability Tax Credit Promoters Restrictions Act was created. This Act restricts the fees charged by promoters of the disability tax credit. Promoters that accept or charge a fee exceeding the maximum fee will be charged penalties. However, as of March 22, 2017 the Act is not yet in force (not yet applicable). The Coming Into Force section of the Act says "This Act comes in to force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council". CRA held public consultations in November and December 2014 to obtain input from stakeholders about the maximum fee and who should be exempt from the reporting requirements. The proposed Disability Tax Credit Promoters Restrictions Regulations were anticipated to be pre-published in Part 1 of the Canada Gazette in 2016, which ould allow the chance to comment on the draft regulations before they are finalized.
See the CBC news article Tax Season 2015: The disability tax credit and the push for fee limits for more information.
CRA Resources:- Income Tax Folio S1-F1-C1 Medical Expense Tax Credit
- Income Tax Folio S1-F1-C2 Disability Tax Credit
- Income Tax Folio S1-F1-C3 Disability Supports Deduction
- Form T2201 Disability tax credit certificate
Revised: July 20, 2017
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