Tax season is rolling around once again, and there are several ways for caregivers, and the seniors they care for, to claim refunds on tax credits.
There have been some recent changes to the way seniors and their caregivers can claim tax credits. This article will lay out the possible benefits and returns you may have coming to you this tax season.
The potential tax credits for adults over the age of 65 and caregivers with a dependant are different, so we will look at them in sections.
Potential Tax Credits for Caregivers
There are several ways that caregivers with a dependant can claim tax credits, depending on the circumstances of the care situation.
Some of the tax credits that caregivers may be eligible to claim, include:
- Medical expenses
- Disability Amount
- Family caregiver amount
- Provincial tax credits
Caregivers may be able to claim medical expenses paid out during the 12-month period of the year being claimed.
There are certain conditions that must be met in order to make these claims valid.
For one thing, you can only claim medical expenses for a dependant family member.
If you paid out medical expenses for an aging friend, you are not eligible to claim those expenses on your tax. However, if you have paid medical expenses towards caring for your grandmother or aging parent, then those claims may be legitimate.
Also, one of the following must occur in order to claim medical expenses for a dependant:
- The dependant is eligible for the disability amount tax credit
- You have a certification from a medical practitioner saying the services were needed
One more stipulation is that these medical expenses are not being claimed by anyone else.
If you have been supporting someone with a disability, you may be eligible to receive a tax credit for expenses paid.
This tax credit differs from the medical expenses credit in that your dependant does not have to be a family member.
However, the dependant you are supporting must qualify for a Disability Tax Credit Certificate. This will require the involvement of a medical practitioner to complete.
If the dependant is not claiming the credits themselves, or has signed them over to you, you are eligible to claim those disability tax credits.
Family Caregiver Amount
If you are taking care of a dependant with a physical or mental impairment, you may be eligible for the Canada Caregiver Credit (CCC).
The amount you are able to claim under the CCC, depends on different aspects of your care situation, such as:
- Who you are claiming the credits for
- Amount of care being provided and details of that care
- Net income
- Is anyone else making claims for this person?
Your dependant will need to qualify for the Disability Tax Credit Certificate for your claim to be eligible.
Provincial Tax Credits
Additional tax credits for caregivers vary from province to province. See if you are eligible for any provincial claims for Ontario here.
Potential Tax Credits for Seniors
For anyone that is 65 years of age or older, there are certain tax credits that may be available to you.
Some of the potential tax credits for seniors include:
- Age amount
- Pension income amount
- Disability amount
- Attendant care
- Home accessibility tax credit
If you are 65 years or older at the end of the year being claimed, then you are eligible for an age amount tax credit as long your income was less than $82,353.
The maximum possible amount under the age amount tax credit is $7,033, which you can claim in full if your annual income was less than $36,976.
Pension Income Amount
If you have reported an eligible pension, superannuation, or annuity payments on your return, then you may be qualified to claim up to $2000.
If you, or your dependant, has a mental or physical impairment, then you may qualify for a Disability Tax Credit Certificate. This certification will need to be signed by a medical practitioner, indicating the nature of your disability.
This Disability Tax Credit Certificate will also allow you to claim any medical expenses associated with the disability.
Attendant care refers to any care being provided for a person that they could not otherwise manage on their own.
To qualify for the attendant care tax credit, the attendant must be at least 18 years or older and not a spouse or common law partner of the attendee.
Under the attendant care tax credit, you can claim certain expenses for part-time care.
Some expenses you may be able to claim are:
- Wages of part-time caregiver
- Medical expenses
- Transportation assistance
- Food preparation
- Housekeeping services
- Expenses for activities and events with attendant caregiver
- Home safety
Home Accessibility Tax Credit (HATC)
The HATC became available in 2016, for anyone that needed to enhance the safety or accessibility of their home in order to accommodate for a disability.
To be eligible for the HATC return, you must also qualify for the Disability Tax Credit Certification.