Tax information for persons with a disability

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The following is now available on the CRA Web site:

Tax Tip

Through the tax system, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers a range of benefits and credits for persons with a disability or those who are caring for a dependant with a disability. By filing your income tax and benefit return by April 30, 2009, your return will be processed faster and if you are entitled to a refund, you will receive it earlier.

Benefits

* Child Disability Benefit – The Child Disability Benefit (CDB) is intended for families caring for a child under the age of 18 with a severe or prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions. The CDB is paid monthly with the Canada Child Tax Benefit on the 20th day of each month. The CDB, which is based on family net income, provides up to a maximum of $199.58 per month for each child eligible for the disability amount. The CDB starts being reduced when family net income is more than $37,885. For more information, go to http://www.cra.gc.ca/cdb.

* Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit – In 2007, we issued over $3 million in goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credits to more than 33,000 individuals. To receive your GST/HST credit, you must apply by completing the application area on page 1 of your 2008 income tax and benefit return, even if you received the credit last year. For more information on the GST/HST credit, see Pamphlet RC4210, GST/HST Credit, or go to http://www.cra.gc.ca/benefits.

Federal non-refundable tax credits

* Disability amount – If a qualified practitioner certifies on Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, that you have a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental function, you can claim the disability amount of $7,021 when filing your 2008 return. The disability amount can be transferred in whole or in part if the person with the disability does not need it to reduce his or her taxable income. See lines 316 and 318 of the 2008 General Income Tax and Benefit Guide.

* Medical expenses – You may be able to claim the cost of medical expenses for any 12-month period ending in 2008 (provided that they have not been claimed before) for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner, or your dependants. For 2008, your total expenses have to be more than 3% of your net income or $1,962, whichever is less. For more information about medical expenses, including a list of common eligible expenses, go to http://www.cra.gc.ca/medical.

Registered Disability Savings Plan

A registered disability savings plan (RDSP) is a plan that provides long-term financial security for a beneficiary who has a severe impairment in physical or mental function. The beneficiary named under an RDSP must be eligible for the disability tax credit. Contributions are not tax deductible, but the earnings generated on contributions are tax-exempt while they stay in the plan. When earnings are withdrawn from the savings plan, they are taxable in the hands of the beneficiary. For more information, go to http://www.cra.gc.ca/disability.

Electronic services – Quick. Easy. Secure.

Millions of people trust the reliability and flexibility of the online services that the CRA offers—services that allow you to file a return, change your return, change your address, calculate your family benefits, apply for direct deposit, and more. For a list of quick, easy, and secure options, go to http://www.cra.gc.ca/electronicservices.

Did you know that your benefit and credit payments, as well as your income tax refund, can be deposited directly into your financial institution account? To have this done, simply apply for direct deposit through the My Account online service at http://www.cra.gc.ca/myaccount. If your direct deposit information changes, please provide us with your new account information as soon as possible. You can also view your disability tax credit status and authorize a representative to act on your behalf.

Help completing your return

If you qualify for the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program and have a simple tax situation, a trained volunteer will help you complete your 2008 income tax and benefit return. To find a Community Volunteer Income Tax Program clinic near you, go to www.cra.gc.ca/volunteer or call the CRA Individuals Income Tax Enquiries line at 1-800-959-8281.

Multiple formats

If you have a visual impairment, you can get our publications in braille, large print, etext (CD or diskette), or MP3, by visiting our Web site at www.cra.gc.ca/alternate, or by calling 1-800-959-2221. You can also get your personalized correspondence in one of these formats by calling 1-800-959-8281.

More information

For more tax-related information for persons with a disability, see Guide RC4064, Medical and Disability-Related Information, or go to http://www.cra.gc.ca/disability.

Source: CRA Newsroom

Comments

Frank J says:

You did your homework and I hope that those who do qualify take advantage of this information!

HandyTax says:

Nice summary of the tax breaks available for the disabled in Canada.

Christine says:

Many canadians are unaware that the canadian government offers tax benefits and grants for anyone who has a physical or mental disability. Unfortunately collecting these benefits can be complicated and stressful. At the Canadian Disability Corporation they simplify the process to make sure you obtain every dollar possible from the CRA. On top of this, they will also ensure you’re applied to other programs available to people with disabilities such as the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).
http://www.canadadisability.ca/

lifts says:

I’ve found that it’s been extremely hard getting myself classed as disabled (I suffer from chronic backpain but can walk). I’m not able to work but I cannot find a way to make the authorities see that.

@lifts .. Please check out the guide RC4064 link above and make calls to Canada Revenue with the numbers above.

In most general terms, CRA wants to help disabled people to get more benefits. Most of the checks in place are meant to prohibit bogus doctors from issuing bogus medical reports to enable taxpayers to apply for bogus disability refunds (usually on a commission basis).

One way authorities can validate your claim is by investigating valid T2201 DTC Certificates completed by a qualified practitioner – it all starts here: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t2201/t2201-10e.pdf

Just wanted to point out that not all firms helping people with disabilities get the maximum amount from CRA entertain or encourage bogus claims. We are a policy of not dealing directly with medical professionals so as not to influence their professional judgement. We try and guide the client prior to their appointment to ensure that the client is comfortable when approaching their doctor and also to point out which conditions / criteria may apply to them so that they may be able to discuss it confidently with their doctor.

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