As I write this, it’s mid-September 2021. It’s been a while since I last posted an article.
Covid has made the world a bit of an unpredictable place this past 18 months. Who would ever have thought something that measures 100 nanometers in diameter – want some perspective? one of the hairs on your head measures about 75,000 nanometres in diameter – could change life as we know it for such a period of time.
But I’ve written enough about Covid-19. (Although, as the political beast I can be, I have some pretty strong opinions!)
We’re approaching the last quarter of the year so I’m going to have a quick revisit of a subject I’ve mentioned several times over the years. Income Tax time!
All the ins and outs of your mainstream filing is your own business, but I want to bring your attention to one of the most under-utilized programs the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) offers: the Disability Tax Credit. It’s a bit of a hassle as you need to fill out forms, you need a doctor’s signature to verify information, and then the CRA has to approve it… but it so worth it.
Many Boomers have serious health issues and this really help with getting hired help, or equipment, or medications. Terms like “prolonged impairment” and “marked restriction” are the benchmark – so from more severe health issues, to dementia, to the inability to perform the activities of daily living (ADLs) to circumstances like severe arthritis whereby the time it takes a person to complete ADLs is tripled (or more).
If you are fortunate enough to not qualify for the Disability Tax Credit, are you an advocate for a person who might? a parent? a sibling? a spouse? An important point here is that the claimant is not labelled in any way – this is not a “Scarlet Letter” moment – it is a tax credit for a person who might need the financial help.
The reason I like to mention this tax credit well in advance of filing time is that it’s a process. You need to download the application, make an appointment with a doctor, have the discussion, get the signature and file the application. The CRA then reviews the application and let’s you know its ruling.
While all this takes time, the good news is that, if it’s approved, and appropriate, the tax credit can be applied for retroactively.
More information can be found at the Revenue Agency website:
Like a lot of government-ese, the verbiage can be more baffling than dazzling. I recently found this website that explains things in perhaps more lay terms.
If you have any concerns as to whether you or someone in your life qualifies… or if you are not in Canada… talk to a tax professional who specializes in senior and/or disability tax information and get lots of information and ask lots of questions.
I filed this for my mother when I was taking care of her and it really helped our expense picture.
Please take advantage of any and every benefit your governments give you!