Here is some basic information about tax credits that seniors and their caregivers may be able to access. This is not professional financial advice, we recommend that you seek the expertise of a financial professional or from the CRA.
In order to have all of information you need when considering or applying for tax refunds and other available aid, it is best to make a habit of keeping note of the expenses you incur in relation to medical expenses and caregiving.
Canada Caregiver Credit. If you regularly and consistently provide for some or all of the basic necessities of life, such as food, shelter and clothing, for anyone with a physical or mental impairment, you could qualify for the Canada Caregiver Credit. The amount that you can claim depends on your relationship to the person for whom you are providing care, your circumstances, the person’s net income, and whether other credits are being claimed for that person. More details about this credit can be found at The new Canada caregiver credit – Canada.ca.
Medical Expense Tax Credit. Healthcare expenses for yourself, your spouse, or a loved one can be claimed as a tax credit. These expenses can include a wide range of products, procedures and services, including medical supplies, dental care, and travel expenses. See the Canada Revenue Agency’s full list for more details, at Lines 33099 and 33199 – Eligible medical expenses you can claim on your tax return – Canada.ca.
One of the most common medical expenses to claim is attendant care and care in a facility. For more details, consult the Canada Revenue Agency’s full guide at Medical Expenses 2020 – Canada.ca.
Home Accessibility Tax Credit. If you renovate a home to accommodate the needs of someone who is over sixty-five years old, you can claim a non-refundable tax credit of up to $10,000 per year for your expenses. Renovations must be a permanent part of the home and must allow the individual to gain access to, or to be mobile and functional within, the home, and must reduce the risk of harm to the individual within the home.
For eligible expenses, you can claim both the Medical Expense Tax Credit and the Home Accessibility Tax Credit. Renovations that could qualify for both tax credits include the installation of indoor or outdoor mobility ramps, widening doorways or hallways to give a disabled person access, and renovations to kitchen or bathroom cabinetry in order to allow access. Renovations that qualify for the Home Accessibility Tax Credit also include things like walk-in tubs, motion sensor lights, and non-slip flooring. You can find details in the Canada Revenue Agency’s complete guide, at Home accessibility tax credit (HATC) – Canada.ca.
Compassionate Care Benefits. If you need to be away from work to participate in the care of someone who requires end-of-life care, you could receive financial assistance of up to 55% of your earnings, to a maximum of $595 per week, for up to 26 weeks. These benefits are available as part of Canada’s Employment Insurance program. Temporary changes have been made to this program to help with accessing caregiving benefits, and these changes are in effect until September 25, 2021. More information is available from Caregiving benefits and leave – Canada.ca.
Disability Tax Credit. Tax credits are available for eligible persons with disabilities or their supporting family members. Eligible persons must be certified by a medical practitioner and must have a severe impairment in physical or mental functions, be markedly restricted at least 90% of the time, and the impairment must be prolonged. Caregivers who provide food, clothing and shelter throughout the year can claim the portion of the tax credit unused by the person with the disability. Eligible disabilities applicable to this credit include several disabilities related to activities of daily living, including feeding, dressing and incontinence. The full overview of this tax credit is available at Disability tax credit (DTC) – Canada.ca