This guide was compiled by Graeme Treeby of The “Special Needs” Planning Group. It is intended for free distribution to organizations serving the Special Needs Community, clients and friends of The “Special Needs” Planning Group (www.specialneedsplanning.ca) and anyone else who may be interested. It is not to be taken as Accounting or Tax advice but rather, as a resource to provide a starting point for your journey through the maze that is Income Tax Preparation and Planning fo rpeople with a disability and their families. Graeme Treeby can be reached at 905 640-8285 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
This year, Canada Revenue Agency has announced a few changes that may affect the Income Taxes of people with disabilities and their families. They are:
A. Family Caregiver Amount: Beginning in the taxation year 2015, the Family Caregiver Amount for children under the age of 18 is to be claimed separately on line 367 of the return. If the dependant person is 18 years or over, an amount of $2093 can be added to line 303 if the dependant is a spouse or common-law partner or line 305 if the dependant is an eligible dependant or line 315 if claiming the caregiver amount.
B. Children’s Fitness Tax Credit: Up until now, the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit was a non-refundable credit. As of this year, it has been changed to being a refundable credit.
C. CRA Auto-fill Feature: Canada Revenue Agency announced that they have created a service for 2015 tax returns that will assist all taxpayers including those with disabilities. This new service will automatically fill in certain parts of the income tax return with information that CRA already has on file. CRA says that it is able to populate a taxpayer’s return with things such as T3, T4 and T5 slips, RRSP information, Home Buyers’ Plans, Capital Gains and Losses to name a few. A full list can be found at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/auto-fill/ and can be used when a return is filed online with
certified tax preparation software.
D. Age 17 Tax Returns: While not new, it is important to remember to file income tax returns for people receiving RDSP Grants and Bonds. The income amount switches from the parents income to the person with the disability’s income at the beginning of the year that he or she turns age 19. The income amount used for these calculations is the amount reported to CRA 2 years prior to the current year. Therefore submit an Income Tax Return for the year in which the person turns age 17 and every year thereafter, even if he or she has earned no income in those years.
E. Universal Child Care Benefit: The UCCB has increased to $160 per month for each qualified dependant under 6 years of age and there is a new benefit of $60 per month for each qualified dependant aged 6 to 17.