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Monday, December 7, 2015

Disability tax credit update

(advertorial)

Steven Barfuss, H&R Block Franchise Owner

There is a new government form T2201 available that makes is easier for your medical practitioner to certify if you qualify for the Disability Tax Credit.

What does ‘disabled’ mean? A disability is a severe impairment which makes it difficult or time-consuming for you to carry out basic activities of daily living, even if you are undergoing therapy and using appropriate devices and medications.

The impairment must last or be expected to last 12 months and severely restrict your ability to see, walk, speak, hear or perform personal care activities. It includes bowel or bladder function, feeding/dressing and mental function required to manage your personal affairs.

The definition also allows for the cumulative effect of multiple impairments that individually would not be severe enough to qualify. For example, a taxpayer with multiple sclerosis who constantly experiences fatigue, depressed mood and balance problems will probably qualify.
What credits are available? For 2015, the basic federal disability claim is $7,899. Because it is a non-refundable credit, it only works to reduce your tax payable – it is not refunded if you don’t have any tax owing. If you don’t use the entire credit, you may be able to transfer it to someone else, such as a spouse or parent.
There is a wide range of professionals besides your medical doctor who can certify your disability including physiotherapists, optometrists, occupational therapists, audiologists, psychologists and speech-language pathologists.

In some cases, your medical practitioner may charge a fee to complete the form, but the outline of the new form T2201 allows an automatic adjustment of all of the tax years involved and eliminates the need for some firms to charge large fees for the changes to your tax returns.

Download the new formT2201 Disability Tax Credit at www.cra.gc.ca/dtc or pick up at any H&R Block office.

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