DTC Change For The Better

The 2017 budget announced a very big DTC change (disability tax credit), for the better.  The specific statement is:

For many Canadians, nurse practitioners are the first and most frequent point of contact with the health care system, but today, these professionals are not allowed to certify application forms for individuals with impairments who are applying for the Disability Tax Credit.

Budget 2017 proposes to add nurse practitioners to the list of medical practitioners that can certify the impacts of impairments for Disability Tax Credit applicants. The measure will apply to Disability Tax Credit certifications made on or after Budget Day. This is an important step to improve access to the credit in areas where, due to a shortage of medical doctors, nurse practitioners may be the primary care provider.

I applaud this step by the government. As I have said the DTC is something you can do yourself, and this makes that easier for many folks. Many Doctors don’t have the time to fill in the needed forms. Adding Nurse Practitioners to the list of professionals who can fill in the T2201 is good.

dtc change

Simple Steps for DTC

My Opinions on Fee-based Firms

The number of firms willing to help the disabled (or their family) fill in these forms for fees continues to grow and this worries me. This can not be a growth industry, and it  shows the system is too complicated for disabled Canadians. All steps to simplify the system are a good thing.

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Bill C-462 : Protecting Disabled Canadians or a Paper Tiger ?

For those of  you unaware Bill C-462 the Disability Tax Credit Promoters Restrictions Act ,was passed into law and received Royal Assent (2014-05-29) . 

Disability Tax Credit Promoters Restriction Act

Penalties must be set for overcharging DTC Consultation Firms (link to CBC article on the act)

This Disability Tax Credit Promoters Restrictions Act  summary

This enactment restricts the amount of fees that can be charged or accepted by persons who, on behalf of a person with a disability, request a determination of disability tax credit eligibility under the Income Tax Act. It establishes a prohibition against charging or accepting more than an established maximum fee and establishes offences and penalties for failure to comply.

The Act was passed, given royal consent, however,  it seems to have never been made law. If you read the bill it looks like it would be easy to enforce, however in the summary you read:

“…an established maximum fee and establishes offences and penalties for failure to comply…”

The problem is the Act never defines maximum fees or the penalties for them.  The other issue is that the act has never “come into force”. I guess it is dead, which is unfortunate. A maximum charge and penalties are needed.

While I have always said you should Do It Yourself, I also realize some folks will need help. These firms must stop gouging their customers.

Who Should You Contact About This?

If you want to voice your concerns about the Disability Tax Credit Promoters Restrictions Act, contact the sponsor of the bill  , she would like to hear from you as well. I have been in conversation with Ms. Gallant.

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Disabilities, Tax Time, The Queen and #MoneyStories

The CBC had an interesting story about a disabled person who had both legs removed, who had to re-file to keep their disability claim (effectively to prove their legs had not grown back). While this sounds horrible, it was most likely an admin error at the CRA, as normally they are pretty good on the disability claim side of things. The CBC however also trumpeted, Delay at CRA hurting disabled Canadians, advocates say, which is sensationalized, but has some ring of truth. The entire disability claim system is complicated and quite daunting for a lot of folks, if you want proof check out my article CRA Child Disability Benefit (How To) and the 160 comments on it from various folks asking for help. The article also talks about the private firms that folks engage to help the process that end up gouging their customers (in my opinion), which I outline in Disability Tax Credit: Please Do It Yourself. No one should be profiting on someone’s disability claim. I also agree with the assertion that the system needs to be made simpler for the average person to make a claim, or there needs to be more help for those folks. The CRA does have a Nurse on call that can help out with disability claims, if you tweet their account (so keep that in mind as well).

Sad to hear we have lost another great musician with the death of Prince this week. Remember folks, your hero age the same way you do. I never saw Prince live, but evidently it was something else.

The Queen at 90

The Queen and 3 generations of her children

Remember that your tax deadline is April 30th, and there is no extension planned by the CRA. You had your chance to have free Turbotax, although I have 5 licenses to give away, and only 3 comments on my giveaway post, who knows?

The Queen turns 90, and continues to work a withering (to me) schedule of events. I have problems getting to work in the morning, and this nonagenarian still works harder? I gotta step up my game, God Save the Queen!

My Writings for Week Ending April 22nd

Another week where I wasn’t overly motivated to write. I assume this is a short lull, so I continue to find older writings from my archive of over 220 unfinished posts, with A Personal Spending Surplus ? If you have a spending surplus, you should pay off debt, and then once that is done, you should save it, stop lifestyle creep!

A Money Thought

Time is the only limited resource in your financial plan, keep that in mind!

👇 For more great financial articles from this week click here 👇

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Notice of Determination on Disability Tax Credit

About three weeks ago we mailed in (via certified mail, so we got a tracking ID for the envelope we sent to the CRA) our re-application for the disability tax credit certificate (DTCC) for my son. We were not really sure how long it was going to take to receive the notice of determination, however, yesterday we received the response about our son’s eligibility for the DTCC.

We sent enough, and the correct information, as the CRA completed their review and now my son is eligible for another 8 years (until he turns 18), and his DTCC was extended (i.e. a positive response in the notice of determination), which is a relief to us. This means we can continue to receive the child tax benefits, and also continue to contribute to his Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) as well.

The notice of determination for the DTCC from the CRA is very clear but it has two very interesting paragraphs:

You will have to file a new, full completed Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, for the 2024 tax year or earlier if we ask for one, so we can review your son’s eligibility for DTC.

In the meantime, if your dependant’s medical condition improves to the point that the impairment would not longer meet the eligibility criteria for disability tax credit, you must let us know.

Interesting how the CRA can still ask for an updated T2201 at any time, if they wish to review my son’s eligibility, and that I must tell them if he is no longer impaired ? Autism Spectrum isn’t cured, but I guess this is the CRA being thorough ?

Final Bits to Notice

Another interesting stanza in the notice of determination states:

Please note that you are responsible for any fees charged by a medical practitioner to complete Form 2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, or to provide us with additional information. These fees are medical expenses. See line 330 of the General Income Tax and Benefit Guide

In our case we did have to pay for the Speech Pathologist Report, which was included in the documentation sent to the CRA, so that is now a medical expense (remember other things can be a medical expense as well).

A final helpful section stated:

If you need more information about the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), please see the additional RDSP information sheet.

Yes, there was a helpful sheet about RDSPs included with the letter. It suggested checking out the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) web site, which is helpful as well. It also pointed out that the Government may deposit up to $90,000 into the RDSP over the lifetime of the beneficiary (another good reason to have one). ESDC is on Twitter too.

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Time to Re-apply for the Disability Tax Credit Certificate

Let me preface this post with a thank you to Milburn Drysdale at ASDFunding.com. His documentation is what we based most of this work on, and if anyone asks you, they should check out his site before you read anything over here about Registered Disability Savings Plans for Disability Tax Credits. I’d also like to thank my wife who has fact checked my statements.  Is it time to re-apply for the disability tax credit ? 

As I have mentioned my son’s disability was “verified” by the CRA in 2009. At the time it was a “conditional” verification, and the CRA said that he would need to re-apply for the disability tax credit in 10 years (i.e. back dated to 2005).

A few months ago, we received a child disability benefit notice from the CRA saying, the DTCC (Disability Tax Credit Certificate) would “expire” in December 2015 . I hadn’t thought about the fact that my son’s disability was viewed as a disability from birth, so the CRA credited me back taxes from when he was born. This meant that his disability tax credit period started from birth. Given my son has turned ten this year, it is logical that the CRA is now asking for a reassessment.

The first steps towards re-applying for the DTCC for my son was to go see our Pediatrician and have him fill out the T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate. Our Pediatrician could have turned us down and said, “No I won’t fill in the forms for you because in my opinion your son is no longer disabled”, however, that was not the case.

We then added to this documentation, a report from my son’s Occupational Therapist and a Speech Pathologist (Effect of Impairment Document), to help reaffirm my son’s disability diagnosis for the reapplication. It is better to have plenty of supporting documents for the application.

Is the reapplication a “slam dunk”? No, not by any means, we need to make sure that we have all supporting documentation done, and it still relies on the CRA to decide whether that documentation is sufficient or not. What if the CRA denies the reapplication for my son? A few things happen:

Final Notes

The advice we got from our Pediatrician (who I think I view as a subject matter expert, as he has done many of these) is you can never have too much documentation, and you must make sure the information is easy to follow for the CRA folks that will be making the decision. The goal is to have a well written clear application.

Some other notes from my wife, that I am not sure I completely comprehend, but here they are:

  • There is a list of qualified practitioners on the forms (T2201). This information is on the forms, supporting documentation can be from other professionals, but you need a specific professional to sign the forms.
  • Make sure you get your pediatrician or Doctor to fill in the right sections of the forms. There is nothing worse than doing all this work and have the CRA return the forms with a note saying, “You forgot to fill in the following sections:….”

The signed forms were sent via registered mail and we must now wait to see whether the Disability Tax Credit will continue for us.

re-apply for the disability tax credit

An Excellent Graphic from our friends at Moneysense about the RDSP benefits

 

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