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

Limits must be set for 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 introduced by the Tories when they were in power, and was passed. It seems to have (however) disappeared, or simply is not being implemented. If you read the bill it looks like it would be easy to implement however in the summary you read:

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

The problem with the Act is that the maximum fee and the penalties for charging over that maximum have never been defined. Another issue is that the act has never “come into force”. I guess the act is dead, which is unfortunate. Setting a maximum charge and penalties is needed.

While I have always said you should Do It Yourself, I realize some folks will need help. Customers don’t need to be gouged.

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.


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.

Evidently 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 ?

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 hepful 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.


Time to Re-apply for the Disability Tax Credit Certificate

Let me preface this post with a thank you to Milburn Drysdale at (or Autism Funding in BC for Dummies) 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” (for lack of a better term) by the CRA in 2009, and 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).

I thought no more about it until a few months ago, when we received a child disability benefit notice from the CRA saying, the DTCC (Disability Tax Credit Certificate) would “expire” in December 2015 , which took me unawares, but that is only because 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 means that his disability tax credit period started from birth, and given my son has turned ten this year, it is logical that the CRA is now asking for a reassessment.

So the first steps towards re-applying for the DTCC for my son’s disability (or re-apply for the disability tax credit ) is to go see our Pediatrician and have him fill out the T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate. That is actually me being presumptuous, because our Pediatrician could haved turned around and said, “No I won’t fill in the forms for you because in my opinion your son is no longer disabled”, or something like that, 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 as well.

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:

  • No more tax deduction associated with my sons disability line 318 on my tax return.
  • I would be unable to claim my son’s school and Occupational Therapy as a Medical Expense (any longer).
  • Collapsing my son’s RDSP, which would entail paying back the CDSG and the CDSB that might have accumulated in that account.
  • The Disabled Child Tax Credit would stop being paid
  • The child disability portion of the Child Care Benefit will stop as well.

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. As with all reports, if it is well read, it will be well understood and your point will be made (as opposed to this article, which is a little confusing).

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

  • There is a list of qualified practitioners on the forms (T2201). I get asked that question a lot, but this information is on the forms, supporting documentation can be from other folks, but you need a specific professional to sign the forms or the CRA will return it to you.
  • Make sure you get your pediatrician or Doctor to fill in the right sections of the forms, 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 forms are signed, and have been mailed (certified mail) to the CRA and now we 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



Tax Tips for Parents with Kids with Disabilities

Our friends at Turbotax (who gave me those Free Copies of Turbotax) had one of their associates tax expert and personal finance consultant Robin Taub send me a few Tax Tips for families with disabled family members .


Some Answers for Parents with loved ones with disabilities.
(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, at

Here are a few of her tips:

Some important points to remember, remember to take advantage of all the tax credits that you can, it is your money to have. Remember to check out my RDSP page where this and many other helpful posts like this are archived.


CRA Child Disability Benefit (How To)

As a way of paying it forward for all the help the Blunt Bean Counter (BBC) gave me for setting up my son’s Disability Tax Credit for School Fees, I think the best place to start is a quick How To (or more of a How I, not sure your situation will work exactly like mine) setting up a CRA Child Disability Benefit . This is the first important financial thing you must do if you have a disabled child. I will attempt to point to all the relevant parts of the CRA web site, but remember, you can call the CRA (OK February may be a bad time to call, but call anyhow) and ask for clarification or help on how to do this.

Step One Does Your Child have a Recognized Disability ?

First thing is, if you have a child with a recognized disability, you must take advantage of all the help you can from the Government (at all levels) and all the programs you can get.  We were quite lucky when our son was diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum that the Psychologist at OCTC (Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre)  at CHEO (The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) filled out all our CRA forms for us (they even provided them).  We also worked with a social worker to speak to us and she had an entire list of things for us to do, now that we had an actual diagnosis about Rhys (our son).

At the time I was having a very hard time coming to grips with the diagnosis, and giving my brain something tangible to do, helped me move forward to help our son. One day Mrs. C8j may write her perspectives on this, but for me just having a list of things to do made it easier to cope (in some ways).

So to sum up, the first thing for this Disability Benefits, you must get a diagnosis from an accredited professional (for that disability).

I will quote the CRA website on this just for clarity sake the CRA Child Disability benefit states:

Not all children with disabilities are eligible for the disability amount. To be eligible a child must have a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions. An impairment is prolonged if it has lasted, or is assumed to last, for a continuous period of at least 12 months

In a great many cases, a child’s disability is obvious, and there should be no issue with getting this disability benefit, however, in the case of the Autism Spectrum and other developmental disabilities, whether you get this benefit relies heavily on the documentation supplied by the diagnosing professional. The CRA can refuse your request for the Child Disability Benefit if your documentation is not to their liking, so make sure the diagnosing professional has filled in the forms before (and knows what needs to be said in the documentation).

Next Step Time to Find a Medical Professional

Second you need to get the professional to fill in a T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate  for your child. If your Doctor or other professional says, “I have never done this before” or “I don’t have very good luck with these”, I would strongly suggest you find a Doctor or Hospital that does have experience with child disability benefit forms (CHEO in Ottawa, Sick Kids in Toronto, The Children’s Hospital in Montreal as a few examples). These folks know the correct phraseology needed to help you out. Nothing can be more frustrating than not getting benefits you deserve because of the writing shortcomings on a form.

Attempting to claim the Child Disability Benefit without a T2201 will fail, it must be filled in first! The Psychologist at OCTC knew the correct terms to use for our form, so our claim was accepted, for 10 years, however when Rhys turns 15 we will have to reapply for the Disability Benefit, to remain Disabled (in the eyes of the CRA). (Update: OK, so it was actually at age 10 that we had to reapply).

After you have the T2201, you can now start applying for the Child Disability Benefits, by filling out RC66 – Canada Child Benefits Application Form. The form is relatively straight forward to fill in, and wasn’t hard for my wife and myself, but there was an added wrinkle suggested by the OCTC Social Worker.

Can I Get Back Credit for my Child Disability Benefit ?

Since our son was diagnosed at age 3, we also applied to have the diagnosis and thus the benefit retroactive to my son’s birth. This means we actually applied to get the benefit ongoing, but also for the previous 3 years of my son’s life. OCTC gave us a template letter to fill in asking for this, to be included with the T2201, and RC66 application forms (remember to send ORIGINALS, the CRA will ignore photocopied T2201 forms, as they state on their site, this is important).

The letter we included was quite simple, and if I can find the example, I will make it available on this site, however, it was a simple statement of my son’s birth date, the fact that his diagnosis of Autism is a neurological disorder and that it was present as of birth.

Time To Mail it Into the CRA

Once you have finally compiled all of this information, you then can mail it into the CRA for their approval. As I stated, there are no guarantees here, but as long as you have followed all of the steps and have a well written set of documents you should be OK (in our case the diagnosis was accepted, but I have heard of other cases where the diagnosis was not accepted).

Hope this helps those parents with disabled kids, if you think there is a mistake here or a step I have missed, please comment (I am not saying this is an exhaustive set of steps, just what we went through with our son).

If your diagnosis is approved the next step is to start looking for Medical and Disability related Tax implications, and asking the CRA for refunds, and you can read about that in Child Disability Benefit Application Letter (Template).

Remember also that if your child is diagnosed, and they are in need of special schooling, you can also apply for the Education Costs to be treated as a Medical Expense, and here is a Template Letter to apply for that as well.



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