In What are Financial Bloggers Good For, I wrote about the topic: how a parent can claim their child’s school fees as a medical expense. They must qualify under the CRA rules. Mark helped me out with that. He suggested that I outline the steps I took to get my child’s school fees for medical credit from the CRA? Tutoring for your child also can qualify as a medical expense.
Updated Medical Section
As taken from Details of medical expenses from the Canada.ca site.
School for persons with a mental or physical impairment – an appropriately qualified person, such as a medical practitioner or the principal or head of the school, must certify in writing that the equipment, facilities, or staff specially provided by that school are needed because of the person’s physical or mental impairment.
Note the change that a Principal can now make up the letter.
If you have a disabled child, you may be able to claim their school fees as a medical expense. This is not automatic. You must ask the CRA if you can claim the school fees for medical credit from the CRA. Remember that the school itself does not necessarily have to be for children with disabilities. It must, however, offer a program, staff or equipment for your child’s learning disabilities.
I have not tried. However, this method should work for Tutoring as well. If your child needs specific Tutoring because of their disability, try this methodology.
Here are the steps that we took to apply to the CRA. We were granted this tax credit. I have been asked (twice) for proof of fees, so remember to keep your receipts. There are links to the articles I have already written on the topics involved. You can also find them on the RDSP menu item at the top of the web site):
- You must apply to get the CRA Child Disabililty Benefit for your child. If the CRA does not agree you may not apply for this credit. In our case we had help from CHEO with all the paper work. (Your child will also need a SIN number to make this application).
- We found a school that will work with the specific behavioral issues my son has. This school, knew about the Medical Tax Credit and was willing to help us as well. If you find a specific school for your child’s needs, ask if they have had folks apply for the Medical Tax Credit for Education. They may be able to help you as well.
- We had our Occupational Therapist write a letter about the programs at the school and how they will help my son. Our O.T. went to the school to observe the programs (at each school) before she wrote this letter. This letter alone is not enough for the CRA. You have more work to do (an O.T. is not a sufficient medical practitioner).
- Our Pediatrician wrote a second letter. This letter referred to the letter from the Occupational Therapist and endorsing the school(s) program as being required for my son. This usually costs money to get from your Doctor (in this case my son’s Paediatrician) , however a small price to pay (usually $25). The Blunt Bean Counter helped out a lot here too, he consulted with me, as he had clients who had applied for the tax credit (he gave me a skeleton for the letter to the CRA).
- With the revised change this letter can now be written by the School Principal as well, which may be easier than getting a Doctor’s Note.
- Collect the receipts for the year for your child’s schooling. These are essential for the request.
- Include duplicates of the original Disability Grant from the CRA.
- A third letter must be written by you (the parents), as a cover letter outlining:
- Your child’s specifics (when the disability benefit was granted, their Social Insurance Number, Age, etc.,)
- The letters you have included and why they are included.
- A request that the medical credit be granted for your child along with the Totals from your receipts
- Package this as a Registered letter with all the documents included. Make sure they are signed originals.
- You wait. You can check the CRA web site to see what the current status of the request might be.
This is a challenge for parents. As parents of a Disabled Child, nothing comes easily, but don’t let that deter you.
Follow on: It has been pointed out that your child may not have to be “disabled” (i.e. receive the CRA disability tax credit) to be eligible for claiming school fees for medical credit. You can apply for this, even if your child does not receive the disability tax credit. The direct quote I received was:
That is, a child can neither qualify for the DTC nor the CDB and the family can still claim private school tuition as an eligible medical expense.