In What are Financial Bloggers Good For, I wrote about the topic: of 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 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 the 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 does not necessarily have to be for children with disabilities. It must 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. Try this methodology if your child needs specific Tutoring because of their disability.
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 disagrees you may not apply for this credit. In our case we had help from CHEO with all the paperwork. (Your child will also need a SIN number to make this application).
- We found a school that will work with my son’s specific behavioural issues. This school knew about the Medical Tax Credit and was willing to help us. If you find a particular 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 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 revision, this letter can now be written by the School Principal as well. This is 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 website 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.
Related RDSP Pages
- The RDSP Page is the Overview of all articles I have written about the RDSP (including DTC and other areas).
- RDSP : Laying the Ground Work (first things first)
What needs to be done BEFORE you can apply for a Registered Disability Savings Plan? A major aspect of this is the Disability Tax Credit (DTC), make sure you click on this page to get started.
- RDSP : Working with The Account
Now that you have succeeded in getting your Disability Tax Credit (DTC) you need to open an RDSP account with a bank or such, but how is that done? It is not as easy as you might think. This page outlines many of the issues that have arisen for my family working with an RDSP account.
- Disability Tax Related Topics
Thanks for my RDSP and DTC work I then had to learn a great deal about the tax implications of having a disabled child.
- Autism Specific Articles
Being the proud Father of a child on the Autism Spectrum I also ended up writing a great deal about Autism specific things as well.
- RDSP : Laying the Ground Work (first things first)
Is there a CRA form that needs to accompany the letters?
Check out this page from the CRA about Lines 33099 to 33199 on the Tax forms. You could include a Medical Expense form, but if your letter requesting it shows the totals paid for the Education Expenses, that should be enough.
Thank you for writing this blog! Further to your 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 try to apply for this, even if your child does not receive the disability tax credit.”
Since tax time is coming up, I don’t think I would get an approval for DTC before the tax deadline. Do you mean that I can go ahead and “claim” my son’s tuition as a medical expense this time around? What documents would I need (from school or doctors etc…) if I were to get audited? (My son is 10 and was officially diagnosed with ADHD last year. I have the 30 page report from my psychologist as prove. And he is currently working with qualified teachers as well as an occupational therapist at his school which is a private school).
Thank you again for any help or suggestions.
No I would not say to do that.
I would do your “regular” tax forms, and then do a supplemental request for the Tuition or School Fee Medical, and supply the documentation outlined in the article, that way you are asking permission and thus less likely to be audit’ed. That is the way I have done it and the CRA usually responds with a decision fairly quickly.
Also read: Medical Tax Credit for school costs template article.
Very interested in this topic. Should I apply for the DTC for my son with moderate LD’s? My reasoning is better to apply than not.
He is in a private school for LD’s and thriving but I’m looking for any tax relief on the tuition fees. Can I apply for the medical expense credit with all the supporting documentation if I’ve been denied the DTC? Is one dependent on the other?
Yes you must have the DTC first, before you can ask for treating the tuition fees as a medical expense. My hopes are with you applying for the DTC, let us hope it all goes smoothly.
Would you be bale to help me. What if the child in question jad a number of mental health issues.
Debilitating social anxiety being the moat diffixult to manage. He just needed a small school with small classes…eventually being dibiliatrd by it to require one on one teach8ng.
How do i outline this for CRA. To satisfy their requirements. He needed small facilities. Fewer people around him.
I am told by CRA the school needs to be certified.
Seems to me the process is geared toward more physical illneses.
Any help you could offer would be appreciated.
“Certified” can mean that you have a professional (i.e. your paediatrician) write a letter outlining why a specific school is good for your child and their needs. Remember to get an outline from the school of what they offer, it never hurts to have plenty of support documentation, but the note from the paediatrician or psychiatrist/psychologist that outlines (in detail) how the school helps the specific mental issues of your child is an important thing to add as well.
My wife has been suffering from several chronic intestinal conditions (Crohn’s disease, irritable bowl syndrome) which restrict her somewhat as far as her work is considered. She does have part-time job and also provides dietary consultancy services.
She takes medication to control her symptoms .
I have always wondered if she’d qualify for disability credit despite being able to earn an income?
Wouldn’t know, but you’d have to get a Doctor to sign something to that effect, and see if the CRA agrees. I would have thought Crohn’s is a recognized disease, you should at least be getting Medical Tax credits for whatever treatments she needs? Check with the CRA, the answer is always NO unless you ask.
Wow, I had no idea about the complexities…
I’m sure this post will benefit others, good on you BCM.
BCM, great job summarizing the requirements. As you note, it is very important to have all the documents lined up as the CRA will almost always request such before allowing the claim.
You can never have too much documentation, that is for sure. The documents also need to be very clear as to why the school, equipment or staff addresses your Child’s specific needs.