fbpx

Changes to Disability Tax Credit

The proposed 2021 Federal Budget has possible changes to how disabilities are evaluated. Specifically, “…update the list of mental functions of everyday life that is used for assessment for the Disability Tax Credit…”. When I first read the statement, I worried this was an attempt to shrink the pool, but I have been assured this is not the case.

A portion of the statement is as follows:

To help more families and people living with disabilities access the Disability Tax Credit, and other related support measures like the Registered Disability Savings Plan and the Child Disability Benefit: 

* Budget 2021 proposes to update the list of mental functions of everyday life that is used for assessment for the Disability Tax Credit. Using terms that are more clinically relevant would make it easier to be assessed, reduce delays, and improve access to benefits.

* Budget 2021 also proposes to recognize more activities in determining time spent on life-sustaining therapy and to reduce the minimum required frequency of therapy to qualify for the Disability Tax Credit. To ensure these changes enable applicants to have a fair and proper assessment of their eligibility for the Disability Tax Credit, the government will undertake a review of these changes in 2023.

It is estimated that, as a result of these measures, an additional 45,000 people will qualify for the Disability Tax Credit, and related benefit programs linked to its eligibility, each year. This represents $376 million in additional support over five years, starting in 2021-22.

Part 3: A Resilient and Inclusive Recovery

It is the final line of that statement that makes me less paranoid about this.

Caveat Disability Tax Credit

As with previous changes, these will not come into play until after the Budget (2021) is passed by parliament. What the results of the review ends up doing, remains to be seen. My concern is still with the “…Using terms that are more clinically relevant would make it easier….” phrase. This suggests the Doctor filling in the T2201 forms will need to know the correct vernacular for the forms.

  • 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 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.

{ 1 comment }

Henson Trusts

Before RDSPs there were not a lot of options for Parents of disabled children to protect income they were saving for their child’s future, without having to pay a great deal of tax on it, as it grew.

The RDSP helps a great deal with this, however before the RDSP another way to dissipate the impact of a disabled person receiving a large inheritance which could cause large tax implications and worse a loss of services and programs (due to the change in their financial status) was a Henson Trust (a specialized version of the Absolute Discretionary Trust).

I was going to attempt to explain this one, but thanks to Mark over at the Blunt Bean Counter, he has a much better explanation with this one:

Estate Planning for Disabled Beneficiaries – Henson Trusts

By Katy Basi

The RDSP is a much “simpler” (for lack of a better term) program to work with in terms of set up, but in some instances, the Henson Trust may be the only option available.

Note: Yes, this is a bit of a cheat on my part relying on other writers, but this has been sitting in my “To Do” list for a while. Please feel free to comment and ask questions, I will make sure I get some answers for you.

Also remember your loved one needs to have a Disability Tax Credit (DTC) for this as well. Evidently, I was mistaken, however, the ODSP is actually involved for Ontarians as well.

{ 5 comments }

New Ontario Autism Funding

So far the new Ontario Autism funding program has been quite confusing for my family. Let me preface this by saying, that even though my son is on the Autism Spectrum, and the psychologist describes his autism symptoms as severe, we have received no real funding from the Ontario Government. For various reasons we have never been on any list for funding, being screened out for any therapy and never put on a waiting list for any future programs.

When the new funding model was proposed a while ago, a great furor erupted in the Autism community. It was very vague on how funding was going to work, and many folks were hearing they were going to lose funding as the budgeted pot of money would be shared with more families, in an effort to reduce the wait list.

For my family, we shrugged our shoulders, as we didn’t get any funding, we could only watch with envy finding out families were receiving upwards of 50K per year. After encouragement from our psychologist, we decided to play along with this new system. My wife is the one doing all this work, I am simply documenting it.

We called about the new program in April, and were told forms would be coming to us in the next two weeks to fill in. The forms finally showed up in June (after a lot of follow up e-mails and phone calls). My wife dutifully filled in the forms (the day they arrived) collected all supporting documentation and we scanned and emailed them back (that same day).

Near the end of August, we received a registration number (an exciting number) and a letter assuring us we are in the system. The wait list for getting a budget will be another 18 months, so again, we wait.

Autism Funding : Better? Worse?

If I see any moneys, I will be astounded. I realize there are folks who really need the money, and I hope they are getting it.

Currently I pay a great deal of my income for my son’s education and other needs he has. I get a little help with tax credits (after a lot of arguing with the CRA), but all the money that I am out of pocket is crippling my financial plans. I cannot retire, even though I can get a government pension. Still we cannot afford all the help my son needs (occupational therapy, social interaction help, and other areas).

With all of that, we are lucky. My son may end up living independently, but I have to spend money now to make that possible.

Epilogue

We did get more funding for my son. For that I am thankful, however, I am not sure how this is going to work. Will I be hit with a, “sorry we shouldn’t have sent that” message? The system seems to be in flux, what happens in the future, remains to be seen.

{ 2 comments }

Apply for the DTC Please

I have spoken with a few folks who have convinced themselves they can’t get the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) so they won’t apply for the DTC. Given the stories lately about the CRA rejecting many applications, and how complicated the process is, many folks are not applying (when they should be applying).

Allow me to be clear, apply, fill in all the forms and let the CRA decide. If you don’t apply, you will never get the DTC.

Do the work, make sure you fill in the forms well, get all the help you can, but apply, please!

To paraphrase Wayne Gretzky you will receive 0% of the DTC applications you never send.

Without a DTC there is no RDSP, and while the Disability Tax Credit is not a large credit, it is still vital to have it to be able to get other services and help from the government. It is not easy to navigate the government red tape, but it is the most important thing you can do for your child or your loved one.

Apply for DTC

Should you Apply for the DTC ?

If you or your loved one has a disability recognized by the CRA or on their list, then yes is the answer.

Let me repeat my message, if you don’t apply you will not get the Disability Tax Credit, if you do apply you might (but if you don’t ask the answer is always NO).

{ 2 comments }

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.

{ 4 comments }

%d bloggers like this: