You may qualify for a tax credit if you help support an elderly or disabled parent even if they don’t live with you full time, and there are experts such as those at The National Benefit Authority who can help make sure your application is a success. Many Canadians don’t even know that they qualify for these benefits and go years without even realizing they can apply for them. Not to worry, though, since you can also apply for up to 10 years of back benefits and recapture the tax savings you should have been taking advantage of. But first, consider whether you are likely to qualify.
Do You Qualify?
Yes, you can still qualify for a tax credit as a caregiver even if you and your parent(s) live apart most of the time. Many taxpayers work with agencies such as The National Benefit Authority when they attempt to claim their tax benefits, though, because of all the complications, including the following rules and restrictions:
- The degree of your parent(s) disability must be approved by the Canada Revenue Agency. This requires you to complete a submission form for their agents to review.
- The parent(s) you are providing care for must either be “significantly restricted in more than one way” or “markedly restricted.”
- You must provide assistance with activities such as daily living activities, getting to and from doctor’s appointments, preparing meals and shopping for groceries.
- There may be additional benefits if your parent(s) must reside with you at some point during the year, even if it’s only part time or for a short period of time.
- There may be additional benefits if your parent(s) must be on a limited income of less than $14,000-$17,000 each per year.
Some Good News
If you have quit working so you can care for your parent(s) full time, but you have a spouse working full time and paying taxes, you may be able to transfer your tax benefits to your spouse. Your spouse may also be able to claim as many as 10 years of refunds for a total of $35,000 and as much as $2500 per year moving forward. And if your parents qualify for the Disability Tax Credit but don’t bring in enough income to even pay taxes, you can take it for them if you can prove that you support them with clothes, food, shelter, transportation, etc.
The process is complicated but the benefits can be significant, and there are experts available to help.