Filing Your Return -> Disabilities -> Caregiver Amount Tax Credit
Federal - replaced for 2017 and later years
The Federal 2017 Budget eliminated the 3 existing caregiver credits, which include the Caregiver Amount, Infirm Dependant Amount, and Family Caregiver Amount, and replaced them with the new Canada Caregiver Credit, effective for 2017 and later years. All provinces and territories so far are keeping their current versions of this credit, except for BC, Ontario and Yukon. Ontario's 2017 Budget resulted in Bill 177, creating the Ontario Caregiver Tax Credit, which is similar to the new federal credit. Yukon tabled Bill 10 to harmonize their caregiver credits with the federal credits. BC's 2018 Budget proposes a new BC Caregiver Tax Credit similar to the federal credit. The non-refundable personal tax credit tables reflect the status of these credits for each province/territory.
If you or anyone else is able to claim the line 305 eligible dependant/equivalent to spouse credit for a person, then line 315 caregiver amount may not be claimed for that person. However, if the line 315 amount would have been greater than the line 305 amount, the difference can be claimed as a line 305 additional amount. If you are using tax software, this will be done automatically when you complete the information for the person, in the dependants area. The caregiver amount tax credit can be claimed in the Detailed Canadian Income Tax & RRSP Savings Calculator, starting with the 2016/2017 version.
Income Tax Act s. 118(1)(B)(c.1)
If, at any time in the tax year, you (either alone or with another person) maintained a dwelling and your or your spouse or common-law partner's parent or grandparent aged 65 or older lived with you, you may be able to claim the federal Caregiver Amount tax credit in the amount of $4,732 for 2017 ($4,667 for 2016). Although they may not be financially dependent on you, in income tax software their information will be entered in the dependants area. The Family Caregiver Amount (FCA) of $2,150 for 2017 ($2,121 for 2016) is added to the Caregiver Amount for infirm dependants, and the income threshold is increased by this amount.
This tax credit can be claimed in the Detailed Canadian Income Tax & RRSP Savings Calculator, starting with the 2016/2017 version. If the parent/grandparent is infirm, select "Caregiver - Infirm Adult 18+" instead of "Caregiver - Parent/Grdprnt Not Infirm", in order to include the FCA in the amount claimed.
The Caregiver Amount is reduced when the net income of the parent or grandparent exceeds $16,163 for 2017 ($15,940 for 2016), and is eliminated at net income of $20,895 for 2017 ($20,607 for 2016). Check the tables of non-refundable personal tax credits for the provincial tax credit amounts and income threshold levels.
The parent or grandparent must at the time have been a resident of Canada, and the tax credit is not available if they were just visiting you.
This tax credit is also available when certain other dependent relatives are living with you (see below), but for other relatives the tax credit is not available unless the relative is dependent on you due to mental or physical infirmity.
If you are able to claim the caregiver amount for a dependent relative, and the dependant is eligible for the disability tax credit, any unused portion of this credit may be transferable to you. If you cannot claim the caregiver amount because the dependent's income is too high, you may still be able to transfer any unused portion of the disability tax credit.
Federal credit - see new Canada Caregiver Credit for 2017 and later years
If, at any time in the tax year, you (either alone or with another person) maintained a dwelling where you and a dependent relative lived, you may be able to claim the Caregiver Amount tax credit, in the amount indicated above. The dependent must have been 18 years of age or over, and dependent on you due to a mental or physical infirmity. This tax credit is reduced if the dependant's income exceeds a certain level. The dependant must be your child or grandchild, or your or your spouse or common-law partner's sibling, niece, nephew, aunt, or uncle (for parent or grandparent see above). They must have been a resident of Canada, and the tax credit is not available if they were just visiting you. Starting in 2012, the Family Caregiver Amount Tax Credit is added to the caregiver amount tax credit, for physically or mentally infirm dependents.
CRA may ask for a signed statement from a medical practitioner showing when the impairment began, and the expected duration of the impairment. This would not be needed if a form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, has already been provided for the dependant.
This tax credit can be claimed in the Detailed Canadian Income Tax & RRSP Savings Calculator, starting with the 2016/2017 version.
What if the relative doesn't live with the supporting person? - no longer necessary for 2017 and later years with the Canada Caregiver Credit
The caregiver amount has been denied when the supporting person and the dependent relative do not ordinarily reside in the same home. See the 2010 Tax Court case Solanki v. The Queen. A 2004 Tax Court case, Vaynshteyn v. The Queen, allowed the claim by the daughter, when the daughter resided with the parent during 3 separate periods of at least one month each during the year.
If a supporting person is assisting with attendant care expenses or with the costs of assisted living, see our article on attendant care expenses.
If someone else has claimed the line 305 eligible dependant tax credit for a person, you cannot claim the caregiver tax credit for that person. If anyone, including you, can claim the caregiver tax credit for a dependant, then no person can claim the line 306 infirm dependant tax credit for that dependant.
The caregiver amount tax credit can be split if more than one person supports the same dependant, but the total claim made cannot exceed the maximum amount for that dependant.
Other tax credits that may be available for someone living with you:- Family Caregiver Amount Tax Credit (Line 367) - for infirm dependent children under 18 at the end of the tax year.
- Amount for infirm dependants age 18 or older (Line 306)
- Eligible Dependant Tax Credit (Line 305) - for a dependent child, or other dependent relatives.
- Disability tax credit (Line 318)
See our tables of non-refundable tax credits for the caregiver tax credit amounts federally and by province/territory.
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Resources:
Line 315 - Caregiver amount - from 2016 General Tax and Benefit Guide
See also - links to all information on TaxTips.ca related to persons with disabilities
Revised: February 20, 2018
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