Living with a disability is not only emotionally and mentally draining, but it can also have a serious effect on your budget. Many disabilities involve the need for specialized equipment, medication, and sometimes special care too. The worst part of it is that when you need money the most, you might not be able to work or, if you can, you will not be able to work full-time. A decreased monthly income puts added stress on your household which is not good for anyone. The good news is that, in Nova Scotia, there are programs and services available to make life and your expenses manageable. Disability tax credits are one such benefit for which you may qualify. It is a non-refundable tax credit that can be used to reduce the amount of income tax payable. Less tax means more money in your pocket for all those bills.
Do I qualify for a disability tax credit?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions. It’s also the reason why, unfortunately, so many people don’t even bother to apply. The fact of the matter is that you never know unless you try. When you do, it’s also a good idea to have a professional assist you through this process. Not only can they offer expert advice, but they are also able to guide you through the application itself. In order to qualify for your disability tax credit, you need to fulfill these requirements:
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
- Live in Nova Scotia.
- Have a severe mental or physical impairment.
- Have an impairment that lasts or is expected to last for at least 12 consecutive months.
- Have paid your taxes in the past or, if your spouse/caregiver is claiming then they need to have their taxes paid in the past.
- A certified medical practitioner needs to declare that your impairment meets the criteria according to severity and duration.
If you do qualify for a tax credit, it will prove to be a substantial relief to you and the rest of your household. For those who are under the age of 18, you might need a parent or guardian to apply on your behalf. In addition to the tax credit amount, those under the age of 18 may also qualify for an additional supplement. It’s important to note that the supplement can be reduced if somebody claims child care or attendant care expenses for you or if you claim these expenses on yourself.
Tax credit for caregivers
In the province of Nova Scotia, if you reside in a house and you support a disabled dependent, you could be able to claim the maximum amount for each of your dependents. Provided, of course, that the following criteria are met:
- The dependent must either be your common-law partner, spouse, child, sibling, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, grandparent, parent, or grandchild.
- You and your dependent must reside in Nova Scotia
- You and your dependent must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
- Your dependent must be 18 years or older.
- Your dependent must have a need income under $19,435.
- Your dependent must have impaired physical or mental functions.
- If you support the dependent along with another person, the claim amount will be split between you and the other caregiver. The total amount of both claims cannot exceed the maximum allocation for one dependent.
- The dependent can transfer their credit to you provided certain criteria are met. This includes the dependent being over the age of 18 in 2012 and without an income.
The benefits of a tax credit are ready and waiting! All you have to do is take that first step and complete your application. You will need to supply any relevant supporting documents and it’s always good to remind your doctor that they might be contacted by an official in this regard. It’s essential that your doctor understands the process and the role that they play in your approval. In some cases, you might receive a request for additional documentation. At which point, it is vital that you promptly submit whatever is required in order to help process your application. Approvals will usually have a duration of a year, a couple of years, or longer. If you wish to extend your tax disability credit, you will need to submit another application as the end of your current credit approval approaches. Don’t leave it until the last minute! The benefit of the second approval is that you have already been approved once and you are that much more familiar with the way the system works.
For more information and assistance applying for your Canadian tax disability credit, contact Tax Benefits Canada at +1 (855) 413-6971. Don’t delay – get the tax credit you deserve today!