tax ottawa2It is coming around to tax time again, and there are several opportunities for seniors and their caregivers to claim tax credits for a refund.

Who doesn’t like getting money back from the government? This article will explore different options and possibilities for family caregivers and seniors over the age of 65 to file for tax credits.

Tax Tips for Seniors in Ottawa

For adults 65 years of age or older, there are some tax credits you could be eligible for that you may not have been aware of.

Tax credits available for seniors may include:

  • Age amount
  • Disability amount
  • Pension income amount
  • Home Accessibility Tax Credit (HATC)
  • Attendant care

Age Amount

Anyone that is 65 years or older by the last day of the last day of the year being filed for is eligible for an age amount tax credit, as long total income for that year was less than $85,863.

The amount you qualify for increases as your annual income decreases.

Anyone that is over 65 and made less than $36,976 annual income is eligible for a full refund of $7,333.

Disability Amount

Anyone that has been diagnosed with a physical or mental impairment, and has been living with the disability for a continuous period of 12 months, may be eligible for the disability amount.

Disabilities can include:

  • Blindness
  • Markedly restricted hearing ability
  • Markedly restricted speaking ability
  • Inability to walk
  • Inability to feed or dress yourself
  • No control over bowel or bladder function
  • And others…

Pension Income Amount

You may be entitled for a tax credit of up to $2000 if you have reported an eligible pension, superannuation, or annuity payments for the year being claimed.

Home Accessibility Tax Credit (HATC)

A fairly recent tax credit became available in 2016 for people that are entitled to the disability tax credit and had to make adjustments or renovations to their home to accommodate.

The HATC refund is available for up to $10,000 of renovation expenses to make the home safer and more accessible. Maximum credit for HATC is $1500.

Attendant Care

Attendant care refers to care provided, like assistance with personal tasks, that the person being cared for cannot handle on their own.

An attendant must meet the following conditions:

  • 18 years or older when the services were paid for
  • Not a spouse or common-law partner

Medical expenses that can be claimed under the attendant care umbrella can include:

  • Housekeeping services
  • Food preparation
  • Nursing care
  • Transportation assistance
  • Expenses for events and activities

To qualify for attendant care tax credits, you will have to meet one of the following requirements:

  • You are eligible for the disability tax credit
  • Written certification from a health care professional stating the services are necessary

Tax Tips for Family Caregivers in Ottawa

Family caregivers are also eligible for tax credits based on the care they provide to spouse or a dependant.

Possible tax credits available for caregivers can include:

  • Family Caregiver Amount
  • Disability Amount
  • Medical Expenses
  • Provincial Tax Credits

Family Caregiver Amount Tax Credit

If you provide regular care services for a family member or dependant, you may be eligible for a Canada Caregiver Credit (CCC).

To qualify for the Canada caregiver credit, you must support one of the following:

  • Spouse
  • Common law partner
  • Dependant

The person you are supporting must have a proven physical or mental impairment that prevents them from carrying out regular routines on their own.

Canada Caregiver Credit Amounts

The amount you can claim under the Canada caregiver credit option depends on a variety of factors.

CCC amounts are based on:

  • Who you are caring for
  • Circumstances – level of care
  • Net income
  • Other tax credit claims for that person

Disability Amount Tax Credit

If you are supporting someone with a disability, you may able eligible for a tax refund.

If the dependant you are providing care for is eligible for the Disability Amount tax credit, but has not claimed the entire amount, then you may eligible for a transfer of the residual amount as their caregiver.

Medical Expenses Tax Credit

Much like the Disability tax credit, you may be eligible to use any unclaimed medical expenses for a dependant you have provided care for.

The medical expenses credit applies only to family members.

For example, if you have paid for medical expenses for your husband’s grandfather, and the grandfather has not claimed those expenses, you may eligible for transfer of those tax credits.

Provincial Tax Credits

Some provinces offer special tax credits for caregivers.

You can look at this page of the government website to see if any tax credits apply to you in Ontario.