What’s New for 2012

Family caregiver amount

If you have a dependant with an impairment in physical or mental functions, you could be eligible for an additional amount of $2,000 in the calculation of certain non-refundable tax credits. For more information, see Family caregiver amount.

 

Medical expenses (lines 330 and 331) – Prescribed blood coagulation monitors for individuals who require anti-coagulation therapy are now eligible as medical expenses.

  • Blood coagulation monitors – the amount paid for the purchase including disposable peripherals such as pricking devices, lancets, and test strips for a person who requires anti-coagulation therapy – prescription required.

In this section, we describe some of the tax credits and deductions persons with disabilities may be able to claim.

Disability supports deduction

If you have an impairment in physical or mental functions, you may be able to deduct the expenses that you paid in the year so that you could work, go to school, or do research for which you received a grant. You cannot claim amounts you or someone else claimed as medical expenses (line 330 or 331), or amounts that are reimbursed by a non-taxable payment such as insurance.

Note
Only the person with the impairment in physical or mental functions can claim expenses for the disability supports deduction on line 215.

Use Form T929, Disability Supports Deduction, to calculate your claim.

You can claim the amount you paid for the following expenses:

Attendant care services provided in Canada and used by a person with an impairment in physical or mental functions. You cannot claim amounts you paid for attendant care services provided by your spouse or common-law partner, or to someone under 18 years of age. You may claim full-time attendant care services if you are eligible for the disability tax credit (an approved Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, is required) or a medical practitioner certifies in writing that these services are necessary and that your impairment is likely to be indefinite. You may claim part-time attendant care services only if you are eligible for the disability tax credit (an approved Form T2201 is required).

Bliss symbol boards or similar devices used by a person who has a speech impairment to help the person communicate by selecting the symbols or spelling out words – prescription required.

Braille note-taker devices used by a person who is blind to allow that person to take notes (that can be read back to him or her, printed, or displayed in braille) with the help of a keyboard – prescription required.

Braille printers,synthetic speech systems, large print-on-screen devices and other devices, designed exclusively to be used by a person who is blind to operate a computer – prescription required.

Deaf-blind intervening services used by a person who is both blind and profoundly deaf when paid to someone in the business of providing these services.

Devices or software designed to be used by a person who is blind or has a severe learning disability to enable him or her to read print – prescription required.

Electronic speech synthesizers that enable a person who is unable to speak to communicate using a portable keyboard – prescription required.

Job coaching services (other than job placement or career counselling services) provided to a person with a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions and paid to someone in the business of providing these services. A medical practitioner must certify in writing that these services are necessary.

Note-taking services used by a person with an impairment in physical or mental functions and paid to someone in the business of providing these services. A medical practitioner must certify in writing that these services are necessary.

Optical scanners or similar devices designed for use by a person who is blind to enable him or her to read print – prescription required.

Page-turner devices to help a person turn the pages of a book or other bound document when he or she has a severe and prolonged impairment that markedly restricts the person’s ability to use their arms or hands – prescription required.

Reading services provided to a person who is blind or has a severe learning disability and paid to someone in the business of providing these services. A medical practitioner must certify in writing that these services are necessary.

Real-time captioning or sign-language interpretation services used by a person with a speech or hearing impairment and paid to someone in the business of providing these services.

Talking textbooks in connection with enrolment at a secondary school in Canada or a designated educational institution for a person who has a perceptual disability. A medical practitioner must certify in writing that the expense is necessary.

Teletypewriters or similar devices that enable a person who is deaf or unable to speak to make and receive telephone calls – prescription required.

Tutoring services that are supplementary to the primary education of a person with a learning disability or an impairment in mental functions, and paid to a person in the business of providing these services to individuals who are not related to the person. A medical practitioner must certify in writing that these services are necessary.

Voice recognition software used by a person who has an impairment in physical functions. A medical practitioner must certify in writing that the expense is necessary.

Note
Some disability supports expenses can also be claimed as medical expenses. The person with the impairment in physical or mental functions can claim these expenses on either line 215 or line 330, or split the claim between these two lines as long as the total of the amounts claimed is not more than the total expense.

 

Disability amount (for self)

To claim this amount, you must have an impairment in physical or mental functions that is severe and prolonged. An impairment is prolonged if it has lasted, or is expected to last, for at least 12 continuous months.

To determine if you may be eligible for this amount and should have Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, certified, complete the self-assessment questionnaire on the form.

You can also claim a supplement if you were under 18 years of age at the end of the year and you were eligible for the disability tax credit. However, child care expenses (line 214) and attendant care expenses (line 330 or 331) that anyone claimed for you for 2012 may reduce the supplement. Attendant care expenses (line 215) you claim for yourself for 2012 may also reduce the supplement.

If this is a new application for the disability amount, you have to submit a completed Form T2201 (including Part A) certified by a qualified practitioner or your claim will be delayed. We will review your claim before we assess your income tax and benefit return to find out if you are eligible. You can send your completed Form T2201 at any time during the year to your tax office.

If we have already approved Form T2201 for you, you may be able to claim the disability amount without sending us a new form. However, you will have to send us a new Form T2201 if the previous period of approval ended before 2012, or if we tell you that we need one.

If at any time your impairment improves so that you no longer qualify for the disability tax credit, you must tell us.

If you were 18 years of age or older at the end of 2012, claim the federal disability amount of $7,546 on line 316 of Schedule 1.

If you were under 18 years of age at the end of 2012, calculate the federal disability supplement by completing the chart for line 316 on the federal worksheet in your forms book.

Note
If you or anyone else paid for attendant care, or for care in an establishment, special rules may apply. For more information, see Attendant care or care in an establishment.

 The budget proposes that expenses incurred after March 4,2010 for purely cosmetic purposes, including any related services and other expenses such as travel, be ineligible for the METC. Both surgical and non-surgical procedures aimed purely at enhancing one’s appearance will be ineligible.


An expense will continue to qualify for the METC if it is required for medical or reconstructive purposes, such as surgery to address a deformity related to a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or a disfiguring disease.


You do not have to obtain a certification from your medical practitioner before making a claim for the METC. However, if your claim is selected for review, the CRA may request that you provide a statement from your medical practitioner.


Note: If you are filing a paper income tax return, include your receipts and supporting documents with your tax return. Receipts must support all amounts claimed and contain the following information: name of the patient, date of payment, amount of payment, purpose of payment/type of procedure, and show the name of the company or individual to whom the payment was made. If you are filing electronically, keep all of your documents in case the CRA asks to see them.


Examples of expenses that will generally be ineligible include:


  • Augmentations (such as chin, cheek, lips);
  • Body modifications (such as tongue splits);
  • Body shaping, contouring or lifts (such as, body, breasts, buttocks, face, and stomach);
  • Chemical peels;
  • Implants (such as jewelry implanted into an eye or a tooth, or microdermal, transdermal, and subdermal cosmetic implants);
  • Filler injections (for removal of wrinkles);
  • Hair removal procedures;
  • Hair replacement procedures;
  • Laser treatments (skin resurfacing and removal or age spots);
  • Liposuction;
  • Reshaping procedures (such as rhinoplasty and otoplasty);
  • Rib removal;
  • Tattoo removal;
  • Teeth whitening; and
  • Tooth contouring and reshaping.



These expenses will continue to qualify for the METC:


  • Breast implant and related procedures for reconstructive purposes after a mastectomy;
  • Breast reduction to reduce back and shoulder pain;
  • Dental braces, if required to correct a misaligned bite;
  • Dental veneers to correct decayed or misaligned teeth;
  • Gastric bypass surgery or gastric stapling;
  • Laser eye surgery; and
  • Removal of excess skin after rapid weight loss due to a risk of infection.


The CRA encourages taxpayers to check their Web site often. All new forms, policies, and guidelines will be posted there as soon as they become available.




Celiac disease – Medical expenses

Incremental cost of Gluten-Free (GF) products, an eligible medical expense.

Persons who suffer from celiac disease (gluten intolerance) are entitled to claim the incremental costs associated with the purchase ofgluten-free (GF) products as a medical expense.

You do not qualify for the disability amount (line 316) based on the inordinate amount of time it takes to shop for or prepare GF products.

What is the “incremental cost”?

The incremental cost is the increased cost of purchasing a GF product as compared to the cost of a similar non-GF product. It is calculated by subtracting the cost of a non-GF product from the cost of a GF product. The calculation is shown below in the sample summary.

What items are eligible?

  • Generally, the food items are limited to those produced and marketed specifically for GF diets. Such items include, but are not limited to, GF bread, bagels, muffins, and cereals.

  • Intermediate items will also be allowed where the patient suffering from celiac disease uses the items to make GF products for their exclusive use. These include, but are not limited to, rice flour, GF spices, etc.

For more information go to:http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/clc-eng.html