Caregivers and tax

If you’re the caregiver for a family member with a disability or illness, you can claim certain taxTax A fee the government charges on income, property, and sales. The money goes to finance government programs and other costs.+ read full definition credits when you file your tax return.

Be aware that the tax rules discourage multiple claims for the same person:

  • If you make a claim for an eligible dependant, no one else can claim the amount for infirm dependants or the caregiver amount for the same dependant.
  • If you file an eligible dependant claim, any claim you make for the caregiver amount will be reduced when it’s for the same dependant.

2 key tax credits

1. Amount for an eligible dependant

If you’re a single taxpayer, you may be able to claim this tax credit for an eligible dependant. The amount of the tax creditTax credit The amount you can deduct from your income when you file your taxes. This lowers the tax that you owe.+ read full definition is reduced by the dependant’s net income. The amount is equal to the tax credit you would claim if you had a spouse or common-law partner.

You must support and live with the dependant in your home. The dependant must be:

  • your parent or grandparent, or
  • your child, grandchild, brother or sister who is either under age 18, or mentally or physically impaired.

Even if you have more than one dependant, each household can only claim this amount once.

If you file a claim for an eligible dependant amount, any claim you make for the caregiver amount for that dependant will be reduced.​

2. Canada caregiver credit (CCC)

As proposed in the 2017 federal budget, in 2017 three existing tax credits – the infirm dependant credit, caregiver credit and family caregiver tax credit – will be replaced by a single credit, the Canada caregiver credit (CCC). The CCC is available for individuals who, at some point in the year, have a spouse, common-law partner, minor child or eligible relative dependent on them due to a mental or physical infirmity. The CCC will be based on two amounts:

  1. CCC higher amount – A maximum of $7,140 in 2019 for care of dependent relatives.
  2. CCC lower amount – A maximum of $2,230 in 2019 for care of dependent spouse/common-law partner or minor child.

Learn more about the Canada caregiver credit from the Canada Revenue Agency, including credit based on income levels, how to calculate the CCC and additional rules.

Save in an RDSP

If you’re caring for someone with a disability under age 59, you can open a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP). The government created this savings plan to help parents and others save for the long-termTerm The period of time that a contract covers. Also, the period of time that an investment pays a set rate of interest.+ read full definition financial security of a disabled person.

Key point

You may be able to claim:

  • Amount for an eligible dependant
  • Canada caregiver credit
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