National News: Government Provides New Tax Relief to Caregivers

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today reminded Canadian families of a new federal tax credit that came into effect on January 1, 2012, to assist them in caring for their loved ones.

“Our Government is committed to supporting Canadian families through our low-tax plan for jobs and growth,” said Minister Flaherty in an address to the Canadian Cancer Society. “We recognize the sacrifices that many Canadians make to care for their loved ones, and the expenses involved in doing so.”

The Family Caregiver Tax Credit will provide new tax support for caregivers of infirm dependent family members. This 15-per-cent non-refundable tax credit on an amount of $2,000 will provide tax relief for caregivers of all types of infirm dependent relatives, including, for the first time, spouses, common-law partners and minor children. Canadians will be able to claim the credit on their tax returns for 2012 and beyond.

In addition to the Family Caregiver Tax Credit, Budget 2011 also announced the removal of the $10,000 limit on the amount of eligible expenses a taxpayer can claim under the Medical Expense Tax Credit in respect of a financially dependent relative.

These measures complement the significant action taken by the Government since 2006 to support persons with disabilities and their families. These include:

  • Helping parents and others to save to ensure the long-term financial security of a child with a severe disability through the introduction of the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), and providing up to $90,000 in direct support to each RDSP through grants and bonds.
  • Expanding eligibility for the Disability Tax Credit, enhancing the Child Disability Benefit, and increasing the maximum amount of the Refundable Medical Expense Supplement.
  • Including provisions to recognize the particular challenges of individuals eligible for the Disability Tax Credit in new tax measures, such as the Working Income Tax Benefit, the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and the Children’s Arts Tax Credit.
  • Supporting accessible housing for individuals eligible for the Disability Tax Credit through a $5,000 increase to the Home Buyers’ Plan limit and the introduction of the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit, and providing $75 million over two years for the construction of housing units for persons with disabilities.
  • Creating the Enabling Accessibility Fund and providing $90 million over six years to support community-based projects across Canada that contribute to the capital costs of construction and renovations related to physical accessibility for persons with disabilities.

For more information on tax relief available to Canadian families, visit the website of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

For more information on the new Family Caregiver Tax Credit, visit the websites of Budget 2011 and the Canada Revenue Agency.

Published on Feb 24, 2012 – 12:58 AM

Written by: Department of Finance Canada