Federal Tax Deductions and Credits

Disability Tax Credit

The Federal Government allows a Disability Tax Credit for those individuals and their dependents, who have a severe mental or physical development that causes marked restrictions all or almost all of the time in any of the basic activities of daily living and the impairment is prolonged, ie. has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least twelve months.

These marked restrictions include sight, hearing, mobility, speech, memory, thought and perception. The catch is that these restrictions must occur despite: having therapy and the use of appropriate devices and medications.

Receiving a disability benefit does not guarantee eligibility for the Disability Tax Credit.

To apply for this credit, the Disability Tax Credit Certificate (Form T2201) must be completed by an authorized healthcare professional. In the case of learning disabilities, the authorizing professional can be a registered psychologist.

Complete details about this tax credit are contained in the guide, 'Information Concerning People with Disabilities', which also contains Form T2201.

It may also be helpful for you to include supporting documents such as psychological assessments and testimonials from teachers, detailing the impact of the impairment on the student in the classroom.

Website Form T2201: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t2201/README.html

Dr. Kenny Handelman, a psychiatrist and ADHD expert, wrote an article about this tax credit for the Huffington Post. You can find it online HERE.

Medical Expenses

In addition to the standard medical expenses such as prescription drugs and a variety of assistive devices, in 1999 the Federal government recognized that individuals with learning disabilities may have a need for supplementary educational service.

These expenses may also include tuition costs if a patient, (for example, a dependent)
  • suffers from a behavioural problem arising out of a mental or physical disability,
  • or suffering from a learning disability, including dyslexia,
  • who attends a school, that specializes in the care and training of persons who have the same type of problem or disability,
is considered to qualify under P118.2(2) (e). Therefore the expenses paid for the patient are qualifying medical expenses, even though some part of the expense could be construed as being tuition fees.

The school need not limit its enrollment to persons who require specialized care and training.

Refundable Medical Expense Supplement

You may also qualify for a refundable medical expense supplement, if you have claimed eligible medical expenses and your income falls between the specified amounts. You may claim both the refund and expenses.

To avoid undesirable surprises at refund time, it is advisable to have Revenue Canada review your claim before you file your return to rule on your eligibility. This will also give you time to contest the decision if necessary before you file.

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