Friday, February 17, 2012

ADHD and Disability Tax Credits


One of the sites I often recommend to people is the CADDAC website, especially for information on science based guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. It can be found here at : http://www.caddac.ca.  Today I went back to their website to see of there was anything new and found some clear information about Disability Tax Information. For that information you can go directly to: http://www.caddac.ca/cms/page.php?104  I'm also going to quickly outline some of their information below.

About Disability Tax Credit and Federal Tax Deductions
"The Federal Government allows a Disability Tax Credit for those individuals and their dependents who have a "severe mental or physical development: deficits that cause 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."


This may be a little difficult to understand, but looking at the government forms you may be able to get a clearer picture of what is necessary to qualify. Here is a link to the form itself: Website Form T2201: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t2201/README.html  

These marked restrictions include deficit areas such as "sight, hearing, mobility, speech, memory, thought and perception."  What is critical, and CADDAC points out, is that  "The catch is that these restrictions must occur despite: having therapy and the use of appropriate devices and medications." ADHD in many cases may qualify, and I have had patients who have used this tax credit successfully.  You need to remember that receiving a disability benefit such as "autism services" or school based supports does not guarantee eligibility for the Disability Tax Credit. It's a little more complicated than that. You do need a diagnostic form completed by a medical doctor or psychologist (or other professional depending on the disability) to apply for this credit. That's the form referenced above with a link. In the case of learning disabilities and ADHD, the authorizing professional can be a registered psychologist.


CADDRE points out that, "It may also be helpful for you to include supporting documents such as psychological assessments (Psychoeducational Assessment) and testimonials from teachers, detailing the impact of the impairment on the student in the classroom."
They go on to note: "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." So, perhaps school fees qualify. (The school need not limit its enrolment to persons who require specialized care and training.) There may also be additional refundable medical expenses.


Now CADDRE makes this note:
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.


I am no expert on tax advice and this blog note DOES NOT OFFER TAX ADVICE. I suggest taking this note, a copy of the forms from the government web page, and speaking directly with someone certified in tax issues. This can be a complicated mess, and you don't want to expect a refund, pay for services, and not get it. And that very well may happen. So, SEE YOUR TAX EXPERT and get professional advice. My experience has been most doctors are unaware of how this work, and so are many tax preparers. If you want to speak to an expert below is a link to one such organization. Be aware, they are a for-profit company, and I would expect will be asking you to pay for their services. I don't know how their services work, but their web page is pretty clear.  You can just look up "tax help, disabilities, Canada" on the web and see what you find, or try this website. I do not recommend anyone, and honestly, know nothing about this particular company. You might ask your tax preparer about them and see what he or she says.


http://www.thenba.ca/


At any rate, start investigating. Don't spend money before you have it, and get a certified or licensed expert in the tax field to check what your doing. It may very well be a good way to help you pay for services you need for yourself or a family member.

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