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(John Tomaselli/photos.com)
(John Tomaselli/photos.com)

Understanding Tax

Tax credits and deductions: Caregivers and tax Add to ...

Tax credits you can claim if you're caring for a family member with a disability or illness.

If you're the caregiver for a family member with a disability or illness, you can claim certain tax credits when you file your tax return.

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

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  • 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.

Four 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 credit 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 1 dependant, each household can only claim this amount once.

Tip: 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. Amount for infirm dependants age 18 or older

You may be able to claim this tax credit if you or your spouse (or common-law partner) has dependent children or grandchildren who are age 18 or older, and are physically or mentally disabled. The amount of the tax credit may be reduced or eliminated, depending on the net income of the dependant.

You can also claim it for other family members, including parents, grandparents and siblings, who are:

  • age 18 or older,
  • physically or mentally impaired,
  • dependent on you for support, and
  • residents of Canada.

Tip: If you file a claim for the eligible dependant amount, no one else can claim the amount for infirm dependants or the caregiver amount for the same dependant.

3. Caregiver amount

You can claim this tax credit if you care for:

  • a parent or grandparent who is age 65 or older at the end of the year, or
  • another disabled dependant (mentally or physically impaired) who is age 18 or older.

The dependant must live with you in your home. The amount of the tax credit may be reduced or eliminated, depending on the net income of the dependant. Learn more about the dollar amounts for caregiver tax credits.

4. Family Caregiver Amount

If you care for an infirm family member, you can add an additional $2,040 in 2013 (rising to $2,058 in 2014) to one of the following tax credits on your return:

  • the spousal or common-law partner amount,
  • child tax credit,
  • amount for eligible dependents,
  • caregiver amount, or
  • infirm dependent amount.

Learn more about the family caregiver amount.

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-term financial security of a disabled person.


 

Content in this section is provided in partnership with Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization founded and supported by the Ontario Securities Commission that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help Canadians make better money decisions. To find out more, go to: GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca

Follow us on Twitter: @GlobeInvestor

 

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