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Can you claim the Canada caregiver amount?

May 17, 2021

Your parents worked hard to take care of you growing up and you’re happy to return the favour. The good news? The CRA (the Canada Revenue Agency) wants to say “thanks” too. If you have an aging parent or relative, you might be eligible for the Canada caregiver amount. It’s one of the most commonly overlooked tax credits, and it’s intended to create additional tax savings for Canadians supporting infirm or dependants at home.

Can I claim the Canada caregiver amount?

To be eligible for the Canada caregiver amount, a family member must have relied on you for support because of an impairment in their mental or physical functions during the year. This means they needed your help with daily activities, such as cooking, getting to appointments, or bathing. It used to be a requirement that the relative lived with you, but this is no longer the case.

For the purposes of this tax credit, a dependant can be your or your spouse’s:

  • Child or grandchild; or
  • Parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, or nephew (if they lived in Canada at any time during the year).

If the CRA already has an approved disability tax certificate (T2201) on file for the person for whom you’re claiming the amount, you won’t need a doctor’s note confirming their condition. You can also claim their unused disability tax credit in addition to the Canada caregiver amount.

How much can I claim?

If your dependant is 18 or older and is not:

You can claim a caregiver amount of $7,276. Keep in mind, this amount is reduced by every dollar your dependant’s net income is more than $17,085. This means if your dependant’s income is more than $24,361, you won’t be able to claim this credit.

If your dependant is your spouse or common-law partner, you can claim an additional $2,273 to help with their care.

If your dependant is younger than 18, you can claim $ 2,273. In this case, the amount is not reduced by their net income.

My elderly parent lives with me, but they don’t have a mental or physical infirmity. Can I claim the caregiver amount?

It used to be that you could claim a caregiver amount for a parent who’s 65 or older regardless of their state of health. This is no longer the case. You can only claim the Canada caregiver amount for a family member who relied on you for support because they had a mental or physical infirmity during the year.

My husband’s mother moved in. Who can claim the caregiver amount?

The Canada caregiver amount is a non-refundable credit, meaning it lowers the total amount of taxes you owe when you file your return. If your tax payable is more than your husband, it makes more sense for you to claim this amount. You’ll be able to do so if you both live in the same household.

If your family is caring for more than one dependant, either you or your spouse can claim the credit for all of the eligible relatives or you can each claim separate relatives, but each dependant relative can only be claimed once.

Are there tax credits for caregivers in Québec?

If you’re a Québec resident, you’ll claim the Québec tax credit for caregivers instead of the Canada caregiver amount.

You might be able claim $1,250 if someone who’s at least 18 years old lives with you and relies on you for support because they have a severe or prolonged impairment in mental or physical functions.

You can also claim $1,250 for someone who doesn’t live with you, as long as they’re at least 70 years old, and they aren’t your spouse or common-law partner.

Unlike the Canada caregiver amount, you can claim this credit for someone who isn’t related to you. To learn more about the eligibility requirements for this tax credit, visit the H&R Block Online Help Centre.

Keep in mind, you can’t claim the Québec tax credit for caregivers if you’re claiming the Québec tax credit for volunteer respite services or the Québec tax credit for respite of caregivers for the same person. These tax credits are for Québec residents who took care of a family member with a long-term disability.

Want to find out what other tax credits you might be eligible for? H&R Block makes sure you get the maximum refund. Choose from four convenient ways to file: File in an Office, Drop-off at an Office, Upload from Home, or Do It Yourself Tax Software.

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