There are a few minor tax changes for the 2015 tax year that parents with ASD kids need to be aware of. Some of the changes are cosmetic and others may have a more substantial impact on your family finances.
Some of the changes include:
- The Family Caregiver Amount for children under the age of 18, is now claimed on line 367 of your tax return. This tax credit is $2,093 for 2015.
- The Fitness Tax Credit used to be a non-refundable tax credit, but starting with the 2015 tax year becomes a refundable tax credit. In essence, this means your tax payable for the year can be reduced below zero. Unlike previous years, you may now claim up to $1,000 and if your child is eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) and provided you spend at least $100, you may add an additional $500 to the total. If you are using tax software (highly recommended), it will automatically add the $500 as long as it knows your child qualifies for the DTC.
- Child Care Expenses for 2015 have increased to $11,000 for each child with a disability.
- The Child Tax Credit (this is the base tax credit for all children) has been replaced with an enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) which gives a new benefit of $720 per year for children ages 6 to 17. It’s important to note that this is taxable, so be ready for a tax bill (or a decreased tax refund).
- For those of you with disabled teenagers, a gentle reminder that you should file tax returns on their behalf starting for the year that they turn 17 (and every year thereafter). This is vitally important for their Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) grants and bonds when they turn 19. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) considers the amount of income 2 years prior to the current tax year to calculate government contributions.
- The Disability Tax Credit for 2015 is $7,899 and the disability supplement for persons under the age of 18 is $4,607. As in previous years, the supplement may be reduced if someone claimed Child Care or Attendant Care expenses. I strongly suggest that you use tax software for this calculation.
- There are some changes to the T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate and how to claim for previous years. I will be expanding on this subject next week.