Family caregiver amount (FCA)
The Family Caregiver Amount is a tax credit for people who have a child with physical or mental impairments
The Family Caregiver Amount (FCA) is a tax credit for people who have a child with physical or mental impairments. The credit is worth $2,093 (about $314 in tax savings) in non-refundable tax credits and may be claimed under one of the following lines:
- spouse or common-law partner amount (line 303);
- amount for an eligible dependant (line 305);
- amount for children born in 1995 or later (line 367); and
- caregiver amount (line 315).
The child must have an impairment that is prolonged and indefinite and the child must be dependent on you for assistance in attending to personal needs and care when compared to children of the same age.
You must have a signed statement from a medical doctor showing when the impairment began and what the duration of the impairment is expected to be. For children under 18 years of age, the statement should also show that the child, because of an impairment in physical or mental functions, is dependent on others for an indefinite duration. This dependence means they need much more assistance for their personal needs and care compared to children of the same age. For your convenience, there is a sample letter on my Files page, which you can complete before the doctor’s appointment and present to him/her for a signature.
New for the 2014 tax year, a doctor’s letter is no longer required if the child has an approved Form T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate from the CRA for the specified period.
Don’t forget to apply for the fitness credit as well. If your child qualifies for the disability amount and is under 18 years of age at the beginning of the year, an additional amount of $500 can be claimed provided that a minimum of $100 is paid on registration or membership fees for a prescribed program of physical activity. In other words, if you spend $100, you can claim $600.
The basic Fitness Tax credit has been cut in half (to $500) for the 2016 tax year and will be eliminated for the 2017 tax year. In the meantime, you may continue to add the $500 as explained above. There is also now a refundable amount if you are low income and unable to use the non-refundable tax credit.
To qualify as a fitness expense, the program must be at least 8 weeks long or 5 days consecutive days in the case of children’s camps. The standards that the fitness program must meet are relaxed somewhat for disabled children. If the child is eligible for the disability tax credit, activities that result in movement and in an observable use of energy in a recreational context, qualify the program. Refer to CRA – Children’s Fitness Tax Credit for more information.
Children’s Arts Tax Credit
This credit works in a similar fashion to the Fitness Tax Credit. If you spend at least $100, you may add $500 to the total. Refer to CRA – Children’s Arts Credit for more information.
For the 2016 tax year, the amount has been cut in half to $250 and will be eliminated for the 2017 tax year. In the meantime, you may continue to add the $500 as explained above.
Home Buyers’ Amount
This $5,000 tax credit is normally for first time buyers, however if you acquired the home for the benefit of a related person who is eligible for the disability amount you may claim the amount. The purchase must be made to allow the person eligible for the disability amount to live in a home that is more accessible or better suited to the needs of that person. Refer to CRA – Home Buyers’ Amount.