I strongly recommend that you do your own taxes. The downside to having professionals do your taxes is that they may not be fully conversant with disability topics and autism in particular. You have been dealing with the issues from day one and should be aware of what you can claim.
The tax forms read like gooblygoop to me
I agree. No mortal human should have to understand the obscure language of bureaucrats. For me the answer is TurboTax or Ufile. Depending on which software program you purchase, you may be able to cut costs by sharing it with friends and family.
All that is required is the awareness of what you are going to claim and where you are going to claim it. Hopefully you have been following the suggestions on this website, so your paperwork is clear and concise. The tax software will lead you through the process of claiming disabilities credits.
The Disability Amount
The first thing to claim is the “Disability Amount transferred from a dependant”. This of course is assuming you have submitted the T2201 to claim the disability tax credit. You will make this claim on both the “Federal Tax Schedule 1” and the “British Columbia Tax BC428”. If you are using tax software, you simply have to tick the box indicating your child is disabled and then select the option of claiming the “Disability Amount transferred from a Dependant”. The software will do the rest.
The next item to claim is child care costs if you were both working or are a single parent household. Firstly claim true child care fees, a nanny or babysitting (with proper receipts). This is a tax deduction and is usually worth more than the tax credits. Use the example on my Files page to construct an invoice and receipt. Ensure that the description of service is “Child Care”.
If you don’t have any of the above, use the ABA receipts to a maximum of $11,000. Once again ensure the description of service is “Child Care” and not “ABA Therapy/Tutoring”.
For the case of one parent not working (two parent household), you may not claim for child care costs, however if you have employed a nanny or had a babysitting service, you should be able to claim attendant care costs. Don’t use ABA receipts for this purpose. Use the example on my Files page to construct an invoice and receipt. Ensure that the description of service is “Attendant Care”.
Attendant Care is considered a medical expense. You can claim up to $10,000 per spouse (the invoices/receipts should reflect the paying individual) and both amounts may be combined to be claimed on one spouses tax return for the maximum effect.
The spouse with the lower income should generally be the one to claim for medical expenses. The only exception is when that spouse doesn’t have enough income to use the non-refundable tax credits.
This is where you will claim your combined ABA Tutoring, Attendant Care and other medical expenses. All the expenses can be lumped together and claimed by one spouse for the best return.
Canada Caregiver Amount
You may claim $2,150 if your child has 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. A letter from your family doctor is required unless you have a T2201 on file.
Fitness tax credit
Note: The Fitness Tax credit is no longer on offer for 2017. Only the Provincial component remains. Refer to: The Demise of the Fitness and Arts Credit for more information.
Assuming that you have at least $100 in fitness receipts, you can add $500 to the amount claimed on your tax form. Tax software will do this automatically assuming you have ticked the box indicating your child is disabled.
Children’s Arts Tax Credit
Note: The Arts Tax credit is no longer on offer for 2017. Only the Provincial component remains. Refer to: The Demise of the Fitness and Arts Credit for more information.
Assuming that you have at least $100 in fitness receipts, you can add $500 to the amount claimed on your tax form.