Canada Caregiver Credit: A Tax Credit Designed for Canadian Caregivers
If you provide care for a spouse or common-law partner or a dependent with a physical or mental disability, you may be eligible to claim the Canada Caregiver Credit (CCC) when you file your income tax return. This article will cover everything you need to know about this federal credit, including who can claim, how much you can claim, and what documents you’ll need.
What Is the Canada Caregiver Tax Credit?
Caring for a spouse or eligible dependent with a mental or physical can be challenging in many ways – mentally, physically, and financially. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recognizes this, so they’re helping caregivers save additional taxes with a non-refundable tax credit, known as the Canada Caregiver Tax Credit.
The Canada Revenue Agency made it easier to qualify for a tax credit by replacing three previous caregiver credits with the Canada Caregiver Credit. The former credits, namely The Caregiver Amount, The Amount for Infirm Dependents (18 years of age & over), and The Family Caregiver Amount, were somewhat confusing with more limitations.
Who Can You Claim the Canada Caregiver Credit For?
You may be eligible to claim the CCC if you support any of the following individuals, providing they live with a qualifying physical or mental impairment:
- Spouse or common-law partner
- Your child or grandchild
- Your spouse or common-law partner’s child or grandchild
- You (or your spouse or common-law partner’s) parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, or nephew.
Note: Your parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, or nephew must have resided in Canada at any time in the year for you to qualify.
Who Qualifies As a Dependent for the Canada Caregiver Credit?
For the Canada Caregiver Credit, the CRA defines dependent as an individual who relies on you regularly for life’s necessities, like food, clothing, and shelter.
CCC: Related Tax Return Lines
The following tax return line numbers are related to the Canada Caregiver Amount. The lines you need to fill out will depend upon your specific situation:
Line 30300: Spouse or common-law partner amount
Line 30425: Canada caregiver amount for a spouse or common-law partner, or eligible dependant age 18 or older
Line 30400: Amount for an eligible dependent
Line 30450: Canada caregiver amount for other infirm dependants age 18 or older
Line 30500: Canada caregiver amount for infirm children under 18 years of age
How Much Can I Claim for the Caregiver Amount?
The amount that you can claim as a caregiver is based on four criteria: your relationship to the person you’re caring for; the person’s net income, your own circumstances, and what credits the person under your care is claiming for themselves. Let’s take a closer look at the amounts you may be able to claim. Keep in mind that the amounts change every year. The figures below are for the 2021 tax year.
Relationship: Spouse or common-law partner
Claim Amount (line number): $2,295 (30300)
Maximum Claim Amount (Line number): $7348 (30425)
Relationship: Eligible dependent 18 years of age or older
Claim Amount (line number): $2,295 (30400)
Maximum Claim Amount (Line number): $7348 (30425)
Relationship: Eligible dependent under 18 years of age at the end of the year
Claim Amount (line number): $2,295 (30300 or 30500)*
Relationship: You or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s children under 18 years of age at the end of the year.
Claim Amount (line number): $2,295 (30500)
*According to the CRA, additional rules may apply if you are required to pay child support or have shared custody of a child.
Schedule 5, Amounts for Spouse or Common-Law Partner and Dependents, is used to help determine your eligibility as a caregiver. If you are unsure of what amount to claim after reading through the schedule, contact the CRA or a tax professional for further instruction.
What Evidence Do I Need to Provide CRA to Support My Claim?
You are not required to send any supporting documents along with your income tax return. That said, you may be required to provide proof of your status as a caregiver or of your dependent’s disability at some point.
For this reason, make sure you have the correct documents on file, in case CRA asks to see them. The CRA may request a statement from a medical practitioner showing the details of the dependent’s disability, including the start date and the expected duration.
Canada Caregiver Amount FAQs
Even though the CRA has streamlined the caregiver tax credits, knowing what to claim for your specific situation can be confusing. To help, here are the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions surrounding the Canada Caregiver Amount:
Is the CCC available to Quebec residents?
The CCC is not available to Quebec residents as they have their own credit, called the Quebec Tax Credit for Caregivers. The standard claim amount is $1,250. Unlike the Canada Caregiver amount, you can claim for someone who isn’t related to you.
Can I Claim the Caregiver Credit if I pay child support?
No, you cannot claim the Canada Caregiver Credit if you must pay child support.
Can more than one person claim the Caregiver Credit?
If more than one person serves as a caregiver, you can share the credit, but only for infirm dependents 18 years of age or older, reported on line 30450 of your return. The entire claim amount cannot exceed the annual maximum limit.
Is there an alternative to a medical practitioner’s statement?
If you’ve already filed a T2201 form (Disability Tax Certificate) with the CRA, you won’t need to provide a signed statement from a medical practitioner as evidence of impairment. The CRA will be satisfied that they already have the information.
Final Thoughts on the Canada Caregiver Credit
The Canada Caregiver credit is a non-refundable tax credit, which means it reduces the amount of taxes owing on your return. With the number of Canadian parents caring for a child with a mental or physical infirmity, or an infirm parent, thousands of people qualify, and it’s just one of many tax credits that you can claim in Canada.
If you’re unsure whether you qualify for the caregiver credit, check with an accountant or other tax professional, even if you do your own taxes. The costs of being a caregiver in Canada can be enormous, and some relief at tax time can certainly help.