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Tax Eligibility
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You may be eligible to claim attendant care expenses on your tax return.

The following information is copied from Revenue Canada's website and is posted here for your perusal. Contact Revenue Canada for guidance concerning your specific situation.



Attendant care and care in a facility

Attendant care is care given by an attendant who does personal tasks which a person cannot do for himself or herself. Attendant care can be received in certain types of facilities.

You can claim amounts paid to an attendant only if the attendant was not your spouse or common-law partner and was 18 years of age or older when the amounts were paid.

If an individual issues a receipt for attendant care services, the receipt must include his or her social insurance number.

Who can claim these expenses?

You can claim as medical expenses the amounts you or your spouse or common-law partner paid for attendant care or care in a facility. The expenses must have been paid for the care of:

  • yourself;
  • your spouse or common-law partner; or
  • a dependant.

A dependant is someone who depended on you for support and is:

  • your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s child or grandchild; or
  • your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nephews, or nieces who lived in Canada at any time in the year.


What can you claim as medical expenses?

Full-time care or specialized care

Generally, you can claim the entire amount you paid for the following facilities:

  • nursing homes (full-time care); and
  • schools, institutions, or other places (providing care or care and training).

We consider the care to be full-time care when a person needs constant care and attendance.

Other places could include an outpatient clinic, such as a detoxification clinic.



What is a nursing home?

A nursing home is generally considered to be a facility that gives full-time care. Any facility could be considered a nursing home if it has the same features and characteristics as a nursing home.

All regular fees are eligible as medical expenses, including those for the following:

  • food;
  • accommodation;
  • nursing care;
  • administration fees;
  • maintenance fees; and
  • social programming and activities fees.

However, extra personal expenses (such as hairdresser fees) are not eligible.



Salaries and wages

You can claim the fees for salaries and wages paid for part-time attendant care.

Also, you can claim the fees for salaries and wages paid for attendant care services or care or supervision in the following facilities:

  • self-contained domestic establishments (such as your private home);
  • retirement homes, homes for seniors, or other institutions;
  • group homes in Canada; and
  • nursing homes. Special rules apply to this type of facility. See the chart.


Expenses you can claim

You can claim as medical expenses the salaries and wages paid to all employees that do the following duties or services:

  • food preparation;
  • housekeeping services for a resident’s personal living space;
  • laundry services for a resident’s personal items;
  • health care (registered nurse, practical nurse, certified health care aide, personal support worker);
  • activities (social programmer);
  • salon services (hairdresser, manicurist, pedicurist) if included in the monthly fee;
  • transportation (driver); and
  • security for a secured unit.

If you are receiving attendant care services in your home, you can only claim for the period when you are at home and need care or help. For an expense to be eligible as a medical expense, you must:

  • be eligible for the disability tax credit; or
  • have a written certification from a medical practitioner that states the services are necessary.


Expenses you cannot claim

You cannot claim the cost of:

  • rent (except the part of rent for services that help a person with daily tasks, such as laundry and housekeeping);
  • food;
  • cleaning supplies;
  • other operating costs (such as the maintenance of common areas and outside grounds); or
  • salaries and wages paid to employees such as administrators, receptionists, groundskeepers, janitors (for common areas), and maintenance staff.


Sample statement for attendant care expenses

To claim attendant care expenses paid to a facility (other than full-time care in a nursing home or specialized care) such as a retirement home, you have to send us a detailed breakdown from the facility.

The breakdown must clearly show the amounts paid for staff salaries that apply to the attendant care services listed under Expenses you can claim.

The breakdown should also take into account any subsidies that reduce the attendant care expenses (unless the subsidy is included in income and is not deductible from income).

The following sample statements show the detailed information we need.


Statement of account for the 2016 year


Resident's name: Stephen Harris

  Total expenses Non-eligible expenses Eligible expenses
Rent $14,909 $14,909
Administration staff wages $1,242 $1,242
Nursing wages $4,259 $4,259
Activities director wages $402 $402
Housekeeping and laundry wages $1,016 $1,016
Dietician and chef wages $2,851 $2,851
Transportation wages $365 $365
Total $25,044 $16,151 $8,893

Based on the above statement, Stephen’s eligible attendant care expenses are $8,893.


Statement of account for the 2016 year


Resident's name: Jamie Fitzgerald

  Total expenses Non-eligible expenses Eligible expenses – if no subsidies are received Subsidies received Eligible expenses (after subsidies)
Rent $14,909 $14,909 $5,000
Administration staff wages $1,242 $1,242
Nursing wages $4,259 $4,259 $4,259
Activities director wages $402 $402 $402
Housekeeping and laundry wages $1,016 $1,016 $1,016
Dietician and chef wages $2,851 $2,851 $2,000 $851
Transportation wages $365 $365 $365
Total $25,044 $16,151 $8,893 $8,016 $5,877

Based on the above statement, Jamie’s eligible attendant care expenses are $5,877. The amount of eligible expenses that Jamie can claim was reduced because of the subsidies received.



Are you claiming the disability amount?

There are special rules when claiming the disability amount and attendant care as medical expenses. For information on claiming attendant care and the disability amount, see the chart.

Calculate your net federal tax using Schedule 1, Federal Tax, to find out what is more beneficial for you. You can also see the examples.

If someone claims the fees paid to a nursing home for full-time care as a medical expense on line 330 or line 331 of Schedule 1, no one else can claim the disability amount for the same person.

To claim the disability amount, we must approve your application for the disability tax credit (DTC). For more information on the disability amount and the DTC, see Guide RC4064, Disability-Related Information.



Can you claim both attendant care as medical expenses and the disability amount, and what certification do you need?

The following chart show the certification you need to claim attendant care as a medical expenses (on line 330 or line 331) and if you can also claim the disability amount (line 316 or line 318). In all cases, for you to qualify for the disability amount, we have to approve Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate.




Can you claim both attendant care as medical expenses and the disability amount, and what certification do you need?
Type of expense Certification required Can you claim the disability amount?
Fees paid for full-time care in a nursing home Form T2201 or a medical practitioner must certify in writing that you are, and in the foreseeable future will continue to be, dependent on others for your personal needs and care because of a lack of normal mental capacity. You can claim the disability amount, if eligible, or these expenses, but not both.
Salaries and wages for attendant care given in Canada. This can include the part of the nursing home fees paid for full-time care that relate only to salaries and wages Form T2201 You can claim the disability amount and up to $10,000 for these expenses ($20,000 if the person died in the year).
Salaries and wages for one full-time attendant outside of a self-contained domestic establishment Form T2201 You can claim the disability amount or these expenses, but not both.
Full-time attendant at home Form T2201 or a medical practitioner must certify in writing that you are, and will likely to be for a long continuous period of indefinite duration, dependent on others for your personal needs and care because of an impairment in physical or mental functions and need a full-time attendant. You can claim the disability amount, if eligible, or these expenses, but not both.
Salaries and wages for care in a group home in Canada Form T2201 You can claim the disability amount and these expenses.
Care, or training and care, at a school, institution, or other place (such as a detoxification clinic)

Form T2201 or an appropriately qualified person must certify in writing that because of a mental or physical impairment, you need the equipment, facilities, or staff specially provided by that place for persons with the same type of impairments.

Note
An appropriately qualified person includes a medical practitioner, the principal of the school or the head of the institution or other place.

You can claim the disability amount, if eligible, and these expenses

What is more beneficial?

Example 1

John is a 38-year-old who lives in his own home. His only income is a disability pension of $29,000. John’s doctor has certified in writing that John is dependent on others for his personal needs because of his physical impairment. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has approved Form T2201 for him. John pays his 43-year-old neighbour, Marge, $14,000 each year to look after him full-time. John can claim the amounts he pays Marge for attendant care as a medical expense.

John has a choice to make. His first option is to claim $10,000 of his attendant care expenses as a medical expense on line 330 and claim the disability amount of $8,001 on line 316. Under this option, he would have no federal tax to pay.

His second option is to claim all $14,000 of his attendant care expenses as a medical expense, but then he would not be able to claim the disability amount. His federal tax would be $359.

For John, the first option is better. See the following examples of John’s Schedule 1 for a breakdown of his claims on his return using both options.



Option 1 – John's Schedule 1
Basic personal amount (line 300) $11,474.00
Pension income amount (line 314) + 2,000.00
Disability amount (for self) (line 316)   + 8,001.00
Total amounts of medical expenses paid $10,000.00    
Subtract $2,237 or 3% of line 236 of your return, whichever is less. 870.00    
Medical expenses for self (line 330) = 9,130.00 + 9,130.00
Add the amounts   = 30,605.00
Federal non-refundable tax credit rate   x 15%
Total federal non-refundable tax credits   = 4,590.75
Since the taxable income is $45,282 or less:      
Your taxable income from line 260 of your return 29,000.00    
Multiply by 15% x 15%    
Federal tax on taxable income = 4,350.00   4,350.00
Subtract federal non-refundable tax credits   4,590.75
  = -240.75

Basic federal tax. If negative, enter "0"

  =

$0.00



Option 2 – John's Schedule 1
Basic personal amount (line 300) $11,474.00
Pension income amount (line 314) + 2,000.00
Disability amount (for self) (line 316)   + 0.00
Total amounts of medical expenses paid $14,000.00    
Subtract $2,237 or 3% of line 236 of your return, whichever is less. 870.00    
Medical expenses for self (line 330) = 13,130.00 + 13,130.00
Add the amounts   = 26,604.00
Federal non-refundable tax credit rate   x 15%
Total federal non-refundable tax credits   = 3,990.60
Since the taxable income is $45,282 or less:      
Your taxable income from line 260 of your return 29,000.00    
Multiply by 15% x 15%    
Federal tax on taxable income = 4,350.00   4,350.00
Subtract federal non-refundable tax credits   3,990.60
  = 359.40
Basic federal tax. If negative, enter "0"   = $359.40

Example 2

Judy is a 57-year-old who earned $40,000 of pension income last year. She was seriously injured in a car accident a few years ago and now needs full-time attendant care. The CRA has approved Form T2201 for her. Last year, Judy paid $32,000 to a retirement home. Of that amount, $21,000 was her share of the salaries and wages paid to staff for attendant care.

Judy has a choice to make. Her first option is to claim $10,000 of her attendant care expenses as medical expenses on line 330 and claim the disability amount of $8,001 on line 316. Under this option, she would have to pay $1,459 in federal tax.

Her second option is to claim all $21,000 of her attendant care expenses as a medical expense, but then she would not be able to claim the disability amount. Her federal tax would be $1,009.

For Judy, the second option is better. See the examples of Judy’s Schedule 1 for a breakdown of her claims on her return using both options.



Option 1 – Judy's Schedule 1
Basic personal amount (line 300) $11,474.00
Pension income amount (line 314) + 2,000.00
Disability amount (for self) (line 316)   + 8,001.00
Total amounts of medical expenses paid $10,000.00    
Subtract $2,237 or 3% of line 236 of your return, whichever is less. 1,200.00    
Medical expenses for self (line 330) = 8,800.00 + 8,800.00
Add the amounts   = 30,275.00
Federal non-refundable tax credit rate   x 15%
Total federal non-refundable tax credits   = 4,541.25
Since the taxable income is $45,282 or less:      
Your taxable income from line 260 of your return 40,000.00    
Multiply by 15% x 15%    
Federal tax on taxable income = 6,000.00   6,000.00
Subtract federal non-refundable tax credits   4,541.25
  = 1,458.75

Basic federal tax. If negative, enter "0"

  =

$1,458.75



Option 2 – Judy's Schedule 1
Basic personal amount (line 300) $11,474.00
Pension income amount (line 314) + 2,000.00
Disability amount (for self) (line 316)   + 0.00
Total amounts of medical expenses paid $21,000.00    
Subtract $2,237 or 3% of line 236 of your return, whichever is less. 1,200.00    
Medical expenses for self (line 330) = 19,800.00 + 19,800.00
Add the amounts   = 33,274.00
Federal non-refundable tax credit rate   x 15%
Total federal non-refundable tax credits   = 4,991.10
Since the taxable income is $45,282 or less:      
Your taxable income from line 260 of your return 40,000.00    
Multiply by 15% x 15%    
Federal tax on taxable income = 6,000.00   6,000.00
Subtract federal non-refundable tax credits   4,991.10
  = 1,008.90

Basic federal tax. If negative, enter "0"

  =

$1,008.90