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How to Claim Your Sick Spouse or Child as a Dependant

Posted: February 06, 2018 By: Evelyn Jacks
Posted in: Strategic Thinking, Financial Literacy, knowledge bureau, Evelyn Jacks, tax courses, tax deductions, financial education, online education, Canada Caregiver Credit, CCC, tax credits for infirm and disabled, Canadian disability credits, spousal amounts, tax credits for dependants, eligible dependant, common-law tax credits

The Canada Caregiver Credit, or CCC, is by far the most complicated provision on the 2017 tax return. In this last article of our series, we’ll give you some true-to-life examples of how to claim it for your loved ones who may be suffering an infirmity.

If you are making the claim for your spouse, eligible dependant or minor child, a smaller claim of $2,150 (we’ll call this the Mini CCC) must be made. However, your adult dependant may also qualify for some portion or all of a larger credit (we’ll call that the Maxi CCC) of $6,883. Further, if your spouse has a net income between $6,902 and $11,635, you may qualify for a “top up” of the Mini Credit to $6,883.

Here are a few examples to clarify:

Example 1: Tanya is infirm and has no net income. Her husband wishes to claim for the spousal amount and the Canada Caregiver Amount. Here’s what can be claimed:

  • A Spousal Amount of $11,635, plus
  • The Canada Caregiver Credit “Mini” of $2,150

Can we claim anything more under the Canada Caregiver Credit? Since the total of the spousal amount and the Mini CCC exceeds the $6,883 higher claim, only the spousal amount $11,635 and the Mini CCC of $2,150 can be claimed.

Example 2: Alison is infirm and has net income of $6,000. Her father, Jerald (who has no spouse), may claim the following for her as an “eligible dependant”:

  • An Eligible Dependant (or equivalent to spouse) amount of $11,635 – $6,000 = $5,635, plus
  • The Mini Canada Caregiver Credit for an eligible dependant of $2,150.
   

But, can the Maxi $6,883 amount be claimed, too? In this case, the answer is no because the spousal amount plus the Mini $2,150 exceeds the $6,883 amount.

Example 3: Shawn is infirm and has a net income of $9,000. His wife Alice may claim the following for him:

  • A Spousal Amount of $11,635 – $9,000 = $2,635, plus
  • The Mini Canada Caregiver Credit for a spouse of $2,150.

Alice’s total claim under these two provisions is $4,785. Since this is less than the maximum claim for the CCC of $6,883, she can claim an additional $2,098 to bring her claim for the Canada Caregiver Credit up to $6,883.

Example 4: Scott and George are common-law partners. Scott is infirm and has a net income of $15,000. George cannot make a claim for Scott as a common-law partner because Scott’s net income exceeds $11,635. This means he also is ineligible to make the smaller $2,150 claim. But, under the Canada Caregiver Credit, George may claim a partial “Maxi” claim of $6,883 – ($16,163 – $15,000) = $5,720 for Scott.

Anytime a major life event happens in your family, it’s a good idea to check with a tax specialist, especially when new and complicated provisions like this arrive to help.  Be sure to see a  DFA–Tax Services Specialist or if you are interested in achieving professional credentials yourself, see our DFA–Tax Services Specialist designation program, and with courses such as Introduction to Personal Tax Preparation, Intermediate Personal Tax Preparation and Advanced Family Tax Preparation.

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