Affected by incontinence or caring for someone else who is? You could use a little (tax) relief!

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Affected by incontinence or caring for someone else who is? You could use a little (tax) relief!

Take advantage of available (but not well known) tax credits

Surely you are familiar with Canada Revenue Agency Income Tax Guide RC4065 (E), right? You know, the 23-page tome that goes into excruciating detail about the medical expenses you can claim at tax time?

Well, let us save you a bit of time. Hidden on page 13, about halfway down the page on the left-hand side, you’ll see this as an accepted medical expense:

Diapers or disposable briefs for a person who is incontinent because of an illness, injury or affliction.

Whether these products are needed for post-prostate surgery, dementia or special needs, there is no difference in the tax treatment, so, if you are dealing with incontinence, keep your receipts and claim those expenses!

One accountant told us it is staggering how many people are not aware of this bit of potential tax relief.

My Liberty is here to help you find the right incontinence products as soon as the need arises. We offer diapers or briefs, underwearpads or liners, swim suits, bedding, chair and bed pads and wipes or cleansing cream - delivered right to your door.

If you haven’t kept your receipts and you’ve purchased incontinence products from MyLiberty.Life, we would be pleased to regenerate them for you—or just sign into your account and you can do it yourself.

There are no guarantees that your expenses will be accepted, of course—the deduction is related to your income and you may be asked to show the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that your need is based on “illness, injury or affliction.” 

The news gets better. Most provinces and territories offer additional chances to write off the medical expenses. Don't forget to check those, too.

You may be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit

You may also be able to get the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) — yes, incontinence is considered a disability — if your abilities are “markedly restricted.”

To apply, you’ll need to fill out CRA Form T2201. The Canada Revenue Agency has a guide called Tax measures for persons with disabilities: Disability-Related Information 2015

Admittedly, there is some paperwork involved — your doctor has to fill out papers, too — and some high-income earners may not qualify but the effort is well worth it. Why? Because if your application is approved and you have a doctor’s signature, you claim all the diapers and pads you’ve had to buy over the past 10 years. Nice! 

Did you know about the Caregivers Tax Credit?

With more than five million seniors in Canada (a number that could double by 2031), there just aren’t enough facilities to care for them all. To help deal with this issue, the federal government allows caregivers who qualify to claim a non-refundable tax credit of up to $4,530. Here are some of the criteria:

You might be eligible for the tax credit if the person you are caring for

  • is living with you
  • is 18 years or older
  • had a net income of less than $20,002 (2014)
  • has a physical or mental impairment
  • is the parent or grandparent, born in 1949 or earlier, of you or your spouse or common-in-law partner

Find out more about Tax Credits for Caregivers from the National Association of Federal Retirees.

So, you may be able to write off incontinence products or get either a Disability Tax Credit of a Caregiver Tax Credit. Now that’s relief!

 


Need help preparing tax forms?

If you have a modest income and a simple tax return, volunteers may be able to prepare your tax return for you. Get more information from the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program.

If you are on the other side of the fence and can help someone else complete their return, volunteer opportunities are available, too. Get more information here.)


 

Links in this post:

Canada Revenue Agency Income Tax Guide RC4065 (E): Information about medical expenses you can claim in 2015

Tax measures for persons with disabilities: Disability-Related Information 2015: Information about the Disability Tax Credit

CRA Form T2201: The form you’ll need to fill out to apply for the Disability Tax Credit

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program: Information on getting help filling out your income tax return

 

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  • Cindy Clegg
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