Family Care Giver Tax Credit

If you are the caregiver of a dependant with a mental or physical infirmity, you may be eligible to claim the new family caregiver amount in your personal tax return. The family caregiver amount is not a standalone tax credit, but rather is included as an enhancement to the calculation of certain existing dependency-related credits.

More specifically, if you have a qualifying dependant and otherwise qualify for one or more of the following non-refundable credits, you may claim an additional amount of $2,000 when calculating those credits:

  • Spouse or common-law partner credit
  • Eligible dependant credit (also known as the equivalent-to-spouse credit)
  • Caregiver tax credit (also known as the in-home care credit)
  • Child tax credit (for children under 18)

In addition, the maximum amount for the infirm dependant credit (for dependants aged 18 or over) is increased by $2,000 and subsequent years (to automatically include the family caregiver amount).

You may claim the additional $2,000 family caregiver amount for more than one qualifying dependant, but only one family caregiver amount may be claimed for each dependant.

Note also that the additional $2,000 family caregiver amount will be indexed after 2012 on the same basis as other personal tax credits.

Who is a qualifying dependant?

The family caregiver amount may be claimed for a spouse, common-law partner, child or other person who is dependent on the individual because of an impairment in mental or physical functions.

If the qualifying dependant is under 18 years of age (a child), the family caregiver amount may only be claimed if, because of an impairment in mental or physical functions, the child is likely to be dependent on others for a long and indefinite period, and for significantly more assistance in attending to his or her personal needs and care when compared with other children of the same age.

The family caregiver amount is not tied to the disability tax credit. Other than the above guidelines, impairment for the purposes of the family caregiver amount is not defined, making it generally less onerous to qualify for the family caregiver amount than for the disability tax credit.

What documentation is required?

To claim the family caregiver amount, you must complete the appropriate parts of Schedule 1, Federal Tax, and Schedule 5, Amounts for spouse or common-law partner and dependants, and include those schedules when filing your tax return.


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