Family Caregiver Tax Credit now available

Credit provides relief to caregivers of infirm dependant relatives

As the calendar turns to a new year, Canadians will soon have to turn their attention to filing their 2012 taxes. The federal government is reminding filers that there is a new tax credit on the books — the Family Caregiver Tax Credit.

The credit is a 15 per cent, non-refundable tax credit on an amount of $2,000 that provides tax relief to caregivers of infirm dependant relatives. This includes, for the first time, infirm spouses, common-law partners and minor children, according to a press release issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Ottawa also pointed to other tax relief measures available it has introduced or improved in recent years, including:

Medical Expense Tax Credit: The $10,000 limit on the amount of eligible expenses a caregiver can claim in respect of financially dependent relatives has been removed “in order to fully recognize the medical and disability-related costs incurred by caregivers,” according the CRA.

Hiring Credit for Small Business: Small employers that meet certain criteria and paid more in employment insurance premiums in 2012 over 2011 are eligible for the credit, which puts up to $1,000 back into the accounts of employers. As of Sept. 30, 2012, more than $200 million has been credited to more than 500,000 eligible employers.

Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit: This provides employers with a tax credit of up to 10 per cent of the eligible wages payable to eligible apprentices. The maximum credit an employer can claim is $2,000 per year for each eligible apprentice. For the 2011 tax year, more than 10,000 employers across the country took advantage of the credit, according to CRA.

Tradesperson’s Tool Deduction: Allows tradespeople to deduct from their income part of the cost of tools purchased throughout the year.

Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB): Gives families with young children $100 per month for each child under age six. Nearly $2.7 billion was paid to Canadians in UCCB payments in 2011.

Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA): Allows Canadians to earn tax-free income through investment products. About 8.2 million Canadians have opened an account, and 2.5 million contributed the maximum amount in 2011. As of Jan. 1, 2013, they will be able to contribute $5,500 to their TFSAs annually.

Registered Disability Savings Plan: This is a long-term savings plan to help Canadians with disabilities and their families save for the future. Since being introduced in 2008, more than 60,000 plans have been opened.

Canada Employment Credit (CEC): This is a 15 per cent, non-refundable tax credit on an amount of $1,095 in employment income to recognize employee’s work expenses for items such as home computers, uniforms and supplies.

Public Transit Tax Credit: Allows transit riders to claim the full amount they spend on eligible transit passes. In 2011, more than 1.6 million Canadians claimed this credit.

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