Tax Tips for the 2018 Taxation Year

Tax Tips For The 2018 Taxation Year

This guide was compiled by Graeme Treeby of The “Special Needs” Planning Group.  It is intended for free and unencumbered distribution to organizations serving the Special Needs Community, clients and friends of The “Special Needs” Planning Group ( and anyone else who may be interested.  It is not to be taken as Accounting or Tax advice but rather, as a resource to provide a starting point for your journey through the maze that is Income Tax Preparation and Planning for people with a disability and their families. Graeme Treeby can be reached at 905 640-8285 or .


What’s New for 2018?

Once again this year, Canada Revenue Agency has announced a few changes that may affect the Income Taxes of people with disabilities and their families.  They are:


  1. Service Animal Expenses:   The Medical Expense Tax Credit has been expanded to allow expenses related to service animals that are trained to perform specific tasks for a person with a severe mental or psychiatric impairment that help the person cope with the impairment.  Costs including the cost of the animal, the care and maintenance of the animal, food and veterinary care etc may be claimed 
  2. Climate Action Incentive:  Although not specifically an issue exclusively for the special needs community, residents of Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick may be able to make a claim based on the size and composition of your family.
  3. Age 17 Tax Returns: While not new, it is important to remember to file income tax returns for people receiving RDSP Grants and Bonds. The income amount switches from the parents income to the person with the disability’s income at the beginning of the year that he or she turns age 19.  The income amount used for these calculations is the amount reported to CRA 2 years prior to the current year.  Therefore it is important that we submit an Income Tax Return for the year in which the person turns age 17 and every year thereafter, even if he or she has earned no income in those years. 
  4. Sale of Your Principal Residence:  Again, while this is not exclusive to the Special Needs Community, if you sold your home during 2018, you need to be sure to designate on your return that it was your principal residence.  Otherwise, it may be subject to Capital Gains Tax.


Tax Time – 2018

Once again, it is time for us to prepare our annual income tax returns.  Canadian Tax Returns must be filed by April 30 of the year following the tax year in question in order to avoid late filing penalties.  Penalties for not filing your returns  amount to 5% of any taxes owing plus 1% per full month that the return is outstanding up to 12 months.  As you can see, filing on time is important.  Even if you don’t have an income to report, it is still wise to file a return since the GST/HST credit may be available to you even when no income has been earned. 

The Income Tax Act allows us to take advantage of a variety of different credits and deductions that can minimize the amount of tax that we have to pay. Families with members with disabilities have a number of benefits that can be taken advantage of if they are aware of their existence. 

The purpose of this guide is three fold:

  1. To introduce you to the a) The Disability Amount,  b) The Canada Caregiver Credit  and c)  The T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate
  2. To share a FREE Re-File Process to Get Back Taxes That Should Never Have Paid. 
  3. To highlight many of the Tax Deductions, Credits and Benefits available to people with disabilities and their families.