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CRA denies medical expense credit score declare due to father’s residency


When his father fell ailing whereas visiting Canada, son confronted nearly $19,000 in medical payments with no tax aid

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One of many extra standard tax credit, claimed by greater than 5 million Canadians yearly, is the medical expense tax credit score (METC), which supplies tax aid for qualifying above-average medical or disability-related bills incurred by people on behalf of themselves, a partner or common-law companion, or a dependent relative.

Below the Revenue Tax Act, you’ll be able to declare a METC for bills you paid for your self, your partner or companion, and your youngsters beneath age 18. The worth of this federal credit score is calculated by making use of the bottom private revenue tax fee (15 per cent) to the quantity of qualifying medical bills in extra of the lesser of three per cent of your internet revenue or $2,759 (in 2024). The credit score may be claimed for bills paid in any interval of 12 consecutive months that ends within the taxation 12 months during which the declare is being made. There are additionally parallel provincial and territorial medical expense credit accessible at numerous charges and minimal spend thresholds.

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For medical bills paid on behalf of dependent family aside from minor kids, you’re in a position to declare qualifying medical bills that exceed the lesser of three per cent of the dependant’s internet revenue or $2,759. For functions of the METC, eligible dependants embrace grownup (grand)kids, (grand)dad and mom, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces supplied they had been depending on you for assist and had been residents of Canada at any time within the 12 months.

A tax case determined final month handled the METC associated to medical bills paid by a taxpayer for his father. In Might 2019, the taxpayer’s father was on a customer’s visa to Canada and deliberate to remain for roughly two weeks. Sadly, his father suffered a serious coronary heart assault and remained in hospital in Canada for eight weeks till July 2019.

Throughout his hospital keep, he required acute after which rehabilitative medical care, which was not lined beneath the provincial well being care system as a result of his father wasn’t a resident of Canada. Sadly, he handed away in November 2021.

“Lest anybody assume healthcare is ‘free’ in Canada,” the decide famous, the daddy’s health-care prices amounted to greater than $18,700, which the taxpayer, as a “dutiful and caring son,” paid. The taxpayer proceeded to assert these bills on his 2019 tax return as certified medical bills for a dependant — his father. The Canada Income Company subsequently denied his declare, and the taxpayer objected and took the matter to Tax Court docket.

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The decide clearly articulated the legislation for claiming medical bills for a dependant, breaking it down into its three parts. To have the ability to declare the METC for a dependant, the recipient of the medical expense should be associated not directly to the taxpayer. Second, the recipient should be depending on the taxpayer for assist. Lastly, if the dependant is just not a partner or common-law companion or (grand)youngster of the taxpayer, they should be a relative who’s “resident in Canada at any time within the 12 months.”

The primary situation was clearly glad for the reason that taxpayer paid the medical bills of his father, a qualifying relative. So far as dependency, the courtroom discovered that in the course of the father’s presence in Canada, he was “factually solely dependent” upon his son. The quantities paid to assist his father’s remedy, lodging and rehabilitation in an effort to enable him to go away the hospital, and, in the end, Canada, had been all paid for by the taxpayer. Thus, the one contentious concern within the case was the residency check, particularly, the which means of the phrase “resident in Canada at any time within the 12 months.”

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The taxpayer interpreted this phrase to imply “an individual that’s legally residing in Canada any time between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 in a selected 12 months.” Since his father was issued a authorized visa for as much as six months and he visited for about eight weeks, together with his time within the hospital, the taxpayer argued that this could represent residence in Canada. In consequence, his father was a resident of Canada on the time of his eight-week keep, when the medical bills had been incurred.

The CRA disagreed, noting that the Revenue Tax Act, when it refers to residency in Canada as the idea for taxation, makes use of the widespread legislation definition of residency, which embodies the idea of “ordinarily resident in Canada.”

The decide famous that the time period “resident in Canada at any time within the 12 months” is discovered 17 instances within the act, and, maybe most significantly, is present in the principle charging provision of the act during which residency types the idea for taxation in Canada. In his view, to be “resident in Canada” for the aim of claiming the METC for a dependant, “the traditional guidelines of residency ought to be used that are in any other case relevant to different sections of the (act) to yield constant utility.”

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In different phrases, the case comes down as to whether the daddy may very well be thought of a “factual resident of Canada” at any time in 2019. For the reason that goal of the daddy’s journey was to go to his son and different members of the family in Canada for a finite period of time, and, however for his coronary heart assault, he would have returned dwelling (his extraordinary place of residence) after two weeks, there was merely no proof to determine that the daddy was planning to remain in Canada.

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Because the decide wrote, the daddy “by no means transformed or ever meant to transform his intentions, habits or domicile to Canada past a brief go to, unavoidably delayed for a further six weeks due to his coronary heart assault. He was not a factual resident.”

In consequence, the decide denied the taxpayer’s declare for the METC on the idea that his father, for whom he claimed the medical bills, was not an extraordinary resident of Canada.

Jamie Golombek, FCPA, FCA, CFP, CLU, TEP, is the managing director, Tax & Property Planning with CIBC Non-public Wealth in Toronto.

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