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For anyone living in Saskatchewan, the recent Provincial Budget that was released last Wednesday has outlined the Government’s commitment to drastically increase the amount provided for four of the Disability-related tax credits. We are very pleased to see that the Saskatchewan Government has decided to take this step in increasing the Caregiver Tax Credit, the Infirm Dependent Tax Credit, the Disability Supplement Tax Credit, and the Disability Amount for Self Tax Credit.

This will positively impact individuals with severe disabilities and those who care for elderly or disabled relatives when they file their next year’s tax return. According to the Budget the Government has committed to doubling the Caregiver Tax Credit (from $4,095 to $8,190), doubling the Infirm Dependent Tax Credit (from $4,095 to $8,190), doubling the Disability Supplement Tax Credit (from $4,095 to $8,190), and increasing the Disability Amount for Self Tax Credit (from $7,021 to $8,190).

As well, they have committed to making enhancements to many of the programs available for people with intellectual disabilities, including day programming, housing supports, and support initiatives.

This will hopefully encourage more people to file a tax return for themselves or for their loved one with a disability. Many people who do not have an income are simply not filing a return and are therefore missing out on a large amount of money that they are entitled too.

If you would like to read the Saskatchewan Budget Summary, you can go to the following website: http://www.finance.gov.sk.ca/budget/

The Office for Disability Issues has recently distributed the draft regulations for the RDSP. They will be conducting consultations in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa within the next two weeks to hear feedback from the disability community and financial institutions. If you are interested, I have attached a copy of the Regulations and the invitation for the consultations.

We will be attending the consultations in Vancouver and Ottawa on March 31st and April 3rd and will be providing the Office for Disability Issues with any comments and feedback we have following our review of the regulations. If you are unable to attend the consultations but have some concerns, feel free to post comments and let us know.

Click below for Draft Regulations:

RDSP Draft Regulations

This question has been coming up a lot lately as more and more people apply for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) to become eligible for the Registered Disability Savings Plan in 2008. We’re hopeful that the RDSP will be available in 2008, and it is important that people sign up for the DTC as it can take longer to be processed and there will probably be a greater number of people applying in the coming months. By signing up for the DTC early you can ensure that you are eligible to receive the RDSP as soon as it is available.

Having spoken with people who currently receive the DTC, it has become apparent that there is a wide variety of time requirements when it comes to reapplying. While some people have been able to receive the certificate for a number of years without a requirement to re-apply, others have had to re-apply on a more regular basis. This led us to question what the guidelines were for the Canadian Revenue Agency when they evaluate the amount of time a DTC certificate will be valid before a recipient needs to apply again.

I spoke with someone at the Canadian Revenue Agency and they told me that the application for the DTC is first processed to see whether the applicant fits the guidelines outlined in the DTC criteria for eligibility. After identifying that an applicant is eligible, the application is then reviewed by the Canadian Revenue Agency Medical Board. This review generally takes 3-6 months to be completed, but varies greatly depending on the complexity of the case.

Following the review process the CRA Medical Board will assign an amount of time in which the certificate will be valid. The CRA outlined that this time designation is based on certain factors related to the disability, but would not comment on what these factors were and implied that they were dealt with on a case-to-case basis. They identified that the average time allotted to a DTC certificate is generally 3-4 years, but that this length can vary greatly depending on the Medical Review Boards recommendations.

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