What We Are Advocating For

Currently, the Disability Tax Credit is non-refundable tax credit at the federal level. This means that it goes towards reducing the amount of tax a taxpayer is otherwise supposed to pay. Thus, a certain level of income is required to benefit financially from the disability tax credit. If you are already supposed to pay $0 in taxes, there is no benefit to you in claiming the disability tax credit. The disability tax credit is transferable to a spouse or qualifying family member as along as the individual with the impairment “was dependent on you for all or some of the basic necessities of life (food, shelter, or clothing).”1 However, many Canadians with disabilities do not receive assistance from family members. Many others only have family members with low incomes who will not benefit from the credit either.

We seek to implement an additional refundable disability tax credit. Currently, Manitoba is the only province to offer a refundable disability tax credit in addition to the non-refundable credit. We hope, that with enough signatures, the federal government and other provincial and territorial governments introduce refundable disability tax credits. This is similar to the Proposal for A Refundable Disability Tax Credit put forth by the Council of Canadians with Disabilities. However, we see value in the existing non-refundable disability tax credit, and would like a refundable credit in addition to the existing credit.

Bill C-577, introduced in the House of Common by Peter Julian, MP for Burnaby—New Westminster, would make it easier for Canadians with hearing impairments to qualify for the Disability Tax Credit. Currently, it seeks to improve the existing legislation on 3 fronts1:

  1. Base approval on an individual’s hearing ability in a normal setting, as opposed to, a quiet setting.
  2. Base approval on an individuals’ ability to understand another person, as opposed to, a person familiar with them.
  3. Remove the requirement for an assisted listening device to be worn when an individual’s hearing ability is being assessed.

The Bill can be found here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Docid=4673839&file=4.

To show support for Bill C-577, please sign our petition and write to MP Peter Julian via his website: http://peterjulian.ndp.ca/contact.