Join Our RDSP In-Person Event!
On October 25 from 10:00am – 2:00pm, we will be in front of the BC Legislature, alongside our Access RDSP partners, to celebrate the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).
Come join us to help spread the word and share your stories about what the RDSP means to you. We’ll have snacks, drinks, and more!
When to renew your Disability Tax Credit
If you have restrictions that severely impact your daily life, you may qualify for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC), a non-refundable tax credit that helps to reduce taxes that you or your caregiver owes. You can read more about it and how to apply in our Helpsheet here.
Once you submit your application, the CRA will determine whether you’re eligible and and how long your eligibility will last. Some people are indefinitely approved for the DTC; this means you will never have to apply again, unless the CRA asks you to!
However, we find that it’s more common for the CRA to approve applicants for a certain number of years. DTC eligibility can be as little as 1 year, or be in other increments like 3, 5, 10, and so on. If your disability isn’t permanent, this can be helpful. However, this can also be true if your disability is permanent.
So, what happens when someone is still experiencing restrictions after their DTC eligibility expires?
When reapplying for the DTC, you will have to reapply with a new application. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use any documents submitted in previous applications. You will have to restart the process again. You can read more about this on the CRA website here.
But before starting the reapplication process, it is important to know when the DTC will need to be renewed. Because the DTC is applied to your taxes, start reapplying for your DTC in time for tax filing season for the year in question. For example, if you were approved for the years 2010 to 2024, you would need to take action to renew your DTC in 2025.
Now that the year to renew is understood, what time of year is best to reapply?
As tax season typically goes from late February to early May, the CRA is busiest during that period. This means that they will take longer to review DTC forms during those months. However, as the CRA can take at least 4 weeks to assess a DTC form in the off-season, it is crucial to start the renewal process well before the end of the year. We recommend starting to renew a form around June or July to account for any delays or unexpected events. It’s also important to note that the DTC can be retroactive up to 10 years previously from the current calendar year, so if there is a gap in between your applications, there’s no need to worry about missing any years.
Why should someone reapply?
While reapplying is beneficial for using the DTC on yours or your caretaker’s tax returns, reapplying also ensures you have access to the other benefits related to the DTC. For a lot of people, the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is the biggest related benefit that reapplying is important for.
If you are under 60 and have an RDSP, losing your eligibility for the DTC would freeze your RDSP until you turn 60 and can access the funds within it, or are reapproved for the DTC. If you are under 50 and eligible for the federal grants and bonds, you will not be able to access them until you are approved for the DTC again. Something good to note is that if you are eligible for the DTC again before or during the year you turn 49, the grants and bonds are retroactive up to 10 years, too. To learn more about the RDSP and maintaining it, you can visit rdsp.com.
If you would like support in renewing your DTC, we are here to help. Our Access RDSP program provides one-on-one support with the DTC form. For more information, questions, and requests for assistance, please contact Access RDSP at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-872-1278.
DTC Fee Stories
Last October, Access RDSP did a call out for stories about the barriers people with disabilities face when applying for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC). We asked to hear from you about fees charged by medical practitioners or application fees or requests for a percentage of your return by a for-profit company. This year, in honour of RDSP Awareness Month, we would like to share these and help raise awareness of these barriers.
The following are some of the stories we received from clients:
“I recently renewed [my DTC] and my doctor charged me $40 to fill out her part of the form…which was basically what she had said the first time.”
“I had to pay 15% to [a for-profit company] five years ago. On my renewal this past year, I had to pay $80 to my doctor for DTC. Very unfair against persons with disabilities!”
“I was charged $75 by my GP to do the form, and the accountant also charged fees that meant nearly all of the benefit was absorbed. I know that in future tax years I will have that DTC in place, but it was distressing to have hundreds of dollars absorbed by the admin.”
With stories like these, we can see how important it is to break down these barriers that contribute poverty and hardship to people with disabilities. At DABC, we continue to advocate for the removal of these barriers and urge people to help us raise awareness of these injustices. If you or anyone you know has had to pay fees to access the DTC, send us an email at email@example.com.