Consuming medical cannabis may be the only recourse for frustrated people not getting their Disability Tax Credit, says the Association of Canadian Disability Benefit Professionals, which questions why half a million Canadians are eligible for this tax credit but are not receiving it.The Association is puzzled how new regulations to be published this month by the Canadian Revenue Agency could throw a wrench into how Canadians access this tax credit – yet by contrast, the government is attempting to pave a clear path for cannabis.
“It is easier to get a marijuana license in this country than the Disability Tax Credit,” said executive director Rob Gilmour. “In this new report, we see the government doing its homework to ensure Canadians can safely access marijuana, but we see things getting harder for Canadians to get a simple tax credit. In fact, CRA may soon make it more difficult for the disabled community to get this tax credit if regulations are passed below 30%”
Gilmour added that currently the CRA is sitting on a billion dollars earmarked for the Disability Tax Credit, which is not reaching the half million Canadians who are eligible.
New federal government regulations are the consequence of a private member’s bill, passed by previous Conservative government (Bill C-462 introduced by MP Cheryl Gallant), which opened the door for the CRA to force a fee cap on professional disability tax credit advisors. These regulations, if capped below the current industry standard 30%, will close the door on the 500,000 eligible Canadians who find the disability tax credit application process so complicated that they are unable to receive it.
Currently professional disability tax credit advisors help the disabled community fill out applications, coordinate with doctors and complete the difficult tax work going back up to ten years – a complex and cumbersome process for most people. To date, these advisors have successfully helped over 50,000 Canadians successfully receive the Disability Tax Credit. Only a successful claim guarantees advisors get paid, in a range of 20% to 30% depending on the level of service.
“We have no idea what MP Gallant was thinking,” said Gilmour, “The real issue is that half a million Canadians with disabilities are being ignored – not that professional advisors are charging up to 30% to help them retroactively. The difference between this government and Cheryl Gallant’s Bill C-462 is that the Liberals are doing their homework before legislation is introduced.”