2018 tax return starts on Tue, Feb 19

Dear Tax AID clients,

Our tax 2018 return will be starting from Feb 19 as Efile will be available from Feb 18 (please find the announcement from the CRA):

The EFILE program is now closed for the electronic filing of your clients’ initial and amended T1 personal income tax and benefit returns. EFILE and ReFILE services will re-open on Monday, February 18, 2019.

Please call us for your appointment

In person: Vancouver Disability Alliance BC (204-456 W. Broadway, Vancouver)

  • MON, TUES, THURS and FRI: 2018 and 2017 year return only
  • WED: multiple years up to 10 years (2009-2018)
DatesReturn yearsAppointment slot
and FRI
2018 and 2017 year
lunch time)
WEDmultiple years up to 10 years (2009-2018) 9:30am
lunch time)


In person: Surrey City Centre Library (10350 University Dr, Surrey): TUES only

DateReturn yearsAppointment slot
TUESmultiple years up to 10 years (2009-2018) 9:30am (2017 & 2018)
(2017 & 2018)
(2017 & 2018)
lunch time)


This in-person service is available to people receiving Persons with Disabilities (PWD) and Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers to Employment (PPMB)benefits in BC who require assistance filing their tax returns. Please call or email us to access our services if you need services by email or mail: file multiple years up to 10 years (2009-2018)

Workshop: Tax Tips for the Self-Employed Person with Disabilities

Are you a self-employed person with a disability who would like to know more about tax tips, including GST? Get free tax help for your small business!

With support from Canada Revenue Agency’s Liaison Officer Services Team, Disability Alliance BC’s Tax AID team is offering an exciting workshop!

Lunch will be provided free.

For more information, and to register:


Tax AID DABC: workshops/tax filing services in partnership with VPL

In partnership with Vancouver Public Library (VPL), Tax AID DABC is hosting workshops/tax filing sessions for people with disabilities:

Tax Filing and Tips for People with Disabilities
Monday, February 11, 2019 (1:30 pm – 3:00 pm)
Central Library: 350 West Georgia St, Vancouver 

This information session explores income tax issues faced by people with disabilities: simple income tax filing issues, common tax filing credits, options for dealing with tax debt, strategies for communicating with Canada Revenue Agency, the benefits of filing, and other programs that can be accessed through income tax filing.

Link: https://vpl.bibliocommons.com/events/5c33c42639612f3e0071814f

One-to-One Tax Filing Services for People Receiving Disability Benefits
Saturday, March 9, 2019 (9:00 am – 5:00 pm)
Carnegie Branch (VPL): 401 Main St, Vancouver

Income tax consultations and on-site service for people with disabilities receiving disability benefits, and their families. Through this one-to-one service, receive consultation on your outstanding taxes, discuss options for dealing with tax debt, and learn strategies for communicating with Canada Revenue Agency. 

Link: https://vpl.bibliocommons.com/events/5c33c51848fd702a0098f042 

Thank you to the VPL for their support.

Income Tax Consultations & Service for People who Receive Disability Benefits at Surrey Libraries

With the success of our first partnership with Surrey Libraries, we have extended our “INCOME TAX CONSULTATIONS & SERVICE FOR PEOPLE WHO RECEIVE DISABILITY BENEFITS” in 2019. During the peak tax season, we will help clients out of Surrey’s City Centre Library every Tuesday. More details are included in the attached flyer.

Please call us for your appointment: 604-872-1278.

Tax Benefits for People with Disabilities and their Families

By Salina M. Dewar, Tax Program Advocate, DABC

There are many other benefits, tax credits and deductions that may be available to people with disabilities and their families who support them.  Some of these are non-refundable, so they reduce the amount of tax a person or family must pay. Others are refundable, resulting in extra money back. Specific amounts mentioned in this article were current for the 2017 tax year.

Disability Tax Credit (DTC) Line 316:  to apply for the DTC, your medical practitioner has to complete and sign a T2201 form-Disability Tax Credit Certificate and it has to be approved by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). If you are approved for the DTC, you can claim a credit of $8,113 for yourself, and this credit can be transferred to your spouse or another person if you live with them, or they provide food, shelter or clothing to you on a regular and consistent basis. Being eligible for the DTC can allow you to claim certain deductions, credits, and benefits as follows:

  • Reduce the amount of tax you have to pay. If you do not pay taxes or cannot use all of this credit, you can transfer your unused credits to a spouse or other family members on whom you were dependent
  • If you have a child who is under 18 and has been approved for the DTC, you may be eligible to receive a tax-free benefit of up to $2,771 per year ($230.91 per month)
  • Enable you to qualify for the disability supplement of Working Income Tax Benefit with less working income than people who do not have a disability,
  • Depending on your age, enable you to open a Registered Disability Savings Plan and access government grants and bonds that may be worth thousands of dollars, to help you save for later life.

Medical Expense Tax Credit:

(Line 330 for self, spouse/common law partner and children under 18; line 331 for other dependents)

Medical devices, medications, treatments and some services required to help a person function may be a valid medical expense.  The CRA website contains a list and search tool for many of the expenses that may be claimed as medical expenses.  If you have a medical expense that is not on the list, you should contact the CRA, because your expense may still be covered.  In some cases, a medical professional must have prescribed the item or medicine, or the person for whom this expense arose must have a valid Disability Tax Credit.

Some key medical expenses that you may be able to claim are:

  • Attendant care costs for full-time care provided by an attendant who is 18 or older and not a spouse or common-law partner to you, your spouse/ common-law partner or your dependent;
  • Costs of full-time care nursing homes or schools/ institutions providing care and training;
  • Cost of salaries and wages for the care provided to seniors in retirement homes or seniors’ homes;
  • Cost of salaries and wages for part-time attendant care, or care and supervision in your home, group homes and other facilities
  • The extra expense you pay to buy gluten-free food if you have Celiac disease
  • Travel costs can be claimed if you have to travel 40 km or more for medical care. If you have to travel 40 km to 80 km, you can claim the cost of public transit.  If you have to travel more than 80 km for medical care that is not available closer to you, you can claim meal and accommodation costs.

This tax credit is non-refundable.  For people who pay taxes, it reduces the amount of taxes they must pay. However, if they have no taxable income they will not benefit from this tax credit.

  • Line 330 – You can claim the total of the eligible expenses minus whichever is less: $2,268 or 3% of your net income.
  • Line 331 – You can claim the total of the eligible expenses minus whichever is less: $2,268 or 3% of your dependent’s net income.

Depending on the type of care the person with a disability requires, (for example full-time care or specialized care, a nursing home, a full-time attendant at home, at a school, institution, or other place), you can claim DTC and medical care both, or only one of them.

Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) Line 453, and related disability supplement:

To be eligible for the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) and the disability supplement, the person with the disability must be approved for the DTC.  For 2017, in BC, they would have to have a working income of more than $2,295 but less than $24,010. In the same year BC families would be eligible to claim the WITB and disability supplement if either one or both spouses have a disability and the disabled spouses or spouses had working income of $2,295 but less than $36,414.  In a family, only one spouse may claim the WITB and the person who is eligible for the disability supplement should claim it. If both spouses qualify for the WITB disability supplement, they can both claim the disability supplement.

Home buyer’s Amount (Line 369):  If you buy a home that is more accessible or otherwise better meets the need of yourself or person with the disability who lives with you, you may be able to claim the home buyer’s amount, even if this is not your first home. To claim this amount, the person with the disability must be eligible for the DTC in the year you buy the home. The amount that you can claim on line 369 for buying a qualifying home is $5,000.

Home Accessibility Amount (Line 398):  You can claim up to $10,000 for expenses to make the home more accessible or safer for a person who lives in the home and is either 65 or older or eligible for the DTC.

Refundable Medical Expense Supplement (Line 452):  To be eligible, the tax-filer must be 18 years or older, a Canadian resident for the year they’re filing, and meet CRA income requirements.  They must also be eligible to claim the disability supports amount or claim medical expenses for other dependents on their tax return at schedule 1 line 332.

The Canada Caregiver Amount (Line 303, 304, 305, 367)

This tax credit replaces the caregiver credit, the family caregiver credit and the credit for infirm dependents aged 18 + years.

Do you support a spouse or common-law partner, or a dependent with a physical or mental impairment?  If so, the Canada caregiver credit (CCC) is a non-refundable tax credit that may be available to you.

  • For your spouse or common-law partner, you may be entitled to claim an amount of $2,150 in the calculation of line 303. You could also claim an amount up to a maximum of $6,883 on line 304.
  • For an eligible dependent 18 years of age or older, you may be entitled to claim an amount of $2,150 in the calculation of line 305. You could also claim an amount up to a maximum of $6,883 on line 304.
  • For an eligible dependent under 18 years of age at the end of the year, you may be entitled to claim an amount of $2,150 in the calculation of line 305 or on line 367for your child.

The Disability Supports Deduction (Line 215) is an amount that a person with a disability may claim, that serves to reduce the amount of their income for the purposes of their tax return.  Only the person with the mental or physical impairment may claim this deduction.  In some situations, the person with the disability must also have a valid DTC.

In addition, the tax-filer may only claim this deduction if they have incurred medical costs to be able to work, carry on a business, attend a designated secondary school or educational institution, or to complete post-secondary research.

Only the cost of certain devices or services, which a medical practitioner has prescribed or has certified as necessary, may be claimed.  If an expense is included in the claim by anyone for the medical expense tax credit, it cannot be included in the calculation of the medical supports deduction, but the person with a disability may split a medical expense between the medical expense tax credit and the disability supports deduction.

Additional Tax Credits:

There are several lesser-known credits or benefits that may be claimed by or for a person with a disability.  Some of these are:

  • If you are buying or building an accessible home, you qualify for the Home Buyer’s Plan, which allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 from an RDSP.
  • Education-related benefits that are usually available for full time students may also be available for part-time students with disabilities,
  • Tax exemption or employment benefits or allowances received because of a disability,
  • Refund of excise tax on gas if you cannot use transit, and
  • Tax credit for childcare expenses for a child with a physical or mental impairment, even if they were 16 + years old, so you or your spouse/ common law partner can work, run a business, go to school or complete research.

In addition, some products and services for people with disabilities are exempt from GST/HST and you can request a rebate either from the supplier or the CRA.


This article is not intended to provide financial or legal advice and is not meant to replace the expertise of a lawyer or financial advisor.


CRA holds Tax AID focus group at DABC

CRA staff with Myung Lee, Tax AID Program Manager, and Justina Loh, DABC’s Executive Director: Operations

Thank you very much to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) staff who visited DABC today to hear from our clients about how our Tax AID DABC program has helped them. A big thank you also to the focus group participants who provided their valuable feedback.

Earlier this year, Tax AID expanded to Vancouver Island, the Interior of BC and the North, through a partnership with Together Against Poverty Society (TAPS), Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, and Active Support Against Poverty (ASAP). We’re happy to be able to help more people receiving provincial disability benefits across BC to access the tax credits and benefits to which they are entitled.

Thank you to the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction for supporting Tax AID and this partnership.

New Beginnings-Clearing Tax Filing Off Your “To-Do” List!

September is just around the corner and that means a change in seasons and new priorities.  Remember when you were a student?  September likely brings to mind a new year with new challenges and new possibilities.  For some of us, September was an exciting chance to have a fresh start.  For others, it meant looming unknowns that provoked a sense of dread!  No matter who you are, a change in seasons can bring to mind the time to declutter and start fresh. 

Do you want to wrap up your summer with a big item checked of your “To-Do” list, and possibly a bit of extra cash?  If so, Tax AID DABC may be able to help.

Tax AID DABC can help people who have Person with a Disabilities (PWD) designation, or Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers to Employment (PPMB) designation, to get caught up on filing simple tax returns, no matter where in BC they live.  Currently we can help file tax returns for any or all of 2008-2017, and we can often help even if you have other income such as pension income or employment income.   

A single person whose only income is PWD is often entitled to between $300.00-$550.00 per year in tax benefits, including GST, PST refunds and the BC Low Income Climate Action Tax Credit. People with children may qualify for additional amounts, such as the Canada Child Benefit. Any assistance provided by Tax AID DABC is free, no matter how much a person gets back on their tax returns.

We have tax advocates in Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, and Prince George who can help you in person.  If you live outside these communities please contact us to request remote assistance.

Why file now?

  • Demand for assistance is lower than it is around tax time, which means you’ll get tax help faster
  • You’re missing out on GST payments!  If you file your taxes in September, your return may be processed in time for you to get both July and October GST payments in October.  (if you are otherwise eligible for GST, you can still get it going back as far as 2008)
  • It will be much easier and less stressful to file your 2018 taxes before the deadline in the spring.
  • Extra cash in time for the holidays, especially if you have multiple years of tax returns to file.

If you need tax help and want to get off to a fresh start in the fall, contact Tax AID DABC to see if we can help. 

  • In Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley, Contact: Tax Aid, Disability Alliance BC, located in Vancouver. Phone: (604) 872-1278, Toll Free: 1-800-663-1278 or email: taxaid@disabilityalliancebc.org 
  • On Vancouver Island contact Together Against Poverty Society, located in Victoria.  Phone: (250) 361-3521 or email: tax@tapsbc.ca
  • In the Interior contact Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, located in Kelowna. Phone: (250) 763-4950 or email: taxdisability@kfs.bc.ca
  • In Northern BC contact Active Support Against Poverty Society, located in Prince George. Phone: (250) 563-6112, Toll Free: 1-877-563-6122 or email: taxaid@asaphs.com


How do I use Auto-fill my return?

Do you want do your own taxes? No problem.

Auto-fill my return is a secure Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) service that allows individuals and authorized representatives using certified software to automatically fill in parts of a 2017, 2016 and 2015 income tax and benefit return with information that the CRA has available at the time of filing the return.

To use the Auto-fill my return service, you must:

DABC Tax Aid team will host “Income Tax DIY (do-it-yourself)for people with disabilities and their families” workshops in this fall. More detail will be followed soon.

Tax AID DABC Expansion

tax aid(2)

Our sincere thanks to Minister Shane Simpson and the Province of BC who announced today their funding support for the expansion of our Tax AID program. We will now provide direct services in partnership with the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society in Kelowna, Together Against Poverty Society in Victoria, and Active Support Against Poverty Society in Prince George.

To learn more, please visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018SDPR0037-000829 or read this article.