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Primary Caregiver Tax Credit

Manitoba Finance

Frequently Asked Questions About the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit



1. What is the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit?
2. What does the "Equivalent of Home Care Level 2, 3 or 4" mean?
3. I care for my spouse at home. Am I eligible for the tax credit?
4. I care for a neighbour. Am I eligible for the tax credit?
5. I am the primary caregiver for a person who meets the care level criteria. I don’t have to pay any income taxes. Can I benefit from this tax credit?

6. I have been caring for an eligible care recipient as the designated primary caregiver for several years. How soon can I start claiming the tax credit?

7. I have been caring for someone who needs a significant amount of care. However, they do not receive services from Home Care. Am I eligible for this credit?

8. How can I apply to be a designated Primary Caregiver?
9. Is there a minimum waiting period and does it affect my claim?
10. How do I receive the tax credit?
11. What proof do I need?
12. What is the maximum credit?

13. I have two caregivers who look after me. Can they both receive the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit?

14. I receive Income Assistance. Can I apply for the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit?

15. I regularly care for someone who is in and out of hospital. They don’t need help when they are at home, but when they are in the hospital I provide special food, help feed them, read to them and bring them whatever they need. Can I claim the tax credit?

16. I provide care for my mother who lives with me and I currently claim the federal and provincial “Caregiver Amount” on my income tax return. Does the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit affect my Caregiver Amount?

17. Will I receive the tax credit when the person I am caring for moves into a group home, hospital, personal care home or other licensed residential care facility?

18. What happens when a care recipient who is over age 18 is not able to designate a primary caregiver?

19. If I have questions about my application, who should I contact?
20. My application has been submitted to my RHA. How do I know if it is approved?
21. How do I claim the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit if I already filed my income tax return for this year?

22. I was approved and claimed the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit for the 2010 tax year. Do I need to apply again before claiming the credit for the 2011 or subsequent tax years?

23. How long does it take to receive the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit?

24. Where can I get more information?
 

 
1. What is the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit?
 

The Primary Caregiver Tax Credit is a $1,020 ($1,275 starting in 2011) annual refundable personal income tax credit that can be claimed by any Manitoban who is providing ongoing voluntary care to a family member, a friend or a neighbour in Manitoba. The care recipient must be assessed by the Regional Health Authority (RHA), Family Services and Consumer Affairs (FSCA) or a health care professional (e.g. nurse, social worker, occupational therapist, physiotherapist or physician), as requiring the equivalent of Home Care Level of Care 2, 3 or 4.

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2. What does the "Equivalent of Home Care Level 2, 3 or 4" mean?
 

Equivalent of Home Care Levels 2, 3 and 4 means that the person requires care and assistance on a regular basis in at least three of the following categories due to significant physical, cognitive or behavioural barriers:

  • assistance or supervision with routine activities like shopping, meal preparation, laundry or transportation;
  • assistance or supervision with personal care tasks like bathing, eating, grooming and hygiene, dressing and medication;
  • arranging for supports and community access like recreational activities, support groups, counselling or medical appointments;
  • requiring regular and sustained advice, assistance in decision-making or emotional support.

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3. I care for my spouse at home. Am I eligible for the tax credit?
 

If your spouse is a care recipient assessed as requiring Equivalent of Home Care Level of Care 2, 3 or 4, you qualify for this credit.

 

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4. I care for a neighbour. Am I eligible for the tax credit?
 

If your neighbour is a care recipient assessed as requiring Equivalent of Home Care Level of Care 2, 3 or 4, you qualify for this credit.

 

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5. I am the primary caregiver for a person who meets the care level criteria. I don’t have to pay any income taxes. Can I benefit from this tax credit?

Even if you owe no income taxes, you can receive the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit as a refund when you file your Manitoba income tax return.

 

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6. I have been caring for an eligible care recipient as the designated primary caregiver for several years. How soon can I start claiming the tax credit?

The Primary Caregiver Tax Credit became available starting in 2009. In the event that you were eligible for the 2009 tax year and did not claim the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit, you will be required to file an adjustment to your 2009 income tax return.

 

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7. I have been caring for someone who needs a significant amount of care. However, they do not receive services from Home Care. Am I eligible for this credit?

You may be eligible for the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit even if you are caring for a person who is not a client of the Home Care services or FSCA programs (Children's disABILITY Services, formerly Children’s Special Services, or Community Living Disability Services, formerly Supported Living). You will be required to complete a Level of Care Equivalency form and have the level of care requirements verified by a health care professional (e.g. nurse, social worker, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, nurse practitioner or physician). The form and the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit application must then be submitted to the RHA or FSCA for approval.

 

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8. How can I apply to be a designated Primary Caregiver?
 

To be eligible, a caregiver must be identified by the care recipient as being the primary caregiver. A Primary Caregiver Tax Credit application must be completed jointly by the caregiver and the care recipient (or their parent if the care recipient is under age 18). If the care recipient is not currently receiving services from Home Care or FSCA a Level of Care Equivalency form must also be completed. The completed application and form must then be forwarded to the RHA in your area or FSCA.

Applications and forms are available on the Government of Manitoba website at www.gov.mb.ca/finance/tao/caregiver.html or by contacting an RHA, FSCA or Manitoba Health.

 

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9. Is there a minimum waiting period and does it affect my claim?
 

There is a 90-day waiting period. You begin calculating your claim after 90 days from the date caregiving started.

The credit came into effect January 1, 2009, for caregivers who had completed the three-month qualifying period. Once the qualifying period has been completed, it is not required the following and subsequent years (unless you start providing care to a second or third care recipient). This means caregivers who started providing care October 1, 2008 or earlier, and continued throughout 2009 and 2010, were able to claim the full tax credit on both their 2009 and 2010 income tax returns. Generally, caregivers who start providing care by October 1 of the year before a tax year and continue caregiving throughout the tax year, can claim the full credit for the tax year. Otherwise, a partial claim is allowed for caregiving during the portion of a tax year following the three-month qualifying period.

 

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10. How do I receive the tax credit?

In order to receive the credit, you must complete the required forms and file a Manitoba Income Tax Return. The credit is used to reduce your income tax. If you owe little or no income tax, the Government of Manitoba will refund the credit to you through your personal income tax return.

 

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11. What proof do I need?

Upon approval of the application, the primary caregiver will be provided with their approved application, the care level equivalency guideline (if required) and log sheets. Retain all documents should the Canada Revenue Agency request them to support your tax credit claim.

 

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12. What is the maximum credit?

Caregivers may earn the credit for up to three care recipients at any given time. This means the maximum credit for a caregiver looking after three care recipients throughout a full year (after a one-time three-month qualifying period for each care recipient) is $3,060 ($3,825 for caregiving during 2011 and after).

 

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13. I have two caregivers who look after me. Can they both receive the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit?

A care recipient can only identify ONE primary caregiver. If there is more than one caregiver, you or they must decide who will make the claim.

 

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14. I receive Income Assistance. Can I apply for the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit?

Even if you receive Income Assistance you may claim the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit on your income tax return. The benefits of this credit do not reduce your income assistance allowance.

 

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15. I regularly care for someone who is in and out of hospital. They don’t need help when they are at home, but when they are in the hospital I provide special food, help feed them, read to them and bring them whatever they need. Can I claim the tax credit?

The Primary Caregiver Tax Credit is intended to help those requiring care to live in their home and community for as long as possible. As a result, the tax credit is only available for caregivers who provide support to the care recipient while he or she is living at home.

 

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16. I provide care for my mother who lives with me and I currently claim the federal and provincial “Caregiver Amount” on my income tax return. Does the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit affect my Caregiver Amount?

 

The Primary Caregiver Tax credit is in addition to the federal and provincial “Caregiver Amount.” In many circumstances, caregivers may qualify for and claim both the ‘Caregiver’ amounts and the ‘Primary Caregiver’ tax credits.

 

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17. Will I receive the tax credit when the person I am caring for moves into a group home, hospital, personal care home or other licensed residential care facility?

The Primary Caregiver Tax Credit is only available to caregivers caring for individuals who are living at home or in independent living. However, you may still make the claim for the portion of the year where the care recipient lived in a private home.

 

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18. What happens when a care recipient who is over age 18 is not able to designate a primary caregiver?

An alternate signatory may confirm the primary caregiver on behalf of the care recipient. The alternate signatory cannot be the caregiver, and is required to complete part D of the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit application.

 

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19. If I have questions about my application, whom should I contact?

For questions regarding the status of your application, you should contact the office to which you submitted your application, either Family Services and Consumer Affairs or the appropriate Regional Health Authority.

For questions and assistance on claiming the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit or for making an adjustment or reassessment to an individual income tax return for a prior tax year, contact the Manitoba Tax Assistance Office, (204) 948-2115, toll free 1-800-782-0771, e-mail TAO@gov.mb.ca .

For questions regarding the status of an adjustment or reassessment to an individual income tax return, please contact the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8281.

 

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20. My application has been submitted to my RHA. How do I know if it is approved?

You will receive a written reply from the RHA stating your eligibility for the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit.

 

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21. How do I claim the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit if I already filed my income tax return for this year?

If you have already filed your income tax return and did not claim the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit, an adjustment can be submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency. You will be required to submit all the supporting documentation i.e. copies of the approved application or approval letter, the caregiver log and Page 3 of the Manitoba Income Tax Form MB479 showing the calculation of the tax credit and the competed caregiver worksheet.

The adjustment request form can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t1-adj/t1-adj-12e.pdf.

 

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22. I was approved and claimed the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit for the 2010 tax year. Do I need to apply again before claiming the credit for the 2011 or subsequent tax years?

You do not need to submit another application if you have been approved. Continue to claim this credit on your tax return for subsequent years while you remain the identified primary caregiver. Continue to complete the log forms and retain a copy of the approved application should the Canada Revenue Agency request them to support your claim.

 

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23. How long does it take to receive the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit?

 

An application submitted to either FSCA or an RHA should be processed and returned to you within three to four weeks.

The Canada Revenue Agency typically processes personal income tax returns and adjustments within eight to twelve weeks of receipt. However, it may take additional time during high-volume processing periods if the return or adjustment requires further analysis, additional review or if they need to contact you for further information.

 

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24. Where can I get more information?

 

For more information on the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit, please contact the Manitoba Tax Assistance Office, 809 - 386 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB, R3C 3R6, (204) 948-2115, toll free
1-800-782-0771, e-mail TAO@gov.mb.ca.