In September 2001, Council of Canadians with Disabilities raised the alarm about CCRA changes
Editor – Part of a series reporting the ten years of harassment of Canadians with disabilities by Canada Revenue Agency. This archived story from the CCD is dated 2001. It is the first public acknowledgment of the income tax problems to come as Canada Customs and Revenue tries to remove the DTC from thousands of Canadians with disabilities.
Disability Tax Credit?
By Laurie Beachell – The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) office has received a number of calls from individuals who have received a letter from Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (formerly Revenue Canada) regarding their eligibility for the Disability Tax Credit.
The letter states ” After reviewing your file, we have determined that we do not have enough information to continue to allow your claim for the 2001 and future tax years. In order focus to re-evaluate your eligibility for the DTC, you need to send us anew Form T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate.”
I called CCRA toll free number and was informed that this letter went out to between 75,000 and 90,000 individuals. The letter went to individuals who had made acclaim prior to 1996 and have not filled out the new form which was revised, I believe, in 1999.
I think we need to be concerned for a number of reasons:
1. The new form I believe asks questions in a way that may make some medical personnel reluctant to certify that the individual is eligible.
2. This process is being undertaken even though there is no change in the policy or legislation as to definition or eligibility. It is strictly an interpretation initiative of CCRA.
3. Past experience suggests that these reviews may be more about reducing the number of eligible individuals than it is about getting better information.
4. I am not aware of any discussions with the community about this review.
I continue to make calls to CCRA officials but have not got a great contact at this point yet. I am writing to alert you to this possible problem and to ask that you share any information you receive from either your members or CCRA. I will keep you updated as to what I learn.
CCD has asked the Parliamentary Committee on Disability Issues to undertake a review of the DTC prior to the new year and call before it CCRA to explain their actions.
The Disability Tax Credit has been increased in the last few years and CCD has been pushing for a refundable tax credit. Are we seeing efforts to reduce the number of eligible individuals so that the costs will not be so high if the credit is made refundable?
For more information contact:
Council of Canadians with Disabilities
926-294 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0B9