A 2012 Statistics Canada study found that 5.4 million Canadians provided care to a senior family member or friend, and we know that caregivers are the backbone of any care system.
Caregivers require a range of supports, including education/training, peer support, respite care and financial assistance. The federal government’s new combined Canada Caregiver Credit (CCC) is a non-refundable credit to individuals caring for dependent relatives with infirmities. The CCC will be more accessible and will extend tax relief to more caregivers by including dependent relatives who do not live with their caregivers and by increasing the income threshold.
Making the new CCC a refundable tax credit for caregivers whose tax owing is less than the total credit will result in a refund payment to provide further financial support for low-income families, and would be a welcomed step toward improving opportunities for seniors to remain in their homes.
The CMA recommends that the federal government improve awareness of the new Canada Caregiver Credit and amend it to make it a refundable tax credit for caregivers.