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Reader submitted question:

Q – Me, my sister and my uncle are sharing the cost of keeping my father housed in a care facility because his gov’t monies & pension do not cover the monthly fee. My understanding is that we cannot claim our contributions because my father is not a dependent who resides with any of us. Is this true? Thanks!

Answer provided by Intuit’s Ask A Task Expert:

A – There may be a few things that you are allowed to claim. You should be able to claim amount paid to the care facility as a medical expense. CRA publishes a guide for Medical and disability-related information. It states that you can claim attendant care expenses as medical expenses that include your share of salaries and wages paid to employees performing different kinds of duties – see the guide for the criteria. You may also be able to claim the Amount for Infirm dependants, depending on the amount of income your father receives in the year.

Readers: I think this is going to be an increasing issue for many of us. If you’re comfortable doing so, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts — do you think we Canadians have factored in that we may need to start helping out our parents financially in an ongoing way? Or is that just not in our consciousness yet?
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QuickTax Online users can get personalized tax help through the new Ask a Tax Expert service. You get access to a team of tax professionals who will answer questions about your unique tax situation.

QuickTax also runs Q&A sessions on its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/QuickTaxCanada.

If you’ve recently adopted, or know anyone who has, this Canadian tax advice is for you, courtesy of Intuit (think: QuickTax.)

Here was the original reader-submitted question:
Q – Is there an adoption expenses tax credit? We adopted in 2009 and have paid various expenses to an adoption agency, are any of them tax deductible? Our adoption will be finalized in 2010.

And the answer, supplied by Caroline on the tax analyst team at Intuit. (Hi, Caroline!)
A – Yes, you can claim some of your expenses. Adoption expenses should be claimed in the tax year that includes the end of the adoption period. So if your adoption isn’t finalized until 2010, save all of your receipts and claim them in 2010. The CRA prints out a list of eligible expenses, which can be found here: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/rtrn/cmpltng/ddctns/lns300-350/313/lgbl-eng.html . The maximum tax credit for adoption expenses tends to increase every year so I can’t tell you exactly how much you might be able to claim in 2010. For reference, the 2009 adoption tax credit maximum is $10,909.

PS from Nancy: and ..Congratulations! And thanks for loving and parenting a new member of our global family!

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QuickTax Online users can get personalized tax help through the new Ask a Tax Expert service. You get access to a team of tax professionals who will answer questions about your unique tax situation.

QuickTax also runs Q&A sessions on its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/QuickTaxCanada.

Photo Credit: Gabi