Arciresi v. T. – TCC: Claim For Disability Tax Credit Dismissed Where No Medical Certificate Filed

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Arciresi v. The Queen[1] (October 22, 2013) involved a claim for a tax credit in 2009 arising out of the employment of a full-time attendant for the taxpayer’s spouse:

[1]             This is an appeal, under the informal procedure, from a reassessment made by Minister of National Revenue (the Minister) under the Income Tax Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 1 (5th Supp.), as amended (the Act), dated September 16, 2010, in respect of the 2009 taxation year.

[2]             By the reassessment of September 16, 2010, the Minister disallowed $20,002 in medical expenses used for computing a non-refundable tax credit that the  appellant claimed as remuneration for one full-time attendant to care for his spouse.

The court held that the spouse was not “a person with a severe and prolonged mental or physical impairment within the meaning of paragraph 118.4(1)(a) of the Act, namely, a disability lasting for a continuous period of at least twelve (12) months” since she was able to dress herself, feed herself and walk by herself in her home:

[6]             The appellant’s spouse began experiencing physical limitations in 2007. She had fainting episodes during air travel and suffered broken vertebrae falling down the stairs at home. She was under the care of two doctors from the Jewish General Hospital of Montréal who prescribed high doses of cortisone to her to alleviate the pain. In 2009, she could no longer walk and spent her days lying on the coach. Since she could not perform housework, the appellant retained the services of a full-time attendant (5 days per week) to take care of his spouse. She could dress herself, feed herself and walk by herself in the home.

Moreover since the taxpayer had not filed a medical certificate for 2009 he was not entitled to the credit in any event:

[11]        The medical certificates mentioned above are required by paragraph 118.3(1)(a.2) of the Act, which makes it a prerequisite to obtaining  a credit for impairment. Or at least that is the view expressed by the Federal Court of Appeal in MacIsaac v. Canada and Morrison v. Canada, 2000 D.T.C. 6020:

[5] . . .

Section 118.3(1)(a.2) of the Income Tax Act is not merely directory. It is mandatory. . . .

[12]        Given that no medical certificate was supplied for the 2009 taxation year, the appellant cannot be entitled to the credit for impairment. Furthermore, since Doctor Mangamas was not the treating physician of the appellant’s spouse in 2009, the medical certificates supplied are not relevant to this case.

Accordingly, the court dismissed the appeal.

[1] 2013 TCC 331.