Personal Finance

CRA- anyone deduct private school tuition as a medica expense?

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 13th, 2017 12:32 am
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 30, 2010
101 posts
37 upvotes
Calgary

CRA- anyone deduct private school tuition as a medica expense?

My daughter has ADHD and goes to a private school for kids with learning disabilities. I had her pediatrician write a doctor's note saying she required the school services for her physiologic condition. I think this is enough to be able to claim the tuition fees as a medical expense deduction. My husband disagrees and we can't really find anything in the CRA documents validating my opinion! What do you recommend? It's $20K in tuition so the 15% tax credit would be significant.

Does anyone have experience with this?
Thanks!

Update:
The CRA did request our back-up documentation for the claim. We sent it in - the doctor's letter, along with our tuition receipts and the CRA accepted the claim.
Such a relief!
Last edited by gingersb on Apr 24th, 2017 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
26 replies
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User avatar
Jul 30, 2007
18642 posts
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Toronto
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/disability/

see under disability support deduction - tutoring services. I think you can try here and make the claim (with the doc's letter)

You are also eligible for the child disability benefit too, I believe.
Deal Addict
May 4, 2014
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Toronto, ON
Aren't you already claiming it for the tuition deduction? Do you mean you intend the same amount for both tuition and again for medical expenses, effectively double dipping?
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 30, 2010
101 posts
37 upvotes
Calgary
er34er34 wrote:
Apr 24th, 2017 4:59 pm
Aren't you already claiming it for the tuition deduction? Do you mean you intend the same amount for both tuition and again for medical expenses, effectively double dipping?
What tuition deduction are you referring to? I've never heard of private school deductions, other than what I referenced in the OP.
Member
Nov 6, 2013
486 posts
209 upvotes
Winnipeg
Going to school is not a medial expense.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 30, 2010
101 posts
37 upvotes
Calgary
primetimey wrote:
Apr 24th, 2017 5:50 pm
Going to school is not a medial expense.
The idea behind the deduction is what you're only paying for private school because of the medical condition, and the school specializes in teaching kids with this impairment.
Deal Addict
Aug 30, 2011
2643 posts
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Ottawa
Definitely cannot claim it as tuition expense.
2.3 Pursuant to paragraph 118.5(1)(a), a student who is enrolled at an educational institution in Canada may be eligible to claim a tuition tax credit for eligible tuition fees paid in respect of the year to that educational institution, as long as the total of such fees exceeds $100 (in accordance with subsection 118.5(1.1)). Specifically, an educational institution in Canada whose tuition fees may be eligible for the tuition tax credit is an educational institution in Canada that is:

a) a university, college or other educational institution providing courses at a post‑secondary school level (subparagraph 118.5(1)(a)(i) - see ¶2.5); or

b) certified by the Minister of Employment and Social Development (ESD) to be an educational institution providing courses (other than courses designed for university credit) that furnish a person with skills for, or improve a person’s skills in, an occupation (subparagraph 118.5(1)(a)(ii) - see ¶2.6).
Deal Addict
Aug 30, 2011
2643 posts
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Ottawa
Based on what you've said, it is not eligible as a medical expense either.
School for persons with an impairment in physical or mental functions – a medical practitioner must certify in writing that the equipment, facilities or personnel specially provided by that school are needed because of the person's physical or mental impairment.
1.117 Paragraph 118.2(2)(l.91) provides that eligible medical expenses may include amounts paid as remuneration for tutoring services provided to a patient where the following conditions are satisfied:

- the tutoring is supplementary to the primary education of the patient;
- the patient has a learning disability or a mental impairment;
- a medical practitioner has certified in writing that the patient requires the tutoring services because of that disability or impairment; and
- the payment must be made to a person ordinarily engaged in the business of providing tutoring services to persons who are not related to the payee.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 30, 2010
101 posts
37 upvotes
Calgary
It's not super clear from the CRA info but our school told us about the tax credit. I found this on the national ADHD advocacy group's website. I wish the CRA info was clearer. I didn't realize you could call and ask them about stuff like this either!

Medical Expenses

In addition to the standard medical expenses such as prescription drugs and a variety of assistive devices, in 1999 the Federal government recognized that individuals with learning disabilities may have a need for supplementary educational service.

These expenses may also include tuition costs if a patient, (for example, a dependent);
suffers from a behavioural problem arising out of a mental or physical disability,
or suffering from a learning disability, including dyslexia,
who attends a school, that specializes in the care and training of persons who have the same type of problem or disability,
is considered to qualify under P118.2(2) (e). Therefore the expenses paid for the patient are qualifying medical expenses, even though some part of the expense could be construed as being tuition fees.

The school need not limit its enrollment to persons who require specialized care and training.

http://www.caddac.ca/cms/page.php?104
Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2004
3975 posts
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Toronto
The public and Catholic school board have support system in place for students with various needs. It is your choice to choose private over public funded education, shouldn't expect the taxpayer to subsidize your expense.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 30, 2010
101 posts
37 upvotes
Calgary
greg123 wrote:
Apr 25th, 2017 1:21 am
The public and Catholic school board have support system in place for students with various needs. It is your choice to choose private over public funded education, shouldn't expect the taxpayer to subsidize your expense.
It's not about what you or I expect taxpayer to do. It's about what is eligible under tax rules currently in place. Just like the everyone else, I will follow them and take the credits available to me when they apply.
Last edited by gingersb on Apr 25th, 2017 8:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
Deal Addict
Aug 19, 2013
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greg123 wrote:
Apr 25th, 2017 1:21 am
The public and Catholic school board have support system in place for students with various needs. It is your choice to choose private over public funded education, shouldn't expect the taxpayer to subsidize your expense.
This is a stupid argument. The tax savings would be less then it would cost the government to provide the supports that the child may need. These parents are actually paying for it themselves instead of expecting taxpayers to cover the bill.

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