2018 changes increase who can claim the costs of service animals, but not for emotional support animals.
The CRA expanded its allowance for service animals.
You may claim costs for service animals if you live with the following disabilities:
- Profound Deafness
- Severe Autism
- Severe Diabetes
- Severe Epilepsy
- Severe and prolonged impairment that markedly restricts the use of the patient’s arms or legs.
Effective 2018, services of an animal specially trained to perform specific tasks for a patient with a severe mental impairment in order to assist them in coping with their impairment (e.g., a psychiatric service dog trained to perform specific tasks to assist with post-traumatic stress disorder).
The CRA does not consider service animals who provide emotional support or comfort. The animal must be able to provide a specified task, such as guiding a dis-orientated patient or searching the home of a patient with severe anxiety.
How does the credit work?
The eligible expenses are treated as medical expenses and can be added to the cost of your normal medical expenses (Prescriptions, Dental, Vision, Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Medical Insurance etc.)
Items that are deductible are:• the cost of the service animal;• the cost for its care and maintenance, including food and veterinary care;• reasonable travel expenses incurred for a patient to attend a facility that trains patients in the handling of such animals; and reasonable board and lodging expenses for a patient’s full-time attendance at such a facility.