The moment my son was tragically injured in January of 2007, our lives were changed; there were no more “normals”, many new expenses, many more tasks to be researched and completed, it seemed the only thing that stayed the same was the fact that income tax returns were due April 1. By April 1, 2007, I had already incurred over $30,000 in medical expenses that were not covered by OHIP, never mind the additional costs to live out of province until my son was able to return to Ontario.
I had little time to prepare my own lunch, never mind my tax return! I commenced a search for documentation to instruct me how to file my son’s tax return as a newly disabled adult, and my own as a family member with a disabled dependent. I spoke to Canada Revenue, many accountants and the Canadian Paraplegic Association, but none of them knew of anyone who specialized in filing tax returns for the disabled.
I did pay a young and eager accountant to file our returns on time, to ensure that I did not have to pay any penalties, but the refunds we received barely paid the cost of the filing. Indeed, the accountant could find little information on which medical expenses could be claimed.
By the time the 2008 tax season came around, life was settling down, expenses were still mounting, and I was determined to find an accountant with experience filing for the disabled and their families. It was not easy, but one day while reading the front page of the Globe and Mail online, I joined an online chat, with a leading financial advisor, who was providing free tax advice. Within seconds of my request for assistance locating an accountant who specialized in filing tax returns for disabled persons, the expert provided me with the name TaxWise, with the caveat that he thought they only had an office in British Columbia. Within moments, I had connected with TaxWise in Ottawa, and had booked an upcoming free tax consultation, with Christine MacLean.
My discussion with Christine was a huge break through for me! For the first time since my son’s accident, here was someone who understood exactly what financial and medical issues I had been facing, and their tax implications, and was more than willing to take my “pile of receipts and expenses” and make sense of them. There was no up front cost to me, and only a small percentage of the refunds I would receive for medical deductions would be retained by TaxWise as payment for their services! I cannot begin to describe the relief I felt. Not only did TaxWise complete mine and my son’s tax return filings in 2008, but they resubmitted our previous tax returns to recoup many of the expenses that the original accountant I had used had not been aware were eligible for tax rebates!
All of the team at TaxWise have treated me as a valued client, and my experience has been more positive with them than with any of the tax accounting firms I had used in the past. TaxWise has saved me and my son thousands of dollars over the past 2 years, and has provided me with a much-needed sense of security, knowing that they are a team of experts who specialize in helping families and individuals with disabilities to recover monies that they are entitled to. Money may not buy happiness, but it is essential in order to cover the extremely high cost of medical supplies and services necessary to keep our loved ones safe and secure, and if at all possible, out of the hospital and living in their own homes.
I was delighted to share my extremely positive experience with TaxWise, with the Canadian Paraplegic Association in Ontario, who now hold TaxWise seminars at several of their locations. I wish someone had told me about TaxWise when my son got hurt; it would have saved me a great deal of anxiety and money, at a time when the last thing I needed to worry about was paying my taxes.
I have only great things to say about my experience with TaxWise. All of the staff are friendly, knowledgeable and very professional – they make me feel that I am a valued client. My first discussion with Christine MacLean was definitely one of the turning points of my new life as a family member of a disabled individual. It took a long time to find TaxWise, but it was definitely worth the effort; I no longer dread tax time, in fact I look forward to the refund!
Patricia Battye Burlington, Ontario
We had the Disability Tax Credit, but did not realise that there was so much more that we qualified for! When our son was thirteen someone mentioned to us that we should apply for a disability tax credit. We completed all the paperwork and sent it in to the government with an expectation that our request would be approved.– Barbara & Harvey Bloomfield
I am a mother now to a teenage son who has a behavioral disability [ADD]. My son’s history of diagnosis came about when he was three years old. We migrated to Canada when he was four and the school that he attended reverted to an institution for further evaluation of his behavior. As he grew up, we underwent several psychological assessments, special therapies, school IEP and community programs. On our part as parents, rearing him was quite a struggle as my son in major aspects and appearance is normal but the behavioral and mental maturity is behind.– Mrs. Maria Griselda
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