In a February 20, 2017 Tax Court of Canada case (Mullings vs. H.M.Q., 2016-2938(IT)I), at issue was whether preventative care associated with phenylketonuria (PKU) would be eligible for the DTC. Without the ongoing care and strict monitoring of the individual’s diet, permanent and severe rain damage would occur.


In  a  February  20,  2017  Tax  Court  of  Canada case  (Mullings  vs.  H.M.Q.,  2016-2938(IT)I),  at issue was whether  preventative care  associated with phenylketonuria (PKU) would be eligible for the  DTC.  Without  the  ongoing  care  and  strict monitoring  of  the  individual’s  diet,  permanent and severe rain damage would occur.

An individual may be eligible for the credit (Subsection 118.3(1)) where the  ability  to  perform  a  basic  activity  of  daily  living  is  markedly restricted or would be markedly restricted but for therapy that:

  • is essential to sustain a vital function of the individual;
  • is required to be administered  at least three times each week for a total duration averaging not less than 14 hours a week; and
  • cannot  reasonably  be  expected  to  be  of  significant  benefit  to persons who are not so impaired.
  • The types of activities which count towards the 14 hours (Subsection 118.3(1.1)) include:
  • time  away  from  normal  everyday  activities  in  order  to  receive therapy;
  • time spent on determining the dosage of medicine where regular doses are required and daily adjustments are needed; and
  • time  spent  by  a  child’s  primary  caregiver  performing  or supervising therapy which the child cannot perform on their own.

Time spent on certain activities do not count towards the 14 hours(Subsection 118.3(1.1)).  This includes  time spent on activities related to:

  • dietary or exercise restrictions or routines;
  • travel time;
  • medical appointments; and
  • shopping for medication or recuperation after therapy.

Taxpayer wins

The  Court found that the  following activities counted  towards the 14-hour requirement:

  • weekly blood tests;
  • the  primary  caregiver’s  time  spent  administering  the  child’s treatment;
  • medical appointments where there is actual treatment or testing that is part of the treatment; and
  • counting  and  analysis  of  the  number  of  milligrams  of phenylalanine (found in many foods) ingested. This activity was considered  more  akin  to  the  administration  of  medicine  rather than the activities related to dietary restriction.

The taxpayer’s time spent on the above activities exceeded the 14-hour requirement per week, and therefore the DTC claim was allowed.