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.
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.