Canada is a country where children are protected, the elderly are respected, visible minorities are admired and the disabled are...just like everyone else. Times are changing however with the introduction of Bill C-462.
There was an article recently printed on infobarrel describing the "DTC" or disability tax credit - this tax credit, offered by the Canadian Government, allows disabled Canadians to receive a tax break due to the suffering they have lived with. The tax credit can be applied retroactively for up to 10 years; with a maximum allowable refund of $1,500.00 per tax year for an adult this allows, in many cases, for large lump sums of money to be refunded by the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency). Parents of disabled children can receive up to two and a half times more money than that.
There are more than a handful of shrewd companies out there who claim the application process for this tax credit is overtly difficult and confusing for individuals; that hiring them is providing a much needed service to disabled Canadians. The problem is, these companies are charging from 10% - 40% of the refund as commission. If you receive a refund of $15,000, 40% of that is a lot of money even if a lot of service is provided.
After receiving more than a few complaints about this unprecedented gouging of the disabled, Conservative Member of Parliament Cheryl Gallant grabbed the bull by the horns and took a stand. She presented a Private Member's bill to Parliament called Bill C-462: Disability Tax Credit Promoters Restrictions Act. This is described as "an act restricting the fees charged by promoters of the disability tax credit and making consequential amendments to the Tax Court of Canada Act". This Bill serves to limit the amount of money that companies can charge for assisting disabled Canadians with their applications for the disability tax credit and prevent unscrupulous promoters from lining their pockets with money intended for those in need.
Backed by Board of Directors Member Dr. Gail Beck of the Canadian Medical Association and Dr. Karen Cohen CEO of the Canadian Psychological Association, Bill C-462 passed through its first phase at Parliament with flying colours on March 6th, 2013. It is now in line for a second review sometime after the summer of 2013. This has left at least one owner of probably Canada's largest company providing this service to disabled Canadians a little anxious. In an open session on May 7th 2013, Akiva Medjuck , founder of The National Benefit Authority Corporation (a company that charges 30%) stated his case. He stated "Unfortunately, many potential beneficiaries are not aware of its existence.... While Bill C-462 was signed to protect disabled Canadians, the likely result will be to reduce public awareness and force Canadian families to contend with this complex process on their own." When speaking about the hefty fee his company charges he said "Our 30% contingency fees apply only to current and past tax credits recovered for our clients. In typical cases, our clients receive credits for five to ten future years. We seek no payment for those future credits. As a result, our fee is a percentage of the total credit received by our clients and is substantially lower than 30%."
Bill C-462 will serve the Canadian disabled positively. It is a step in the right direction for Canada and will show that even in the grey areas of the service industry, there is no room for gouging. Cheryl Gallant has my full support and my trust lays with the politicians to make Bill C-462 law.