Press Release (ePRNews.com) - VICTORIA, British Columbia - Nov 22, 2016 - The website www.fightingforfairness.ca assists eligible Canadians with physical and mental impairments not only apply for the federal Disability Tax Credit (DTC) but also appeal unfavourable decisions.
“It has become virtually impossible for the majority of people living with severe psychiatric illnesses, brain injuries, MS or epilepsy to access the DTC without appealing to the Tax Court of Canada,” says Ms. Buchanan, President of Communication Resources who has successfully represented dozens of individuals navigate the appeal process without charging a fee for her services. “Canadian taxpayers should be able to access the tax credit without having to pay expensive legal bills for lawyers to represent them in court or excessive contingency fees to companies to act on their behalf.”
“Once again, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is behaving badly by denying legitimate claims for the DTC on questionable grounds,” says Ms. Buchanan. “I thought we resolved concerns about tax fairness by appealing to our Members of Parliament more than 10 years ago. They censured CRA for gross mismanagement and supported major reforms to the Income Tax Act. However, in recent years, CRA has been clawing back many of the gains we made by interpreting the legislation narrowly and technically despite numerous rulings to the contrary by the Tax Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal.”
The website provides useful resources to assist individuals with their applications and appeals as well as access to case law supporting eligibility for the DTC for individuals experiencing episodic manifestations of their symptoms and are denied the tax credit even when they are always vulnerable for a relapse.
The new website also calls for the reinstatement of the Disability Advisory Committee (DAC). “There is an urgent need to address several systemic problems with the administration of the DTC,” explains Ms. Buchanan, a member of the former DAC created in 2004 but shut down the following year. “We need to restore accountability to the CRA.”
Victoria MP Murray Rankin agrees. “I’m pleased to support my constituent Lembi Buchanan’s Fighting for Fairness campaign. The DTC is fraught with problems in its design and implementation and the Minister of Finance should heed Ms. Buchanan’s advice on how to make sure all people meeting the eligibility requirements set out in the Income Tax Act are able to access this tax credit.”
In addition to a modest return on taxes, the DTC has become a screening tool for several government income support programs including the Registered Disability Savings Plan, the Canada Child Disability Benefit and Medical Service Plan premiums in British Columbia.
Ms. Buchanan has received numerous awards, including the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada, David Johnston, recognizing her crucial role in reforming the Income Tax Act in 2005 to prevent further discrimination of some of the most vulnerable members of our society. However, many of the significant improvements in the administration of the DTC have been all but lost due to the tightening of the eligibility criteria by the CRA in recent years. Source :