The Canada Revenue Agency sign outside the National Headquarters at the Connaught Building is seen in Ottawa, Monday, March 1, 2021. An advisory committee is calling on the Canada Revenue Agency to promote access to the disability tax credit in Indigenous communities and to develop tax credit assessments tailored for Indigenous claimants. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

The Canada Revenue Agency sign outside the National Headquarters at the Connaught Building is seen in Ottawa, Monday, March 1, 2021. An advisory committee is calling on the Canada Revenue Agency to promote access to the disability tax credit in Indigenous communities and to develop tax credit assessments tailored for Indigenous claimants. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Promote Indigenous access to disability tax credit, advisory committee recommends

OTTAWA — An advisory committee is calling on the Canada Revenue Agency to promote access to the disability tax credit in Indigenous communities and to develop tax-credit assessments tailored for Indigenous claimants.

The CRA’s disability advisory committee, which includes professionals and advocates, says in its second annual report the revenue agency should fund community organizations with ties to Indigenous Peoples to help individuals and communities understand and apply for the disability tax credit and other benefits.

Committee vice-chair Sherri Torjman says the revenue agency should explore ways to collect data on disability tax-credit applications submitted by Indigenous applicants.

She recommends the government also expand the tax-deduction list of work-related equipment disabled people often purchase to be able to do their jobs, to keep pace with technological improvements.

Torjman also says the federal government should pay retroactively the registered disability savings plan’s grant and bond portions for which an RDSP holder might be eligible, since the 2019 federal budget eliminated the requirement of qualifying for the disability tax credit to open an RDSP account.

She says an advisory body should be established to address any emerging issues regarding how registered disability savings plans interact with the disability tax credit.

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