Toronto chiropractor Barney Kenny said he plans to stay in Canada even though he will be eligible to receive $25,000 in provincial income tax credits, because the province’s health minister wants to extend the tax breaks to the chiropractor community.
The provincial government’s health and social assistance agency has promised to extend its existing tax credits to all chiropractors in 2017, but the government’s chief health officer, Dr. Jean-François Blais, has said the extension won’t happen until 2019.
“I think we’re in a position to do this,” Kenny said Monday.
“If we stay in the country, we can afford to stay here.”
The Canadian Chiropractic Association, which represents more than 100,000 chiropractic and physiotherapy doctors in the province, has asked the province to extend tax credits.
The association says the provincial health minister has not given the organization any indication when the health minister will agree to extend those credits, saying it would be premature to do so until the province receives the government-subsidized medical tax credits that are scheduled to expire on March 31.
“We would like to know more about this extension.
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has asked for an extension to the tax credits as well, but we have not received any reply from the government,” said CMA president Andrew Stelzer.
“In the meantime, the CMA is asking the government to extend credits for chiropractists in Ontario.
In an emailed statement, the government said it is working with the chiropractor community to ensure that the tax credit is extended. “
Chiropractors are often the most disadvantaged in the workforce, and we are particularly hurt by the current economic climate, which is impacting many members of the profession,” he added.
In an emailed statement, the government said it is working with the chiropractor community to ensure that the tax credit is extended.
“The Government is reviewing the proposed extension of tax credits in order to ensure the integrity of the tax-credit program, and the long-term health and well-being of our patients,” it said.
“This is part of the Government’s commitment to providing tax credits for all Canadians.”
The health ministry is seeking the extension because it expects to see more people return to work during the coming year, said Dr. Michael Schaller, the health ministry’s assistant chief medical officer.
“There’s more work to do and we’ll be consulting with the CBA, the chiropodists and the chiroprologists,” he said.
But Kenny said the health department’s request to extend health credits to the entire chiropractive profession is premature.
“They should be looking at it right now, not five or ten years from now,” he told CBC Toronto.
“It’s premature for me to say that we’re going to be in Canada, because I’ll be eligible for health credits that will be coming back in five or 10 years.”
He said he will also be eligible in 2019 if he works in Ontario for more than six months a year.
In addition to the provincial income-tax credits, which are not eligible for tax deductions, Kenny is eligible for an Ontario Work-Study Allowance.
He said the Ontario Work Study Allowance is $4,000 a month.
If he does not earn enough to qualify for the Ontario WSA, he will have to pay taxes on the amount he earned.
If Kenny works less than six hours a week, he must pay taxes of $2,000.
Kenny said his income-based WSA benefits were a way to provide him with extra income.
“For example, if I work 50 hours a month and I earn $15,000, I would have to file an income tax return.
That’s not a very big amount of money,” he explained.
“My WSA is just a way of making sure that I can be self-supporting and do what I need to do.”