Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand behind my hon. colleague's private member's bill.
The member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke has performed a valuable public service by drawing attention to the dubious business practices of some tax promoters, people who would take anywhere from 20% to 40% of the disability tax credit for which someone with a severe disability, individuals facing serious health challenges who need our financial support, has qualified.
The legislation is not only a tribute to her but to all parliamentarians who have recognized its merits and enabled the legislation to move quickly through the approval process. We must now take it to the next step and make sure that Bill C-462 becomes law, because all Canadians, including those with disabilities, expect us as their duly elected representatives to defend their interests. As the disability tax credit promoters restrictions bill makes clear, Canadians with disabilities applying for the tax credit are not always treated fairly at the moment.
In recent years, the Canada Revenue Agency has witnessed a growing number of businesses promoting their services to individuals with disabilities and their families who want to apply for the disability tax credit. Some of these businesses are focused almost solely on completing the application form. These companies normally provide their services on a contingency fee basis, and those fees can run up to 40% of the amount of the individual's income tax refund.
Parliament brought in this tax credit, recognizing that Canadians with disabilities can face serious challenges and exceptional expenses for which they should receive tax relief. The tax savings can make a meaningful difference in their quality of life. It is appalling that roughly $20 million a year, earmarked for people with disabilities, instead ends up in the pockets of the private sector tax promoters who helped them to prepare these claims.
By any calculation that is a lot of money to complete part A of an application form to obtain the disability tax credit certificate, something that the person applying for the credit or someone in his or her family can generally do without assistance. The CRA has put all of the forms and instructions on how to complete them on its website. They have a call centre that will help, and similarly constituency offices such as mine are only too happy to help guide people to the right resources, free of charge.
I would love to say more because I know this is a great bill. We are all very concerned about it. It is clear why it has been unanimously supported in the House. It is just simply a good bill.
Let me be clear, the legislation is not an attempt to crack down on people who are legitimately claiming the credit nor is it an attempt to deny anyone's claims. Let me be equally clear that our goal is not to hinder legitimate businesses. Most do good tax preparation work and are charging reasonable fees. Bill C-462 would apply only to those who try to take advantage of Canadians with disabilities by taking an unreasonable cut. With Parliament's endorsement, we can ensure that the disability tax credit goes to the person for whom it was intended.
I trust that we can count on all parties' support to pass this necessary legislation.