This season is filled with joy—but it’s also filled with things to do. One of those is the not so joyous task of taking a look at your family tax situation to ensure everything is in good order by the end of the year. And as if you don’t have enough to think about as a parent, now you have more to think about at tax time (congratulations). Just for you, we consulted with Deborah Shure of www.nannytax.ca to remind us of all those taxing tax considerations. The good news is that many of them save us money, and that’s worthwhile in these economic times.
The Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) helps eligible families with the cost of raising children under the age of 18 (read: the government gives you money). Your eligibility for the CCTB is largely based on your family income (lower income earners receive it). The Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) is designed to assist all families with their childcare expenses for children under the age of 6.
To Do? CCTB and UCCB do not come to you automatically—so if you had a baby in 2008, make sure you apply for them (one application works for both). Also, both spouses need to file an income tax return before the CCTB can be calculated. So, even if one had no income, a return should still be filed every year in order to determine the correct entitlement.
Get (Fiscally) Fit
Parents can claim up to $500 per year per child for children under the age of 16 (or under 18 if the child is eligible for the disability tax credit) through the Fitness Tax Credit, as an incentive to keep children active and in sports. If you have paid an amount that would qualify to be claimed as childcare expenses as well as the children’s fitness amount, then you must first claim this amount as a childcare expense. If there is an amount remaining, it can then be claimed for the children’s fitness amount as long as the requirements are met.
To Do? Make sure that you have receipts from any institutions that provided the fitness activity or instruction. Ask for a receipt if you do not have one. It is possible that only a portion of the expense qualifies for the credit, so be sure to find this out from the provider.