Seven ways your family can save at tax time
Raising a family can be expensive, but there are many benefits, credits, and deductions that can help your family with costs during the year. They could even lower the amount you owe at tax time! However it is important to file on time if you want your credits.
Check out these potential savings:
- Canada child benefit (CCB) - The CCB is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under the age of 18. The CCB might include the child disability benefit and any related provincial and territorial programs. You could get up to $6,400 annually for each child under the age of 6 and $5,400 annually for each child aged 6-17. Apply for the CCB in one of the following ways:
- Child care expenses – Did your kids attend daycare or a child care program in 2016? You or your spouse or common-law partner might be able to claim what you spent on eligible child care in 2016.
- Working income tax benefit – If you are a working family or individual with a low income, you might be eligible for this refundable tax credit intended to provide tax relief to low-income Canadian workers. Eligible individuals and families may be able to apply for advance payments.
- Child disability benefit– You might be eligible for this tax-free benefit if you care for a child under the age of 18 who is eligible for the disability tax credit.
- Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit – The GST/HST credit is a tax-free quarterly payment that helps families and individuals with low or modest incomes offset all or part of the GST and HST that they pay. If you are eligible, you will receive your tax-free payments in January, April, July and October. The amount of your payment will depend on your family income and the number of children you have in your care. A family could get up to $552 per year, plus an additional $145 annually for each child.
- Children’s fitness tax credit – Claim eligible fees paid in the year for registration or membership for your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s child in a prescribed program of physical activity. For 2016, the maximum eligible fees in the year is reduced from $1,000 to $500, but the additional amount of $500 for children eligible for the disability tax credit has not changed. Therefore the maximum credit is reduced to $75 ($150 for a child eligible for the disability tax credit).
- Children’s arts tax credit - Claim eligible fees paid in the year for the cost of registration or membership of your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s child in an eligible program of artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental activity. For 2016, the maximum eligible fees in the year is reduced from $500 to $250, but the additional amount of $500 for children eligible for the disability tax credit has not changed. Therefore the maximum credit is reduced to $37.50 ($112.50 for a child eligible for the disability tax credit).
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