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The cost of raising a child is high. From soccer programs, and meals every day to school tuition for college or university, parents are faced with countless expenses when it comes to their children. Luckily, the Canadian Government recognizes the financial stress faced by parents when it comes to raising children. There are many family tax benefits, credits and deductions parents can apply for to help offset the costs of raising children.

Federal Family Tax Benefit

If you’re looking for a family tax benefit that will help cover your child’s expenses, then have no fear. The Government of Canada has numerous family tax benefits for parents.

The Canada Child Benefit

The Canada Child Benefit is a non-taxable benefit for eligible families to help cover the cost of raising children under the age of 18. Paid upon registering after a child’s birth, the benefit stops automatically upon the child’s 18th birthday. Eligible parents must file income tax returns together to receive this benefit each year. If you are a single parent, the custody-bearing parent is the only parent who receives the benefit. In situations of shared custody, the benefit is usually split in half, or in another way depending on the custody agreement.

Check out how you can get a loan using your CCB.

Are You Eligible For This Family Tax Benefit?

To be eligible for the Canada Child Tax Benefit, you and your child must meet the following qualifications:

  • You live with your child
  • Your child is under 18 years of age
  • You must be the person primarily responsible for caring for and bringing up the child
  • You must be a Canadian resident
  • You or your spouse or partner must meet be either a(n):
    • Canadian citizen
    • permanent resident
    • temporary resident
    • protected resident
    • Indian

For more information regarding eligibility, see the CRA’s website

To calculate how much money you can receive through the Canada Child Benefit, check out the CRA’s claims calculator

The Child Disability Benefit

The Child Disability Benefit is also a non-taxable monthly benefit to parents that care for children with severe physical or mental impairments. In addition to receiving the Canada Child Benefit, parents with children that have disabilities are also eligible for the Child Disability Benefit.

Are You Eligible For This Family Tax Benefit?

Eligibility requirements include those listed above for the Canada Child Benefit, as well as the following:

The child must be either

  • Blind
  • Restricted in a minimum of one basic activity of daily living
  • Significantly restricted in two or more basic activities of living
  • Need life-sustaining therapy

The child’s impairment must also meet all of the following requirements:

  • Have lasted or expected to last for a minimum period of 12 months
  • Be present all or most of the time (minimum 90% of the time)

How Much Can You Get Through The Child Disability Benefit?

Depending on the severity of the child’s impairment, the amount of money a parent can receive varies. For the period of July 2022 to June 2023, you could get up to $2,985 ($248.75 per month) for each child who is eligible for the disability tax credit.

Is There A Family Tax Benefit To Reduce Child Care Expenses?

In Canada, you can deduct the child care expenses from your income. The child care expenses deduction is taken away from gross income if you use daycare or babysitters during your time at work or school. Depending on the child’s age, eligible deduction amounts vary per year. Furthermore, if your child has a disability, those expenses can be deducted as well, provided they meet the Canada Revenue Agency’s criteria.

Type Of Child Care Expenses You Can Deduct

Here are a few examples of expenses that you can deduct related to caring for your child:

  • Services from nannies and babysitters 
  • Daycare centers and nursery school
  • Childcare services from educational institutions 
  • Sports programs during the day and other day camps with a primary childcare function 
  • Any type of boarding school or overnight camps 
  • Advertising costs to locate a childcare specialist

Check out these tax tips for low income earners.

Is There A Family Tax Benefit To Reduce Your Child’s Medical Expenses?

Medical expenses for your children can also be claimed as a deduction on your taxes. Additionally, you can claim birth-related expenses that were not covered perhaps by your provincial health plan or health insurance. When claiming medical expenses, keep in mind that:

  • The amount of money you can claim as medical expenses is capped at either $2,421, or 3% of your dependent’s net income, and
  • You can only claim medical expenses that you paid for, not your health insurance company.

What If You Can’t Afford Your Child’s Expenses?

If the benefits above are not enough to cover your child’s expenses due to other debts, you can consider the following options:

Get A Personal Loan

If you’re having trouble keeping up with your monthly costs, a personal loan can help. A personal loan can help you spread your costs over a few months to a few years. Moreover, you can use a personal loan to help you consolidate other debt, particularly high-interest debt. This will allow you to reduce the interest you pay and consolidate your debts into a single manageable payment.

To get the most out of your personal loan, be sure to check your credit score. Your credit often plays an important factor in the interest rates you qualify for. The lower your interest rate, the more affordable your monthly payments will be.

Speak To A Credit Counsellor

If you’re losing control of your debts, it’s best to speak to a credit counsellor. They can help you assess your financial solution and provide you with a debt relief solution that’s best for you. Solutions can vary in intensity from a friendly budget to bankruptcy.

Family Tax Benefits For Children’s Activities

There are tax benefits parents are eligible to apply for regarding children’s activities, such as fitness. 

Provincial Family Tax Benefit

Each province offers their own tax benefits for parents caring for children, in addition to the Canada Child Benefit and Child Disability Benefit. The chart below outlines the benefit amounts for each provincial program. Make sure to check each link to learn more about eligibility.

ProvinceType of BenefitAmount of Benefit Each Month For The First Child($)
AlbertaAlberta Child and Family Benefit (ACFB)Up to $110.83 
OntarioOntario Child Benefit (OCB)Up to $125.75
Quebec-Supplement for School Supplies
-Family Allowance
-Up to $108
-Up to $2,614 per year
New BrunswickNew Brunswick Child Tax Benefit (NBCTB)Up to $20.83 
Nova Scotia-Nova Scotia Child Benefit (NSCB)
-Nova Scotia Affordable Living Tax Credit (NSALTC)
-Up to $106.25
-Up to $255 per year
British Columbia -BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit
-BC Child Opportunity Benefit
-BC Climate Action Tax Credit
-Up to $55
-Up to $133.33
-Up tp $521.50 per year
SaskatchewanSaskatchewan Low Income Tax Credit (SLITC)Up to $136
Prince Edward Island Prince Edward Island Sales Tax CreditUp to $110/ yearly
Newfoundland and LabradorNewfoundland and Labrador Child BenefitUp to $155.58
YukonYukon Child Benefit (YCB)Up tp $68.33 
Northwest Territories-Northwest Territories Child Benefit 
-Northwest Territories Cost of Living Offset
-Up to $67.91
-Up to $180 per year
NunavutNunavut Child BenefitUp to $330/yearly

How To Save For Your Child’s Education? Use An RESP

When you start saving for the future education of your child, you can use the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). This plan allows your investment in your children’s education to grow without having to pay taxes on it. The government, specifically the CRA, also gives you an incentive to invest by paying a total of $7,200 over the course of the savings plan. Financial experts recommend parents start an RESP early on, as post-secondary education costs continue to rise in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Final Thoughts

Raising children is no easy feat, and the financial implications can be quite burdensome. Make sure you conduct ample research to learn every tax benefit and deduction you are eligible to apply for when it comes to your children. 

Chrissy Kapralos avatar on Loans Canada
Chrissy Kapralos

Chrissy is a Toronto-based communications advisor. With an English degree from the University of Toronto and editing courses under her belt from Ryerson University, she has continued her lifelong passion for writing and editing. In addition to working for Loans Canada on a variety of financial topics, Chrissy has a few years of resume writing and editing under her belt, and takes great pleasure in helping people find work that fits with their experience and passions. When she isn't working, you can find her practicing yoga, hanging out with her dog, reading up on financial and real estate news, or planning her next trip abroad.

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