This document has been updated on October 24th, 2017 and reflects the state of the Law, including draft amendments, at that date.


Parental Assistance

Canada Child Benefit

The CCB is a non-taxable monthly benefit paid to low- and middle-income families to help them pay for the needs of their children. The maximum annual benefit amount is $6,400 per child under 6 years of age and $5,400 per child aged 6 to 17 years. Benefit amounts start to be reduced when the family income reaches $30,0002.

To qualify, an individual has to be the father or mother of the child, live with him/her and be the person primarily responsible for his/her care and education. Parents who share custody of a child more or less equally may receive one-half of the benefit each.

The CCB is paid over a 12-month period from July of a particular year to June of the following year. It is calculated based on the information in both parents’ tax returns for the preceding year3.Accordingly, it is important for them to file tax returns even if they have no income. Payments cease automatically the month following the child’s 18th birthday. Parents must inform the CRA of any marital status change that occurs during the year.

Disabled Children

An additional amount up to $2,730 is payable in respect of a child who qualifies for the disability credit.


2 Benefit amount and threshold indexed annually as of 2018

3 Therefore, the entitlement to the CCB paid for the period from July 2017 to June 2018 is based on the 2016 income. To estimate the benefit amount you are entitled to, including provincial benefits administered federally, visit: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/bnfts/clcltr/cfbc-eng.html.

Child Assistance Payments – Quebec

The CAP is a non-taxable credit managed by Retraite Québec (Quebec Retirement). It is payable in advance in January, April, July and October of the year, or on the first of each month upon the taxpayer’s request4. The credit is made up of a universal payment and additional assistance to low- and middle-income families. A child’s income has no impact on the amount of the credit.

To be entitled to the CAP, both spouses must have filed a Quebec tax return whether or not they have income.

Calcul@ide5 is a tool offered on the Internet site of Retraite Québec that helps you estimate the amount of the CAP you are entitled to receive.

The following table shows the credit to which families are entitled, based on the number of children under the age of 18 in the family, as well as the income threshold that makes them eligible only for the basic minimum amount.

2017 CAP Income threshold at which CAP
reaches basic minimum
6
Basic maximum6
Basic minimum6
$ $ $
Couple
• 1 child
• 2 children
• 3 children
• 4 children
2,410
3,614
4,818
6,624
676
1,301
1,926
2,551
91,218
105,693
120,168
149,693
Single-parent family
• 1 child
• 2 children
• 3 children
• 4 children
3,255
4,459
5,663
7,469
1,013
1,638
2,263
2,888
90,874
105,349
119,824
149,349
Reduction threshold for couple
Reduction threshold for single-parent family
Reduction rate
Monthly supplement for disabled child7

$47,868

$34,824

4%

$190

Monthly supplement for disabled child with exceptional care needs7

$954


4 This request may be made on-line on the Retraite Québec website at: http://www.rrq.gouv.qc.ca/en/services/services_en_ligne/soutien_aux_enfants/Pages/changement_frequence_sae.aspx
5 Available at: http://www.rrq.gouv.qc.ca/en/enfants/naissance/paiement_soutien_enfants/montant.htm
6 Indexed annually.
Regardless of family income.

Ontario Child Benefit and Income Supplement

The Ontario Child Benefit can reach a maximum amount of $1,378 per year per child under 18 years old. The benefit is paid with the CCB in a single monthly payment. It is reduced when family net income exceeds $21,037.8



8Benefit amount and income threshold for 2017; indexed annually.

Child Tax Benefit and Earned Income Supplement – New Brunswick

The government of New Brunswick pays families a non-taxable benefit of up to $250 a year for each child under age 18. The benefit is reduced when family net income exceeds $20,000. Some families may also be entitled to a supplement. These payments are included in the CCB so that there is only a single monthly payment.

Low income families with children of school age may also be eligible for the New Brunswick school supplement.

Child Care Expenses

Child care expenses can be claimed if they are incurred by both parents of a family or the head of a single-parent family in order to be employed, carry on business, go to school or carry out research or similar work. These expenses entitle the taxpayer to a federal deduction and a refundable tax credit in Quebec.

Eligible child care expenses are those paid to an individual, a day-care centre,9 a boarding school or a day camp in respect of a child under 16 years of age (at a time in the year) or a child of any age who is mentally or physically disabled. The deduction may generally be claimed by the parent who earns the lower income. There are some exceptions, including if the parent with the lower income is at school. When custody is shared, the child care expenses are considered in the income tax return according to the amounts paid by each parent.

At the federal level,10 the deduction cannot exceed two-thirds of the earned income of the person claiming it and is limited to the following amounts:

Child Annual ceiling Per week of boarding school or day camp If a parent is at school
Per week of full-time study11 Per month of part-time study12
  $ $ $ $
Under age 7 8,000 200 200 200
7 to 15 years 5,000 125 125 125
Suffering from severe disability 11,000 275 275 275

Earned income includes employment or business income, an allowance received under the Act Respecting Manpower Vocational Training and Qualification, a taxable scholarship and the net amount of research grants.

Dividend income is not considered earned income in calculating the child care deduction. Consequently, if the parent who can claim the deduction only has dividend income, child care expenses cannot be claimed.

Quebec

In Quebec, the child care tax credit rate varies between 26% and 75%13  based on the family net income. Generally, eligible expenses are calculated based on the same criteria as those for the federal child care expense deduction, subject to the maximum for child care expenses paid in respect of a child (other than a disabled child) under age 7, which is increased to $9,000. Eligible expenses are not limited by the parents’ earned income.

Quebec does not recognize parental contributions set by the government (including the additional contribution) to early child care centres, home child care centres or school day care as child care expenses. However, certain related expenses, such as registration fees for the child, amounts paid to reserve a spot in a child care centre, certain additional amounts paid for pedagogical days or a parent’s late fees are eligible. The contribution payable for subsidized child care services offered by schools during spring break is also eligible for the child care credit.

Child care expenses include costs incurred during the period during which the individual or his/her spouse receives QPIP benefits or EI benefits related to a birth or adoption.

Households subject to a decrease in their child care tax credit due to an increase in their income from work can benefit from some tax relief under the tax shield (see point 5 of this section).

Advance Payment – Quebec

Parents may receive part of the refundable child care tax credit to which they are entitled in advance provided certain conditions are met. The caregiver must confirm the rate and the number of days the child will be cared for during the year. In addition, the estimated credit must be more than $1,000 (unless the parent is entitled to a work premium of more than $500 for the year).

Where two spouses believe they are entitled to the tax credit for the year, only one of them can make a request for the advance payment.

If you have children over 18 years of age, they could be paid to take care of their brothers and sisters. Provided the conditions are met, amounts paid for these services are deductible as child care expenses while there would be little or no tax on these amounts in the caregiver’s hands.

Job Hunting

Child care expenses incurred while one of the parents is looking for work are generally eligible. Furthermore, child care expense reimbursements received by a taxpayer as part of an active employment measure established by Emploi-Québec are not taxable in Quebec: the expenses thus reimbursed are not, however, eligible for a child care credit.

 


9 Including, for federal purposes, parental contribution and the additional contribution required, where applicable, from parents whose children attend a subsidized early childhood centre or school day care in Quebec.
10 Including Ontario and New Brunswick.
11 Minimum of three consecutive weeks and 10 hours of courses per week.
12 Minimum of three consecutive weeks and 12 hours of courses per month.
13 For 2017, the credit is 75% if the net family income does not exceed $35,060 and is gradually reduced to 26% when that income exceeds $153,636.

Tax Credit for Youth Activities – Quebec

 

In 2017, Quebec grants a refundable tax credit equal to 20% of maximum expenses of $500 (maximum credit of $100) incurred to register a child who is at least 5 but not yet 16 years of age, in an eligible sports, artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental activity. An additional credit of $100 is granted for a child who is at least 5 but not yet 18 years of age if the child has a disability, provided that a minimum amount equal to 25% of the general expenditure ceiling amount per child ($125 in 2017) was incurred for eligible expenses. The tax credit is offered to parents whose family income does not exceed $135,08714.

 


14 Amount indexed annually.

Adoption Expenses

Credits can be claimed for expenses incurred to adopt a minor child. While eligible expenses vary depending on the jurisdictions, they generally include legal and administrative expenses relating to the adoption, certain travel and living expenses, document translation fees, mandatory fees paid to a foreign institution and amounts charged by a certified adoption body.

In general, the credit must be claimed the year the adoption order in respect of the child is issued or recognized by Canadian authorities.

The following table summarizes the details of the federal, Ontario and Quebec adoption credits:15

 2017 Federal Ontario Quebec
Credit Non-refundable Refundable
Rate 15% 5.05% 50%
Maximum expenses $15,67016 $12,40916 $20,000

15 No credit in New Brunswick.
16 Indexed annually.

Infertility Treatment

Quebec allows a refundable credit to offset a maximum amount of $20,000 of eligible infertility treatment costs by 20% to 80%. The credit rate varies according to the income and conjugal situation of the individuals incurring the costs. Subject to conditions, advance payments of this tax credit can be requested.

Eligible expenses include amounts paid for prescribed drugs provided they have not or may not be reimbursed. Certain restrictions apply to expenses paid with regards to “in vitro” fertilization. Moreover, costs incurred for artificial insemination are not eligible for this credit. Such expenses may, nevertheless, be deductible as medical expenses.

For federal purposes, fertility treatment expenses are eligible for the medical expense credit (see Section IV).

Family Caregiver Tax Credit – Federal

Parents who have a child under 18 years of age with a prolonged and indefinite impairment are eligible for the new Canadian caregiver tax credit (see  Section IV).