It’s no secret how expensive it is to raise kids. It is also no secret that as a society, we are not as active or fit as we used to be. The Children’s Fitness Tax Credit attempts to address both of these problems.
Here’s what you need to know about the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit
- The child must have been 15 or younger at the beginning of the year.
- The activity must be physical in nature (no video game clubs) and the activity must be supervised.
- Activities that involve motorsports do not qualify. Neither do regular school programs.
- Programs must either be daily, for five consecutive days, OR last for at least eight weeks.
- You can use the tax credit for membership and registration costs. Equipment is NOT eligible.
- To determine your tax credit, multiply the amount of money you spent by 0.15. The result is the tax credit.
- The maximum credit is $75 per child. To receive the full amount, you must have spent $500 (or more).
- The Children’s Fitness Tax Credit is a non-refundable tax credit. This means that you can use it to lower your federal taxes. If the total of your non-refundable tax credits is more than your payable federal income tax, you don’t get a refund.
- You don’t have to send in your receipts, but (as always) keep them on hand in case Canada Revenue Agency comes calling.
- You can get more information directly from the government at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/fitness/.
I see the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit as a bit of a bonus for doing the right thing. I certainly don’t think that the carrot is big enough to increase enrolment in sports across the country, but it’s better than a puck to the head (which, ironically, it may result in). If nothing else, it gives parents a bit of a head start on paying for next year’s activities.