In the Canadian
Tax Calculator, child care costs are entered in the deductions area. The
calculator does not check to ensure that the maximum allowable amount is not
exceeded. It will provide a warning if the child care costs are being
claimed by a higher income spouse.
In most cases, child care expenses for an eligible child must be claimed by the parent with the
lower net income
for tax purposes. If the parents are separated and share custody, each
parent may usually claim a portion of the child care costs. Where a
medical doctor certifies in writing that the lower-income spouse is incapable
of caring for the child due to a physical or mental infirmity, then the costs
may be claimed by the higher income spouse.
An eligible child is a child of you or your spouse or common-law
or a child who was dependent on you or your spouse or common-law
whose net income in the year was less than or equal to the basic personal
amount ($10,822 in 2012, $11,038 in 2013). The child must have been
under 16 years of age at the beginning of the year, unless the child was
mentally or physically infirm.
Allowable child care expenses are those paid for the care of an eligible
child, to enable the parent to earn employment income, carry on a business,
attend an eligible program at a designated educational institution for at
least 3 consecutive weeks, or carry on research or similar work for which a
grant has been received. Some examples of eligible child care expenses
include day-care centres and day nursery schools, some individuals providing child
care services, day camps and day sports schools, educational institutions such
as private schools (the
portion of tuition costs relating to child care services), boarding schools, and
overnight sports schools and camps.
There are limits on the total amount of child care expenses
that can be claimed for each child. There are also limits on the amounts
that can be claimed for expenses related to boarding schools or overnight
Basic annual limit for each child for child care expenses