Filing Your Return -> Disabilities -> Federal and provincial fitness tax credits
Line 365 Federal Children's Fitness Amount Tax Credit
Reduced for 2016, eliminated for 2017 taxation year
Income Tax Act s. 122.8 (prev s. 118.03, Regulations s. 9400)
The Federal 2016 Budget reduced the 2016 Children's Fitness Amount Tax Credit to $500 from $1,000, and eliminated the tax credit for 2017 and subsequent years. The additional tax credit for a child with a disability will remain at $500 for the 2016 taxation year.
There is a federal refundable tax credit (non-refundable for 2014 and earlier years) available to individuals for registration and membership costs of up to $500 per child ($1,000 for 2014/15, $500 for 2007 to 2013 taxation years), not indexed for inflation. A refundable tax credit is available even if no income tax has been paid - if it exceeds taxes payable, it will be refunded to the taxpayer. This tax credit has been available since the 2007 taxation year. This tax credit is claimed on the personal tax return.
On October 9, 2014, the federal government announced in a news release that the amount that can be claimed under this credit for 2014 and subsequent years is doubled to $1,000 per child, and that the credit is refundable effective for the 2015 and subsequent taxation years. See above for change re 2016.
The tax credit is available for registration and membership costs paid in the taxation year, for prescribed programs of physical activity for their children who are, at the beginning of the taxation year
The tax credit is calculated using the lowest tax rate of 15%, so the maximum tax credit per child for 2016 is $75 ($150 for 2014/15, $75 for earlier years).
An additional tax credit is available to an individual for a child with a disability. The additional credit is $500 x the lowest tax rate, if the total of eligible fitness costs for that child in the year is $100 or more. This brings the maximum 2016 tax credit to $150 for a child with a disability ($225 for 2014/2015).
Example of calculation of child fitness tax credit for 2014 and 2015, refundable in 2015 - again, the maximum in 2016 is $75, or $150 for a child with a disability:
The tax credit may be claimed by either spouse, or apportioned between them.
A prescribed program of physical activity includes the following, which are not part of a school's curriculum:
Physical activity means a supervised activity suitable for children (other than an activity where a child rides on or in a motorized vehicle as an essential component of the activity) that
Horseback riding is deemed to be included in the above definition of physical activity.
Any costs which qualify as child care costs must first be claimed as child care costs, with the remainder of eligible costs then claimed through the fitness credit.
For more information, see the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Children's Fitness Tax Credit page.
The Federal Children's Fitness Credit is calculated by the Canadian Tax Calculator, but the amount is not checked to ensure that the maximum is not exceeded.
Some of these tax credits are not just for children:
BC Children's Fitness Tax Credit started in 2012, and was increased for the 2015 taxation year. This is dependent on the Federal credit, which is eliminated for 2017. There is no intention by the current BC government (as of March, 2017) to let this credit be eliminated, but since there is now an election in the works, it will depend on the government after the election.
Manitoba Fitness Tax Credit - will be continued
Nova Scotia Healthy Living Tax Credit - eliminated for 2015 and later years
Ontario Children's Activity Tax Credit - Refundable
Yukon has a non-refundable child fitness tax credit that was based on the federal tax credit. The Yukon Child Fitness Credit became refundable in 2015. Yukon tabled amendments so that the reduction and elimination of the Federal Children's Fitness Credit did not reduce or eliminate the Yukon Children's Fitness Credit. See their April 13, 2016 Press Release. The Yukon credit is:
Other Tax Credits for Children
Tax Tip: Keep the receipts for your children's physical activity programs.
Revised: September 21, 2017
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