How to Claim the Children Fitness Tax Credit in Ottawa

A non-refundable tax credit represents an amount of money that can be used to decrease one’s taxable amount (income). However if the total amount of these credits exceeds your federal tax, you are not entitled to a refund hence the term non-refundable.

In Canada, a new initiative to encourage child fitness and sports participation is the children’s fitness tax credit (non-refundable). This credit is claimable for children under a set age encouraging parents to put their children into sports for the physical and social benefits.

The following guide details everything one would need to know in order to claim the children’s fitness tax credit in Ottawa.

Note: This is a federal tax credit. Ontario has a similar provincial refundable tax credit known as the Children’s Activity Tax Credit (CATC). For a Step by Step guide to claiming this provincial amount, click here.


  • 1

    The Amount

    The amount that is claimable for each child is currently $500 for the 2011 tax year. The costs being claimed must be for physical activities (more on this later).

  • 2


    The child must have been under 16 years of age at the beginning of the year for which the amount is being claimed.

    If the child qualifies for the disability amount, the age is moved to 18. Additional amounts are claimable for those who qualify for the disability credit, click here for more information regarding the elgibility criteria.

  • 3

    Prescribed Programs of Physical Activity

    The child fitness credit is only claimable for what are deemed to be Prescribed Programs. In order to earn this distinction, the program must be:

    -  must be ongoing (a minimum of 8 weeks for physical activities and 5 days for camps);

    - be supervised and suited for children;

    - must include physical activity related to cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance and strength or flexibility and balance.

    If the above details do not provide you with enough eligibility information, a checklist is available here.

  • 4

    How to Claim the Amount

    The amount to be claimed is to be claimed on Line 365 of Schedule 1 , Federal Tax. You can only claim amounts for which you have not been reimbursed, and if you have been reimbursed, you can claim the amount if it has been reported as income on your T4.

    If you are electronically filing your taxes, keep all the invoices and supporting documentation in case you are audited.

    Note: Always ask for a receipt or invoice for any physical activity league/organization.

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