How to Claim the Children’s Arts Amount 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, fees paid in relation to the registration or enrolment of a child into a prescribed artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental program is claimable up to a set amount by the parent. This amount is a non-refundable tax credit.

Instructions

  • 1

    The Amount

    The amount that is claimable for each child is currently $500 for the 2011 tax year. The costs being claimed must meet the eligibility criteria outlined in Step 2.

  • 2

    Eligibility

    In order for an amount to be claimed, the child must have been under 16 years of age at the beginning of the tax year. The age restriction increases to 18 if the child in question qualifies for the disability amount.

    If a child does qualify for the disability amount, an additional $500 can be claimed as long as $100 is spent on what qualifies as a Prescribed Program. For more information on the disability amount, click here.

    Note: In order for an amount to be eligible it cannot have been claimed under the children’s fitness amount or as a deduction on another individual’s tax return. Also, school programs do not qualify.

  • 3

    Prescribed Programs

    The children’s arts amount 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;

    Also, the program must do one of the following:

    - contribute to the development of artistic and/or cultural skills and knowledge;

    - provide an educational focus on nature and wilderness;

    - develop interpersonal and intellectual skills with the aid of teachers and peers; and

    - provide an improvement in academics.

    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 entered on Line 370 of the Schedule 1 Federal Tax. The claimed amount cannot exceed $500 per child unless the child qualifies for the disability amount. If they do meet these requirements, an additional $500 can be claimed in accordance with the eligibility criteria in Step 2.

    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 a T4 slip.

    If the taxes are being filed through electronic means then all invoices and documents that support the evidence should be kept with you in case you are audited.

    Note: Always ask for a receipt or invoice for any activity that may qualify for this credit.

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