How to Claim the Ontario Children’s Activity Tax Credit in Ottawa

A refundable tax credits helps to reduce or eliminate the amount of tax you owe. Unlike non-refundable credits, excess amounts may be paid to you as a refund even if you paid no income tax throughout the year.

There are tax credits that are claimable federally and those claimable by province. This is a Step by Step Guide to claiming a provincial amount for children’s activities in Ontario, known as the CATC.

Note: This is a provincial tax credit.There is a similar non-refundable federal tax credit known as the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit. For a Step by Step guide to claiming this federal amount, click here.

Instructions

  • 1

    The Amount

    The amount that is claimable for each child for the 2011 tax year is the lesser of $509 and the amount paid for eligible programs (see Step 2).

  • 2

    Eligibility

    You can claim the amount for the CATC if you were a resident of Ontario in the tax year and paid for registering your child or your common-law partner’s child in a qualifying activity/program.

    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. An additional $509 is claimable for those who qualify for the disability credit, if at least $100 was spent in registering this child for a qualifying activity/program.

    Note: It is possible that an amount claimable as the CATC is also claimable as a child care expenses deduction. For more information on this deduction, click here.

  • 3

    Qualifying Programs

    The CATC is claimable for what are deemed to be Qualifying 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; or

    or:

    a program that is not part of a school’s curriculum and that takes place weekly with a minimum duration of eight consecutive weeks; or daily for a minimum of five consecutive days; or

    a membership in an organization for a period of at least eight consecutive weeks that allows children to choose from a variety of activities including artistic activities, language instruction, wilderness and nature, and academic subjects. These activities must be supervised.

    Note: If you have not received a receipt from an organization that conducts activities that meet the above criteria, please do.

  • 4

    How to Claim the Amount

    The total amount to be claimed for all your children is to be entered beside box 6309 of Form ON479. Then enter 10% of this amount on Line 1.

    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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