Was your child enrolled in a physical activity (like soccer) or an arts program (like a music class) during the year? If so, you can claim the cost of registering your child in certain physical activities and/or artistic programs under the Children’s fitness tax credit and Children’s arts amount, respectively.
Note: To claim these tax credits, your child must be under 16 years of age (or under 18 if eligible for the disability amount) at the beginning of the year in which the expenses were paid.
Tax tip: The Children’s fitness tax credit and the Children’s arts amount will be discontinued in 2017. If you paid expenses in 2016 for your child to be enrolled in a physical activity and/or arts program, be sure to take advantage of these tax credits this year.
Children’s fitness tax credit
You can claim up to $500 paid in 2016 for the cost of your child’s registration or membership in a physical activity program such as soccer, skating, dancing, karate, swimming, hockey, and more. If your child qualifies for the disability tax credit, you can claim an extra $500, if you paid at least $100 in registration or membership fees.
Keep in mind, not all physical activity programs qualify for this tax credit. In order for you to claim the fitness tax credit, the program must be:
- Ongoing (at least eight consecutive weeks or, in the case of children’s camps, five consecutive days) and
- Suitable for children, supervised, and must enhance the cardio-respiratory endurance of the child and one or more of:
- Muscular strength
- Muscular endurance
Activities that are part of a school curriculum, are unsupervised, or involve riding in or on a motorized vehicle, don’t qualify. Check the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website for more information on activities and expenses that are not eligible for this tax credit.
Children’s arts amount
You can claim up to $250 paid in 2016 for the cost of your child’s registration or membership in a prescribed arts program such as literary arts, music, languages, performing arts, customs and heritage, and more. If your child qualifies for the disability tax credit, you can claim an extra $500, if you paid at least $100 in registration or membership fees.
Only programs that meet the following conditions qualify for the arts amount:
- The program must be ongoing (at least eight consecutive weeks or, in the case of children’s camps, five consecutive days)
- The program must be suitable for children, supervised, and meet one of the following:
- Develops creative skills or expertise in an artistic or cultural activity
- Provides a substantial focus on wilderness and the natural environment
- Develops and uses particular intellectual skills
- Is structured interaction between children where supervisors teach or help children
- Develops of interpersonal skills by structured interaction between children and supervisors or
- Provides enrichment or tutoring in academic subjects
Programs that are part of a school’s curriculum don’t qualify.
Can I claim an expense under both the Children’s fitness tax credit and Children’s arts amount?
No, you can’t claim the same expense under both tax credits. If an expense is eligible for the children's fitness tax credit, it isn’t eligible for the children's arts amount and vice versa.
Remember to keep all your expense receipts in case the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) asks to see them at a later date.
Québec tax credit for children’s activities
If you’re a Québec resident, you can claim up to $400 paid in 2016 per eligible child (between 6 and 18 years of age) for the cost of physical activities or artistic, cultural or recreational activities. This is a tax credit of $80! If your child suffers from a severe or prolonged impairment, you can claim an extra $80, if you paid at least $75 in registration or membership fees. You can claim this tax credit if:
- You’re a resident of Québec on December 31
- You or your spouse paid:
- A registration fee for the child to be in a physical activity or an artistic program that isn’t part of a school's curriculum and takes place over at least eight consecutive weeks (or five consecutive days as in the case of summer camps); or
- A membership fee for the child in a club, association or similar organization that offers physical activities or an artistic program, as long as the membership is for at least eight consecutive weeks
- Your family income isn’t more than the maximum threshold specified by Revenu Québec and
- You have a receipt as proof of payment for the expenses you paid
Where do I claim this?
Before you begin, make sure that you have told us about the dependants, for whom you will be claiming the Children’s fitness tax credit and/or arts amount.
- Click the name of your dependant on the left-hand navigation panel.
- Select the checkbox for Physical or artistic activities.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Continue.
- When you arrive at the page for Sports & arts, enter your information into the tax software.
Where can I learn more?
- Children's fitness and arts amount (CRA website)
- Tax Credit for Children’s Activities (Revenu Québec website)