Children Fitness Credit Helps Kids Stay Active

by Guest on September 23, 2011

September usually means parents are signing their kids up to play sports, take lessons or keep active. The $500 Children’s Fitness Credit is meant to give parents a little credit for registering.

Once the kids start back at school, it seems like everything re-starts. Across the country, parents are already standing on the sidelines of soccer games, keeping their fingers warm on a cup of coffee watching hockey tryouts or driving their children to basketball games. It is back into the regular routines.

Parents enrolling their children in fitness activities are probably already aware of the $500 federal Children’s Fitness Credit. The credit allows parents to claim up to $500 of registration costs for programs that promote physical activities for children under 16.

Qualifying programs have to be a minimum of eight consecutive weeks, be supervised, suitable for children and require a significant amount of physical activity. The $500 cannot include items such as travel and equipment costs.

The credit translates into about $75 of tax savings for parents and can be claimed by either parent. If parents are separated or divorced, the parent paying for the activity can make the claim. However, the maximum claim per child is $500.

Disabled children are eligible up to age 18 and are allowed an additional $500 credit for equipment. When the government introduced the credit, they realized disabled children usually need some kind of additional equipment in order to participate. The extra money is to help with this expense.

More provinces are starting to introduce similar credits on the provincial tax return. Manitoba, Yukon, Nova Scotia and Ontario all have a similar credit. This means if you spent money on fitness programs you can claim the federal credit and the provincial credit using the same receipt.

And if you do not spend $500 for the year but still registered your children in qualifying programs, you can still make a claim. Even $100 in fees means $15 in federal tax savings. The organization operating the program should provide you with an appropriate receipt to use at tax time, so make sure you ask if you don’t receive one.

 

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