Fitness tax credit
Children's physical activity
Since 2007, a non-refundable tax credit has been available for eligible fitness expenses paid to register a child in a prescribed program of physical activity. The credit lets a parent claim up to $500 a year for each child under 16 years of age or under 18 years of age if eligible for the disability tax credit, at the beginning of the year in which an eligible fitness expense was paid. Expenses must be claimed in the same year they were paid. Children with disabilities are eligible for an additional credit.
Always ask for a receipt when registering your child. The organizations providing the program will determine the part of the fee that qualifies for the children’s fitness amount.
How does it work?
The children’s fitness tax credit is calculated by multiplying your total eligible expenses by the lowest marginal tax rate (the rate for 2012 is 15%).
Fitness costs qualify for the tax credit when they cover the cost of registration or membership for an eligible child in a prescribed program of physical activity. To qualify, a program must:
- be ongoing (either a minimum of eight consecutive weeks or, for children’s camps, five consecutive days)
- be supervised
- be suitable for children
- require a significant amount of physical activity that contributes to cardio-respiratory endurance plus one or more of muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and/or balance. If your child is eligible for a disability tax credit, this condition is met if the activity results in movement and in an observable use of energy in a recreational context.
No motors, please!
Activities that involve riding on or in a motorized vehicle as an essential part of the activity - for example, dirtbike racing - do not qualify for the children’s fitness tax credit.
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