Children's arts tax credit

Did you know?

Parents whose children participate in paid artistic, cultural, recreational, and developmental programs will now enjoy the same benefit as parents whose children participate in paid programs of physical activity. The children’s arts tax credit is a new non-refundable tax credit based on eligible expenses paid for the cost of registration or membership of your, your spouse's or common-law partner's child in a qualifying program.

Important facts

  • You may be able to claim up to $500 per child for the fees paid in 2011 that relate to the cost of registration or membership of your or your spouse's or common-law partner's child in a prescribed program of artistic, cultural, recreational, or developmental activity.
  • The child must have been under 16 years of age (or under 18 years of age if qualified for the disability tax credit) at the beginning of the year in which an eligible arts expense was paid.
  • To qualify for this amount, a program must:
    1. be ongoing (it must last at least eight consecutive weeks or, in the case of children's camps, five consecutive days);
    2. be supervised;
    3. be suitable for children, and the program must also include a significant amount of activity that:
      • is intended to contribute to the ability to develop creative skills or expertise, acquire and apply knowledge, or improve dexterity or coordination in an artistic or cultural discipline (such as literary arts, visual arts, performing arts, music, media, languages, customs, and heritage);
      • provides a substantial focus on wilderness and the natural environment;
      • helps children develop and use particular intellectual skills;
      • includes structured interaction among children where supervisors teach or help children develop interpersonal skills; or
      • provides enrichment or tutoring in academic subjects.

Organizations are in the best position to determine if the programs they offer are eligible. Make sure to get a receipt from organizations that provide art programs for which you paid to enroll your child. More information on eligible programs and activities can be found at www.cra.gc.ca/artscredit.

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