If you are an Ontario resident and have enrolled your kids in music or dance lessons, you might want to take advantage of the Ontario Children’s Activity Tax Credit (CATC) when preparing your income taxes. The CATC, which was introduced late last year, allows parents to claim up to $500 of eligible expenses per child. The refundable credit is worth $50 per child under 16 years of age and $100 for a child with disability under 18 years of age.

The CATC applies to a wider range of activities than the Federal Children’s Fitness Tax Credit. In addition to sports, arts, music, language and even tutoring expenses qualify for the credit. Check this page for the list of activities eligible for the credit. You have to claim the CATC on Form ON479 “Ontario Credits” in Line 6309.

It is not clear to me if taxpayers can claim the same activity for both the Children’s Fitness Amount as well as under the CATC. As the wording on the Ontario Ministry of Revenue page does not explicitly forbid claiming both tax credits for the same activity, I’m assuming taxpayers are allowed to do so. If you are preparing taxes with software, you may have to manually update Line 6309. While claiming our kids’ music lessons, I found that TurboTax did not automatically include the swimming fees claimed under the Federal fitness amounts for the CATC.

This article has 4 comments

  1. Francine C. Boivin

    I gave 204$ for a young boy, karate lessons his parents could not afford.

    I’m from the Quebec province. I thought I could claim the sum in my federal report. My accountant said no.

    Fair?

    I can cheat, ask for another receipt at the parents’ nave so they could claim but I don’t like it.

    There is very often something of that kind in all those programs. That’s why I prefer fewer of them and more money in my pocket, to do as I choose to do. As it is now, I feel I pay with my own taxes to give money to the parents who did exactly what I did for a child…

    F.C. Boivin

    • @Francine: I totally agree with you. I hate how our tax code is progressively polluted with these so-called “targeted” tax cuts. We have a ton of them now. The Tories are talking about a Children’s Arts Tax Credit and an adult fitness credit. These micro tax credits are also going to be awfully difficult to get rid of. When is this madness going to end?

  2. Hey CC! This message isn’t about the Ontario Children’s Activity Tax Credit and I know that the overwhelming majority of your readers are in the more populous provinces like Ontario and Quebec, but this past weekend I stumbled across a very interesting provincial tax credit here in New Brunswick that I didn’t know about… It’s called the Small Business Investor Tax Credit Program and can be found here:

    http://www.gnb.ca/0162/tax/sbitc/smallbusiness-e.asp#description

    I found it extremely interesting and I’ve been contemplating how I might be able to take advantage of this tax credit. I haven’t figured it out yet, but it may be worth spreading the word that it exists. It seems like an interesting concept, in terms of providing economic stimulus.

    Phil

  3. It’s easy to miss in TurboTax, but when entering the Federal Child Fitness Credit, there is a button to click for the Ontario Children’s Activity Tax Credit, where you enter the fitness amounts (again).