What is the
Canada Child Tax Benefit, and how does it work?
The Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible Canadian families to help them with the cost of raising children under age 18.
The money from the Canada Child Tax Benefit (or the "Canada Child Tax Credit") can be used for any purpose or expense, it's entirely up to you. Many families choose to put it toward an RESP for their child.
The CCTB may also include the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS), which is a monthly benefit for low-income families with children (the NCBS is often referred to as the "Baby Bonus"), and the Child Disability Benefit (CDB), a monthly benefit providing financial assistance for qualified families caring for children with severe and prolonged mental or physical impairments.
|Parents who qualify for the NCBS (ie. "Baby Bonus") receive the money each month, based on the annual income of the household and the number of children. The actual amount you receive is based on your most recent tax return, and changes every June to reflect your most current income.
To receive it, you must be either a citizen of Canada, permanent resident or temporary resident who has lived in Canada for 18 months or more.
The National Child Benefit is a joint initiative of the federal, provincial, and territorial governments to help prevent and reduce child poverty, to ensure that families will always be better off as a result of working, and reduce overlap and duplication of government programs and services.
The Canadian Government offers more detailed information on the baby bonus / National Child Tax Benefit on their website at www.nationalchildbenefit.ca
How do I apply?
You may apply immediately following your child's birth. It takes about eight to ten weeks to process your application. You will receive the money retroactively to the first month after the child was born. Generally, the hospital (or midwife in case of a home birth) will have the application form for you.
The online application form can be found at: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/rc66/rc66-09e.pdf
How much will I receive?
To calculate how much you should expect to receive, follow this link to the Revenue Canada website:
If you do not qualify using the previous year's income when you first apply for the Child Tax Benefit, your situation will be re-evaluated every July using the most recent year's income information, or when you have another baby. If you are receiving the Child Tax Benefit, you may also qualify to receive the Additional Canada Education Savings Grant (A-CESG) in your RESP. Contact your RESP provider to ensure they apply on your behalf.
Are you eligible?
To be eligible to receive the CCTB, you must live with the child and be a resident of Canada for income tax purposes.
What else can I do to improve my financial situation?
Your credit score is an important part of your financial well-being. You should know what your credit score is (FICO score) and make sure that it is accurate. Sometimes there can be errors on your credit record that will cause you to pay higher interest rates or even be declined for credit unnecesssarily. Get a copy of your credit report, and if you find your credit score is not what it should be, take the steps you need to improve it, usually it's not too difficult.