Child Tax, Families

Children’s Arts Tax Credit

NOTE: The 2016 Federal Budget announced the elimination of both the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and the Children’s Arts Amount. By 2017, both of these credits were completely phased out.


What is the Children’s Arts Tax Credit (CATC)?
Starting in the 2011 tax year, the Federal government will be offering a new child tax credit. You will be able to claim a non-refundable tax credit if you paid for a child to participate in programs that contribute to his or her development and do not fall under the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit. You can claim up to $500 per year per child under 16 at the beginning of the year. Different rules apply to children receiving the disability tax credit.

How is the credit calculated?
Each year, the CATC will represent the lowest personal income tax rate (15% in 2011) multiplied by the eligible amount for each child.

Who can claim the CATC?

You can claim the cost of registration or membership in an eligible program that your child, your spouse’s or your common-law partner’s child was enrolled in.

What programs are eligible?

  • Those that help develop creativity, artistic ability or focus on culture; for example, drum lessons, Mandarin classes, tap dancing lessons;
  • Those that focus on nature like nature classes and camps;
  • Those centered on intellectual skills such as computer camps, chess classes, sewing, or public speaking courses;
  • Those that involve structured and supervised interaction between children like Brownies and Girl Guides;
  • Those that focus on academic subjects such as math tutoring, science camps, or creative writing classes.

Are there other requirements?
Yes. The program must be ongoing, that is either a minimum of once a week for at least 8 weeks or 5 consecutive days, supervised and intended for children. The program cannot be part of a school curriculum.

Who determines if a program is eligible for the Children’s Arts Tax Credit?
The organization offering the program will determine that. They will also give you a receipt that is acceptable to the CRA.

What happens if my child is registered for a program that offers both physical and artistic activities?
In that case, you will get the Children’s Fitness amount for your expenses, but not both.

For more detailed information about eligible expenses and programs, please visit

TurboTax has helped millions of Canadians file for Free! Try TurboTax Free with no income limits. For more info on TurboTax Free, click here.