(Archive) Claiming the Children’s Arts Tax Credit – Eliminated Jan 1, 2017.

As of January 1, 2017, the Children’s Arts Amount has been eliminated. The information below refers to the 2016 tax year – the final year to claim this credit.

Dance lessons, music lessons, and many other arts-related activities can make for an awesome childhood. However, they can also prove to be quite expensive for parents. 

Fortunately, there’s the Children’s Arts Tax Credit. Here’s what you need to know about claiming it. 

  1. You can claim up to a maximum of $250 per child to help you recover the cost of registering your child in an eligible “artistic, cultural, recreational, or developmental activity” in 2016. 
  2. To claim the Children’s Arts Tax Credit your child must be under 16 years old at the beginning of the year in which you paid the expenses for the eligible program. You can also claim the Children’s Arts Credit for a person who is under 18 if they qualify for the disability amount at the beginning of the year in which an eligible expense was paid. 
  3. An eligible program is a program that is supervised, suitable for children and meets at least one of the following criteria according to the Canada Revenue Agency: 
  • it contributes to the development of creative skills or expertise in an artistic or cultural activity; 
  • it provides a substantial focus on wilderness and the natural environment; 
  • it helps children develop and use particular intellectual skills; 
  • it includes structured interaction among children where supervisors teach or help children develop interpersonal skills; or 
  • it provides enrichment or tutoring in academic subjects. 
  • the eligible program has to run for a certain period of time to qualify. It has to be ongoing and run for a minimum of eight consecutive weeks or in the case of children’s camps, five consecutive days. So, hiring a tutor to help your child improve her math skills would qualify (as long as the tutoring program lasted at least eight weeks) but a weekend math camp would not. 

5. No double dipping! You can’t claim fees that have already been claimed under some other tax credit or deduction. If your daughter was enrolled in a summer program that included learning kayaking and learning how to paint, you can’t claim both the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and the Children’s Arts Tax Credit related to these same fees.  

6. As with all income tax deductions, you will need receipts to back up your claim.