Family Tax Deductions: What Can I Claim?

Being a parent has been the most incredible experience of my life – including all those sleepless nights.  Being a parent has also been very expensive – worth every cent, but according to the 2015 MoneySense Magazine study, it costs on average $13,366 per year to raise a child to 18-years-old.

To offset the costs of being a parent, the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) has provided a number of ways for families to save money through tax deductions and tax credits.

Check out this video on tax tips for parents:


Child Care Expense Deduction

Child care is a deduction from gross income that you may make if you use daycare or babysitters, while you work or go to school. There are annual limits that vary with each child’s age and, if your child has a disability, a higher limit may be available. Any disability must be approved by the CRA to claim benefit.

You can claim the following childcare expenses incurred in 2017:

  • Caregivers such as nannies and babysitters
  • Day nursery schools and daycare centres
  • Educational institutions that provide childcare services
  • Day camps and day sports schools with a primary goal of childcare
  • Boarding schools, overnight sports schools, or camps where lodging is involved

You may also claim advertising or placement agency costs incurred to locate a childcare specialist. Click on this link for more information on other childcare expense deductions.

What important to note is that if you pay an individual person – such as a nanny or babysitter – for childcare, you must provide their Social Insurance Number as well as all related receipts. A good tip to follow is asking for these ahead of time instead of at the end of the year.

As a Canadian taxpayer, you can claim (up to) the following amounts:

  • $8,000 per child under 7
  • $5,000 per child between 7 to 16
  • $11,000 for disabled, dependent children who qualify for the disability tax credit
  • $5,000 for a disabled child over 16 who does not qualify for the disability tax credit but is still dependent on you

For a boarding school or overnight camp that provides childcare, you may only claim the following amounts (up to):

  • $200 per week for a child under 7
  • $125 per week for a child 7 and 16
  • $275 per week for an eligible disabled child

Transferred and Pooled Credits

In some cases, tax credits may have no effect on a taxpayer’s return, such as when they are already in refund status. In the case of families, many of these credits — all or the surplus portion — may be transferable to another family member.

The transit pass tax credit can be claimed individually or for any dependent children under 19 years old. However, this credit was eliminated as as June 30, 2017.

The tuition tax credit can be claimed or carried forward by the student, or may be transferred to the student’s parent, grandparent or spouse, or student’s spouse’s parent or grandparent.

Medical expenses may be declared on family totals. To qualify, expenses must exceed the current level set by the CRA or 3 percent of net income, whichever amount is lower.

Unlock your Credits and Deductions with TurboTax!

As a new parent, you may be worried you can’t do your taxes yourself. TurboTax has been helping Canadians get their taxes done right, and get their maximum refund for more than 20 years! We help guide you through your taxes step-by-step and automatically search through more than 400 credits and deductions to find all the ones that apply to you.

You can also easily get answers to your questions. TurboTax SmartLook is a new feature that virtually brings tax and product experts directly to you through one-way video technology.  This online, on-demand service can connect you to live, personalized advice from tax and product experts, which means that when it comes to your taxes, “do it yourself” no longer means doing it alone.

If you need more help, TurboTax Live may be for you. With TurboTax Live Assist & Review, a tax expert is available throughout your tax preparation to answer questions, then when you are done they will full review your return to make sure it is correct and you’re claiming all the credits and deductions that apply to you.

With TurboTax Live Full Service, we can fully prepare and file your tax for you! Just upload your slips and receipts to your secure online account, we’ll prepare your return, review it with you then file it with the CRA – all without you having to leave the comfort of your home!