Tips & advice

Tax Credits for Families: Which Provinces Offer the Best?

There’s no question the cost of raising kids today is high  From childcare to education and everything in between,  it can be a little overwhelming if you break down how much it actually costs to raise a kid to adulthood (and let’s be honest – in many families the purse strings aren’t exactly tightened the minute the 18th birthday rolls around!)

While there are a number of tax breaks for families at the federal level, the provinces also have their own programs and initiatives that can ease the financial burden for families.   In fact, many provinces mirror their own provincial tax credits after those at the national level – for example, Ontario offers the Children’s Activity Tax Credit, which piggybacks on the federal Children’s Fitness Tax Credit.

But some provinces also offer other unique breaks. Probably the most well-known perk is the Quebec government’s $7 a day subsidized daycare program.  That province also made headlines when it became the first jurisdiction on the continent to offer subsidized in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments.   Previously, couples seeking to grow their families were eligible for a refundable tax credit of 50 per cent of admissible costs for treatments; now, the province will fully fund up to three cycles of treatment.

Manitoba now offers a family-friendly tax credit to help pay for costly fertility treatments, too.  The new Fertility Treatment Tax Credit provinces couples with 40 per cent credit on eligible expenses of to $20,000 a year for a maximum benefit of $8,000.

Aside from fertility treatments, Newfoundland and Labrador offers the Mother Baby Nutrition Supplement , which helps with the cost of extra food during pregnancy and infancy for low income families with infants. Eligible families receive $60 a month with an additional one-time payment of $90 during the month of a child’s birth.

Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan also offer a Graduate Tax Credit and a Graduate Retention Program (GRP) respectively, which are available to residents living and working in the province who graduated from an eligible post-secondary program.  (Hey, maybe an extra incentive to start tightening the purse strings and encourage those kiddos to get out on their own after all!)

These are just a few of the many breaks that are available for families (or families to be!) across the country – and while there’s no one-size-fits all ‘best’ province, there are definite differences between them that may influence your choice of residence, depending on your needs.

Did you move to a specific province to take advantage of a specific family benefit?