Let’s be real. Raising children is expensive. With a significant portion of your take-home income going to child care, programs, and medical expenses, every dollar counts. That’s why every parent should know about the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), which offers tax-free monthly payments to support Canadians raising children under 18 years old. 

Parents, this one’s for you.

Key Takeaways
  1. The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) provides a tax-free monthly payment to families to help them with the cost of raising children under the age of 18.
  2. You must meet specific criteria to qualify for the CCB, such as living with the eligible child/children and being a resident of Canada.  
  3. You could receive a benefit of up to $6,833 per child annually.

What is the Canada Child Benefit (CCB)?

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) provides a direct, tax-free monthly payment to families with kids under 18 years old. CCB Benefits are paid over a 12-month period from July to June of the next year. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recalculates your payments every July based on your family net income from the previous year. 

If you are caring for a child (or children) under the age of 18 with a long-term physical or mental impairment, your monthly CCB payment may be supplemented with the Child Disability Benefit (CDB). If you are eligible for the CCB and your child is eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC), you will receive the Child Disability Benefit automatically. There’s no need to apply.

Who is eligible to receive the Canada Child Benefit (CCB)?

To begin, you or your spouse or common-law partner must be either:

  • A Canadian citizen,
  • A Permanent resident,
  • A Protected person,
  • A Temporary resident who has lived in Canada throughout the previous 18 months, or
  • Registered under the Indian Act.

You must also meet all of the following conditions:

  • Live with a child who is under the age of 18.
  • Be primarily responsible for their care and upbringing. This is the parent who is the child’s main caregiver, taking care of their daily and medical needs and supervising their everyday activities.
  • Be a resident of Canada for tax purposes.

How to apply for CCB (Canada Child Benefit)?

You can apply for the Canada Child Benefit by filling out the Form RC66 and attaching it to your tax return, or you can apply online through your CRA My Account.

You’ll need to apply for the benefit each year, and fill out an RC66 form each time, which is easy and automatic when you file using TurboTax.

Don’t forget, only the primarily responsible parent should apply for the Canada Child Benefit since there’s only one monthly payment per family. The partner of the primarily responsible parent (the one that isn’t applying for the CCB) needs to sign the RC66 form to confirm that the information provided is true.

What is the maximum amount I can receive from the CCB (Canada Child Benefit)? 

If you’re eligible for the CCB, you might be able to receive up to $6,833 per child each year. The CRA decides how much you actually get depending on a number of things, including:

    • The number of children living with you
    • The age of the children
    • Your family’s net income
    • Your child or children’s eligibility for the child disability benefit
    • Your family’s net income (your net income plus the net income of your spouse or common-law partner, if applicable)

      Tip: You can only get the maximum amount if all your children are under 5 years old.     For each child you have between ages 6 and 17, you can receive up to $5,765 each year. Every July, the CRA will recalculate your payment amount, so it’s common to see small changes between your June and July payments every year. 

When do I receive my CCB (Canada Child Benefit) payments?

Your benefit payments begin in July of the benefit year and get paid out over a period of 12 months until June of the next year. If you keep applying each year and successfully qualify for CCB, there will likely be no breaks in your payments. 

Here’s a breakdown of CCB payment dates for 2022

  • January 20, 2022
  • February 18, 2022
  • March 18, 2022
  • April 20, 2022
  • May 20, 2022
  • June 20, 2022
  • July 20, 2022
  • August 19, 2022
  • September 20, 2022
  • October 20, 2022
  • November 18, 2022
  • December 13, 2022

Does my marital status matter?

As such,  It’s very important that you keep your marital status up to date and report any changes to the CRA as soon as possible, since any changes may impact your benefit payments. 

Can I apply for the CCB if my child only lives with me part time? 

It depends on your child custody situation, as outlined by the CRA:

Situation

What it means

CRA Process

Shared Custody

Your child spends equal time between both parents

  • Each parent must tell the CRA of their custody agreement
  • Each parent will get exactly 50% of what they would’ve gotten if they had full custody of the child, 

Full Custody (You)

Your child lives with you most of the time

  • Only you can apply to receive the CCB

Full Custody (Them)

Your child lives with the other parent most of the time

  • Only the other parent can apply to receive the CCB

Temporary Custody

Your child usually lives with one parent, but goes to live with the other parent for a temporary period (ie: summer)

  • The parent that gets custody on a temporary basis can apply to get CCB payments for that period. 
  • When the child returns to live with the other parent, that parent needs to reapply to start getting the payments again.

Where can I find my CCB information?

You can easily access information about your CCB benefits and payments by logging into your CRA My Account. You can also use the MyBenefits CRA app, or sign up for email reminders about your CCB benefits.

When you’re a parent, you need all the breaks you can get – which is why you should never let a tax break slip through the cracks. TurboTax helps you file your return quickly and easily. Our tax software helps you find every credit and deduction, ensuring nothing is left of the table.

If you’d like even more guidance, check out TurboTax Live, where you’ll get unlimited access to live tax experts who can answer all your questions, review your tax return, or even prepare your return completely, from start to finish. The easy way. 

*TurboTax Live™ Full Service is not available in Québec.

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