Millions of Canadians enrol their children in artistic, cultural, recreational and developmental activities each and every year. These activities contribute to a child's development and help create Canada's next great artists. To help with the costs associated with children's arts activities, the Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan proposes to introduce a Children's Arts Tax Credit. The credit will be available for a wide range of activities that contribute to a child's development and are not eligible for the Children's Fitness Tax Credit.
The Children's Arts Tax Credit builds on the Government's actions to help parents and their children, such as the Children's Fitness Tax Credit, which provides tax relief for fees paid for children's activities such as hockey, soccer, basketball, gymnastics and baseball. Close to 1.4 million individuals benefit from the Children's Fitness Tax Credit each year.
Parents will be able to claim the 15-per-cent non-refundable Children's Arts Tax Credit on up to $500 of qualifying expenses per child incurred in 2011 and future years for a child who is under age 16 at the beginning of the tax year. The age limit will be 18 for children eligible for the Disability Tax Credit, and an additional $500 amount will be provided in those instances.
To qualify for the Children's Arts Tax Credit, a program must be:
Registration costs for participation in an eligible artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental program not covered by the Children's Fitness Tax Credit may be claimed under the Children's Arts Tax Credit.
Fees charged for programs that form part of a school's curriculum will not be eligible.
The Canada Revenue Agency will make final determinations regarding the eligibility of particular activities, programs and expenses. The list of examples presented above is not exhaustive.
Rick and Andrea have two young children, Adam and Chloe. Every year, Adam plays in a minor hockey league and attends a week-long music camp in the summer, while Chloe plays competitive soccer and takes art lessons. With the introduction of the Children's Arts Tax Credit, Rick and Andrea may claim between them up to $500 for Adam's music camp and up to $500 for Chloe's art lessons—this is in addition to eligible expenses of up to $500 they may claim for Adam's hockey and up to $500 for Chloe's soccer under the Children's Fitness Tax Credit. As a result, in 2011, Rick and Andrea may claim a credit on up to $2,000 in expenses for their children's activities.
The Children's Arts Tax Credit builds on previous actions taken since 2006 to support families, including:
The next phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan
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