The PLN Guide to the Canada Child Benefit

What’s the deal with the new Canada Child Benefit?

If you’re like us, you’ve been hearing that the Universal Child Care Benefit is out and a new Child Benefit is in.  You may have also heard that for most, this should mean more money.  That’s great, you might be thinking.  But how do I know if WE are getting more money and HOW much more are we talking?

The new Liberal government has introduced a tax free payment based on income for families with children under the age of 18.  In the past, everyone got the same amount of money (hence, universal).  As was previously the case, the more children you have, the more money you will receive.  The main difference is that the less money you earn at your job, the more money you will receive as part of your CCB.  The other change will be that this money will be tax free, so you won’t need to report it as income on your taxes.

Anyone making under $30K in family net income will receive the maximum benefit – $6400 per year ($533 per month) for each child under the age of 6 or $5400 per year ($450 per month) for each child ages 6 to 17.  Anyone earning more than $30K family net income will earn incrementally less as their income increases.

Anyone making under $30K in family net income will receive the maximum benefit – $6400 per year ($533 per month) for each child under the age of 6 or $5400 per year ($450 per month) for each child ages 6 to 17.

So, if this is you, you’re probably wondering how to figure out how much you’ll get.  Well, luckily the government has a handy calculator to help you.  You’ll just need your total net income from your 2015 return – so go dig out your tax return from last year and go here or if you have a CRA account, the exact amount you will be getting should be available now online. 

If you were already automatically receiving the UCCB, you will receive this automatically too – you don’t need to apply for the CCB.  If you’re eligible, you should start receiving your first payment in July.  Oh, and those fitness and art tax credits you may have been getting?  Those are going to be phased out over the next two years.   For your 2016 tax return, the maximum eligible amount per child will be reduced to $500 from $1,000 for the children’s fitness tax credit and to $250 from $500 for the children’s arts tax credit. From 2017, these credits will be eliminated, so don’t worry about saving your receipts next year.

So, now that you’ve done the number crunching, are you happy with the changes?  Wondering about special circumstances or your particular situation?  Add your questions below and if you think you have an answer, please feel free to share.

Sakura Dunn

Sakura Dunn

Sakura lives in an old house in the country just outside of Peterborough Ontario with her husband and two young children. She likes to stay busy as a full-time mum and part-time PLNer, but spends most of her day thinking about what new recipe to try for dinner.