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Maximizing The Children's Fitness Amount

By Evelyn Jacks

Private lessons for after school sports, dance and music cost lots of money, but it's all worth it, particularly if a tax deduction or credit can help with costs. While it's not that much in real dollar terms, the Children's Fitness Amount, a non-refundable tax credit of up to $500, provides some recognition of these costs to parents.

Where the child is eligible for the disability amount and the qualifying fitness expenditures are at least $100, an additional credit of $75.00 may be claimed.

Here are some details for you; the big issue is remembering to keep the receipts in a safe place!

Parents Can Split Claim. This credit may be claimed by either parent or split between them so long as the total amount claimed does not exceed the allowable claim. To be eligible for the credit, fees must be paid in respect of eligible expenses in an eligible program of physical activity.

Eligible Programs. An eligible program of physical activity is defined as an ongoing program intended to enhance the physical strength, balance and endurance of participating children.

Claimable Expenditures. The following items are eligible for the children's fitness tax credit:

  • operation and administration of the program
  • instructions
  • renting facilities
  • equipment used in common (e.g. team jerseys provided for the season)
  • referees and judges
  • incidental supplies (e.g. trophies).

Expenses that are not eligible include the purchase or rental of equipment for exclusive personal use, travel, meals and accommodation.

Filing Requirements The claim is made on Schedule 1, line 365. A claim for the amount for children's fitness needs to be supported by a tax receipt that contains information sufficient for the CRA to monitor compliance. Similarly, organizations are required to keep relevant books and records. Taxpayers should retain the receipts issued by the organizations that delivered the programs.

Child Care Expenses. Some expenses may be eligible for both the Children's Fitness Amount and as child care expenses. In that case, the expenses must first be claimed as child care expenses. Only the unused amount after claiming child care expenses may be claimed for the fitness credit amount.

Bankruptcy. Where an individual becomes bankrupt in the year, the Children's Fitness Tax Credit on the pre- and post-bankruptcy returns must be pro-rated according to the number of days in each period.


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