Family-Friendly Tax Tips for Canadians {Giveaway – 5 Winners}

Tax season

No matter how young or old your kids are, they make life hectic, enjoyable, crazy and wonderful all at the same time. They also make it expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your tax bill this season and help with some child-related expenses. Cleo Hamel, senior tax analyst at H&R Block Canada, offers the following tax tips for families who wish to reduce their 2012 tax bill:

Signed up for kinder gym? The Children’s Fitness Amount is a non-refundable credit that is worth up to $500 for children under the age of 16 enrolled in an eligible program of physical activity. Not every program meets the eligibility guidelines; make sure you keep your receipts. Children with disabilities will qualify for an advanced credit if they are younger than 18.

Kids are a credit: Parents can claim the $2,191 Child Tax Credit for each child younger than 18. This will result in a federal tax saving of $328 per child. If one parent cannot use the entire amount to lower their tax payable, the unused amount can be transferred to a spouse or common-law partner.

Claim childcare: Keep all your receipts for childcare expenses. From daycare to nannies to babysitters, childcare expenses are claimed by the lower-income spouse. Unfortunately, any unused amount cannot be claimed by the higher-income earner unless there was a period of separation of 90 days or more or the other spouse was in school, prison or the hospital. And if you paid your older child to look after younger ones, he or she has to be 18 or older to qualify as a childcare expense.

Use public transit: Taxpayers who use public transit can claim a non-refundable tax credit for their passes. This includes passes purchased for dependent children under the age of 19. The passes have to be for a period of at least one month or weekly passes purchased over a period of four consecutive weeks. Electronic payment cards also qualify.

Artistic impression: The Children’s Arts Credit can cover a wide range of activities from Girl Guides to language lessons to art classes. The organization should provide a receipt so you can claim up to $500 as a non-refundable federal credit.

Canada Learning Bond: Designed to help lower income families the Government provides $500 in a CLB at birth for children whose families are entitled to the National Child Benefit Supplement. As long as the family is still entitled to the supplement, they will receive an additional $100 CLB each year until the age of 15.

Hamel stresses the importance of keeping all your receipts to ensure you can claim everything. Though the tax savings will certainly never equal all the expenses of raising kids, every extra dollar helps.

Avoid missing out on those savings by using tax preparation software, like H&R Block At Home (www.hrblock.ca), which guides Canadians through step-by-step tips to identify every possible deduction or credit, calculates your return as you go, and ensures you get your maximum refund. Worried you missed something using another software program? Take it into an H&R Block office and a tax professional will do a free Second Look review.

H&R Block

Win it: 5 lucky Canadian readers will receive one of 5 unique codes for H&R Block’s online tax system so they can process their taxes online for free. To win enter via Rafflecopter below.

Disclosure: Information provided by H&R Block (www.hrblock.ca). I received a free software code to facilitate this post. No other compensation was provided.

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Angela V

Founder and Writer at One Smiley Monkey blog
Hi, my name is Angela van Tijn and I live in Vancouver, Canada with my wonderful husband, our two boys and our puppy. I am the founder and primary contributor behind One Smiley Monkey. Welcome to my blog!
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30 responses to “Family-Friendly Tax Tips for Canadians {Giveaway – 5 Winners}”

  1. olgj — February 6, 2013 @ 1:34 pm (#)

    I usually do them online myself.

  2. Beth Rosell — February 6, 2013 @ 3:29 pm (#)

    I usually do my own taxes and then take them to H&R block to get the money back right away

  3. deanna_boocock — February 6, 2013 @ 5:48 pm (#)

    I do them myself but they’re getting more and more complicated every year so I need help.

  4. Steve Bobula — February 6, 2013 @ 7:23 pm (#)

    I always have done my taxes purchasing H&R Block Software

  5. harriet h — February 6, 2013 @ 8:33 pm (#)

    I do my own taxes they are simple

  6. mir&a — February 7, 2013 @ 7:19 am (#)

    doing them myself this year!

  7. ElviaML — February 7, 2013 @ 9:28 am (#)

    I usually do them myself online.

  8. Brandy — February 7, 2013 @ 10:55 am (#)

    My husband does our taxes for us.

  9. Gemma — February 7, 2013 @ 12:51 pm (#)

    I usually do them myself so this would be helpful.

  10. Maegan Morin — February 7, 2013 @ 2:05 pm (#)

    My mother in law is an accountant and she usually does our taxes but we still have to mail it in and wait FOREVER so I would love to try this software and see how it goes 😀

  11. Emma — February 7, 2013 @ 2:19 pm (#)

    both, daughter we do ourselves.

  12. Jennifer L. — February 7, 2013 @ 4:09 pm (#)

    I do them myself.

  13. Lindsay Cyr — February 7, 2013 @ 5:00 pm (#)

    I usually do our taxes myself, online. This would be a great big help!

  14. Brenda Witherspoon-Bedard — February 7, 2013 @ 5:12 pm (#)

    we do our own

  15. Angelene Ashawasega — February 7, 2013 @ 8:07 pm (#)

    Thanks for this awesome give away, I need all the help I can get, maybe even my daughter 🙂

  16. Heidi C. — February 7, 2013 @ 8:45 pm (#)

    I usually get help!

  17. Dayna Wilson — February 8, 2013 @ 10:40 am (#)

    I usually do my own. It would be nice to not have to this year!

  18. Shelley — February 8, 2013 @ 3:49 pm (#)

    I do my own taxes, but gee, this software would sure help me!

  19. Robin | Farewell, Stranger — February 9, 2013 @ 3:46 pm (#)

    I usually get someone to do them. Used H&R Block for the first time last year.

  20. Laurie B — February 10, 2013 @ 7:01 am (#)

    I usually do them or have my sister do them.

  21. darci — February 12, 2013 @ 9:42 pm (#)

    I do them and my kids

  22. TAra — February 17, 2013 @ 12:07 am (#)

    I do my own

  23. francine — February 17, 2013 @ 11:04 am (#)

    we usually get our taxes done at hr block so we can get our money right away

  24. harriet h — February 19, 2013 @ 6:20 pm (#)

    I do them myself. it is easy

  25. Rebecca Chestnut — February 21, 2013 @ 8:03 pm (#)

    I have done my own by paper and electronically, but the last couple years had it done for me. Would like to do it electronically again.

  26. Angie B — February 21, 2013 @ 9:07 pm (#)

    I always do them myself.

  27. Olivia L — February 21, 2013 @ 9:09 pm (#)

    I usually do mine and my husband’s

  28. SueSueper — February 24, 2013 @ 7:44 am (#)

    I usually do my own and my husbands. 🙂

  29. Beth — February 27, 2013 @ 1:16 pm (#)

    I do my own…but always owe…so this would be awesome!

  30. shari — February 27, 2013 @ 1:41 pm (#)

    I do my own online

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