Federal Government to Double the Children's Fitness Tax Credit

Ottawa, ON - Larry Maguire, Member of Parliament applauded the Government's decision to enhance the Children's Fitness Tax Credit by increasing the maximum amount that may be claimed under the credit to $1,000 from $500, and by making the credit refundable. Making the credit refundable will increase benefits to low-income families claiming the credit.

The doubling of the maximum amount will be effective for the 2014 tax year and subsequent tax years, and the credit will be made refundable effective for the 2015 and subsequent tax years.

"Today's announcement will assist many Southwestern Manitoba families," Maguire said. "The Children's Fitness Tax Credit is great news for parents and will help offset the costs associated with keeping kids active and involved in sports."

The Children's Fitness Tax Credit currently provides tax relief to 1.4 million families who enrol their children in eligible fitness activities. When fully implemented, these enhancements will deliver additional tax relief to about 850,000 families. The Government of Canada proposes to double the amount that can be claimed for the Children's Fitness Tax Credit to $1,000 from $500, effective for the 2014 and subsequent tax years.

The Children's Fitness Tax Credit was introduced in Budget 2006 by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, who was Minister of Finance at the time. The credit became effective in 2007, and was designed according to the recommendations of the Expert Panel for the Children's Fitness Tax Credit.

Eligibility for the Children's Fitness Tax Credit Eligible activities include strenuous games such as hockey or soccer, activities such as golf lessons, horseback riding, sailing, and bowling, as well as others that require a similar level of physical activity. Fees charged for extracurricular programs that take place in school may be eligible.

The child must have been under 16 years of age (or under 18 years of age if eligible for the disability amount) at the beginning of the year in which the eligible fitness expenses were paid.

The proposed enhancements to the Children's Fitness Tax Credit are in addition to the many measures that the Government of Canada has introduced since 2006 to support Canadian families, including the Universal Child Care Benefit and the Children's Arts Tax Credit.

Families are major beneficiaries of the substantial tax relief that the Government of Canada is providing to all Canadians, such as the 2-percentage-point reduction in the GST, broad-based personal income tax reductions and the new Tax-Free Savings Account, which helps Canadians meet lifetime savings needs.

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