While having kids is one of the best experiences in life, there are enormous costs associated with bringing up children. Luckily, a child benefit system in Canada is in place to make things easier. This article looks at the Canada Child Benefit and how to claim this child tax entitlement.
Who Is Eligible For CCB?
Anyone in charge of the care and upbringing of a child can apply for CCB if they or their partner fall into one of the categories below:
- A citizen of Canada,
- A person with a residency that’s permanent in Canada,
- A person who is protected by Canadian laws,
- A person who lives in Canada temporarily and has resided in Canada for the last 18 months,
- A person who is registered under the Indian Act. (The Indian Act is a deed designed to assimilate indigenous peoples and their communities into mainstream Canadian society)
When two people who are partners reside in the same house as the child, the female parent is assumed to be in charge of the maintenance and care. She should be the person applying for the parent’s help government programs Canadian Child Benefit.
Additionally, people may receive the Canada Child Benefit if they look after a child through the kinship program from the government, an Indigenous governing body, a territory, or a province.
When To Apply?
Eligibility to enroll in the Canada Child Benefit becomes possible under the following circumstances:
- The birth of your child,
- A child begins to reside with a person or returns to live with them after a period of residing with someone else,
- You commence a shared custody agreement,
- You gain sole custody of a child.
How To Apply to the Child Benefit?
There are three possible ways to access the Canadian Child Benefit scheme. These are through:
1. Birth Registration
A person can claim the benefit when registering the birth of their child with their province or territory. In most instances, the registration is carried out through a paper application at the hospital. However, Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec residents can register online.
They must provide their consent and Social Insurance Number (SIN) to ensure the Vital Statistics Agency of their province or territory can share the birth registration information with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Without consent, the application will need to be made in another way.
2. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) delivers benefit programs and tax credits. A person can apply for child benefits through the “My Account” section of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) web portal. Follow these steps to apply:
- Sign in to My Account
- Go to the “Apply for child benefits” section,
- Confirm contact information, marital status, and citizenship,
- Add your child’s name, date, place of birth, and gender,
- Review and submit your application
If asked to submit further documents, it can be done through “Submit documents” in My Account.
Complete and sign Form RC66, Canada Child Benefits Application, and send the form to your tax center. The address of your tax center can be found here.
What Documents Are Required?
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may ask you for the following documents:
- Child’s proof of birth. This document is required if benefits were not paid for this child before, and the child was either born outside Canada or was born in Canada and is 12 months of age or older.
- If the male parent is in charge of the care and upbringing, a signed authorization from the female parent is required.
- If applying for a child who began residing with the person more than 11 months ago, they must provide supporting documents for their citizenship status, such as a Canadian birth certificate or passport. Additionally, they must supply proof that they live in Canada by providing at least 3 of the following documents:
- Lease agreement,
- Rent receipt,
- Household bill (gas, electricity, cable television, telephone),
- Driver’s license,
- Vehicle registration, or car insurance,
- Membership in social or professional organizations,
- Proof of birth for each child they are applying for.
How Much Is The Canadian Child Benefit?
In 2022–23, the maximum amount is $6,997 per child under the age of 6 and $5,903 per child aged 6 to 17. The maximum benefit amounts are reduced based on two income thresholds. The first income threshold is $32,797, while the second is $71,060. Other factors taken into account are:
- The number of children in your care,
- The ages of the children,
- The marital status of the applicant,
- The adjusted family net income (AFNI), as reported in last year’s tax return.
A person’s individual CCB payment can be worked out through the calculator on the Canadian government website.
Payment Dates of the Child Benefit
Every month payments are made. The first payment for those who apply online is within 8 weeks of application. For people who applied through the post, the first payment is within 11 weeks of the application. For the 2023 calendar year, people will receive their monthly payments on the 18th, 19th, or 20th of each month. The exception is December when payment is made on the 13th of the month.
Can Payments Get Stopped?
While payments apply until the child reaches the age of 18, they can be stopped for several reasons. These include:
- Not informing the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) of a change of address/bank details,
- Income levels increasing beyond the threshold limit,
- Change in marital status,
- Not filing a tax return.
Like most developed nations, the government of Canada offers its citizens a raft of benefits to make people’s lives easier. The Canadian Child Benefit enables parents and caretakers to access funds to help raise their children and ease the financial burden. We hope this guide has been helpful and given you a greater understanding of Canada’s child tax benefit system.