What is the Canada Child Tax Benefit?
The Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) is a monthly payment made to lower income families to help with the costs of raising kids in Canada. For those of us who don’t work for Revenue Canada, this program is usually known as the family allowance or even the baby bonus. Usually, it applies to families whose net income is $38,832 or less. Even if you think you probably will not qualify because your family net income is too high, you should still apply. The amount is calculated every July from your net income in the previous year. Revenue Canada runs this program and they will be in touch every July to explain how much you will receive over the following year.
How do you apply?
Even though it can be overwhelming, you should apply for the Canada Child Tax Benefit as soon as your baby arrives. You need to fill out a form to do so. One reason to do it right away is the program will only give you retroactive payments from the past 11 months. Allow up to three months after applying for your first notice to arrive.
What programs are part of the Canada Child Tax Benefit?
With everyone from the federal, provincial, territorial, and first nation’s governments all contributing and naming their donation different names, exactly what you are entitled to under this benefit can get confusing. Here is a basic primer of some of the initiatives that give money through the Canada Child Tax Benefit.
- National Child Benefit Initiative
This is Ottawa’s contribution to the program. It’s sometimes known by its initials: NCB. This money usually tops up the base payments your family might receive under the Canada Child Tax Benefit program.
- Child Disability Benefit (CDB)
If you have a disabled child you may qualify for the Child Disability Benefit that also pays you through the Canada Child Tax Benefit. In order to qualify a certified practitioner has to certify that your baby has a severe and long term physical or mental disability. You can find more information about this benefit
- Provincial programs
Each province has a separate initiative administered by Revenue Canada. You do not need to fill out separate forms for your province’s program. You can just use the Canada Child Tax Benefit form.
What other programs might I be eligible for?
Working income tax benefit
This is a tax credit for low income families who are employed. If you qualify, you can claim it on your income tax return. You have to have babies, or eligible dependents, in tax speak.
This program is paid out four times a year to help lower income families with GST or HST that they pay. You have to apply for this credit every year by filing your income tax return. Check “Yes” on the GST/HST credit application area and put in your marital status. Your baby will be registered for this credit when you apply for the Canada Child Tax Benefit.