This month, the new Canada Child Benefit (CCB) replaced the old Canada Child Tax Benefit, including the National Child Benefit Supplement and the Universal Child Care Benefit. Today’s post will explore the essentials of this program. First up, some information from a recent Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Knowledge First Financial:
- Eight in ten (79%) of Canadian parents agree the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) will be an improvement over the previous Universal Childcare Benefit.
- Poll respondents said program benefits will likely pay for, in this order of priority: day-to-day expenses (37% of the total benefit, on average), savings for post-secondary education (22%); childcare expenses (16%), extra activities (14%), family vacations (5%) or other (6%).
Here are some program essentials.
What is it?
CCB is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age. The CCB might include the child disability benefit and any related provincial and territorial programs.
What are the payments?
Our Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) uses information from your income tax return to calculate how much your CCB payments will be. To get the CCB, you have to file your return every year, even if you did not have income in the year. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, they also have to file a return every year. So – the point is – file your tax return on time to take advantage of this program.
CCB payments are paid out over a 12-month period from July of one year to June of the next year. Your benefit payments will be recalculated every July based on tax return from the previous year.
The first CCB payment was made on July 20, 2016.
Is there a maximum payment?
Yes. The CCB payment will be:
- a maximum benefit of $6,400 per child under the age of 6, and
- up to $5,400, per child, aged 6 through 17.
Families with less than $30,000 in net income will receive the maximum benefit.
My understanding is also this: families whose children qualify for the disability tax credit can receive an additional amount as part of their Canada Child Benefit, up to a maximum annual benefit of $2,730 per child eligible for the disability tax credit.
CRA has provided a nice little child and family benefits calculator here.
There is more information about the CCB program here.
Do you need to apply?
No. Forget about any application for CCB but do this:
- File your income tax return, every year, on time.
- Keep your personal information up to date with CRA.
- Keep all your supporting documents (such as personal information) up to date and copies ready to submit to CRA (in case they ask).
Our government has tried to streamline and simplify this program over previous versions, and it appears they’ve moved in the right direction.
Of course government programs could always be easier and clearer but if you have young children, I suggest you take advantage of all the eligible government benefits you and other Canadians pay into – that includes the new Canada Child Benefit program.
What do you make of the CCB program? Did you get your CCB cheque? How are you going to use the money?
What if one files their taxes late, but is otherwise eligible? Will they get the payment for months missed before the tax return is processed?
I suspect if you don’t file on time, your CCB payment might be delayed, this is their trigger.
I’m definitely for this in particular for the lower-income families who could use it the most. If it puts food in their bellies and clothes and necessary school supplies for them, that’d be a huge boon for the kids.
When I have kids in a couple of years, I’ll be putting these payments into their RESP. That’s the best gift I can get them with the CCB payments.
Sounds like a smart plan KC. I think spending the CCB on anything else other than the kids, today, for the future, is probably not a good idea.
Agreed, but too often the parents use the money for other than care of the kids.
Yes, they do!
I’m too old to be affected by this new program. Having said that, I hope that it really does have a positive effect on the kids living in poverty. I also hope that the parents receiving these payments take a brief moment to thank the millions of taxpayers that will never get anything from the program yet ultimately pay for it.
Well put Lloyd! We will never benefit from this program either but if it gets one child out of poverty I’m all for it.
I won’t see a penny or a nickel or dime from it at all – no kids.
Well said. Ultimately we all (taxpayers) pay the price for waste. Here’s hoping most families use the money wisely.
Ya, I should have said “ultimately help pay for it”.