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.
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?