What's in this article?
- What is this?
- Am I eligible?
- Where do I claim this?
- Where can I learn more?
The Children’s Fitness Amount is a refundable federal tax credit that allows you to claim up to $1,000 per child for registration or membership fees paid in the year for the participation of your (or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s) child in qualifying physical activity programs.
This credit can be claimed by either you or your spouse or common-law partner, if you are preparing your returns together. When we optimize your returns, the 2015 H&R Block Tax Software will review your information and automatically post this credit to the person who has the highest income and who will reap the most benefit from the credit.
Last year, you may have claimed this amount as a non-refundable tax credit (credit to help to reduce the amount of federal tax you owe). This year, the Children Fitness Amount tax credit is fully refundable (can reduce the amount of tax you have to pay, and can help you to get a larger refund). This means that you can claim up to $1,000 for this credit, to reduce the amount of money you might owe in taxes or to help you to get a larger refund.
- Either parent can make this claim or split the claim amount in any proportion, as long as the claim total does not exceed $1,000 per child. It may be advantageous for the parent with the higher income to claim the full Children’s Fitness Amount.
- If you have a child who is under 18 at the beginning of the year, and who also qualifies for the disability amount, you can claim an additional amount of $500 if you spent at least $100 on registration or membership fees for a prescribed program (click this link to learn more) - this means that you can claim up to $1,500.
- If you paid an amount that would qualify for the Children’s Fitness Amount and childcare expense, you must first claim the amount as a childcare expense. Any unused amount can be claimed against the children’s fitness amount or the children’s arts amount.
For example: A summer day camp, for a child, typically has components of swimming, outdoor games, etc. The 'camp' is considered to be a day care expense, however, the cost typically exceeds the amount you can claim for a day care (camp) expense (based on CRA regulations). Any amount that you do not claim as a day care expense can be claimed as a Children's Fitness Amount (or a Children's Arts Amount, depending on the camp activities).
To be eligible for the Children’s Fitness Amount, the child must be:
- Under 16 years of age at the start of the year; or
- Under 18 years of age, if eligible for the disability tax credit at the beginning of the year.
In addition, the qualifying physical activity must be ongoing (at least eight consecutive weeks or, in the case of children’s camps, five consecutive days), suitable for children, supervised, and enhance the cardio-respiratory endurance of the child and one or more of:
- Muscular strength
- Muscular endurance
Examples of physical activity include soccer, skating, dancing, karate, swimming, and hockey.
Programs that are a part of a school’s curriculum or sports-academics program do not qualify. However, fees for extra-curricular activities that take place on school premises are allowed.
Important: Before you begin, you must make sure that you have told us about your dependants. To do this:
- Click the HOME tab.
- Click the ABOUT YOUR DEPENDANTS link. Enter all the required information about your dependants.
Note: If you want to enter more than one dependant, click the +Add Another Dependant button on your screen.
Once you have told us about your dependants, follow these steps to claim the Children’s Fitness Amount:
- Click the name of your dependant on the left-hand navigation panel. You will find yourself here:
- Under the EXPENSES section, click the checkbox for Physical or artistic activities.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Continue.
When you arrive at the page for Sports & arts, enter your information into the tax software.
- What expenses qualify for the Children's fitness amount? (H&R Block Help Centre article)
- Children’s fitness tax credit (CRA website)
- Line 365 – Children’s fitness amount (CRA website)