Is This Receipt For The Children’s Fitness Or The Arts Credit?

By Randall Orser | Personal Income Tax

healthcare TNThe Children’s Fitness and Arts credits were brought in just a few years ago, and have been very popular with parents of active kids. Any child under 16 years of age qualifies for either of these credits.

What are The Fitness and Children’s Arts Credits?

The children’s arts tax credit and the children’s fitness tax credit allow you to claim a 15% non-refundable tax credit on an amount up to $500 per child per credit on the fees you’ve paid in 2013 to register a child in a prescribed program of eligible activities. This can give you a credit of up to $75 per child per credit.

  • Eligible activities for the children’s arts tax credit include artistic or cultural activities such as art classes, piano lessons, and tutoring, as well as other activities that are intended to improve a child’s dexterity or co-ordination.
  • Eligible activities for the children’s fitness tax credit include strenuous games like hockey or soccer and activities such as golf lessons, horseback riding, sailing, and bowling, as well as others that require a similar level of physical activity.
  • You can claim these credits for your child, as well as for the child of your spouse or common-law partner.
  • The child must have been under 16 years of age (or under 18 years of age if eligible for the disability tax credit) at the beginning of the year in which the eligible expenses were paid.
  • You can claim an additional amount of $500 for each eligible child who qualifies for the disability amount and for whom you paid a minimum of $100 in registration or membership fees.
  • Two parents can claim eligible fees for the same child, as long as they do not claim the same fees and the combined amount is not more than $500.

Can an expense be used for one or the other credit? That’s a tough one. Canada Revenue Agency states ‘Eligible expenses do not include amounts that can be claimed as the federal children’s fitness amount’ under the Children’s Art’s Credit, and vice versa under the Fitness Credit. However, I’ve never had them reject using Dance under the Art’s Credit rather than the Fitness Credit as long as the Fitness credit is already used up for that child.

For the fitness credit, the expense must require significant physical activity. Physical activity includes strenuous games like hockey or soccer, activities such as golf lessons, horseback riding, sailing and bowling as well as others that require a similar level of physical activity.

For the arts credit, it must help in the development of creative skills or expertise in an artistic or cultural activity, focus on wilderness or natural environment, develop and use of intellectual skills, interpersonal skills development, or provide enrichment or tutoring in academic subjects. This would include literary arts, visual arts, performing arts, music, media, languages, customs, and heritage.

As you can see the two credits are quite different. The only expense that may be split between the two is dance. Dance is a very physical activity, though it is more in the performing arts/music arena. If the dance is more to help with physical strength, endurance, or coordination then it could be considered for the fitness credit.

For the fitness and arts credits, it’s best to ensure that what you are claiming for them is actually for that credit. Look at the expense and see how it fits the criteria for that credit.

About the Author

Bookkeeper Extraordinaire Number Crunchers® Financial Services Learn how to just say stuff it to this bookkeeping thing with our 'Just Say: "Stuff It" To Bookkeeping program.