The Canada Child Benefit has been a lifeline for many Canadian families, helping them offset the expensive costs of raising a child in Canada. If you have a child or children below the age of eighteen or you are primarily responsible for the upbringing of the child or children, you could be eligible for the Canada Child Benefit (CCB).
Imagine getting paid by the government for raising your own child and you are not paying any tax on the received payment, just to make life a little easier for you and your kids.
What is Canada Child Benefit (CCB)?
Canada child benefit was introduced in 2016 as a replacement for the Universal Childcare Benefit (UCCB) and the Canada Child Tax Benefit. It is fully backed by the Canadian government as a monthly stipend to eligible families.
Child benefits or allowances are paid by the government to the parents or guardians of children and teenagers, as a social security payment to cater for the well-being of the children.
The Canada Child Benefit is a monthly payment that is free from taxation, to ease the cost of raising children under eighteen years in Canada.
The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency on behalf of the government.
Eligibility for the Canada Child Benefit (CCB)
In order to be eligible for the Canada child benefit, the parent or guardian of the child or children must have fulfilled the following requirements:
- You live with the child, and the child must be under eighteen years of age (0-17 years old).
- You are primarily responsible for the care, upbringing and upkeep of the child or children.
- You are a taxable resident of Canada.
- You or your spouse or common law partner must be a citizen of Canada, or a permanent resident, or a protected person, or a temporary resident who has lived in Canada for the past eighteen months with a valid permit.
It should be noted that the Canada Child Benefit is not automatic; you must apply for it if you are primarily responsible for the child, if you have filed your tax return, and if you meet the above requirements.
When to Apply for the Canada Child Benefit (CCB)
Applying for the Canada Child Benefit requires the full satisfaction of the prerequisites. The best time to forward your application to the Canada revenue agency (CRA) for the Canada Child Benefit is:
- When you give birth to your child.
- When a child starts to live with you.
- When a child returns to live with you after a temporary period with someone.
- You begin, end or change a shared custody agreement.
- You get custody of a child.
- You or your spouse or common law partner meets the eligibility conditions for application.
There is no need for separate provincial and territorial applications, as eligibility for the Canada Child Benefit will be determined by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
How to Apply for the Canada Child Benefit (CCB)
There are several ways to apply for the Canada Child Benefit, these are:
- Child Registration: one of the ways to apply for the Canada Child Benefit is to register the birth of your child with your province or territory. This registration is mostly done at the hospital or place of birth. The requirement is your social insurance number and your consent for your information to be shared with the CRA.
- Online Registration: In case you were not able to apply for the Canada Child Benefit at the registration of your child, you can apply online through your personal CRA account, known as My Account. all you need to do is
- Log in to My Account.
- Scroll and click on ‘Apply for child benefits’.
- Confirm your contact information, marital status and citizenship.
- Input your child’s name, gender, date and place of birth.
- Review you inputs and submit the application.
- Mail Registration: You can apply for the Canada Child Benefit through mail.
- Download, fill and sign the RC66 Canada Child Benefit application.
- Attach any additional required document.
- Send the completed form by mail to the tax center in your province or territory.
How much is Child Benefit in Canada?
This can be rephrased as how much you can benefit from the Canada Child Benefit. The child benefit payments are based on the number of children in your care, the age of your child or children, your marital status, and your family net income as reported in the previous year’s tax return.
The maximum payment for each child is
- $6,639 per year ($553.25 per month) for children under six years of age.
- $5,602 per year ($466.83 per month) for children aged six to seventeen years.
Will the child benefit increase?
July 2021, Ahmed Hussen, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit will increase.
Families will receive a maximum of $6,833 per child for children under six and $5,765 per child aged six through 17 in the 2021–2022 benefit year. This is an increase of only 1% compared to the previous year.
Can I receive Canada child benefit payments without filing my tax return?
The Canada child benefits payment calculations and eligibility are updated in July by the Canada Revenue Agency and are based on adjusted family net income for the previous year. Hence, the parents of the child must file their income tax returns annually in order to be eligible for receiving the benefits.
Will Canada child benefits still be paid after late tax filing?
If you file your income tax return late, the CRA will pay you as long as both parents of the child or children file their tax returns. The Canada Child Benefit payments will start it resume immediately and you should receive any amount for the months that were missed.
What can the Canada Child Benefits be used for?
By law, the Canada Child Benefits is a payment by the government for the care of your child or children, but since they are minors, the CRA expects the parent to spend the money for the child’s major needs.
Will Canada child Benefits be deducted from the outstanding tax bill?
Your Canada Child Benefits will not be deducted or used to offset your tax bills even if you owe the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The child benefit is a payment meant to help you with the cost of raising your child.
As long as you continue to file your tax returns by the deadline date, irrespective of your outstanding tax bills, your child benefit will be paid by the CRA.