Have you applied for your Canada Child Benefit (CBB)? If you've got little ones and you haven't, than you could be missing out!
Don't know what the CBB is? The Canada Child Benefit is a non-taxable sum that the Canadian government pays to help families with the cost of raising kids. If your child has a disability, you could be eligible for the child disability benefit, too. You could be eligible for several thousands of dollars per year!
You might like this: How to choose the best tax software in Canada 2017
What you need to know about the Canada Child Benefit
You are eligible if...
- you have a kid under the age of 18
- you're a Canadian Citizen and a Canadian resident, permanent resident, a protected person (i.e. have refugee status), or Indigenous (i.e. have Indian status).
You should even apply if....
- you share custody
- you have a net income that's above average
- you're child only lives with you for part of the year (i.e. summer holidays)
You should also apply as soon as...
- your child is born or starts living with you
- you start sharing custody
- you become eligible
How much is the Child Tax Benefit in Canada?
- $533.33 per month for each child five and under
- $450.00 per month for each child over six
The base sum per child under the age of 18 is $120.50 per month. If you have 3+ children, you'll be entitled to an additional $8.41 per month, per child over the third one.
Keep in mind there are reductions to these totals that are based on family net income. TurboTax has provided a pretty awesome explanation the calculations. The CRA also has a Canada Child Benefit Calculator.
How do you apply for the Child Tax Benefit?
You can submit a Canada Child Benefit Application online. And you don't even have to wait until you submit your 2016 taxes, you can do it right now!
Canada Child Benefit Dates
- February 20, 2017
- March 20, 2017
- April 20, 2017
- May 19, 2017
- June 20, 2017
What to do with your Canada Child Benefit
While you might be tempted to use the Canada Child Benefit for living expenses -- groceries, clothing, etc. -- there are some pretty smart way that you can make sure you're getting the biggest bang for your buck in the long run.
- Set some aside into a Registered Education Savings Plan
If you invest every month for 18 years, you'll receive a Canada Education Savings Grant, up to $500 per child per year (max. $7,200 over a child's lifetime). The idea is that when your kid turns 18, he or she will have enough funds to afford a post-secondary education, and the kicker? The government will have paid for a substantial part of it.
- Use the money to create your rainy day fund
Putting away your Canada Child Benefit can be a great way to start a small pocket in-case-of-emergencies. The "rainy day" fund is never a bad idea, especially when there are high interest savings accounts out there.
What do you spend your Canada Child Benefit on? Let us know in the comments below ;)