With tax season in full swing, it's a good time to get acquainted with the Children's Fitness Tax Credit

I think it's a good idea to get kids involved in sports and other physical activities at an early age. We've had Carys in swimming lessons over the winter and now have her in baby gymnastics.

At this age (she's nine months old), I think we probably get more enjoyment watching her than any physical benefits she get. But she really seems to enjoy the stimulation of new experiences and it's great family time.

The costs of having kids in organized activities can add up quickly. To help offset those costs, make sure you take advantage of the Children's Fitness Tax Credit. Under this program you can deduct up to $500 per child from your taxable income for fees paid to have your kids in programs that involve physical activity.

Children's Fitness Tax Credit Program Qualifications

To qualify for this tax credit, a program must meet the following criteria:

  • Be ongoing (either a minimum of eight consecutive weeks long or, for children's camps, five consecutive days long);
  • Be supervised;
  • Be suitable for children; and
  • Require a significant amount of physical activity that contributes to cardiorespiratory endurance, plus one or more of:
    • muscular strength
    • muscular endurance
    • flexibility, and/or
    • balance

While this won't result in a huge tax savings if you want to improve your financial fitness, any benefit is a good benefit.

Save your receipts from any physical activity programs your kids were involved in, and talk to your accountant or tax advisor to see if these programs qualify.

More Tax Credit Information

See the Revenue Canada website for more information on eligibility and program requirements.