Life and The Tax Man

You are married if you went to the local city hall or civic centre or your house of worship, took out a marriage license and had the Clergyman or Justice of the Peace in that jurisdiction sign the marriage license.

You are married under common law if you have lived together for 12 consecutive months and have not been separated by relationship breakdown for a period greater than 90 days Or move in with the mother or father of your child, including an adoptive father / mother.

Once you are married, there are a number of tax benefits that will apply;
If your spouse does not work, you will be able to claim them as a dependant. That will trigger an additional tax credit equal to their basic personal amount. (Over $10,000)
If your spouse is disabled and cannot work, you will be able to claim their personal amount plus the disability tax credit (Over $7,600).

If you have a child you may be eligible for:
Canada Child Tax Benefits (CCTB), depending on your income. This is a monthly benefit made to eligible families to help with the expense of having children in the home. A good place to start for information on benefits you may qualify for is the brochure “Canada Child Benefits“:
If the child is under 6 you qualify for the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) a special benefit for children under the age of 6.

If your child qualifies under the disabled child provision, you may be eligible for benefits under the Child Disability Benefit (CDB). For information on the eligibility of this benefit, please see Form T2201.

You should apply for benefits as soon as a child is born or as soon as the child begins to live with you.

If you were a single parent on December 31, 2010, you can choose one of the following options:

  • include all UCCB amounts you received in 2010 in the income of the dependant for whom the amount for an eligible dependant (line 305 of Schedule 1) is being claimed. If there is no claim for an eligible dependant, you can choose to include all UCCB amounts in the income of a child for whom the UCCB was received. or
  • report all UCCB amounts you received in 2010 in your own income

Child Fitness Tax Credit
You may claim to a maximum of $500 per child under the age of 16 for the Child Fitness Credit for a prescribed program of physical activity.

Ontario Children’s Activity Tax credit is refundable which means all parents including parents with little or no income tax will receive a credit.   Included in the eligible expenses are a number of non-fitness activities that fall under one of the following categories: Instruction in music, dramatic arts, dance and visual arts, , Language instruction., Activities with a substantial focus on wilderness and the natural environment., Structured interaction among children where supervisors teach or help children develop interpersonal skills, Enrichment or tutoring in academic subjects.  Parents may claim up to $500.00 of eligible expenses per child. They would receive a refundable tax credit worth up to $50 per child under 16 years of age or up to $100 for a child with a disability under age 18.

Fees paid to a weight-loss clinic by an individual in respect of a weight-loss program for the treatment of obesity would qualify as a medical expense where the services are provided by a medical practitioner who is authorized to act as such in the province in which the services are rendered.

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