The cost of raising a child can significantly impact the finances of a Canadian primary caregiver. The Canada Child Benefit helps to provide some financial assistance for ever-rising childcare costs.
To receive the Canada Child Benefit, you must be a Canadian resident for tax purposes and must live with an eligible child who is below 18 years. The Canada Revenue Agency requires only primary caregivers to receive this benefit. This simply means that whoever is responsible for caring for the child and ensuring their primary needs are met will receive the Canada Child Benefit.
Generally speaking, the female parent is assumed to be primarily responsible for the child and is expected to apply and receive the Canada Child Benefit. In the event that this is not the case, the other parent of the child can apply for the CCB with a written letter from the female parent stating that the other parent is responsible for the child’s primary care.
If both parents have shared custody of a child, they can apply to receive 50 percent each of the Canada Child Benefit.
The Canada Child Benefit Application Process
The process to apply for the CCB is straightforward. You can apply as early as when your child is born. Most birthing centres and hospitals will give you a consent form to sign and apply for this benefit through birth registration. Provinces like Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta allow you to do this online.
Apply as soon as your child is born or is eligible for the Canada Child Benefit. You may need supporting documents such as proof of birth if you are new to Canada or a returning resident.
How Much CCB Can You Receive?
Your adjusted family net income (AFNI) and the number of eligible children you have determine the amount you will receive from the CRA as the Canada Child Benefit. Your marital status and children’s ages will also impact the amount you receive as CCB.
The Canada Revenue Agency adjusts the CCB amount based on inflation. The CRA assesses your adjusted family net income after you file your taxes by April (June if you or your spouse or common-law partner is self-employed). This net income will determine how much you receive starting from July to June of the following year.
You will receive the maximum Canada Child Benefit per child if you have a net family income below $32,797.
When Will You Receive the Canada Child Benefit?
CCB payments are made every month. You should expect to start receiving the Canada Child Benefit within 8 weeks from an online application and 11 weeks from a mail application.
The CRA has scheduled payment dates for 2023. If you do not receive your CCB on these dates, you can contact them after 5 business days.
For annual Canada Child Benefit payments that are less than $240, the CRA will send a lump sum payment in July.
Your Canada Child Benefits will stop if you do not file your tax return. The CRA uses your most recent tax return to assess your adjusted family net income for CCB purposes. This is why you need to file your tax return before the deadline.
The team at DW & Associates, Chartered Professional Accountants, have extensive expertise in filing personal taxes and helping clients maximize their Government of Canada benefits, including the Canada Child Benefit. Contact us to help you claim maximum tax benefits.