Friday, April 27, 2012

Children's Arts Activity Tax Credits in Canada: What You Need To Know

If you're a resident of Canada, it's important at this time of year to know that there are several available tax credits available to claim if your children are enrolled in music lessons.

First of all, the Line 370 Children's Arts Amount. From the CRA website:
You can claim to a maximum of $500 per child the fees paid in 2011 relating to the cost of registration or membership of your or your spouse's or common-law partner's child in a prescribed program of artistic, cultural, recreational, or developmental activity.
You can find out more from this video:

If you live in Ontario, music lessons are one of the eligible activities that can also be submitted for a the 2011 Ontario tax credit in addition to the separate federal arts amount. Here's how it works:
If you have a child enrolled in activities, such as painting classes, soccer, hockey or music lessons, you can claim up to $509 in eligible expenses and get up to $50.90 back for each child under 16 for 2011. You can receive up to $101.80 back for a child with a disability who is under 18. These amounts will be adjusted for inflation each subsequent year.
Its only a measly $50.90, but every dollar counts at this miserable time of the year.

Best of luck preparing your taxes as we get into the crunch time before the April 30 deadline. If you know of any provincial arts credits for provinces other than Ontario, please leave a comment w/links.


  1. The maximum tax deduction is $500 per child, so if you happen to have $2,000 worth of receipts for your child's dance classes, figure skating, etc, that's too bad, because they won't count. So, pick one of your child's activities that tallies $500 or more, ask for one receipt, and don't bug the other teachers or instructors because it is needless, unnecessary work for them to do.

    According to what I've read, the $500 tax deduction will only provide parents with approximately $70 in their pockets. Someone needs to make this abundantly clear!

    And I really don't think that it will mean even one more music student for any of us.

  2. It's not a stellar amount, but it's something, and fortunately the Harper government came to their senses and offered the same thing to kids in arts programs that kids in athletic programs had already had for years.

    Although the more cynical among us (myself included) would say that the Conservatives were merely trying to sway the centrist Ontario vote in the last federal election.

  3. I think this tax deduction will sway some parents to involve their children in more activities... particularly if the family is low income. Whether or not it results in much cash-in-hand or not...$70 can mean a lot to some people. My son is just now old enough to start getting involved in sports and music lessons, and I know I'll appreciate a bit of extra money back on my tax return.

  4. I agree. And even if the amount of the tax credit is negligible, teachers can easily find ways to mention it on their marketing material. Because you can bet that only a small percentage of teachers actually know about these rules.