This article is brought to you by Insurance for Children, Canada’s leader in financial planning for children and the creator of Child Plan ™ the fastest growing alternative to the RESP.
As a parent, especially a single parent, you know how expenses can add up. There always seems to be some new expense for your child. They just keep growing, so there are new shoes and clothes, perhaps a school uniform. Then there are their sports, hobbies, and interests.
They keep adding up.
What is the Canada child benefit?
The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age.
When did the Canada Child Benefit Start?
In July 2017 the federal government introduced the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) to help with the cost of raising children. It replaced the Canada Child Tax Benefit, the National Child Benefit Supplement, and the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) and is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
The CCB provides eligible parents with children under the age of 18 a monthly, tax-free payment. Over one year, families can get up to $6,997 for each child under 6 and up to $5,903 for each child aged 6 to 17.
The UCCB was limited to families with an after-tax income of no more than $32,028/year. So, it was targeted solely for the benefit of low-income families.
The Canada Child Benefit is available to low-, moderate-, and high-income families.
How Much is the Canada Child Benefit?
If you are eligible, how much you get paid will depend on your after-tax income, how many children you are claiming for, and their ages.
The CCB is an “income-tested” government benefit. The higher your taxable net income is, the lower your CCB will be. For some high-income families, at a certain level of income, the CCB will be reduced to $0. Anyone with income above that income level will not receive any benefit.
The CCB also changes every year. New benefits start in July and are based on the past year’s tax return of both parents (the first payment of the updated benefit is July 20th). If one of the parents fails to complete their tax return on time, payments stop until both returns are in.
A calculator is located here to help you estimate how much you might get. Here are the results of a few simple example calculations.
• After-tax income of $40,000/year with 1 child – $7,054.08 or $625.34/month
• After-tax income of $40,000/year with 2 children – $13,566.44 or $1,130.54/month
• After-tax income of $80,000/year with 1 child – $3,877.56 or $323.13/month
• After-tax income of $80,000/year with 2 children – $8,017.14 or $668.10/month
Whether you are single or a couple living together makes no difference, what you receive is based on your total after-tax income. So, if your total income is $80,000/year, you would receive the same whether you are single or living with a partner.
Where the parents live apart, if they share custody on a 50/50 basis, they each receive 50% of the amount they would get but based on their individual incomes. So, with one child, if both parents earned $40,000/year, they would both get 50% of $7,054.08, that’s $3,527.04 each.
But if one parent earns $40,000, they would still receive 50% of $7054.08, that’s $,3,527.04. If the other parent was earning $80,000/year, that parent would get 50% of $3,877.56, that’s $1,938.78. Combined, that’s $1,588.26 less.
What if you share custody of the children on a 70/30 basis? The parent with 70% of the childcare duties is the primary caregiver and therefore is eligible to claim 100% of the benefit based on their individual income. The other parent gets nothing!
What if your partner is ineligible?
Then neither of you gets anything. You both must be eligible to claim the benefit.
Every July, your benefit payment is recalculated based on your adjusted family net income from the previous year, indexed to inflation.
For example, payments from:
· July 2021 to June 2022: based on your adjusted family net income from 2020
· July 2020 to June 2021: based on your adjusted family net income from 2019
In other words, a change in your income in 2020 will only be reflected in your payments starting in July 2021.
In addition to the Canada Child Benefit many provinces have other benefits. In Ontario, the Ontario Child Benefit gives low-income to moderate-income families up to $1,473 per child per year to help with the cost of raising children. This benefit is available to workers and non-workers. When you apply for the Canada Child Benefit you will be assessed at the same time for eligibility.
Other provinces also offer additional benefits for children. Some of these benefits are added to your Canada child benefit (CCB) payment and paid with it, while others are paid separately.
Click here and select your province
In addition to the Canada Child Benefit, there is the CCB young child benefit.
The CCB Young Child Supplement (CCBYCS) provides up to four tax-free payments each year for families with children under the age of six to help pay for a wide range of expenses.
Families may be entitled to receive up to $1,200 per child under the age of six.
Are There any Other Tax- free Savings Plans in Canada?
Yes, a participating whole life insurance plan is a tax-free investment parents and grandparents can open for their children and grandchildren in Canada. Child Plan ™ is a participating whole life plan and the fastest growing alternative to the RESP.
Whole Life Plan – Child PlanTM
Child PlanTM is a Whole Life Insurance policy taken out by parents or grandparents on a child. It distributes tax-free dividends each year which are added to the value of the policy and keep accumulating. After 20 years of contributions, the plan becomes self-funding and you can stop all contributions if you wish, but the value of your plan will continue to rise.
Of course, you can keep contributing if you choose to, the result will be even greater growth. Once the child turns 18 you can switch ownership to the child at any time.
You can access the cash value any time after the child turns 18, and the money can be used for any purpose.
Can I use my Child Plan TM cash value for anything beyond education? Yes.
It can be used for any purpose, education, deposit for a home mortgage, to start up a business, a world trip, retirement, anything.
Can the Government of Canada pay for my Child’s Child Plan TM?
No. Contributions to Child PlanTM must come from the policy owner.
However, because you can use the Canada Child Benefit for any purpose, why not put some of this “free money” you are receiving to good use for the future of your child by utilizing a safe, tax-free, low-risk, long-term investment.
Child PlanTM is an investment that can be taken over by your child when they are ready, and it can continue for as long as it is needed, and just like the Canada Child Benefit, it can be used for any purpose.
To learn more about Child Plan ™, please visit insuranceforchildren.ca.
How to Apply for Child Benefit Canada
Parents can learn how to apply for the CCB at this link.
You can apply for the Canada Child Benefit as soon as your child is born; when a child starts living with you or returns to live permanently with you after living elsewhere temporarily; at the start, end, or change of a shared custody arrangement; as soon as you get custody of a child; or when you or your partner meet the eligibility criteria.
How to Calculate Canada Child Benefit
To calculate your Canada child benefit you can use a short form at ativa.com.
If you want a detailed CCB calculator, go to the Canada revenue agency website.
When is the Canada Child Benefit Paid?
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will pay you within 8 weeks of applying online or 11 weeks if you applied via the post. The amount you are eligible for is paid out in 12 monthly installments. If your total is under $240 it is paid as a single amount in July.
If your situation changes in any way, you must let the CRA know immediately. Your payments may stop if any of the following happen:
• Change of address, marital status, bank account, or residency status • If personal information becomes out of date
• You leave a violent or abusive relationship
• In the event of death
• There is a change in the child custody arrangements, for example, if the shared custody agreement changes, even if it is only temporary, and when a child starts or stops living with you.
• When your youngest dependent child turns 18.
Is Child Plan TM Tax-free?
Yes. Child PlanTM is a tax-free investment for your child’s future education and life.
Are there any Tax-free Benefits with Child Plan TM?
Yes, from the day you open a child plan, your child will get a tax-free annual dividend for life.
They have the freedom to use their cash value for any education they’ll want to pursue and anything else in life they’ll want to do.
Are there any taxes on the growth of the Child Plan TM?
Child plan grows completely tax-free and when you are ready you can transfer the plan to your child when you are ready any time after they turn 18.
Can we use the tax-free Canada child benefit to build my child’s tax-free investment?
Yes. Using your Canada Child Benefit for a Child PlanTM participating whole life plan for their future is the best way for the government to fund your child’s future education, first
When can you withdraw from Child Plan TM?
Once the child turns 18 you can apply to withdraw the cash value from the plan. Alternatively, you can keep all or some of the cash value for as long as you want.
When does Child Plan TM end?
The plan ends either on the death of the child, or when the cash value is reduced to $0.