Tax Tips Every Parent Should Know

This article was provided by the Tax Professionals at H&R Block

There’s no doubt that raising a family is getting increasingly expensive, so Cleo Hamel, senior tax analyst at H&R Block Canada, offers the following tax tips for families who wish to reduce their 2011 tax bill.

Kids are a credit:
Parents can claim the $2,131 Child Tax Credit for each child under the age of 18. This will result in a federal tax saving of $319 per child. If one parent cannot use the entire amount to lower their tax payable, the unused amount can be transferred to a spouse or common-law partner.

Signed up for kinder gym? The Children’s Fitness Amount is a non-refundable credit that is worth up to $500 for children under the age of 16 enrolled in an eligible program of physical activity. Not every program meets the eligibility guidelines so you need to ensure you know the requirements. Make sure you keep your receipts. Disabled children will qualify for an advanced credit if they are under 18.

Claim child care:
Keep all your receipts for child care expenses. From daycare to nannies, child care expenses can be claimed by the lower-income spouse. Unfortunately, any unused amount cannot be claimed by the higher-income earner unless there was a period of separation of 90 days or more or the other spouse was in school, prison or the hospital.

There are a host of other credits available to families. Avoid missing out on them by using tax preparation software, like H&R Block’s At Home do-it-yourself software, which guides Canadians through step-by-step tips to identify every possible deduction or credit, calculates your return as you go, and ensures you get your maximum refund. Worried you missed something using another software program? Bring it into an H&R Block office and a tax professional will review your return for free.

Would you like to try H&R Block’s online tax submission program this year? Enter below to win!

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  • Whispered Inspirations

    I either go to H&R Block or do them myself online.

  • Brenda Penton

    We usually do our taxes online ourselves

    brendapenton @

  • flowerchild

    We usually go to our accoutant on paper

  • Deanna T.

    I do them.First I do them by paper, then I enter ’em online. I like the two step process, then I know I’m not screwing up.

  • Canadian Dad

    Thanks for the tips. This is the first year of my wife’s home daycare so I imagine we are in for a mess come tax time…

  • mamawee

    Great tips! I used to do mine by hand, and then online with a tax software. Now we have someone do them for us…..


  • Rachel

    My accountant takes care of our tax prep. I tried to do them once myself, what a disaster :)


  • Aeryn Lynne

    I really wish they had the Children’s Fitness credit available when my sibs and I were growing up. My parents spent a huge chunk of their earnings to keep us active every single day! :/ Am glad they have this program now. If the children are into hockey (like my sibs were), the credit will pay for half of the costs for one tournament if the kids are in the select or higher divisions….


  • Aeryn Lynne

    Oh! And the Hubby usually keeps all the documents, ’cause he’s more organized than me. But I’m the one that prepares them using software. Gotta love a joint effort, lol. :)

  • Did you know Canada

    Thanks for the info, a stressful time of year!


  • Kevin L

    I usually do my taxes every year. Takes me ohhh about a few days to get it done. Lots of pencil and erasers. I struggle badly with my taxes. Funny enough I won a free tax preparation last year with H&R block on their own website.

    Was great.

  • Jonnie (JB)

    I do our taxes online each year

  • Brenna @ Almost All The Truth

    I’ve always done our taxes and don’t mind it. I am already done for this year! I had no idea about The Children’s Fitness Amount though. Will have to keep that in mind if I enroll the kids in any type of program like that. SASS.

  • Katrina Brady

    Some very good tips. When people try to do their own taxes, often times they miss important credits. SASS

  • Lisa Smith

    We usually take them to liberty tax, but our usual location is gone now ?

  • Searching for Happy

    Great tips!

    Raising kids is certainly expensive enough without getting all the tax deductions for which you are eligible.

    (visiting from SASS)


  • Little Miss Kate

    Taxes are a pain in the butt! Thank god for our accountant or they would never get done!


  • Inez

    We have usually gone to an accountant.

  • Tinatchick

    We usually do our own

  • tumyii

    the past few years i have done our taxes myself online!
    tumyiix at gmail dot com

  • Eva | Little Cool Toys

    Great tips! We have an accountant to take care of our taxes, but maybe it would be a good idea to check if we get all the possible credits.

  • Anonymous

    I often do my own taxes howver this year they are more than just the basic so i think a professional would be useful. Sara