In late August, the Canadian government warned eligible Canadians who have not yet filed their 2019 tax returns about the possibility of getting cut off from receiving the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) or GST/HST credits moving forward until they file.
The 2019 tax filing deadline was delayed earlier this year due to COVID-19, and pushed back to June 1, rather than the traditional end of April. However, the government also stated they would not be issuing penalties or interest until after September 30.
According to the CRA, as of the end of August more that 1.3 million Canadians who were eligible in 2018 for the Canada Child Benefit or GST/HST credits had not yet filed their 2019 tax returns.
Those that do not file their taxes by the beginning of September might experience an interruption of this benefit, and furthermore, might be expected to repay the benefits they received between July-September sent in good faith.
The Canada Child Benefit is a monthly tax-free payment that certain families can collect to support raising children under the age of 18. For the 2019-2020 tax season specifically, the government increased this benefit by $300 per child.
That’s not the only benefit parents may be eligible for. Beginning in October 2020, most parents in BC with children under 18 will also receive the new BC Child Opportunity Benefit. However, again, they must have filed a 2019 tax return.
Other credits parents and caregivers may receive include the Canada Caregiver Credit, a non-refundable tax credit available to those who support a dependant with a physical or mental impairment.
Adoption expenses are also tax-deductible. All Canadians who adopt a child under 18 years old can claim up to a maximum of $16,255 in adoption expenses per child.
Filing taxes can help alleviate expenses parents experience when caring for children. Childcare expenses, including schools, daycare centers, or day camps can also be claimed on tax returns to allow the parent to be able to earn income, run a business or attend school.
If you still haven’t filed your taxes, there are many reasons to do so and for anyone confused by this year’s tax changes, a Tax Expert in your community can help you figure out your situation to maximize your return. Don’t leave money on the table. Any parent would agree that every dollar counts when you’re raising a child!
Josée Cabral is a Senior Tax Expert with H&R Block Canada.