Starting with the 2007 tax year, the Government of Canada allows a non-refundable tax credit based on eligible fitness expenses paid by parents to register a child in a prescribed program of physical activity, Accountant Vaughan.
The following information is for parents of children who are, at the beginning of the year in which an eligible fitness expense is paid, under the age of 16 or, if eligible for the disability tax credit, under the age of 18.
If you are part of an organization that provides programs of physical activity for children, please see Information for organizations providing prescribed programs of physical activity.
The children’s fitness tax credit lets parents claim up to $500 per year for eligible fitness expenses paid for each child who is under 16 years of age at the beginning of the year in which the expenses are paid.
If a child qualifies for the disability tax credit, parents can claim up to $500 per year in eligible fitness expenses paid for the child who is under 18 years of age at the beginning of the year. Also, if at least $100 in eligible fitness expenses has been paid for the child, an additional amount of $500 can be added to the eligible fitness expenses actually incurred.
As with most other non-refundable tax credits, the children’s fitness tax credit is calculated by multiplying the total expense by the lowest marginal tax rate (the rate for 2007 is 15%).
An eligible fitness expense must be for the cost of registration or membership of an eligible child in a prescribed program of physical activity. Generally, such a program must:
• be ongoing (either a minimum of eight consecutive weeks long or, for children’s camps, five consecutive days long);
• be supervised;
• be suitable for children; and
• include a significant amount of physical activity that contributes to cardio-respiratory endurance, plus one or more of: muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, or balance.
Under the Income Tax Regulations, the definition of physical activity includes:
• horseback riding; and
• if the child is eligible for the disability tax credit, activities that result in movement and in an observable use of energy in a recreational context.
For more information: