Family tax benefits you can use this tax season


✔ This tax season, Canadian families can take advantage of many tax breaks the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) provides.

✔ Tax benefits and credits include the Canada Dental Benefit which helps cover dental costs for children and the sales tax credit to offset tax paid on goods and services.

✔ Whether you’re using online software or a professional tax service applying for tax benefits is easy and often automatic when you file your Canadian tax return.

One of the many things that makes Canada a great place to raise a family is that the government offers tax credits that can help parents with the rising cost of living. These range from basic child benefits to sales tax credits. The key to getting all the breaks you deserve this tax season begins with knowing what benefits you are entitled to and filing an annual tax return.

Here’s a quick summary of the most common benefits available to Canadian families:

The Canada Child Benefit

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a program that helps parents pay for the cost of raising their children by providing a tax-free, monthly payment. How much you receive is based on:

  • The number of children in your care.
  • The age of your children.
  • Your adjusted family net income (AFNI), as reported in last year's tax return.

Here’s how it works:

If your annual income is under $34,863, you get the maximum amount for each child. For those under six years of age, the monthly amount is $619.75. And for those six to 17, you can receive $522.91.[i] These rates get adjusted annually and the best way to estimate how much you could receive is to visit the easy-to-use calculator on the CRA website.

You can learn more about the CCB and how to apply on the CRA website.

Additional benefits related to CCB

Provinces and territories also provide financial relief to parents. Depending on where you live, your additional money may be added to your CCB payment or sent separately. If you are the parent of an eligible child with a disability, you may also get up to $3,173 ($264.41 per month) in additional tax-free assistance.

Putting the benefit to work

CCB payments are yours to spend as you see fit. Using the money to offset the cost of food, clothing, and activities is a great place to start. But if you don’t need the entire amount to cover bills, consider enrolling your kids in sports programs or art classes. You can also put your kids in charge of a small portion of your household budget. Letting them have a say in how your money gets spent can teach them the importance of financial literacy.

Canada Dental Benefit

The interim Canada Dental Benefit (CDB) helps families earning less than $90,000 per year pay for dental care for a child under 12 years old who do not have access to a dental insurance plan either provided through an employer or as part of a partner’s or spouse’s employee benefits.

To qualify for the CDB you must meet the minimum requirements: 

  • Your child was born on or after July 2, 2011 (under 12 years old as of July 1, 2023).
  • Your child receives dental care services in Canada between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024.

With the CDB, your kids can benefit from regular checkups which can lead to early detection of most dental problems and can prevent more serious and costly visits in the future.

To find out if your family qualifies for CDB, head to the CRA website and answer a few simple questions. You’ll know in minutes if you are eligible and how to apply.

Do your kids hate going to the dentist?
Help is here! The Canadian Dental Association has some tools that can make the importance of oral health to children fun. Try them out.

The GST/HST credit

Kids need a lot of stuff, from clothes and school supplies to sports equipment. To help with these costs and make them a little more manageable, you can apply for a GST/HST credit from the CRA. The credit is based on your annual income, and if you qualify, you receive four payments throughout the year to offset the tax you pay on goods and services.

To get the credit, including any related provincial and territorial credits, you have to file a tax return for 2023, even if you have not received income in the year[ii] and meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are 19 years of age or older.
  • You have (or had) a spouse or common-law partner.
  • You are (or were) a parent and live (or lived) with your child.
Know how much you could you get?
According to the CRA, the maximum you can receive from the credit until the end of the payment period (June 2024) is:

• $496 if you’re single.
• $650 if you’re married or have a common-law partner.
• $171 for each child under the age of 19.

Know what you qualify for

This year, take some time to understand how you can take advantage of the tax benefits and credits the Canadian government offers. It’s an easy way to get the assistance you need to help manage the cost of things for you and your family.

Start this tax season by being well-prepared. Check out our handy 2023 Canadian tax checklist that provides you with an overview of all the documents you’ll need.

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice on any subject matter.

[i] All rates and figures reflect information on the Government of Canada website. “Canada child benefit How much you can get”. Viewed in January of 2024. Source.

[ii] Government of Canada website: GST/HST Credit. Viewed January, 2024. Updated to reflect the 2023 tax year. Source.

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