One of the very first thing that we did (after getting our Social Identification Number) after landing in Vancouver as a new immigrant is to apply for the Child Care Tax Benefit (CCTB) and the GST/HST credit.
The CCTB is “a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under age 18.” while the GST/HST credit is “a tax-free quarterly payment that helps individuals and families with low and modest incomes offset all or part of the GST or HST that they pay.”
The CCTB might include the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS), a monthly benefit for low-income families with children and Child Disability Benefit (CDB), a monthly benefit providing financial assistance for qualified families caring for children with severe and prolonged mental or physical impairments. They will be included only IF you are qualified.
To be eligible for the CCTB, you must meet all the following conditions * :
- you must live with the child, and the child must be under the age of 18;
- you must be primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of the child;
- you must be a resident of Canada; and
- you or your spouse or common-law partner must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, a protected person, or a temporary resident who has lived in Canada for the previous 18 months, and who has a valid permit in the 19th month.
For the GST/HST , you are eligible for this credit if, you are a resident of Canada for income tax purposes in the month prior to and at the beginning of the month in which the GST/HST credit is issued and at least one of the following applies **:
- You are 19 years of age or older before the month in which the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) issues a quarterly payment;
- You have (or previously had) a spouse or common-law partner; or
- You are (or previously were) a parent and live (or previously lived) with your child.
For the newly-landed immigrants, here are the steps and forms you need to apply for these benefits:
- Download and fill up the following forms:
- Include one of the following documents (although I included all 3, just in case haha) :
- photocopy of our children’s birth certificates
- photocopy of our children’s Certificate of Permanent Residence (COPR)
- photocopy of our children’s passport
- Mail the application to your Tax Centre (for BC, it’ll be Surrey Tax Centre)
We mailed our application first week of April and I got my first correspondent mail (and check) from them mid-May. Depending on your declared income, other than the CCTB and GST/HST Credit, you and your family might also get the following:
- Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) – “a taxable monthly payment made to eligible families to provide direct financial support for their child care choices for children under age six.” (although the UCCB is being enhanced by providing up to $1,920 per year for each child under the age of 6, and introducing a new benefit of up to $720 per year for children aged 6 through 17, starting July 2015).
For BC residents ***:
- BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit (BCECTB)
- BC Family Bonus (BCFB)
- BC Low Income Climate Action Tax Credit (BCLICATC)
Family net income is the basis of the calculation for CCTB and GST/HST credit. On the RC66SCH form, you need to declare 3 years worth of income, the year you became a resident of Canada, the year before you became a resident of Canada and two years before you became a resident of Canada. The amount that you will be getting will be based on your declared income.
You can use the Canada Revenue Agency’s online calculator to estimate the amount that you are entitled to, here. (although this is just an estimate, not the exact amount, you’ll know more of the computation once your first check arrives).
To keep track of the benefit dates, you can check the breakdown here.
*For a more detailed information about application and eligibility for the CCTB, you can check this link out: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/bnfts/cctb/fq_qlfyng-eng.html
**For a more detailed information about application and eligibility for the GST/HST credit, you can check this out: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/bnfts/gsthst/fq_qlfyng-eng.html
***For a more detailed information about other BC benefits, you can check this link out: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/bnfts/rltd_prgrms/bc-eng.html
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