The Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) Explained

Did you know that having children can be a benefit to you in terms of taxes? If you have kids, you can take advantage of the Canada Child Tax Benefit.

The Canada Child Tax Benefit, or CCTB, is available to eligible families to help with the cost of raising their children. This is a non-taxable monthly payment that is based on your family net income. When you file your tax return, your monthly payment amount is figured, and then you receive the credit over time. This benefit can help you pay for the costs that come with raising children.

How Does the CCTB Work?

First of all, you need to understand how your family net income works. When you raise children, your income is taken into account, and a tax benefit is figured to help you offset the cost. The lower your income, the more help you receive.

Family net income is your net income from your last tax return plus the net income of your spouse or common-law partner. You can find this information on Line 236 of your tax return. The income of your spouse or common-law partner is added to yours to determine your household’s net income.

Canada Child Tax Benefit - The CCTB Explained

The Canada Revenue Agency provides a Child and Family Benefits Online Calculator to give you an idea of what you can expect to receive. Any of the online tax software programs also have provisions for this deduction. Realize that the Universal Child Care Benefit and the money from a registered disability savings plan are taken into account, and excluded in order to provide you with an “adjusted” version of your net income.

Additional Benefits To The Canada Child Tax Benefit

The Canada Child Tax Benefit may also include an amount for either the National Child Benefit (NCB), for low income families, or the Child Disability Benefit (CDB), to help care for disabled children. This means that if your family is considered low-income, or if your child is disabled, you can get an extra benefit to help you offset the additional burden associated with caring for your child.

Make sure you understand these programs, and how you can get a tax break with their help. Check with a knowledgeable professional or with the CRA to determine whether or not you can participate in this plan.

CCTB Eligibility

To be eligible to receive the Canada Child Tax Benefit, you must be a Canadian resident that is the primary caregiver for a child under the age of 18. Either you, or your spouse or common-law partner, must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, temporary resident living in Canada for the past 1 1/2 years, or a protected person. Once your child is born, you can apply for the CCTB by mail or online.

You should apply for the Canada Child Tax Benefit as soon as possible after your child is born. Realize, too, that you have to continue filing a tax return each year if you want this benefit. Even if you don’t have any income to report, you should file your tax return so that you can continue receiving the CCTB.

Written by Tom Drake

Tom Drake is the owner and head writer of Canadian Finance Blog. While you’re here, consider signing up for the RSS feed or email subscription. Both deliver the latest articles directly to you! You can also follow me on Twitter for all the latest posts or to send me any comments or questions!

36 Responses to The Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) Explained

  1. The social welfare system in Canada? Our wages don’t compete with living costs. The standards for “middle-class” haven’t changed in how many years? The Canadian Child Tax Benefit doesn’t help these “middle-class” families enough. The rich will continue to get richer as the poor will continue to get poorer. Seems a little corrupt to me.

    • The CCTB consists of three amounts: the basic benefit, the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) and the Child Disability Benefit Supplement.

      The National Child Benefit Supplement is a monthly benefit for low-income families with children. The NCBS is the Government of Canada’s contribution to the National Child Benefit (NCB), a joint initiative of federal, provincial, and territorial governments.

      The Child Disability Benefit Supplement is a benefit for low- and modest-families caring for children under age of 18 who have a severe and prolonged mental or physical impairment. Not all children with disabilities qualify for this benefit. Form T2201, Disability tax Credit Certificate, must be completed for the child and submitted to the CRA.

      The rich will not get The National Child Benefit Supplement.

  2. The Canadian gov is truly a welfare state whih caters to the needs of everyone living in its country. I think other countries need to leran from its model and apply its policies like the one given above on child tax benefit to encourage families to have kids.

  3. to whom it may concern.Charlotte Omeasoo..been collecting Child tax for my son Micheal J. Warrior.Which Micheal has been in the ststes with myself for the past three years.if yur company can help put a stop to this it would really be helpful.please response to my letter asap. thank you
    Arlena M.Bullcalf

    • You must send any reports or fraud or concerns in your matter, along with details for the person in question, such as address, full name, person they are claiming for, date of birth if possible etc…as well as your complete contact information including email address for further information/contact if need be, to the contact information available on the Canadian Child Tax Benefit website.
      They may be able to do something through there to stop the fraud.
      This is simply an informational forum/post, so I hope the link will help you :)

  4. Hello
    I am going to leave Canada soon for 3 or more years But I have a rental home since long time ago besides the home that I live in , I will keep both..As my residence status as resident and keep applying annual tax regarding to my residential ties and other ties ( bank account, driving license, furniture , RESP and more )and , Am I supposed as a resident applying annual tax even though me and my family don’t live in Canada to keep CCTB that I receive long time ago OR NOT

  5. I have a cousin on welfare who believes that when her child turns six welfare is going to pay the ucb. Is this true? I wouldn’t think so and if they do that is very unfair.

    • The Universal Childcare Benefit does not continue after a child turns six years of age. The payments originate from the federal government and will NOT continue to be paid by social services/welfare.
      The benefit is to help families/parents pay for childcare costs that they may need if they are working and their child is under the age of six, and therefore not of age yet to attend school on a full time & full day basis.
      So, once a child turns six years of age, they are eligible to attend school on a full time basis and the Universal Childcare Benefit is no longer provided. By ANY agency or part of the provincial government or federal government.

  6. hi there im a mother of a 8 month old an im recieving her CTB and apparently she doesnt qualify for the 1st month she was born…she was born the 15h so idk when they have cut off of the month.

    • The policies/guidelines for CCTB state that the accessment of the payments to be made, are done on the first of each month, and sent out for the 20th of that same month. SO whenever your child was born, as long as you apply as soon as possible (but they will go back & backpay for the months that you are eligible), the payments always begin the month after they were born.
      For example, both of my children were born in January ….one was born on the 17th and the other on the 21st. I began receiving CCTB payments in February for them. It makes no difference when in the month they were born.
      Since the calculations are done on the 1st of each month, and my children could not be put into the system for January (the month they were born), they were put in for the next possible month.
      I hope that answers your question :)

  7. please email me the response… wondering if a 17 year old has dropped out of school and isn’t not going to attend and not go to school for a year then do GED if while she is having no education that her cctb will still be received

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  9. to whom it concerns I haven’t had my baby bonus for a about 4 months now because of where I use to live.. I am waiting for my check still so I can get my daughter her winter clothes and christmas presents but cause the baby bonus didn’t come in yet. I have to wait not sure how much longer I have to wait please help me get this check so I can get my daughter her winter clothes .. plus with no phone to call you guys to let you no this is my only way to get a hold of you guys…. thanks please help and get me my ctc to me soon asap thanks

  10. I have a question what if a mother received the child tax but she don’t have the kids and she visit them every weekend and shes on the process to get full custody of the kids

  11. i have to leave canada because of my job my family is moving with me will i recv Child Tax Benifits living out of country for my Job,,

  12. I haven’t received a regular CCTB in a very very long time. I had forgotten to file my taxes one year and so then stopped getting my CCTB. I have three children and my oldest is 9 years old and I have not received regular CCTB for years and years. I am wondering if there is a way to get the missing CCTB paid to me. I have filed all my taxes up to this date.

  13. Hello so I gave birth to my second son March 12th (filled out all the papers 2 weeks later but recived a letter saying there was something I didn’t fill out properly, talked to someone and filled it out properly April 12th) it is now june 20th (3 months later) and I have still not revived a social security card OR his child benefits .. I tried calling the toll free 1-800 number but even after calling 15 times in a row I got the automatic voice telling me its to busy and to call back (I also tried to use the automatic verson but it kept saying the info I put in was wrong) which is bull because I have a 2yr old I get benefits for so I know my info is not wrong. PLEASE HELP.

    • Hi, the same thing happen to me, but i eventually got the lump sum in the mail. and also i called and complained to the government that it is constantly busy whenever i try to call, its because there is so many people calling for help that the calls just aren’t even being able to get through. try calling early in the morning is your best bet. all your taxes need to be done to date. if they are then i would keep trying to get a hold of them. and they can give you an approximate date that you will receive it. it took me 8 months.

  14. I just filed my taxes and my accountant said that I (the father) will be the person receiving the CCTB because my wife was new to the country that year and had no income and I was the only one having income, i thought it goes to the wife.

  15. Hello..if any one sees this please help…we have 3 kids under 5..we have done our taxes and recieve the cctb.. we get it every month. .this month we did not recieve it..just says N/A under September on the service canada site. .we have done everything we should have and received it last month and every month before. .we just had a child in June ( our 3rd) please help we are stressing ..i am not working because of a back injury and the goverment never sent us a thing… any help woukd be great

  16. My daughtercwas born on oct 8 got nove baby bonus. If you do get back pay how doescthat work.. I didnt get oct and nov just one month so when n how do you get bb for month born. Thanks

  17. Hello,
    My baby was born in September and we have not receive any tax benefit yet.You just filled the general application that include child tax benefit in the hospital and we are still waiting. We are low income so I am sure that we are qualified.
    I am PR status and my wife is still a visitor and the child is a Canadian citizen.
    do you have any idea for reason of delay.

    Thank you

  18. Hi. I am wondering how my CCTB benefits will be affected if I move in with my boyfriend. We are also hoping to buy a house and I am wondering how my payments will be affected in that case as well. As my children are young, I have been low income for the past few years, and single since 2011 and just returned to University.

    Need to budget prior to The big Move.
    Thanks for any input

  19. I am a Canadian Citizen, married a gal from Korea in 2006, had our first son in 2007 and 2nd child in 2009. I have never received this child tax benefit. Every year when I do my taxes, I always apply for a Universial tax credit, and I’m told I make to much. I am the only earner, my wife is a stay at home mother.
    From 2007-2014, my income has gone from $60,000 to $93,000.00. I have always thought I made to much money to qualify for this benefit?
    Now my wife is pursuing this and it looks like we may be entitled to something.
    Can CRA go back to the date our first child was born and make a retro active payment? For our first, and then second child?
    I look forward to hearing from you

  20. Hello, i have a question,
    Can i apply for child tax benefit as well?
    I ve been living in canada for almost 6 years as a temporary resident.
    Was married and now separated and almost divorced.
    Working on my residence under H&C.
    I have a daughter 5 years old and another one 2 years, i dont recall my still husband receiving money from the goverment other than maybe a year from my first child.
    Wondering if i can apply so i can get the money as i cant work or do anything until my first stage of my PR has been approved.

    Thank you in advance

  21. Help! I am a Canadian Citizen but have been living in the UK for the last 30 yrs. I am moving back to Canada this year with my husband (who will be applying for Perm Residency) and our 3 children who have Canadian Citizenship. Will I be able to claim child benefit?

  22. Me and my girlfriend just had a baby boy and have agreed to have both last names for the child since we are unmarried and currently dont live together. The order was mine then hers with a hyphen in the middle. She will be filing for all the tax benefits and is now concerned and wanting to switch the order to her last name then mine. Her and her family believe she will have issues filing for the benefits because of the order of the last name. Now she is trying to get it changed and is causing stress and will cause extra money.
    My question is, does the order of the last name make a difference??

  23. Hi I have a question? It is ok to collect or to recieve the cctb even the children is out in the country? Like I know someone she only give birth the baby here in Canada and after 3 or so she take her child to the Philippines and leave it there.. And she contentue recieving the cctb, is this ok? Or no? She have 2 children already which is after the baby born she take it back home and she contentue work her. Just asking.

  24. Hi,my name is Jason. I am turning 27 years old this year of 2015. My step parents never received a CTB payment once ever since i was born into them. Now that it caught my attention,i have tried to get help,but my step mom who does bot understand english very much won’t sign any papers that i provide because of the Residential School she went to is probably bringing her back the difficult times she endured. Now i don’t know who can help me because my step father past away.I tried asking for files of taxes but she refuses because she feel’s it’s not right. I went and tried seeking help but no one know’s or understands what i’m asking for in help. What should i do? Will you help me?

  25. So I was told by both of my parents that they never collected the baby bonus or something. I was wondering since I am 17 and I live on my own now if I can collect it myself of if the money was just banked updue to not collecting. I dont understand if it is logically possible that they never got money. (My parents are seperated and I lived with my dad for a year and he never filed to collect either, this was last year). So my question is do I get the money and could you help me find out what to do to get it if yes?

  26. Hey, I have a question, my ex went after me for the monthly allowance though I have her more than 50 percent of the time, and the government is making me back pay three years of cheques, please help.

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