Harper's Family Tax BreaksOn November 1, 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced several new income tax benefits and credits effective either January 1, 2015 or for the 2014 income tax year. Those relevant to families and family law lawyers include:
  1. The Universal Child Care Benefit for parents with children under 6 will increase from $100 to $160 per month per child. Additionally, the amendment adds a benefit of $60 per month per child for children 6 to 17;
  2. The line 367 Amount for Children credit will no longer be available;
  3. The taxable amount of child care will be increased from $7000 to $8000 per child for children under 7 years old, from $4000 to $5000 for children aged 7 though 16, and from $10,000 to $11,000 for disabled children;
  4. The fitness credit will increase from $500 to $1000 (previously announced); and
  5. Up to $2000 in a non-refundable tax credit is available for families with children under 18 when one spouse transfers up to $50,000 of income to the other spouse.
Not only important for tax planning and filing your 2014 income tax returns, these new benefits and credits need to be considered in section 7 child support calculations and drafting separation agreements.