When parents get divorced or separated, they mostly suffer from their child’s custody first and then with their financial expenses. And if the parent with the low income gets the custody, then it becomes quite difficult for them to bear the entire child care expenses alone.
In that case, low earner parents can claim child care expenses from the non-custodial higher income parent. This article provides a complete guideline on everything you need to know about all the expenses you can claim for child care in the next sections.
Let’s dive into the details:
How Can I Know If I am Qualified to Claim?
Before claiming the child care expense, you must fulfill some criteria that make you eligible to claim those expenses. Otherwise, it will be of no use. Hence, the smarter is to go for it only if you are eligible.
Don’t know what makes you an ideal candidate for claiming?
You will know you are eligible if your scenario matches the following points:
- You are doing a job. Maybe it is a business or going somewhere on a regular basis.
- The child for whom you are claiming expenses should stay with you.
- If you hire a nanny for taking care of your child, that nanny should not be your relative and must be an adult, ranging from 18 years or more.
- As a custodial parent, your income is lower than the child’s other parent’s (non-custodial).
When Can I Claim for the Child Care Expense?
There is always a right time when you can claim your child’s expenses. After all, it isn’t something that you can claim for, just only you want to. It is a serious issue concerning a child’s life.
So, now the question is, when can I claim it?
Well, you can claim for these expenses only if you are facing similar kinds of problems as mentioned below:
- If you have hired a caregiver service to look after your child.
- Your child passes its days in a daycare center or day shift nursery school.
- Fees of the educational institutions of your child.
- Day shift sports clubs or camping schools that directly work with taking care of the children
- Bills of lodging centers, boarding schools, or camps where your child stays overnight.
How Can I Claim Child Care Expenses?
In Canada, you can claim for the expenses of your child against your ex-partner by filing a lawsuit in court. However, the easiest possible way to claim these expenses is to use the method as set by the child care expense deduction form.
First, you have to collect the papers from the relevant authority, legal help center, or the individual related to this field. You have to write down all the criteria for which you are claiming expenses. Then submit it to that individual or center.
From there, you will learn how much amount you are eligible to get as your child care expense. Collect the contact number of that individual or the organization so you can get the later updates.
Are There Any Child Care Expenses That I Cannot Claim?
Of course, there are some restrictions pertaining to which you cannot claim any financial support from your ex-partner, although it’s about your child. These restricted areas involve:
- Medical bills or treatment costs of your child.
- Cost of transportation and traveling.
- Expenses for clothing purposes.
- If your child runs a regular tuition service or any study program relating to sports, you cannot claim fees for those courses.
- Fees for any course or program that your child is taking part in for recreational purposes, like, enrolling in a tennis course.
Can I Claim Child Care Expenses without Claiming the Child?
Generally, you cannot claim for the expenses of your child without claiming for the child, which means for a non-dependent child. In order to claim, the child must live with you for at least six months, and you must meet all other necessary criteria for claiming.
Nevertheless, there are some exceptions to it. That means, in some cases, you can claim your child as your dependent and expenses for them, except for the following issues:
- Your child is financially independent, and their gross income range is around $4,300.
- Your child is involved with a joint return.
- If you and your spouse have filed jointly, someone else might claim you as a dependent.
Claiming Child Care Expenses While on Maternity Leave
As a custodial parent, you have the full right to claim for the expenses of your child even when you are on maternity leave. The claiming process is the same as before. You have to remember that the child care provider must show their amount as the same as your claim.
And for further clarification, you better collect the receipt from the caregiver providers. Because you might face the CRA audit during this period. So it is better that you claim expenses for the entire maternity year as per the instructions of CRA.
Can I Claim Child Care Expenses When Separated?
When the parents of a child get divorced and separated, the low earner parent usually claims financial child support from the other.
But after spousal separation, if one or both parents start a new relationship by living with another partner or marriage, then the claiming process might get a bit complex.
For example, the new partner has a lower income & the custodial parent cannot bear all the expenses. So, in such cases, the custodial parent can definitely claim the child’s expenses from their previous partner.
Claiming Child Care Expenses on Taxes 2023
Claiming the child expenses on taxes is another important factor you need to know in 2023. According to the IRS, in 2023, there is a limitation on how you can claim for the child expenses along with the tax credit deduction.
Such as, in 2023, for one child, you can only claim $3,000, while for two and more children, you can claim up to $6,000.
That means now most families can save up to $600 if they have one kid only and up to $1200 if they have two or more children.
Finally, we sum up our discussion here. Now you have probably learned the basics of childcare expenses in Canada, right?
We have tried to include all the issues that parents mostly struggle with after getting separated or divorced. Still, if you have any confusion, you can directly consult with an experienced lawyer in the related field.