Child Tax Benefit Payment Dates for 2021
For decades, Canadian families have benefitted from a number of government spending programs designed to improve our financial well-being. It’s just one of the hallmarks of our prosperous economy and modern society. One of the primary government benefits, the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), is targeted towards families with children. In this article, I’ll cover the CCB in detail, and let you know how the CCB dates work for 2020.
What Is the CCB?
The CCB is a tax-free, monthly payment made to eligible Canadian families. If you are married or living common-law with children, or are a single parent, you are eligible to receive the benefit for every child under the age of 18. Previous incarnations of the CCB have had many names: baby bonus, family allowance, Child Tax Benefit, Canada Child Tax Benefit, but the purpose has remained the same – to help Canadian families with the cost of raising children.
According to the CRA, 90% of Canadian families are receiving more money today, under the CCB. And while it’s difficult to make a definitive link, they claim that 334,000 fewer children were living in poverty in 2018 than in 2015, just three years previous. The Canada Child Benefit is an income-tested benefit, which means that as a family’s net income increases, their monthly benefit goes down.
In May 2020, the Canadian government utilized the CCB as a means to deliver much-needed relief to Canadian families, by providing a one-time payment increase of $300 for each child. In addition, they announced that any Canadians currently receiving CCB payments would continue to receive them through September 2020 if the CRA was unable to assess their tax return in time for the annual reset in July. The reason for this extension was due to the tax filing due date being bumped from April 30th to June 1st, 2020.
How Does the CCB Work?
Each year, your annual CCB benefit is established by the CRA when your previous year’s income is assessed Providing that you file your taxes by April 30th, your new monthly payment will begin in July and continue for 12 months until the following June. For example, your monthly CCB payments from July 2020 to June 2021 will be based on your family’s net income in 2019. If you haven’t filed your taxes, your CCB benefit cannot be paid. The amount you receive will depend on the following factors:
- Adjusted family net income
- Marital status
- number of children who live with you
- the age of your children
- child disability benefit eligibility
- any related provincial benefits where you live
Benefits of the CCB
Not all government benefits are all that beneficial to the people who receive them. However, besides being an important source of income for Canadians, the CCB has a number of advantages:
- Frequent payments. Because the benefit is paid monthly, it provides a steady income stream.
- It’s tax-free. Many other benefits are taxable, which reduces their overall effectiveness.
- Income tested. With low-income earners receiving the larges benefit, it targets those who need it most.
- It’s generous. According to the CRA, the average family receives approximately $6800 in CCB benefits annually.
CCB Payment Dates for 2020
For 2020, the monthly family allowance dates are listed below. Where the 20th of any given month falls on a weekend, the payment is made beforehand, on the closest business day. In December, the CCB is paid 1 week early each year, to allow families time to prepare financially for the Christmas season. If for any reason you don’t receive your payment by the scheduled date, the CRA recommends that you wait 5 business days before contacting them.
- January 20
- February 20
- March 20
- April 20
- May 20 (including COVID-19 bonus payment)
- June 19
- July 20
- August 20
- September 18
- October 20
- November 20
- December 11
How Much Will My Child Benefit be per Month?
The fastest way to calculate your monthly benefit amount is to contact the CRA. That said, the maximum annual benefit amounts for 2020 are listed below. If your adjusted family net income is under $31,120, you are eligible to receive the maximum payment for each child.
- $6,765 per child under age 6 ($563.75/month)
- $5,708 per child age 6 through 17 ($475.67/month)
Your monthly benefit will decrease gradually as your family income increases beyond this amount. Remember, this is a tax-free payment, which means it does not need to be claimed as income when you file your taxes.
How Do I Apply for the CCB?
You can apply for the Canada Child Benefit when any of the following events occur:
- your child is born (application is automatic)
- a child starts to live with you or returns to live with you after a temporary period with someone else
- you begin, end, or change a
- you gain legal custody of a child
- you, or your spouse or common-law partner, begin to meet the eligibility conditions
There are a number of provincial or territorial benefits for which you may qualify (listed below). You don’t need to apply for these separately, as the CRA will determine what you qualify for.
- Alberta Child Benefit
- BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit
- New Brunswick Child Tax Benefit
- Newfoundland and Labrador Child Benefit
- Northwest Territories Child Benefit
- Nova Scotia Child Benefit
- Nunavut Child Benefit
- Ontario child benefit
- Yukon Child Benefit
Also, if your child qualifies for the disability tax credit, you may be eligible to receive the child disability benefit.
How Are CCB Overpayments Handled?
The CRA will inform you if you received an overpayment of the Canada Child Benefit. It will need to be repaid, which can be done through a clawback of your future CCB payments, your income tax refund, or your GST/HST payments.
The Canada Child Benefit, in its many forms, has been an important source of tax-free income for Canadian families, for many years. While the cost of living seems to continuously rise, the CCB makes it a little bit easier for families to shoulder the financial burden of raising children. In 2020, the Canadian government was able to leverage the CCB, making it possible to react swiftly to the COVID-19 crisis. Hopefully, the benefit will continue to support families for generations to come.