If you have people in your life that rely on you for support, letting the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenu Québec know about them allows you to claim certain tax credits and benefits.
As a rule, a dependant is someone who meets all of the following conditions:
- Relies on you financially or physically
- Lives with you and
- Is either under the age of 18, a parent or grandparent, or mentally or physically infirm (you might also be able to claim expenses for a dependant relative that’s related to you by blood, marriage, a common-law partnership, or adoption)
You might be able to claim the following credits and benefits, provided you meet the eligibility requirements:
- Canada child benefit (CCB)
- Children’s fitness and arts amount*
- Amount for an eligible dependant
- Child care expenses
- Adoption expenses
- Medical expenses
- Tuition amounts
- Public transit expenses**
- Canada caregiver amount
- Amount for a child enrolled in post-secondary studies (Québec residents)
- Respite of caregivers (Québec residents)
- Child assistance (Québec residents)
*Effective 2017, the children’s fitness (or physical activity) and arts amount is only available to residents of certain provinces. Click here to see if this tax credit is available in your province or territory of residence.
**The public transit expenses can only be claimed for amounts paid until June 31, 2017.
My child doesn't live with me, but I pay child support - can I claim him/her as a dependant?
No, if you're paying child support for your child, you can't claim him or her as an eligible dependant. Refer to the CRA website for more information.
Where can I learn more?
- 5000-S5 - Schedule 5 - Amounts for Spouse or Common-Law Partner and Dependants - Common to all (CRA website)
- Dependants (Revenu Québec website)