Good news this week for middle and low income families who receive the Canada Child Benefit or perhaps those who plan on receiving it soon !
The Liberals used this week's Fall economic update to introduce an improvement to the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) which is a benefit introduced to help with the high cost of raising children. Starting in July 2018, CCB benefits will be increased annually to keep up with the (always increasing) cost of living/inflation. This is similar to what happens with the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security plans each year.
Currently, the maximum CCB benefit provides for monthly payments totalling $6,400 per year for a child under age 6, and $5,400 for a child aged 6 to 17. Indexing benefits to inflation will increase the annual amount to $6,496 in 2018-19 and $5,481 respectively. Not huge; but helpful.
However, as maximum benefits are based on net income of less than $30,000, that threshold will also increase with inflation to $30,450 next year and $31,059 the following year. Benefits eventually reduce to zero as family income increases which makes good sense; the Prime Minister therefore, does not receive CCB payments.
Benefits are paid over a 12-month period from July to June of the next year. Your benefits are recalculated every July based on information gathered from your tax return. CCB payments don't have to be reported as income as they are tax free however, you do need to file your taxes even if you don't have income in the year to continue receiving the CCB. If you have a spouse or common law partner, they also have to file their returns every year. If you fall behind in filing your returns CRA will hold up those payments.