Your Guide to Tax Deductions for Arts Programs

Tax tips for parents: What you need to know about the new credit for arts programs

Photography by Ernst Vikne, via Flickr (CC)

Tax season is upon us. You probably already know about the kids’ sports deductions, but have you heard about the new tax credit for little artists?

New this year is the Children’s Art Amount (Line 370). If your little one was enrolled in any arts programs in 2011, you may claim a tax credit on the fees of those programs. Up to $500 of those fees can be claimed, for a return of 15 percent of fees to total $75.

However, not any expense will count—membership and registration fees are applicable for the tax credit. Most of the time facility and equipment rental costs also qualify.

To qualify for the tax credit, the program must meet at least one the following criteria, according to Canada Revenue Agency:

  • Help develop a child’s creative skills and knowledge in an artistic or cultural activity
  • Provide a substantial focus on wilderness and the natural environment
  • Assist with the development of the child’s intellectual skills
  • The program includes structured interactive activities that are helpful with interpersonal skills
  • Provides enrichment or tutoring in various academic studies

These programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Art
  • Chess
  • Drama
  • Girl Guides and Scouts
  • Languages
  • Music
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Tutoring
  • Sculpture
  • Sewing

For more information check with the Canadian Revenue Agency. (They’ve also got a handy video.)


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