Permanent Refundable Tax Credit for Extra-Curricular Activities

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THUNDER BAY – “Our new, permanent refundable tax credit will help parents with the costs associated with extra-curricular activities for their children. I’m pleased that the broad scope of this initiative will apply and include fitness programs such as hockey, gymnastics, cycling, running and many more, but also include other programs such as music, language, cadets, girl guides and a large range of other activities,” states Thunder Bay Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro.

Today in Thunder Bay, MPPs Bill Mauro and Michael Gravelle announced the McGuinty government’s proposed new permanent, refundable tax credit that would make it a little easier for parents to get their children involved in sports, arts and other activities.

Under the proposed tax credit, parents would be able to claim up to $500 of eligible expenses per child. They would receive a refundable tax credit worth up to $50 per child, or up to $100 for a child with a disability. The tax credit could benefit over 1.8 million children.

Ontario’s tax credit would build on a similar federal government program. However, Ontario’s tax credit would be broader in scope — it would apply to more than just sports activities — and it would be a refundable credit that benefits all families, including those with low incomes.

The province intends to introduce legislation this fall, which will provide details about the new tax credit. This credit would apply to any eligible expenses incurred on or after January 1, 2010, meaning parents would receive a credit after they file their 2010 tax returns.

“This tax credit will promote healthy minds and activities by offering a tax credit for a comprehensive range of extra curricular activities. This will benefit families by encouraging children’s development and putting more money in the hands of parents,” enthused Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay – Superior North.

“We’re putting more money back into the pockets of Ontario families to help them provide their children with the kinds of activities that interest them most, be it organized sports or art class.  By helping to develop the skills, fitness and interests of today’s youth, the government is supporting a better future for all Ontarians,” commented Dwight Duncan, Minister of Finance.

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