Canada’s Government Establishes Program Eligibility for the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit

The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today released guidelines on the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, which is scheduled to become effective on January 1, 2007.

The Minister confirmed that as recommended by the Expert Panel for the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, the definition of eligible programs will support children’s participation in all programs that significantly contribute to their fitness. In addition, the Minister indicated that substantial additional support would be provided to children eligible for the disability tax credit to recognize the unique barriers they face in becoming more active.

“Studies show that regular physical activity has many positive effects on children, including balanced growth and development and improved physical fitness,” said Minister Flaherty. “This measure will help parents offset some of the costs associated with these activities and start children down the road to a lifetime of healthy, active living.”

Minister Flaherty noted that he would soon introduce regulatory changes that would define an eligible program for the purposes of the credit and amendments to the Income Tax Act to implement the proposed enhancements for children with disabilities (see the attached backgrounder for more information).

“We know that families have limited budgets, and the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit will help make it possible for more young Canadians to get involved in sport and physical activity,” said the Honourable Peter Van Loan, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, and Minister for Sport. “I am pleased that we are delivering on this important commitment for families and taxpayers.”

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