T1 Guide: Line 214 - Child care expenses

Entering this Amount (from Forms):

Entering child care expenses (line 214 and Form T778)

Enter all the information related to your net income. If it applies, also enter the net income of your spouse or common-law partner. Both these amounts affect your claim.

Tip: If you have a spouse or common-law partner:
  • if you are preparing your returns together (a coupled return) it doesn't matter whose return you enter the expenses on.
  • if you are not preparing your returns together, determine first who is eligible to claim the expenses and enter the receipts on the eligible spouse's return.

Step 1 - enter your eligible children in the Dependent Information window.

Step 2 - enter your child care expenses in the T-slips and Receipts screen.

Step 3 - complete Form T778 - Child Care Expenses Deduction.

Entering this Amount (from Interview):

Entering child care expenses (interview)

First enter your dependants in the Intro section of the interview.

Then enter child care expenses in the Deductions section of the interview.

Click Take Me There to go there now.

  1. Click the Deductions tab at the top of the interview.
  2. Click Continue until you reach the Child Care Expenses screen.
  3. On the Child Care Expenses screen, click Yes.
  4. Enter the details of your child care receipts.
    • Choose the child's name from the drop-down list. (If no names appear, first enter your dependants in the Intro section of the Interview.)
    • Enter the name of the person or the organization that you paid. If the amount was paid to an individual, also enter his or her social insurance number (SIN).
    • Enter the amount paid for this child in the Amount paid field.
    • If this is related to a boarding school or overnight sports school or camp, enter the number of weeks that the child attended

Frequently Asked Questions

I have the higher net income. Can I claim the child care expenses?

I have the higher net income. Can I claim the child care expenses?

For the purpose of claiming child care expenses, if there is another person, the person with the higher net income may claim the child care only if the person with lower net income was in one of these situations:
  • The other person attended school and was enrolled in a part-time educational program.
  • The other person attended school and was enrolled in a full-time educational program.
  • The other person was not capable of caring for children because of a mental or physical infirmity. That person must have been confined for a period of at least two weeks to a bed or wheelchair, or as a patient in a hospital, or other similar institution. Attach a statement from the attending physician certifying this information.
  • The other person was not capable of caring for children because of a mental or physical infirmity, and this situation is likely to continue for an indefinite period. Attach a statement from the attending physician certifying this information.
  • The other person was confined to a prison or similar institution for a period of at least two weeks.
  • You and your spouse or common-law partner were, due to a breakdown in your relationship, living separate and apart at the end of 2010 and for a period of at least 90 days beginning in 2010, but you reconciled before March 1, 2011.
What expenses can I claim?

What expenses can I claim?

In general, you can claim payments made to a nursery school, day-care centre, day home, day camp, day sports school, or an individual who cares for your child. You can also claim payments to a boarding school or camp, but only for the part of the fees that relate to child care (as opposed to education).

When am I entitled to claim child care expenses?

When am I entitled to claim child care expenses?

Child care expenses are amounts you or another person paid to have someone look after an eligible child so that you or the other person could:
  • earn income from employment;
  • carry on a business either alone or as an active partner;
  • attend an eligible educational program; or
  • carry on research or similar work for which you or the other person received a grant.

The child must have lived with you or the other person when the expense was incurred for the expense to qualify. Usually, you can only deduct payments for services provided in Canada by a Canadian resident.

Why don't my child care expenses appear on my T1 or T778 forms?

Why don't my child care expenses appear on my T1 or T778 forms?

The most common reason child care expenses don't show is that you haven't entered your spouse's income information yet. Child care expenses must be claimed by the lower income spouse, except in certain special circumstances. Until you enter your spouse's income information (e.g., T4 slips on a coupled return, or spouse's net income on a solo return), the program assumes that his or her income is zero and places the child care expenses on his return.

The Canada Revenue Agency says...

General Income Tax and Benefit Guide

You or your spouse or common-law partner may have paid for someone to look after your child so one of you could earn income, go to school, or conduct research in 2010. The expenses are deductible only if, at some time in 2010, the child was under 16 years of age or had a mental or physical impairment. Generally, only the spouse or common-law partner with the lower net income (even if it is zero) can claim these expenses.

Note: You may have paid an amount that would qualify to be claimed as child care expenses and the children's fitness amount (line 365 of Schedule 1). If this is the case, you must first claim this amount as child care expenses. Any unused part can be claimed for the children's fitness amount as long as the requirements are met.

For more information, and to make your claim, get Form T778, Child Care Expenses Deduction for 2010. If you claimed child care expenses on your 2009 return, the tax package we mailed to you should include this form.

Tip:

You may be able to claim payments you made to a boarding school, sports school, or camp. For more information, see Form T778.

If your child needs special attendant care or care in an establishment, see Guide RC4064, Medical and Disability-Related Information, for more information about different amounts you may be able to claim.

Supporting documents
If you are filing electronically, keep all your documents in case we ask to see them at a later date. If you are filing a paper return, include a completed Form T778, but not your receipts. Keep all your documents in case we ask to see them at a later date.
Related information
T778 - Child care expenses
Tax Information Concerning People with Disabilities