The Ontario Camps Association has worked hard to ensure Ministries, both provincially and federally, have heard the voice of such an important industry. Currently, for example, the OCA is working with Transport Canada on several issues regarding compliance and marine insurance.
Our Association has worked with many other organizations and Ministries to assist the camping industry with exemptions from regulations which have negative impacts on camp operations.
Service Canada – currently the OCA is working with Service Canada regarding non-student camp staff compensation. An important survey was sent to Day and Overnight Camps affected by the government’s decision to place non-student Canadian and Foreign Workers in a National Occupational Code (NOC) with a wage starting at $15.25/hour. The OCA is working on an exemption for camps on this issue.
Transport Canada – currently OCA is working with Transport Canada regarding Small Vessel compliance and the new regulations regarding additional insurance for all motorized watercrafts (human powered vessels such as kayaks, canoes and sailboats are expempt).
GOVERNMENT TAX CREDITS MAKE CLASSES AND LESSONS MORE AFFORDABLE FOR FAMILIES
Summer camp, gymnastics, art class, music lessons, swimming, soccer, hockey, ballet – the list of extracurricular activities you can sign your children up for is astonishing. While they all seem vital to developing a well-rounded child, many parents make the decision to choose certain activities over others based on their eligibility for the Children’s Arts Tax Credit or the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit.
In 2011, the Government of Canada introduced the Children’s Arts Tax Credit. This is a non-refundable tax credit that reduces the amount of tax you owe. Parents may claim up to $500 per year for eligible art expenses paid for each child who is under 16 years of age at the beginning of the year in which the expenses are paid. The credit is calculated by multiplying the total expense by the lowest marginal tax rate, 15%, not your actual tax rate.
The Children’s Fitness Tax Credit was introduced in 2007. This credit also provides a non-refundable tax credit. It’s based on eligible fitness expenses paid by parents to register a child in a prescribed program of physical activity. Like the art credit, it permits a claim of up to $500 per year for children under the age of 16. It too is calculated by multiplying the total expense by the lowest marginal tax rate, 15%, not your actual tax rate.
Claiming the maximum for one of the programs will result in a $75 credit per child, per year. Raising a Renaissance man or woman? Enrolling them in qualified art and fitness programs can result in a $150 credit per child, per year.
Wondering what types of programs qualify? The short answer is simple: ask the organization you’re considering enrolling your child with if their program is eligible. If they are, they’ll know it!
Ok, you want the long explanation. For the Children’s Arts Tax Credit, the activities must contribute to the development of creative skills or expertise in artistic or cultural activities. Eligible expenses are fees paid for the cost of registration or membership, which includes the costs of administration, instruction, and the rental of facilities or equipment.
For the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, expenses must be for the cost of registration or membership of a child in a physical activity program. Generally, such a program must be ongoing (either a minimum of eight consecutive weeks long or, for children’s camps, five consecutive days long), be supervised, be suitable for children, and include a significant amount of physical activity that contributes to cardio-respiratory endurance, plus one or more activity that contributes to muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, or balance.
In both cases, expenses not included in registration or membership, such as uniforms, equipment or travel is not eligible.
The organization you’re handing your kids off to will be able to tell you if they are eligible for the credit, and they’ll determine the part of the fee that qualifies for the tax credit. Don’t forget to request a receipt for tax purposes!
The government has created helpful videos that explain each program in a way that is easy to understand, even for those hopeless when it comes to understand taxes. For tax tips click on http://www.taxtips.ca/filing/childrensfitnesscredit.htm
Children and youth with special needs have medical, emotional, developmental, mental or behavioural problems that require ongoing help and support. Ontario has a number of provincial programs to help families and caregivers of children and youth with special needs. The federal government also offers tax deductions. This fact sheet will outline the main sources of financial help.
Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD)
The ACSD program, (once called the Handicapped Children’s Benefit, or HCB), helps parents with some of the extra costs of caring for a child with a disability. This funding aims to help children with disabilities live as normal a life as possible at home and in the community.
What funding and/or services are provided under the ACSD program?
1. Monthly financial assistance. This ranges from $25 to $410 per month depending on:
Your family’s income
The costs of caring for your child
The severity of your child’s disability
The type of support needed to help your child
2. Help for extra costs related to a child’s disability, like:
Travel to doctors and hospitals
Special shoes and clothing
Basic dental care, drugs, eyeglasses, hearing aids and prescription medication not covered by another plan.
3. Who can get help?
A parent or legal guardian, whose child:
Is under 18 years of age
Lives at home
Has a severe disability, and
may be able to get help from this program, depending on the family’s income.
4. How do we apply?
The Ministry of Child and Youth Services (MCYS) manages the ACSD program. Visit the website at: www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/topics/specialneeds/disabilities/index.aspx or call your local MCYS office to ask for an application form.
You may need to include other documents, like a letter or report from a mental health professional stating your child’s diagnosis.
In your application, you need to list the extra expenses you have due to your child’s disability.
Your application will be reviewed by a Special Agreements officer, who may also contact you to gather more information.
Let’s take a trip back in time to the year 1925. (more…).
The OCA Conference Committee is proud to announce that Jesse Wente of CBC will be presenting the opening Keynote Address at the OCA 2017 A.