The refundable tax credit for child assistance is paid by Retraite Québec on a monthly or quarterly basis. Intended to help families, it provides:
- financial assistance for all children, which includes two components:
- the child assistance payment, which is paid to eligible families that have one or more dependent children under the age of 18 living with them, and
- the supplement for the purchase of school supplies, which is paid to eligible families with children aged 4 to 16 on September 30;
- additional assistance for handicapped children, in the form of:
- the supplement for handicapped children, which is paid to eligible families to help with the care and education of children with an impairment or mental disability that severely limits them in their activities for a period expected to last at least one year, and
- the supplement for handicapped children with exceptional care needs, which is paid for children with multiple serious handicaps that prevent them from carrying out their activities without assistance or that require exceptional home care.
You do not need to include the child assistance payment or the supplements in your income tax return, as they are not taxable.
To determine if you are eligible for child assistance payments, see Eligibility for Child Assistance Payments on the Retraite Québec website.
If you are eligible for assistance, you (and, if applicable, your spouse) must file an income tax return every year—even if you have no income to report—because the amount of the assistance depends on the amount of your family income. If you are exempt from paying income tax, you are not eligible for child assistance payments.
Note that you may still be eligible to receive child assistance payments even if you and your spouse have separated and you are not the parent receiving the payments. However, you must have custody of the child for at least the minimum amount of time required, and you must file an application with Retraite Québec.
To apply for child assistance payments, see Application for Child Assistance Payments on the Retraite Québec website.