|Prime Minister Stephen Harper does arts and crafts with a student at the Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Jewish Community Campus in Vaughan, Ont., in October, after announcing an income-splitting proposal and other tax breaks for families. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)|
Families with children under 18 will receive new tax breaks starting Jan. 1, though Ottawa won't begin paying them out until July, just a few months before the federal election set for Oct. 19.
The universal child care benefit per child under six is to rise from $100 to $160 a month or $1,920 a year. For each child six to 17 years old, families can also now receive a federal tax credit of up to $720 per year.
Those families will receive their first cheques in July, a lump-sum payment for the first half of 2015.
The Conservative government is also introducing a version of the family income-splitting promise it made in the 2011 election, to apply to the 2014 tax year. It will be capped at $2,000 per family.
And the federal children's fitness tax credit becomes fully refundable as of Jan. 1, which means families whose incomes are too low to pay taxes will still get money.