Canada child benefit: How to calculate what your family will get

The federal government has created a Canadian child benefit calculator so anyone can find out how much they will get under the system that starts July 1.

Online calculator only provides an 'illustration' of benefit amounts

The Liberal government has created an online calculator to help families figure out how much money each family will get when the new Canada child benefit kicks in July 1. (Shutterstock)

If you are wondering how much of a financial break your family will get with the Liberal government's new Canada child benefit, there is a quick way to find out.

The Department of Finance has a simple child benefit calculator that allows people to determine their benefits by entering their family income and how many children they have under six and aged six to 17. (A more in-depth calculator here will calculate your benefit based on your 2015 tax return.)

The calculator comes with a disclaimer, telling users that the calculation they get is only an "illustration" of what a family might receive, and that in practice the amount is likely to be higher.

That is because a family's actual child benefit is calculated based on a family's adjusted net income, which is the total net family income less any taxable benefits, such as the universal child care benefit, and plus any repayments to government on benefits such as the registered disability savings plan. 

The Canada child benefit was the centrepiece of the federal government's attempt to help the middle class. It kicks into effect on Canada Day and will increase payments to most Canadian families with children 17 and under.

This new tax-free benefit replaces both the income-tested tax-free Canada child tax benefit and the universal child care benefit, which was taxable.

The benefit is designed to provide more assistance to low-income families. The more a family earns the less they will receive in benefits.

The Power Panel discusses the budget and the government's plan for growth 8:54

Who gets what

A family with a $90,000 income and two children between the ages of six and 17 would get $4,650 a year, or $387 a month.

If that same family earned only $30,000 a year they would get $10,800 a year or $900 a month, but if they earned $170,000 a year they would only get $90 a year or $7 a month.

If this same family earning $170,000 a year had children under six, it would be a different story. They would get $2,090 a year or $174 a month.

A family with two children under the age of six earning only $30,000 a year would get $12,800 or $1,066 a month, which is about $2,000 more a year than if both those children were between the ages of six and 17.

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