Overview

Together, the Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit (AFETC) and the Alberta Child Benefit (ACB) provide approximately $320 million in combined annual benefits to support  Alberta families.

The AFETC helps lower- and middle-income working families provide for their children, and provides an incentive for parents to continue working.

The AFETC was enhanced in July 2016, providing an additional $25 million in benefits to working Alberta families with children.

In total, the AFETC provides $147 million in annual benefits to families across the province.

Families with income less than $41,746 per year may also be eligible for the Alberta Child Benefit (ACB).

Both the AFETC and ACB are non-taxable benefits.

Eligibility

You will automatically be considered for the AFETC if you have applied for the federal Canada Child Benefit and you:

are the parent of one or more children under the age of 18
earn a family working income of more than $2,760
earn a family net income of less than:

  • $61,111 for families with 1 child
  • $78,676 for families with 2 children
  • $89,236 for families with 3 children
  • $92,736 for families with 4 or more children

You must also:

  • be a resident of Alberta for at least one month prior to receiving the credit
  • file a tax return

Free tax clinics are available to prepare tax returns for eligible lower-income Albertans.

Working families receiving AISH, Income Support, and the child care subsidy are also eligible to receive the AFETC. The AFETC will not affect eligibility for these programs.

Changes in household status

The AFETC is paid at the beginning of each six-month eligibility period. If your household’s status changes during the benefit period, your eligibility for the benefit may change. For example, if you have another child or you move to another province, your household may qualify for a greater or lesser benefit than you received.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) reassesses eligibility on a regular basis, as updated household information is received. If your household qualifies for a greater benefit than what was originally paid out, the CRA will issue an additional payment for the difference.

If your household qualifies for a smaller benefit, or no benefit, you will receive a letter from CRA indicating that any amount received over your entitlement will have to be returned. For information on how to return amounts owing, contact the CRA at 1-800-959-2809.

If the child for whom the benefit was received passes away

For households that receive a benefit for a child who has passed away, the following will apply:

  • amounts owing will be forgiven, so the benefit will not have to be returned
  • households that have already returned the benefit will receive a repayment from CRA later this year

This applies to all payments received from January 1, 2017 onwards.

Family working income

Your family's working income is the combined earned income of you and your spouse (if you have one), including income from self-employment. It does not include income from sources such as alimony and child maintenance.

Family net income

Your family's net income (line 236 of your federal income tax) is your family's total income minus:

  • your registered pension plan and RRSP contributions
  • annual union dues
  • child care expenses
  • moving and other expenses

How to apply

You're automatically considered for both the AFETC and the ACB is you apply for, or are already enrolled in, the federal government's Canada Child Benefit program

Apply for Canada Child Benefit

Payments

The AFETC program is being administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on the province’s behalf. Payments will be mailed or direct deposited by CRA in 2 installments:

  • January
  • July

If you get less than $20 a year for the AFETC, you will receive only one payment for the full year.

What you get

The amount your family receives depends on your annual family working and net income, and how many children you have under the age of 18.

The table below displays the maximum benefit amounts for both the AFETC and ACB

Number of children AFETC (max.) ACB (max.) Total benefits (max.)
1 child $773 $1,114 $1,887
2 children $1,476 $1,671 $3,147
3 children $1,898 $2,228 $4,126
4 or more children $2,038 $2,785 $4,823

Benefit amounts are phased in on family working income and phased out on family net income.

Use the child and family benefits calculator to find out how much you may be entitled to. Please note, you will need your income tax return to enter specific amounts.

Leaving Alberta

The semi-annual AFETC payment is made at the beginning of the 6-month period. If your family leaves Alberta during the 6-month period that you have already received payment, you will have to return the money you received for those months you were not living in the province.

Resources

Poster (2.7 MB)

Q&A (0.2 MB)

Contact

Canada Revenue Agency

1-800-959-2809 (toll-free)

For information about other social supports in Alberta, call Alberta Supports at 1-877-644-9992.