Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit (AFETC)

The enhanced AFETC provides more financial benefits to working families in Alberta while encouraging self-reliance and stability.

Overview

The Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit (AFETC) helps lower- and middle-income working families provide for their children and gives parents an incentive to keep 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.

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. Both the AFETC and ACB are non-taxable benefits.

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

Eligibility

To be eligible for the AFETC, you must:

  • be a parent of one or more children under 18
  • be a resident of Alberta for at least one month prior to receiving the credit
  • file a tax return
  • earn a family working income of more than $2,760, and 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

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

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

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 the AFETC when you file your annual tax return and if you already receive the federal government's Canada Child Benefit. No further action is required.

You can apply for the Canada Child Benefit if you meet the eligibility criteria and:

  • there's a change in your household (birth, adoption or marriage), or
  • you're a new Canadian (refugee claimants, foreign workers, international students and permanent residents)

Apply for Canada Child Benefit

Payments

The AFETC program is 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 18.

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.

Maximum benefit amounts

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

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, your household may qualify for a greater benefit than you received
  • if your family leaves Alberta, you may have to return some of the money received for the months you were not living in the province

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
  • 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 a child dies

For households that receive a benefit for a child who has died, 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.

Resources

Contact

Canada Revenue Agency
1-800-959-2809 (toll-free)

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