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 is refundable, meaning a household can receive the benefit even if they do not owe provincial income taxes.

Lower-income families with children under 18 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
  • file a tax return
  • earn a family working income of more than $2,760, and less than:
    • $63,327 for families with 1 child
    • $81,552 for families with 2 children
    • $92,477 for families with 3 children
    • $96,102 for families with 4 or more children

Working families receiving Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH), Income Support and the child care subsidy are eligible to receive the AFETC. Receiving 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 applicable), 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 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 the CRA in 2 instalments:

  • July
  • January

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 income and family 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 ACB (max.) AFETC (max.)
1 child $1,115 $801
2 children $1,732 $1,530
3 children $2,309 $1,967
4 or more children $2,886 $2,112

Changes in household status

If your household’s status changes, 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
  • if your family moves to Alberta, you will become eligible in the month after you become an Alberta resident

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 amounts owing will be forgiven, so the benefit will not have to be returned.

Resources

Contact

Canada Revenue Agency
Toll free: 1-800-959-2809

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