Friday, September 14, 2012

Canada Learning Bond - Are Your Children Eligible?

I wrote about The Canada Learning Bond once before, back in 2008.  It was pretty new back then, having started in 2006. In 2006, only 4.7% of those eligible applied for this FREE money for their children's RESP.  By 2008, it had increased slightly, to 16.3%, and by 2011 had increased to 24.4%. 

You can see the totals of the participation rates broken down by province here.

At less than 25% of those eligible participating in the program, the program is still highly unknown.

I think post secondary education is important, so as a tax preparer, this year I am going to try to emphasize this program to my clients who are eligible for it.

Directly from the HRSDC website, the Canada Learning Bond is:

Introduced in 2005, the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) targets low-income families and provides them with a financial incentive to save. Upon applying, the CLB is given to all children who have an RESP account and are eligible to receive the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) in addition to the Canada Child Tax Benefit, commonly known as “family allowance.” The CLB does not require any contributions from parents and is deposited directly into the child’s RESP. Specifically, the Government of Canada provides an initial CLB of $500 to children born after December 31, 2003 plus an additional $100 per year until age 15 and up to a maximum of $2,000.
So...if you receive the National Child Benefit Supplement, your children are eligible for this! Head to your local bank and ask to open an RESP for your children and have them apply for the Canada Learning Bond for you.  The first year you do so, each child will receive $500, and each year after that you still qualify they will receive another $100.

Tell me:  Have you done this already? Are you planning to?  How can you go wrong!?

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