The Federal Child Support Guidelines: Step-by-Step

Worksheet 2: Determine the amount for special or extraordinary expenses

Line-by-line help

In Step 7, you have determined that there are special or extraordinary expenses in your situation. You can now use Worksheet 2 to help you:

It is best that you determine a specific amount for each special or extraordinary expense and the portion that each of you will pay. If your case is registered with a Maintenance Enforcement Program, your agreement or order will need to specify the dollar amount to be paid towards the special or extraordinary expenses so that these expenses can be enforced, if the need arises.

  • calculate the amounts of special or extraordinary expenses;
  • estimate your share of those expenses in proportion to your income; and
  • determine the amount that you would need to add to the child support amount for special or extraordinary expenses.

You can use Worksheet 2 if you have sole- or split-custody arrangements. If you share custody, there is some discretion about how you will determine child support. You will need to take into account additional factors, like the increased costs of shared custody and the child’s needs to determine an appropriate amount. But you may still find this worksheet helpful to get an idea of the total amount you have to spend to meet your child’s needs and the ability of each of you to contribute to the expenses.

You may agree to share the expenses in a different way. If that is the case, you can still use parts of this worksheet and just skip the lines that do not apply to you. It is a good idea to include information about the way you decided to share expenses in your Child Support Tool as well as in your agreement.

Have your information ready

To calculate your respective shares of special or extraordinary expenses, you will need both of your incomes. This means that you each have to fill out a Worksheet 1.

To complete Worksheet 2, you should have on hand your completed Worksheet 1 and the same income information and documents you used when filling out Worksheet 1.

Special or extraordinary expenses have to be net amounts. So, you will also need information about any subsidies, benefits or income tax deductions or credits relating to each expense. If it is hard for you to find this information, you may want to consult the CRA’s website or contact the CRA’s individual income tax enquiries line at 1-800-959-8281.

When you fill out Worksheet 2, you may need to adjust the income you calculated using Worksheet 1. This is because spousal support and the Universal Child Care Benefit are treated differently when considering special or extraordinary expenses.

Not all parts may apply

This worksheet is separated into four parts: A, B, C, D. Everyone should complete parts A and B. You will also have to complete part C or D, depending on your parenting arrangement. You will find more information in the line-by-line help dealing with these parts.

As with the other worksheets, not all lines in each part will apply to your situation. You can just skip those.

This worksheet has several columns. If you are calculating special or extraordinary expenses for a number of children, use a separate column for each child.

Part A: Total annual amount that you both spend on special or extraordinary expenses

In this part, you will calculate the total amount you both spend on special or extraordinary expenses for your children in one year.

Line 20 – child-care expenses

If the child spends most of the time with you, enter on this line all child-care expenses that you incur due to your job, an illness, a disability, training or education for employment. Child-care expenses for other reasons cannot be included.

Line 21 – medical and dental insurance premiums for the child

If you pay premiums into a medical or dental insurance plan for a child's benefit, then the portion of your contribution to the plan on behalf of your child is an eligible special expense. Enter that amount on this line. If the other parent also pays premiums into a plan for the child, add your contributions together and copy the total on this line.

Line 22 – health-related expenses

Some children require health care that is paid for by a parent and not by a provincial or territorial public health plan or private insurance. When this health care costs more than $100 per year, after deducting any amounts received from an insurance plan, it may be considered a special expense. Health-care costs that might be considered special expenses include orthodontic treatment, speech therapy, prescription drugs, glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and professional counselling provided by a psychologist, social worker or psychiatrist.

If this applies to you, add together the amount you each pay for health-related special expenses and copy the total amount on this line.

Line 23 – extraordinary expenses for primary or secondary education

If you have extraordinary expenses for primary or secondary school, or for any other educational programs that meet your child's particular needs, put the total of the amounts paid for such expenses on this line.

Line 24 – post-secondary education expenses

On this line, copy the total of any amounts paid by either of you for your child's post-secondary education.

Line 25 – extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities

On this line, copy the total amount paid by either of you for any extraordinary expenses for your child’s extracurricular activities.

Line 26 – total annual amounts of special or extraordinary expenses spent on each child

Add lines 20 to 25 for each child and copy the total on this line, in the appropriate column.

Line 27 – total annual amount spent by both of you on special or extraordinary expenses for all children

Add the amounts in all columns (child A to D) for line 26 to get the total amount spent by both of you on special or extraordinary expenses for all your children. Write the result on this line.

Part B: Total amount of special or extraordinary expenses that you have to share

In part A, you determined the total amount that you both spend on special or extraordinary expenses for your children. According to the Federal Guidelines, this amount needs to be adjusted to take into account, for example, various contributions, subsidies and tax rules that may have an impact on the final amount that you will share. Part B will help you determine the total amount of special or extraordinary expenses that you will end up sharing.

Line 28 – contributions and subsidies from other sources for each child (per year)

One of you or your child may receive a contribution towards a special or extraordinary expense from different sources. For example a service organization might pay part of the costs of your child's hearing aid or a post-secondary school might offer your child a scholarship to help to pay tuition costs.

Copy on this line all the amounts you or your children received or are entitled to receive for special or extraordinary expenses.

It is important to note that the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) is taken into account in your income. So, do not include the UCCB to determine the amount to put on this line.

Line 29 – amounts contributed by child for special or extraordinary expenses (per year)

If you have agreed that your children’s income should be used to determine the amount of special or extraordinary expenses that relates to them, you may want to complete Worksheet 1 to estimate their income.

Your child may pay part of a special or extraordinary expense. For example, your child may have a part-time job to help pay for tuition.

Copy on this line, in the appropriate column, the amounts that your children contribute towards a special or extraordinary expense.

Line 30 – amount received for each child

Add lines 28 and 29 for each child. Copy the totals in each column.

Line 31 – total amount received for special or extraordinary expenses

Add all columns for line 30 and copy the total on this line.

Line 32 – total amount of income tax relief and benefit implications for both parents

A: calculate the total amount of tax relief

You may be eligible to claim a deduction (D) and/or non-refundable tax credits (NRTC) for certain child-related expenses. This may reduce the amount of income tax you have to pay, which is called tax relief. You will need to subtract the amount of this tax relief when you calculate the total cost of special or extraordinary expenses.

Types of child-related expenses that may qualify for tax relief include:

  • child-care expenses (line 214 of your return - D);
  • tuition, education, and textbook amounts transferred from a child to a parent (line 324 of your return - NRTC);
  • children’s fitness amount (line 365 of your return - NRTC);
  • children’s arts amount (line 370 of your return - NRTC); and
  • medical expenses (line 332 of your return - NRTC).

You need to estimate the amount of tax relief you each get for expenses relating to the children. Only do this calculation when one of you is claiming or intends to claim the expense on a return.

It is important to note that there are specific tax rules about who is eligible to claim certain credits or benefits. For more information on these, refer to the General Income Tax and Benefit Guide located on the CRA website.

One way to find out the amount of tax relief for child-related expenses is by filling out an income tax return. Please note that this would be for your use only; you do not need to submit them to the CRA.

In some families, only one of you will have amounts on lines 214, 324, 365, 370, and/or 332 of a return. In other families, both of you will have amounts on one or more of these lines in your respective returns.

You may both wish to follow these suggestions to estimate the tax relief amount for each of you:

  1. Use a blank income tax return to simulate two situations. Complete the first tax return with the appropriate amounts entered on lines 214, 324, 365, 370 and 332, if applicable, to calculate the tax that would be payable at line 435.
  2. Next, complete the income tax return again leaving lines 214, 324, 365 and/or 370 blank and reduce the amount on line 332 by the amount spent on the child. Calculate the tax that would be payable at line 435.
  3. Now, you need to compare the two tax amounts. Subtract the amount of tax payable when special or extraordinary expenses have been included in the return from the amount of tax payable when no special or extraordinary expenses were taken into account. The difference is the amount of that parent’s tax relief.

Enter the total amount of tax relief for both parents on the following line A.

Line A: small line

B: calculate the increase in federal and provincial benefits (not included on tax return)

Because special or extraordinary expense deductions (for example, child care expenses) may lower your net income, any benefits that you receive may increase. For example the lower your net income is, the higher the National Child Benefit and some provincial benefits may be.

Compare the net incomes from steps 1 and 2 above. If they are the same, you do not need to complete this section. If the net incomes are different, calculate the benefits receivable for each net income. Enter the total for both of you on the following line B.

Line B: small line

Add lines A and B above to find the total tax and benefit implications. Copy the result of your calculations on line 32 in this worksheet.

Line 33 – total amount to help pay for special or extraordinary expenses

Add lines 31 and 32 to get the total amount received to help pay for special or extraordinary expenses and copy the result on this line.

Line 34 – total amount of special or extraordinary expenses that you have to share

Deduct line 33 from line 27 to get the total amount of special or extraordinary expenses that you have to share and copy the amount on this line.

Parts C and D

Part C and part D help you calculate the portion of the special or extraordinary expenses that you should each pay in a sole- or split-custody arrangement.

Remember, if certain lines do not apply to your situation, you should just skip them. For example, if neither of you pays spousal support to the other parent, skip the lines dealing with spousal support.

Spousal support is money that is paid by one spouse to the other spouse after the relationship has ended. You may want to visit the Department of Justice Canada website for more information.

If you have a… Then…
sole-custody arrangement for your children fill out part C
split-custody arrangement for your children fill out part D

Part C: Sole custody - paying parent's share of special or extraordinary expenses

Line 35 – annual income

Both of you will need to provide income information. You should each fill out Worksheet 1 first, and then copy the amount shown on line 19 of that worksheet on this line, in the appropriate column. Or, if you both agree on an income amount, you can put that amount in the applicable column.

Additions

Line 36 – Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) received for children for whom you are requesting special or extraordinary expenses

You may have deducted the UCCB when you used Worksheet 1 to calculate your annual income. You can do that because the UCCB is not considered as income when you determine a child support amount. But when you calculate special or extraordinary expenses, you need to put back into your income the amount of UCCB received for the child whose expenses you are calculating. Write the amount on this line.

If someone else in your household claimed the UCCB for that child for tax purposes, you should determine that amount and include it on this line.

If you are considering special or extraordinary expenses for more than one child living with you most of the time and for whom you receive the UCCB, add back in all UCCB amounts and enter the total on this line.

Line 37 – spousal support received from the other parent

If one of you receives spousal support from the other, copy the amount in the column that applies to the parent who receives that spousal support. In many cases, the amount of spousal support received will be in the "Receiving parent" column. However, sometimes the parent who has custody of the children, and who receives child support for them, pays spousal support to the other parent. In that case only, the amount of spousal support received will be in the "Paying parent" column. Whatever your situation, the amount of spousal support received should appear in only one of the two columns for this line.

Line 38 – annual income before deduction

Add lines 35 to 37 in each column to get the annual income before deductions for each of you and enter the total in each column on this line.

Deduction

Line 39 – spousal support paid to the other parent

Copy on this line the amount of spousal support that one of you pays or will pay to the other parent. The amount of spousal support paid should appear in only one of the two columns for this line.

Line 40 – annual income after deduction

Subtract line 39 from line 38 to determine your annual income after deduction and enter the result on this line.

Line 41 – your combined total annual income for purposes of sharing special or extraordinary expenses

To find your total annual income amount to calculate each of your share of special or extraordinary expenses, add the amounts on line 40 for the paying parent and the receiving parent. Copy the result on this line.

Line 42 – your respective proportion of total annual income

The purpose of this calculation is to find out what proportion of the total annual income you each earn. You will need to divide your respective incomes on line 40 by the total income on line 41. The number you will get will usually be in decimal form, such as 0.66. Make sure you divide the smaller number by the larger number.

Write the result on this line for each of you.

There may be tax implications linked to the way you pay special or extraordinary expenses. You may want to visit the CRA’s website for more information.

Line 43 – your respective share of special or extraordinary expenses

To calculate your respective share of special or extraordinary expenses, multiply line 42 for each of you by the actual cost of special or extraordinary expenses on line 34. Copy the result on this line for each of you. Please make sure that the amounts on this line are dollar amounts, not proportions.

Line 44 – cost of special or extraordinary expenses paid directly by the paying parent

The paying parent may be paying some special or extraordinary expenses directly. For instance, the paying parent may give an orthodontist a series of post-dated cheques to cover orthodontic work on a child for a year or pay tuition directly to a university.

When a paying parent is paying some special or extraordinary expenses directly, then the total payments can be subtracted from the special or extraordinary expenses that will be added to the basic child support amount paid to the receiving parent.

Copy on this line the real (net) amount of special or extraordinary expenses that the paying parent pays directly. Remember that the paying parent may receive tax relief for paying some special or extraordinary expenses.

Line 45 – annual amount of all special or extraordinary expenses payable by the paying parent

Line 43 minus line 44 in the paying parent’s column gives you the annual amount of special or extraordinary expenses that the paying parent will pay to the receiving parent. You can copy the total to this line.

Line 46 – monthly amount of all special or extraordinary expenses payable by the paying parent

You can divide line 45 by 12 to find out how much the paying parent will pay each month to the receiving parent to share the costs of the children's special or extraordinary expenses. You can copy the total on this line.

You can add the amount of all special or extraordinary expenses payable by the paying parent to the basic child support amount determined using Step 6 of this guide and copied in your Child Support Tool. This will give you the total child support amount that the paying parent should pay.

Part D: Split custody - your respective share of special or extraordinary expenses

Part D helps you calculate your income and the portion of the special or extraordinary expenses that you would each pay in a split-custody arrangement.

Remember, in a split-custody arrangement, at least one child spends most of the time with you and at least one other child spends most of the time with the other parent.

Line 35 – annual income

Both of you will need to provide income information. You should each fill out Worksheet 1 first, and then copy the amount shown on line 19 of that worksheet here. Or, if you both agree on an income amount, you can put that amount in the applicable column.

Additions

Line 36 – universal child care benefit (UCCB) received for children for whom special or extraordinary expenses are requested

You may have deducted the UCCB when you used Worksheet 1 to calculate your annual income. You can do that because the UCCB is not considered as income when you determine a child support amount. But when you calculate special or extraordinary expenses, you need to put back in your income the amount of UCCB received for the child whose expenses you are calculating. Write the amount on this line.

If someone else in your household claimed the UCCB for that child for tax purposes, you should determine that amount and include it on this line.

If you are considering special or extraordinary expenses for more than one child living with you most of the time and for whom you receive the UCCB, add back in all UCCB amounts and enter the total on this line.

Line 37 – spousal support received from the other parent

Copy on this line the amount of spousal support that one of you receives from the other parent. The amount of spousal support received should appear in only one of the two columns.

Line 38 – annual income before deduction

Add lines 35 to 37 in each column to get the annual income before deduction for each of you and enter the total in each column on this line.

Deduction

Line 39 – spousal support paid to the other parent

Copy on this line the amount of spousal support that one of you pays or will be paying to the other parent. The amount of spousal support paid should appear in only one of the two columns for this line.

Line 40 – annual income after deduction

Subtract line 39 from line 38 to determine your annual income after deduction and enter the result on this line.

Line 41 – your combined total annual income for purposes of sharing special or extraordinary expenses

To find your total annual income amount to calculate each of your share of special or extraordinary expenses, add lines 40 for parent A and parent B and copy the result on this line.

Line 42 – your respective proportion of total annual income

The purpose of this calculation is to find out what proportion of the total annual income you each earn. You will need to divide your respective incomes on line 40 by the total income on line 41. The number you will get will usually be in decimal form, such as 0.66. Make sure you divide the smaller number by the larger number.

Write the result on this line for each of you.

Line 43 – your respective share of special or extraordinary expenses

There may be tax implications linked to the way you pay special or extraordinary expenses. You may want to visit the CRA’s website for more information.

To calculate your respective share of special or extraordinary expenses, multiply line 42 for each of you by the actual cost of special or extraordinary expenses on line 34 and copy the result on this line for each of you. Please make sure that the amounts on this line are dollar amounts, not proportions.

Line 44 – total cost of special or extraordinary expenses that you pay directly

Either of you may be paying some special or extraordinary expenses directly. For instance, one of you may give an orthodontist a series of post-dated cheques to cover orthodontic work on a child for a year or pay tuition directly to a university.

When a parent is paying some special or extraordinary expenses directly, then the total payments can be subtracted from the special or extraordinary expenses that will be added to the basic child support amount. Copy on this line the real (net) amount of special or extraordinary expenses that each of you is paying directly for children that live with either of you for most of the time.

Remember that you may receive tax relief for paying some special or extraordinary expenses.

Line 45 – annual amount of all special or extraordinary expenses payable by each parent

Line 43 minus line 44 gives you the annual amount of special or extraordinary expenses that you will each pay. Enter the result on this line.

Line 46 – monthly amount of all special or extraordinary expenses payable by each parent

In Step 6, you determined each of your basic child support amount. You can add to those amounts your respective portion of special or extraordinary expenses. Then subtract the lower amount from the higher amount to determine the total child support. The parent with the higher amount generally pays the difference to the other parent. You may want to copy this information into the Child Support Tool.

Divide line 45 by 12 to find out how much you will pay each month to share the costs of the children's special or extraordinary expenses. You can copy the total on this line.

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