Monday, November 8, 2010

Why isn't there an Adult Fitness Tax Credit???

This is something I was discussing with Hubs last night...

Here in Ontario, Canada - there is a Child Fitness Tax Credit that was designed to help parents get their children more active and healthy without breaking the bank, so to speak.

Well, with the rise in obesity I can't help but wonder WHY there is not a similar tax credit for adults?

Think about it, if we could claim even a portion of the funds we spend on gym memberships or boot camps or personal trainers or home equipment etc... don't you think more people would be getting active and healthier?

For us, we are currently living on employment insurance since Hubs lost his job a month after I gave birth to Baby Girl.

With my panic and anxiety issues, before I got pregnant, I was only working PT for a max of 4 hrs a week outside of our home because otherwise I would hardly leave the house.

I feel and I hope that getting healthier physically will (or is) helping me somewhat mentally but my primary focus right now is tied between getting healthy and taking care of my kids.

That leaves Hubs a little lonely, but he's supportive.

The money that I am spending to help me get healthier is, as I said in a previous post, is thanks to MasterCard.

Does this worry me? - YES.

Do I think that many people stagnant in a state of hopeless and apathy because they feel they cannot afford to get healthier? - YES.

Do I think that depression, panic, anxiety and other disorders contribute to poor physical health? - YES.

Do I think that preventative medicine and assistance would greatly improve Canada's health care system for the better? - YES.

So why in the hell doesn't the government DO something about it?

I decided to google an adult fitness tax credit and see if anything came up.

Guess what?

The first link that came up is for a site that won't work and is asking me for a login:

I read this about Manitoba:

Manitoba’s Fitness Tax Credit

Manitoba’s Child Fitness Tax Credit currently applies to children up to and including age 15. Starting in 2011, Manitoba’s Fitness Tax Credit will allow claims for fitness activities by young adults aged 16 through 24. The cost of eligible fitness activities up to $500, as defined under the federal legislation, can be claimed by the young adult, or by a spouse or parent. This will provide an annual non-refundable benefit of up to $54 per youth. Young adults with a disability, on whose behalf at least $100 is spent for qualifying fitness activities, will be eligible for an additional $54 credit for a maximum credit of $108 – mirroring the treatment of children with a disability. The credits reduce Manitoba income tax otherwise payable in the tax year.

I read that Nova Scotia has changed their Healthy Living Tax Credit to include adults and here's what it says:

"Health Tax Credit (also known as Healthy Living Tax Incentive) is a tax credit of up to $500 per child. It is intended to help with the cost of registering children and youth in sport or recreation activities that offer health benefits.

Young people aged 17 and under who are registered in an approved organized sport, physical recreation, or physical activity program qualify for the tax credit.

However, as part of the newly expanded program for 2010, the Health Tax Credit or Healthy Living Tax Incentive will be extended to include all ages, encouraging adults and children to participate in a healthier lifestyle through fitness.

Adults and children enrolling with an eligible sport and recreation organization in 2010 must keep registration tax receipts to claim the health tax credit on their 2010 tax return. Only receipts from those sport and recreation groups who have registered with the Department of Health Promotion and Protection are eligible.

Receipts for health tax credit submitted with your 2010 taxes must be dated on or after January 1, 2010 for an adult to benefit from the newly expanded program and receive the credit.

Parents can still submit receipts for their children for the tax year

Please note that This is a tax credit not a tax rebate. A tax credit is a reduction against income tax. A person who claims the maximum of $500.00 can expect a tax reduction of $43.95. This amount will be deducted from your provincial income tax, much the same way your charitable donations are deducted."

And why is Ontario resting on its ample laurels and not following Manitoba's or Novia Scotia's good examples?


  1. I think that would be an awesome idea for a tax credit for adults! I think it would boost healthier lifestyles in so many people who can't afford it.

  2. Honestly I don't know why this isn't a huge issue. Obesity is killing folks left and right and costs more to treat with each passing year. Why don't insurance companies cover diet programs? The cost of the programs are far less than the costs of the obesity and its treatment/management of symptoms.

  3. I also believe that the lack of preventative medicine and treatment for mental as well as physical issues is a huge factor in the upsurge in obesity and it most certainly increases health care cost and strain.

  4. I completely agree! it would save money for the government in the long run with health care costs. When I was living in the states, the insurance I had did preventive medicine. I was able to take 8 weeks of yoga classes and 8 weeks of Pilates classes at no charge. I think that was a step in the right direction (unfortunately this was about 7-8 years ago, and things have changed now). I am now in Ontario, and I would completely be more likely to get a gym membership if there was a tax credit.

  5. That sucks that there isn't an adult tax credit, eh?

    The company I work for gives us up to $250 a year towards a fitness membership. That helps.