RESPs do not work the same way that RRSPs do, as RESP contributions can not be deducted on your tax return. However, there are other government incentives associated with RESPs that you may be able to claim.
A few of the more common examples of this are below, along with detailed information on the amounts you can expect to claim (if eligible).
If you contribute to an RESP annually, you could be eligible for the Canada Education Savings Grant. With this grant, Employment and Social Development Canada adds the equivalent of 20% of your annual RESP contributions to the RESP, up to a maximum CESG of $500 (or $1,000 if there is unused grant room from previous years), with a lifetime maximum of $7,200.
Even if you don’t contribute to an RESP, an eligible child can qualify for the CLB. If a child is eligible, the Government of Canada contributes up to $2,000 to their RESP (an initial $500 followed by $100 each year the child is eligible, up until the calendar year they turn 15), as well as $25 to cover the costs of opening the plan. This bond is for children who were born on or after January 1, 2004, and who come from low-income families.