How to claim childcare expenses when one of the spouses is on maternity leave

Hello. 

I understand that generally a lower-income spouse is the one to claim the childcare expenses. I also understand that these can be claimed only against the employment income. So I don't really understand how this can be combined in the following scenario: 

1) My wife have worked during Jan-Feb 2017 and earned, say $5000 from employment
2) The rest of the year she was on maternity leave and received, say, $30000 from EI
3) I was working full year and earned, say $100000
4) My older, 4yo child was attending a daycare fro Jan 2017 through Aug 2017 and we paid $8000 for that.

So for these $8000, who is supposed to claim these? Me or my wife? Or we should be dividing it?

Answer

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The spouse with the lower net income is the one who makes the claim, except for certain exceptions.  They are:

a)  the lower income spouse was in school
b)  the lower income spouse was in hospital or bedridden for 2 weeks or more
c)  the lower income spouse was in prison.

The amount that can be claimed is limited to 2/3 of the working income.  In the scenario you painted, that means your wife will have a claim of $3333.33 as a deduction.

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-re...

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