Important Tax Credit Information for Seniors

Foter

Did you know the Ontario government provides support to families through a series of “refundable tax credits?” You can still qualify for some of these tax credits and get money back even if you don’t have income to report on a tax return. Our helpful tax credits calculator gives you information on the many credits and/or benefits available if you’re eligible. Visit our website https://www.rev.gov.on.ca/en/credit/index.html (eng) or https://www.rev.gov.on.ca/fr/credit/index.html (fr).

In past years, many of the refundable tax credits were paid to people in one lump sum after they filed their tax returns. People across the province have asked for predictable and more regular payments of tax credits to help make it easier to manage monthly expenses as the bills come in. So, that is why the Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) was created.

The OTB combines the payments of three tax credits – the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, the Ontario Sales Tax Credit and the Northern Ontario Energy Credit. For this year, the OTB will be paid in 12 instalments, beginning in July. Now, instead of a lump sum, payments will be made faster and ahead of tax-filing time. People simply need to file their tax return to get the tax credits or benefits they deserve.

The monthly repayment schedule applies only to the three refundable tax credits rolled-up as the OTB, not income tax returns in general.

The government has heard from many people who receive these refundable tax credits that they would like to have the choice of receiving monthly payments through the year, or a single payment. In the coming year, the government will look at options for giving people that choice.OTB cheques can be cashed for free at any Canadian bank. You can also sign up to have your cheques deposited directly into your bank account. Some Canadian banks also offer no-fee bank accounts.

Eligible seniors may also qualify for the Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant. There are a number of free and easy ways to file or prepare  a tax return:

  • ·         Use Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) Telefile service to file your simple tax return over the phone;
  • ·         There are free CRA-approved tax software programs you can use; or
  • ·         Visit a local tax clinic run by volunteers through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program.

For more information on direct deposit, volunteer tax clinics and income tax filing, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website at: www.cra.gc.ca or call 1-800-959-8281. To learn more about Ontario tax credits and to use our online tax credits calculator, visit Ontario.ca/taxcredits or call 1-800-337-7222.

I hope you find this information useful. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would be happy to provide you with more information.

Sharyn

Sharyn.MOF@ontario.ca

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