Ontario Trillium Benefit

The Government of Ontario recently announced they are changing the way they will be paying the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC) and Northern Ontario Energy Credit (NOEC) the Ontario Sales Tax Credit (OSTC).  The following information is from visit ontario.ca/trilliumbenefit.

Through refundable tax credits, the Province provides relief to low- to moderate-income Ontarians for the taxes and energy costs they face. Through the Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB), the Province transformed the delivery of Ontario’s key refundable tax credits by making payments to Ontarians earlier and more frequently than before. This approach ensures that the payments better match when people incur these costs. In the past, most refundable tax credits were paid once a year, after people filed their tax returns.

Ontario Trillium Benefit

Eligible Ontarians received the first of four instalments for the 2011 Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC) and Northern Ontario Energy Credit (NOEC) in July. Subsequent payments will be made in December 2011, and March and June 2012. In addition, they received the first two of four instalments of the 2011 Ontario Sales Tax Credit (OSTC) in August and November 2011 with more payments coming in February and May 2012.

The Province is providing a total of $2.4 billion each year through the OSTC, OEPTC and NOEC. The payments of these three credits will be combined and delivered monthly as the OTB, starting in July 2012.

Summary of Tax Credit Payment Schedule
  2011 2012
  Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
NOEC Payment         Payment     Payment     Payment            
OEPTC Payment         Payment     Payment     Payment            
OSTC   Payment     Payment     Payment     Payment              
OTB                         Payment Payment Payment Payment Payment Payment

See below for examples.

Eligibility

You must be eligible for at least one of the OSTC, OEPTC or NOEC to receive the OTB. For more information on eligibility requirements for these credits, visit ontario.ca/taxcredits.

Application

To apply, you must complete Ontario Form ON-BEN which is part of the 2011 T1 General Income Tax and Benefit Return package and file it with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The normal deadline for filing individual tax returns is April 30th each year. Failure to file by this deadline may result in delay in receiving OTB payments.

Direct Deposit

To ensure timely delivery of payments, benefit recipients can have payments deposited directly into their bank accounts.

For the OSTC, OEPTC, NOEC and other federally-administered benefits, recipients can request direct deposit using the ‘My Account’ service or by completing a Direct Deposit Request form available on the CRA website. Help in completing the form is available by calling the CRA at 1 800 959-8281.

Tax Filing Assistance

There are no-cost ways to file a personal tax return.

People with simple tax returns may be able to use the CRA‘s Telefile service to file by telephone, or free tax preparation software from a variety of online services.

The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program is a partnership between the CRA and various community organizations through which volunteers in communities help eligible people who are not able to prepare their income tax and benefit returns by themselves.

For more information about the volunteer tax preparation clinics visit www.cra.gc.ca/volunteer or call the CRA‘s individual income tax enquiries line at 1 800 959-8281. New clinics are added as they become available, especially leading up to the tax filing deadline.


Illustrative Examples (Using 2011 Credit Amounts)

Example 1:

A single parent with one child and adjusted net income of $20,000 paying $629 per month in rent would receive a total of $936 from the OSTC and OEPTC over eight payments. Under the proposed OTB, the single parent would receive 12 equal monthly payments.

   2012 2013   
  Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Total
Current ($) 133 101 133 101 133 101 133 101 936
OTB ($) 78 78 78 78 78 78 78 78 78 78 78 78 936

Example 2:

A senior couple with adjusted family net income of $35,000 paying $1,200 per month in rent would receive a total of $984 from the OSTC and OEPTC over eight payments. Under the proposed OTB, the couple would receive 12 equal monthly payments.

   2012  2013  
  Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Total
Current ($) 37 209 37 209 37 209 37 209 984
OTB ($) 82 82 82 82 82 82 82 82 82 82 82 82 984

Example 3:

A family of four with adjusted family net income of $25,000 paying $920 per month in rent would receive a total of $1,536 from the OSTC and OEPTC over eight payments. Under the proposed OTB, the family would receive 12 equal monthly payments.

  2012  2013   
  Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Total
Current ($) 265 119 265 119 265 119 265 119 1,536
OTB ($) 128 128 128 128 128 128 128 128 128 128 128 128 1,536

 

 

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