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.
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 2011Ontario 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.
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.
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.
Monthly cheques vs. Direct deposit
If you receive your income tax refund by direct deposit, you will receive your Ontario Trillium Benefit payments by direct deposit if you qualify. Otherwise, you will receive your payments by cheque. You may cash your cheque at many Canadian banks at no cost.
Monthly or lump sum payments
Ontario is listening to people who want more choice in how they receive their Ontario Trillium Benefit payments. The province is exploring options that would allow tax filers, starting next year, to choose between monthly payments or a lump sum. Be sure you file your taxes to get the tax credits you deserve this year.
For this year, the Ontario Trillium Benefit will be paid in 12 instalments, beginning in July. This payment schedule was introduced last year to give people more predictable and more frequent payments to help them manage their monthly bills.
Eligible Ontarians have already received most of the payments for the 2011 Ontario Sales Tax Credit, Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit and Northern Ontario Energy Credit. The next payments of these credits will be made in May and June 2012.
To apply for this monthly benefit, eligible Ontarians need to file a personal income tax return – even if they did not earn any income.
Illustrative Examples (Using 2011 Credit Amounts)
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.
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.
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.
For more information, please go to: http://www.rev.gov.on.ca/en/credit/otb/index.html