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Did you know?

You may be eligible for new or improved tax relief measures and online services when filing your 2014 income tax and benefit return.

Important facts

  • Children’s fitness amount – Under proposed changes, the maximum amount of eligible fees for each child has increased to $1,000.
  • Search and rescue volunteer amount – As a search and rescue volunteer, you may be able to claim an amount of $3,000.
  • Family Tax Cut – A proposed non-refundable tax credit of up to $2,000 is available to eligible couples with children under the age of 18, and is effective starting with the 2014 tax year.
  • Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) – Under proposed changes, this benefit is being increased for children under age six. Effective January 1, 2015, parents will be eligible for a benefit of $160 per month for each eligible child under the age of six – up from $100 per month. Under proposed changes to expand the UCCB, parents may also receive a benefit of $60 per month for eligible children ages six through 17. Payments of the additional amount and expanded amount will start in July of 2015.
  • Emergency services volunteers – Rules for the $1,000 exemption for emergency services have changed.
  • Adoption expenses – The maximum amount of eligible expenses for each child has been increased to $15,000.
  • Medical expenses – Amounts paid as salary for designing of personalized therapy plans for persons eligible to claim the disability tax credit and costs for service animals used to help manage severe diabetes, are now eligible as medical expenses.
  • Investment tax credit – Eligibility for the mineral exploration tax credit has been extended to flow-through share agreements entered into before April 2015.
  • GST/HST credit – You no longer have to apply for the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit. When you file your return, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will determine your eligibility and will advise those who are eligible to receive the credit. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, only one of you can receive the credit. The credit will be paid to the person whose return is assessed first. The amount will be the same, regardless of who (in the couple) receives it.
  • Online mail – When you register for online mail, you’ll have instant access to your tax records anytime, anywhere. Choose to receive an email notification that your notice of assessment or reassessment is available online. Provide us with an email address on your T1 return or register directly online starting February 2015 at www.cra.gc.ca/myaccount.
  • Mobile application: In February 2015, the CRA will be launching a mobile app for individual taxpayers.

CRA online services make filing easier and getting your refund faster

The CRA’s online services are fast, easy, and secure. You can use them to file your income tax and benefit return, make a payment, track your refund, receive your notice of assessment, and more. Did you know that the Government of Canada is switching to direct deposit for all payments that it issues? This includes your tax refund and benefit payments. Sign up for direct deposit today! For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/getready.

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.

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.

 

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)

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

For more information, please go to: http://www.rev.gov.on.ca/en/credit/otb/index.html

Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan is moving our province to clean sources of power while shutting down coal plants that pollute the air we breathe. Upgrading and modernizing our energy infrastructure is helping to provide reliable power to our homes and businesses. Building more clean energy is also creating thousands of jobs for Ontarians in a growing renewable energy industry, supplying the solar, wind, bio-energy and hydro-electric markets.

To help you with the increased costs of these essential investments during this period of transition, the Ontario government is providing a 10% rebate off your total electricity bill – including electricity costs, regulatory charges, the debt retirement charge and taxes.

You will receive the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit on every bill for the next five years as our province continues to build our clean energy future. The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit applies to electricity charges incurred as of January 1, 2011.

Through the 2010 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, the government is taking action today to help Ontarians who are feeling the pinch of rising costs and electricity prices. The Ontario government is proposing direct relief through a new Ontario Clean Energy Benefit (OCEB).

For eligible consumers, the proposed OCEB would provide a benefit equal to 10 per cent of the total cost of electricity on their bills including tax, effective January 1, 2011. Due to the length of time required to amend bills, these price adjustments would appear on electricity bills no later than May 2011, and would be retroactive to January 1, 2011.

Eligible consumers include residential, farm, small business and other small users. The proposed OCEB would help over four million residential consumers and over 400,000 small businesses, farms, and other consumers with the transition to a reliable and cleaner electricity system as more investment in transmission and supply capacity is brought online to support the province.

The following table provides examples of the impact the proposed OCEB would have on monthly electricity bills.

Table 1
Benefits for Eligible Customers
Customer
(Monthly Consumption)
Current Estimated Monthly Bill Estimated Bill after Ontario Clean Energy Benefit Monthly Benefit1 (10%) Yearly Benefit1 (10%)
Typical Residential
800 kWh
$128 $115.20 $12.80 $153.60
Small Business
10,000 kWh
$1,430 $1,287 $143 $1,716
Farm
12,000 kWh
$1,710 $1,539 $171 $2,052
  • 1 Typical 2011 monthly benefit for a consumer. Benefit amount will vary based on actual price, consumption and location.
  • Source: Ontario Ministry of Energy.

 

Click here for a sample of how the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit might look on your bill (utility bills vary in style from community to community). Scroll down to see Frequently Asked Questions about the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit.

For more information, call 1-888-668-4636.

What is the first-time home buyers’ tax credit (HBTC)?

The HBTC is a non-refundable tax credit for certain homebuyers who acquire a qualifying home after January 27, 2009, that is – closing after this date.

How is the HBTC calculated?

The HBTC is calculated by multiplying the lowest personal income tax rate for the year (15% in 2009) by $5,000. For 2009, the credit will be $750. However, if the total of your non-refundable tax credits is more than your federal income tax, you will not receive a refund for the HBTC.

What is a qualifying home?

A qualifying home is a housing unit located in Canada. This includes existing homes and those being constructed. Single-family homes, semi-detached homes, townhouses, mobile homes, condominium units, as well as apartments in duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, and apartment buildings all qualify. A share in a co-operative housing corporation that entitles you to possess, and gives you an equity interest in, a housing unit located in Canada also qualifies. However, a share that only provides you with a right to tenancy in the housing unit does not qualify.

Also, you must intend to occupy the home or you must intend that the related person with a disability occupy the home as a principal place of residence no later than one year after it is acquired.

Where can I get more information?

For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/hbtc or call us at 1-800-959-8281.