The Ontario Trillium Benefit is refundable tax credit for low to moderate income residents of Ontario. It was created by the provincial government in 2011 and combines three previous credits: The Northern Ontario Energy Credit, the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, and the Ontario Sales Tax Credit.
If in 2022 you filed your taxes on time, the benefit can be paid monthly in advance of the actual credit date. Alternatively, you can choose to wait and have one single payment on the credit date in June 2022. Whether you choose monthly or one lump sum payments, you get the same amount under the benefit. If your total payment is under $360, you will receive it in one sum in July 2022. For more information on the Ontario Trillium Benefit, continue reading.
What is the Ontario Trillium Benefit?
The Ontario Trillium Benefit is a refundable tax credit for low to moderate income residents of Ontario. It is designed to help pay for energy costs, sales, and property tax. The credit combines the below three tax credits. You only need to qualify for one of these credits to be eligible for the benefit.
Northern Ontario Energy Credit (NOEC)
The Northern Ontario Energy Credit is a tax-free credit to offset with the energy costs that come with living in Northern Ontario. You qualify if you live in: Algoma, Cochrane, Kenora, Manitoulin, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Rainy River, Sudbury, Thunder Bay or Timiskaming. Additional criteria are outlined below.
To qualify for the Northern Ontario Energy Credit, you must be 18 years of age or older and rented or paid property tax for your main residence in Northern Ontario. If you lived on a reserve and paid for home energy costs or if you lived in a public long-term care home and paid for a portion of your accommodation, you also qualify.
Individuals can receive a maximum of $158 and families can receive a maximum of $243. Those who qualify for the Northern Ontario Energy Credit can still be eligible for more money under the other tax credits.
Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC)
The Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit is a tax-free payment to offset property taxes and sales tax on energy costs.
To qualify for the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, you must be 18 years of age or older and rented or paid property tax for your main residence. If you lived on a reserve and paid for home energy costs or if you lived in a public long-term care home and paid for a portion of your accommodation, you qualify.
Eligibility also depends on where you live from the 1st of each month. If you live in Ontario on the 1st but move out of the province mid-month, you’d be eligible for that month’s credit but not future months while you live outside of Ontario.
Individuals are eligible for a maximum of $1,095 if they are between the ages of 18 and 64, $1,247 if they are over 65, $243 if they live on a reserve or in a public long-term care home, and $25 for any time lived on college or university campuses.
Ontario Sales Tax Credit (OSTC)
The Ontario Sales Tax Credit is a tax-free payment to offset sales tax Ontarians pay.
To qualify for the Ontario Sales Tax Credit, you must be 19 years of age or older and be a resident of Ontario from before June 1, 2022.
Individuals are eligible for a maximum of $316 for themselves, their spouse, and each dependent child under the age of 19.
Ontario Trillium Benefit Payment Dates 2023
Any of the above three tax credits are classified under the larger umbrella, the Ontario Trillium Benefit. Which credits you are eligible for, your income, your age, residence, family size, and amount of rent or property tax paid determine the amounts you will receive. As for timing, the Ontario government specifies exact dates when payments will be made. In 2023, Ontario Trillium Benefit payments are scheduled for:
- January 10, 2023
- February 10, 2023
- March 10, 2023
- April 6, 2023
- May 10, 2023
- June 9, 2023
- July 10, 2023
- August 10, 2023
- September 8, 2023
- October 10, 2023
- November 10, 2023
- December 8, 2023
How to apply for the Ontario Trillium Benefit
You can apply for the Ontario Trillium Benefit when you file your taxes. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will use the reported information to determine the amount you’re eligible for and pay it out on the scheduled dates. When filing your taxes, make sure you have filed for the Ontario Trillium Benefits by completing the ON-BEN form.
If you are in a moderate-lower income tax bracket and pay rent, property tax, or energy bills anywhere in Ontario, you will not want to miss out on this benefit. Filing taxes on time means you will get payments according to the above schedule. Do not worry if you are filling late, you will still get payments, but they may be delayed. If you have not filed your 2020 tax return yet, consider completing your return so you can take advantage of this benefit.
Even if you do not have any income, consider filing to gain access to this credit and remember to apply for this benefit every year. If you have already filed your taxes and did not include the ON-BEN form, you can file an adjustment to your return using your CRA My Account.
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