- What is the Ontario Trillium Benefit?
- Why is the government making this change?
- When is the Ontario Trillium Benefit issued?
- How much is the Ontario Trillium Benefit?
- How do I apply for the Ontario Trillium Benefit?
- Am I eligible to receive the Ontario Trillium Benefit?
- Why will the Ontario Trillium Benefit be paid monthly instead of in a lump sum?
- What about the interest I used to make after I received my lump sum payment?
- Will I receive the Ontario Trillium Benefit if I am qualified for one or two but not all three credits that are components of the Ontario Trillium Benefit?
- Will I continue to get the lump sum tax refund that I have come to expect at the end of the tax year?
- Why is the government not offering a lump sum payment option?
- I have not filed my 2011 income tax and benefit return. Will I still receive the Ontario Trillium Benefit?
- Where can I receive help to file my income tax return?
- Why does my income tax form no longer show how much money I’ll get back?
- Who will issue the Ontario Trillium Benefit?
- How will the Ontario Trillium Benefit be delivered?
- Why did I receive a lump-sum payment instead of monthly payments?
- How much does it cost to cash Ontario Trillium Benefit cheques?
The Ontario Trillium Benefit helps people pay for energy costs, and provides relief for sales tax and property tax. More frequent and predictable tax credit payments ensure a better match to when people incur these costs. This means people get their benefit earlier.
If you qualify, the Ontario Trillium Benefit will be issued on the 10th of each month.
The amount of the Ontario Trillium Benefit is the total of the amounts you are eligible to receive for each of the Ontario Sales Tax Credit, Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, and Northern Ontario Energy Credit.
You must complete the Ontario Form ON-BEN which is part of the T1 General Income Tax and Benefit Return package, and file it with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Filing your tax return on or before the normal filing deadline of April 30th will ensure you receive your Ontario Trillium Benefit payments on time. If you file late, your payments will be delayed.
By moving from a lump sum payment following the tax year to monthly payments throughout the year, we are taking the same approach used to deliver Ontario Child Benefit, federal Universal Child Care Benefit, Canada Child Tax Benefit and Goods and Services Tax Credit payments.
People across Ontario told us that predictable and regular payments of tax credits would help them better meet their monthly expenses as the bills come in. This new approach will help people better manage their household costs.
Below you'll see how Ontarians are receiving their refundable tax credits earlier and more frequently than if they were paid as a lump sum when people file their tax returns.
In the 2013 Budget, the government proposes to offer OTB recipients a choice between getting their OTB monthly or as a single payment. You would be able to make this choice starting in 2014 on your 2013 tax return. Find out more: The Ontario Trillium Benefit: More Choice for People.
People used to wait until after they filed their tax return to get their Ontario credits for the year.
Ontarians now receive some tax credits earlier and more frequently than before, with advance monthly payments of refundable credits. For someone who used to receive their lump sum credits in April, with the new payment schedule they are getting their credits 9 months earlier. By the time April comes, they will have received 75 per cent of their credits.
For example, people started to receive their 2011 credits before filing their 2011 tax returns. The payments of the 2011 Ontario Sales Tax Credit were paid in August 2011, November 2011, February 2012, and May 2012. The 2011 Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC) and 2011 Northern Ontario Energy Credit (NOEC) were delivered together. The 2011 OEPTC-NOEC payments were made in July, December 2011, March 2012, and June 2012.
After people filed their 2011 tax returns, they started to get their 2012 tax credits earlier too – they got payments in July 2012 and every month after that for a total of 12 months, as the Ontario Trillium Benefit.
Will I receive the Ontario Trillium Benefit if I am qualified for one or two but not all three credits that are components of the Ontario Trillium Benefit?
Yes, you will receive the Ontario Trillium Benefit if you are eligible for at least one of the following: Ontario Sales Tax Credit, Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit or Northern Ontario Energy Credit.
Will I continue to get the lump sum tax refund that I have come to expect at the end of the tax year?
If your refund consists of the Ontario Trillium Benefit, you will receive it on a monthly basis. However, if you qualify for other credits, or if too much tax was withheld by your employer, you may still receive a lump sum payment after your tax return is filed, in addition to the monthly Ontario Trillium Benefit payments.
The Ontario government increased the threshold to $360 from $240 a year which means that more people will get their yearly benefit in a single payment, delivered each July.
Recipients entitled to more than $360 in benefits for the year will continue to receive monthly payments.
Ontarians now get their money sooner and on a predictable schedule, as bills are received, rather than having to wait until they file next year's tax return.
The Ontario Trillium Benefit is part of the Ontario government's ongoing commitment to provide relief to Ontarians with modest incomes and supports the Poverty Reduction Strategy.
I have not filed my 2011 income tax and benefit return. Will I still receive the Ontario Trillium Benefit?
You must file your income tax return each year, even if you don't have any income to report, and apply for the Ontario Trillium Benefit. You must complete the Ontario Form ON-BEN which is part of the T1 General Income Tax and Benefit Return package. Filing your tax return on or before the normal filing deadline of April 30th will ensure that you receive your Ontario Trillium Benefit on time. If you file your return after the filing deadline, you will still receive the Ontario Trillium Benefit but your payments will start at a later date.
There are no-cost ways to file your personal income tax return. People with simple tax returns may be able to use free tax preparation software available from a variety of online tax filing services.
The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program is a partnership between the CRA and various community organizations that helps eligible people prepare their income tax and benefit returns.
For more information about the volunteer tax preparation clinics 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.
Starting with 2011 tax returns, Ontarians are no longer required to calculate their entitlement to certain refundable tax credits on their tax return. This simplifies the application process for Ontarians. Instead, the CRA will calculate your entitlement for you based on the information you provide on your return.
Most tax preparation software will give you an estimate of how much money you can expect to get in Ontario refundable tax credits when you file your taxes. You will also see the actual amounts in the notices from the CRA following the assessment of your tax return.
Another way to help you estimate your tax savings is to use the Ontario tax credit calculator. The tax credit calculator is for information purposes only. You will need to file your personal income tax return – even if you did not earn any income – to find out what benefits and how much you are entitled to receive.
The CRA will issue the Ontario Trillium Benefit on behalf of the province.
If you receive your income tax refund by direct deposit, you will receive your Ontario Trillium Benefit payments by direct deposit. Otherwise, you will receive your payments by cheque. You may cash your cheque at many Canadian banks at no cost.
It is faster and easier to receive your payments by direct deposit. You 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.
If you file your tax return by April 30th and your total Ontario Trillium Benefit entitlement for the year is $360 or less, you will receive a single payment on July 10th. If you file your return late, it will be paid in your first payment month.
Specific rules apply to annual Ontario Trillium Benefit entitlements of under $10. If your Ontario Trillium Benefit entitlement for the year is $2 or less, you will not receive a payment. In general, the CRA does not charge or refund amounts less than $2. However, if your Ontario Trillium Benefit entitlement for the year is greater than $2 but less than $10, it will be increased to $10 and you will get it as a single payment.
Ontario Trillium Benefit cheques may be cashed at Canadian banks at no cost. If you would like to minimize the fees and charges associated with maintaining a bank account, talk to your bank or credit union. Some Canadian banks offer no-fee bank accounts which you may use to receive your payments by direct deposit.