Published: March 2012
Content last reviewed: March 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4435-9301-4 (HTML)
On March 27, 2012, the 2012 Ontario Budget was tabled in the Legislature. This notice highlights information which was included in the Budget pertaining to the Ontario Trillium Benefit and the Ontario Child Benefit.
This notice provides general information and is not a substitute for the legislation.
In the 2011 Budget, the government introduced the Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) to better match the payment of refundable tax credits to when people incur expenses. The OTB includes payments of the Ontario Sales Tax Credit, Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, and Northern Ontario Energy Credit.
Ontarians used to wait until after they filed their tax returns to get their tax credits for the year. People across the province told the government that predictable and regular payments of tax credits would help them better meet their monthly expenses as the bills come in.
Ontarians are already receiving their 2011 tax credits sooner and more frequently than before. After people file their 2011 tax returns, their 2012 tax credits will arrive every month, starting in July 2012. Therefore, they will receive their tax credits sooner than if these credits were paid as part of their tax refund in early 2013.
Ontarians are now receiving their refundable tax credits earlier and more frequently than if they were paid as a lump sum when people file their tax returns.
Making payments more than once a year is the same approach used for other benefits that are delivered to Ontarians, such as the Ontario Child Benefit.
In previous years, some tax credit recipients have gone to tax preparation services to get an immediate refund. These immediate refunds are usually reduced by a service fee of up to 15 per cent. The OTB means that people do not have to pay to get their money sooner
People can file their tax returns at no charge over the phone with the Canada Revenue Agency. Also, many online tax software providers allow people to file simple returns by using their software for free. The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program is a partnership between the Canada Revenue Agency and community organizations that assists many low-income Ontarians in preparing their returns every year free of charge.
The government has heard from many people who would like to have the choice of receiving these refundable tax credits either as monthly payments throughout the year or as a single payment after the year has ended. In the coming year, the government will look at options for giving people that choice starting next year.
The Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) is a key component of the government's Poverty Reduction Strategy. The OCB has been particularly effective in allowing parents to continue to work or pursue employment without fear of losing their children's benefits. The OCB has also contributed to lifting 20,000 children out of poverty.
The government remains committed to reducing poverty. To continue building on these positive results in a fiscally sustainable way, the government will increase the maximum annual OCB payment from $1,100 to $1,210 in July 2013. The maximum annual payment will be increased again to $1,310 in July 2014. Together, these increases will extend benefits to an additional 90,000 children in 46,000 families.
Please note that this proposal must be passed by the Legislature and receive Royal Assent to become law.
For more information, please call the Ontario Budget hotline at: