Ontario Trillium Benefit

The Ontario Trillium Benefit is a monthly payment that helps low-to-moderate-income families with their sales and property tax credits and energy costs. The OTB is one combined payment that incorporates three separate tax credits.

The Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) is a tax credit to help people pay for property and energy taxes and their living expenses. It is a monthly payment that is usually issued on the 10th of each month, starting in July. The OTB is made up of three different programs:

  • The Ontario energy and property tax credit
  • The Northern Ontario energy credit
  • The Ontario sales tax credit

The OTB is not included in your taxable income, and it is typically non-taxable as well. However, it can be used to offset any outstanding debt owed to the Canada Revenue Agency.

The OTB will be increased automatically every year by 4% to keep up with inflation. However, it is not indexed in all provinces. For example, Quebec has its own provincial child benefits called the Quebec family allowance, which is indexed to inflation and is similar in size to the OTB. The OTB also varies by region, and there are some differences in the income thresholds. For this reason, it is important to check the OTB rates for your area.

Eligibility Ontario

Eligibility

The OTB is based on data from your previous year’s personal income tax return. The CRA will determine whether you’re eligible for the OTB and how much you can receive. You may receive the OTB in monthly payments, or you may choose to receive one lump sum payment in July.

The OTB is available to low-income individuals and families who pay for energy, property, and/or sales taxes. The OTB amount you receive is based on factors like your family’s net income, where you live, and household size. To claim the OTB, you’ll need to file an annual tax return and complete Form ON-BEN. If you file your return with TurboTax, this form will be automatically completed for you. You can also file your tax return and complete the ON-BEN online using CRA My Account or by mail.

ON-BEN Form

The ON-BEN form asks for details about your family’s net income, age, location, and family status. It is important to apply every year because your eligibility can change based on changes to your family’s income, location, or age.

You can fill out the ON-BEN form by yourself or ask a community volunteer income tax program to do it for you. The deadline for filing your return is April 30 each year. The Canada Revenue Agency usually processes Trillium benefit payments within 10 business days after they receive your tax returns. In some cases, it can take up to three weeks to receive your payment. If you are unsure if you qualify for this credit, contact the Canada Revenue Agency.

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