- Stephen Lecce, MPP
Ontario Making Life More Affordable This Tax Season with Tax Credits for Workers, Seniors and Family
TORONTO — The Ontario government continues to deliver on its commitment to put more money in the pockets of seniors, workers and families by offering tax credits this tax season.
“The people of Ontario work hard and our government understands that taxpayers are under pressure,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. “As people gear up for another tax season, I want to encourage everyone to explore the credits they could be eligible to receive.”
Ontario residents should file their 2021 Income Tax and Benefit Return to get tax credits and benefits, even if they have no taxable income to report. The government’s suite of tax credits and benefits includes:
The Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit helps workers get training that may be needed for a career shift, re-training or to sharpen their skills. The credit provides up to $2,000 in relief for 50 per cent of a person’s eligible expense. The government is extending this tax credit to the 2022 tax year, to help more workers continue to upgrade their skills and transition back to the labour force.
The Seniors' Home Safety Tax Credit helps make seniors’ homes safer and more accessible so they can stay in their homes longer. The credit is worth 25 per cent of up to $10,000 in eligible expenses for a senior’s principal residence in Ontario, to a maximum credit of $2,500. The government is also extending this tax credit to the 2022 tax year, to help seniors who may not have had a chance to use it in 2021.
The Low-Income Workers Tax Credit, known as Low-income Individuals and Families Tax (LIFT) Credit, provides up to $850 each year in Ontario personal income tax relief to low-income workers, and can be used to reduce or eliminate an individual’s Ontario personal income tax, excluding the Ontario Health Premium.
The Ontario Child Care Tax Credit (known as Ontario Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) Tax Credit), which puts more money in the pockets of families and provides the flexibility they need to choose the child care options that work best for them. The government is providing a 20 per cent top‐up to this tax credit for 2021, increasing support from $1,250 to $1,500, on average.
The Ontario Seniors' Public Transit Tax Credit is a refundable tax credit to help seniors with public transit costs.
The Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit is a refundable tax credit to help low to moderate income individuals and seniors with property taxes and sales tax on energy costs.
The Northern Ontario Energy Credit is a refundable tax credit to help Northern Ontarians with higher home energy costs.
Individuals and families should also save their receipts for local travel in 2022, to claim the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit next tax season.
This tax credit encourages Ontario families to explore the province, helping the tourism and hospitality sectors recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows Ontario residents to claim 20 per cent of their eligible 2022 accommodation expenses (for example, for a stay at an eligible hotel, cottage or campground) of up to $1,000 as an individual or $2,000 if you have a spouse, common-law partner or eligible children, to get back up to $200 as an individual or $400 as a family.
These tax credits build on the government’s efforts to make life more affordable for people and families, such as:
As of January 18, 2022, electricity prices for residential, small businesses and farms who pay regulated rates set by the Ontario Energy Board were automatically set to the off-peak rate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, less than half the cost of the current on-peak rate, for 24 hours a day until February 7. This measure supported workers and families spending more time at home while the province was in Modified Step Two.
As of January 1, 2022, the government of Ontario increased the general minimum wage to $15.00 per hour, and eliminated the separate minimum wage for liquor servers, raising their hourly wage to $15.00. With this change, more than 760,000 workers in Ontario are expected to see their take-home earnings increase.
The provincial government’s housing policies under More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan are working to make housing more affordable by increasing the supply of the full range of housing options, from single-family homes to midrise housing to apartment buildings, and the Housing Affordability Task Force has provided the government with recommendations on additional measures to address market housing supply and affordability. Premier Doug Ford and Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, also met with big city mayors and regional chairs at the Ontario-Municipal Housing Summit on January 19, 2022 to coordinate efforts to increase the supply of all kinds of housing across the province. Premier Ford and Minister Clark also met with smaller, rural, remote, and northern municipalities at the Rural Housing Roundtable on January 23 to discuss their unique experiences with the housing crisis and other opportunities to collaborate to increase supply.
The deadline for most individuals to file their personal 2021 Income Tax and Benefit Return is Monday, May 2, 2022.
Individuals can plan ahead and save time filing by using the Canada Revenue Agency’s suite of digital services to view and update their information in advance.
The government is also improving cash flows for Ontario businesses by making up to $7.5 billion available through a six-month interest- and penalty-free period for Ontario businesses to make payments for most provincially administered taxes. This penalty and interest-free period started on January 1, 2022. This supports businesses now and provides the flexibility they will need for long-term planning.
Find out what benefits you may be eligible to claim by answering a few questions through Ontario’s anonymous Find Benefits and Programs service.