Every province in Canada has different programs designed to aid the living conditions of residents. The Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC) is one such program. OEPTC is a provincial tax credit initiative organized by the Ontario provincial government to help low-income earners who own or rent a primary residence.
The OEPTC comprises two major components – the energy and property tax components. This tax credit is accessible to residents even if they don’t pay income tax.
What is Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC)?
Ontario energy and property tax credit (OEPTC) is one of the Ontario Trillium Benefit refundable credits paid to eligible Canadians. OEPTC is a tax-free payment that helps you with payments like property taxes and sales tax on energy costs, and it is also a part of the Ontario Trillium Benefit program.
The Ontario Trillium Benefit
The Ontario Trillium Benefit is a refundable credit designed to aid low-income families. It is calculated based on a family’s net income and is lessened when your income exceeds a specific amount based on your family situation.
The Ontario Trillium benefit comprises three credits that help residents pay for energy, sales, and property taxes. The benefits include:
- Ontario energy and property tax credit
- Northern Ontario energy credit
- Ontario sale tax credit
OEPTC Eligibility Requirements
Like with every benefit program, there is an eligibility process required of every applicant. Below are some of the eligibility criteria:
- Applicants must be a resident of Ontario at the beginning of each month
- You must be 18 years of age
- Applicants must be currently or previously married or have a common-law partner.
- You are a parent who currently or previously shared a residence with your kids.
- Residents who have previously rented or paid property tax
Energy Component Eligibility Requirement
The eligibility criteria for energy components are:
- Rent for your principal residence, which was subjected to Ontario municipal or education property tax, was paid by or for you.
- You were billed or were responsible for the property tax on your primary residence in Ontario.
- You were a resident of a reserve in Ontario, and home energy costs for your principal residence on the reserve were by you or for you.
- You were a resident of a public or non-profit long-term care facility in Ontario, and a fee was charged by or for you.
Tax Component Eligibility Requirement
Eligibility criteria for property tax component are as follows:
- You charged or arranged rent payment for your primary home, subject to the Ontario municipal or education property tax.
- You or your common-law partner paid the property tax for your principal residence.
- You were a resident of an Ontario university, college, or private school.
The OEPTC also depends on your marital status and the Property tax or rent you pay.
How Much is the OEPTC?
- Applicants between 18 and 64 are eligible to receive a maximum of CA$1095.
- Those over 65 years old, will receive a maximum of CA$1247.
- If you live in a reserve or public long-term care home, you will receive CA$243.
- If you lived in a college, university, or private school residence, you would receive CA$25.
The maximum amount for 2021 OEPTC is:
- For non-seniors – CA$1095, including CA$243 as energy component and CA$852 as property tax component.
- For seniors – CA$1247, including CA$243 as energy component and CA$1004 as property tax component.
OEPTC Payment Eligibility
The OEPTC you receive depends on the following factors such as:
- Marital status
- Property tax
- Rent paid
- Energy costs paid
- Accommodation cost paid
You are allowed to contact the Canadian revenue agency if any of these occurs:
- Qualify but did not receive your payment
- Did not receive the Ontario tax credits that you were entitled to
- Received less than mentioned
- If requested to repay a credit under an assessment that falls under the federal government program
It’s your right to formally object to the Canadian revenue agency if you experience any of those mentioned above.
Payments not Eligible for OEPTC
Some of the amounts you pay on a property are not included as rent or property tax. They include:
- Rent paid for a principal residence but not subjected to municipal and education property tax.
- Fees such as goods and services paid as rents are not included.
- Condo fees
- Payments to family or associates who do not declare the fees on their tax returns as rental income
- Rent is paid for any part of the house used for rental or business purposes.
- The property tax paid on cottages.
- Amount paid for living in a university or private school residence
How to Apply for OEPTC
To apply for OEPTC, you have to file an income tax and benefit return. You can find these forms in your tax package if you are a resident of Ontario. The documents required are ON-BEN, application for Ontario trillium benefit, and Ontario senior homeowner’s property tax.
Check the 61020 part of the ON-BEN form, part of the Ontario energy and property tax credit application. Other information required is as follows:
- The principal residence rent is paid by you or for you.
- The property tax is paid by or for you.
- If you lived in a college or private school residency, tick the box beside 61140.
- Home electricity expenses for your primary residence on a reserve in Ontario, which you or anyone else pays for.
- Accommodation cost for living in a public or non-profit care home in Ontario, paid by you or for you
The Canadian revenue agency will analyze whether you are eligible and inform you if you qualify to receive the credit based on this information. The community volunteer for income tax program will help if you cannot process your tax return yourself.
If you lived in a care home too long and municipal and the institution does not cover school taxes, then you should only enter the accommodation charges paid by you in the forms.
If you are married but living apart and maintaining separate apartments in Ontario for medical reasons, you can apply for OEPTC for your independent residency. But then, each person will be considered single or involuntarily separated by the Canadian revenue agency for claims.
Generally, OEPTC is an excellent way to decrease the burden of paying rent or owning a property. Although making a claim can be quite a hassle, a community volunteer for income tax can assist you.
Those whose application was denied can file an objection to a Canadian revenue agency or send a completed complaint to the income tax act or a signed letter to Eastern Appeals Intake Centre.