With sky-high airline fares and hours-long lineups at airports, you might want to re-imagine your summer holidays.
The good news is that there are plenty of places to explore here in Canada. And even better, you might be able to keep a little more money in your pocket on your ‘staycation’ thanks to the recently-implemented Ontario Staycation Tax Credit.
Let’s dive in a little deeper into this new credit to find out how it works and how much you can expect to get back at tax time.
What Is The Ontario Staycation Tax Credit?
The Ontario Staycation Tax Credit was introduced to encourage Ontarians to vacation within the province in an effort to boost the local tourism and hospitality industry following the financial hardships businesses within these sectors suffered throughout the COVID‑19 pandemic.
For stays that take place in 2022, residents of Ontario can claim 20% of eligible expenses for accommodations when filing their income tax returns for the 2022 tax year. Individuals can claim up to $1,000 in eligible expenses, and couples and those with eligible children can claim up to $2,000. In turn, you can get back up to $200 as an individual or $400 as a family based on the 20% claim allowance.
Eligibility Requirements For the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit
In order to qualify for the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit, you must be an Ontario resident as of December 31, 2022. Only one person per household is permitted to claim the tax credit for the 2022 year. You’re allowed to claim eligible expenses of your spouse or common-law partner and any eligible children.
What Can You Claim Using Your Ontario Staycation Tax Credit?
As mentioned, the tax credit applies to accommodation expenses within Ontario. The stays must be for leisure purposes and can be made for no longer than one month in duration.
The following lodging accommodations are eligible for the tax credit :
- Hotels and motels
- Short-term vacation rentals
- Bed-and-breakfast facilities
Documents Required To Claim Tax Credit
You, your spouse or common-law partner, or your eligible child(ren) must pay for the accommodations to be eligible. You must retain a receipt for the stay to file with your income taxes, which should contain the following information:
- Location of the accommodations
- Date of the stay
- Cost for the accommodation
- GST/HST paid
- Name of the person paying
Leisure stays must take place between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022, no matter when the payment for the stays is made.
What Can’t You Claim Using Your Ontario Staycation Tax Credit?
The above list includes several different types of accommodations for leisurely stays, but there are a few expenses that are not eligible for the tax credit.
You cannot claim the new tax credit for the following accommodations:
- Stays on a self-propelled vehicle, including boats and trains
- Car rentals
- Expenses for travel, including gas, parking, groceries, and admission to attractions
- Reimbursed accommodation expenses to you, your spouse, your common-law partner, or your eligible child(ren)
- Educational, employment, or business expenses
- Anything that can be claimed for a medical expense tax credit
Need Extra Cash To Fund Your Staycation?
If you’re a bit cash short, consider taking out a personal loan to help you fund your costs. With it, you can spread your costs over a few months to a few years. However, be sure not to overextend yourself as that can lead to debt problems.
Before you apply for a loan, be sure to check your credit score. Your credit can impact your approval and the loan terms you qualify for. Generally, higher credit scores lead to better rates and terms. To check your credit score for free, use Compare Hub.
How To Apply For The Ontario Staycation Tax Credit
The Ontario Staycation Tax Credit is temporary in nature and is applicable only for the 2022 tax year. All you need to do is make sure your expenses are eligible for the refundable tax credit, then include your claim when you file your 2022 personal income tax return. You can get this tax credit even if you don’t owe any income tax for 2022.
Where Can You Go For a Staycation in Ontario?
There’s no need to cross the border to enjoy a vacation. Ontario offers plenty of options when it comes to holidays. Here are a few ideas to help you decide where to go next that are eligible for the new Ontario Staycation Tax Credit:
- Clifton Hill attractions in Niagara Falls
- Summer and winter fun in Blue Mountain
- TO CityPass to see famous attractions in Toronto
- Parliament Hill tours in Ottawa
- Boating in Friday Harbor
- Beach vacations in Wasaga Beach
- Cruising in the 1,000 Islands
- Great Wolf Lodge, Americana, or Fallsview Indoor Waterpark in Niagara
- Wine tasting in Niagara-on-the-Lake
- Bed and breakfasts in Prince Edward County
- Stratford Festival shows
- Weekend getaways to Casino Rama
- Luxury Hotels in downtown Toronto
- Romantic cruises along the Rideau Canal
- Cottage country in Muskoka, the Kawarthas, and Algonquin Park
- Skiing in Horseshoe Valley
- Fly fishing in Haliburton
- Sailing on Lake Superior
Ontario Staycation Tax Credit FAQs
How much can you claim with the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit?
Is there an Ontario staycation tax credit for 2021?
Is Airbnb eligible for the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit?
The prospect of putting a few hundred dollars back in your pocket may incentivize you to stick around close to home for your upcoming holiday. Luckily, Ontario has a wide range of amazing holiday offerings to choose from to accommodate any type of vacation. Just keep your receipts and file them with your taxes next year to get a few bucks back.