Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) 2021

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Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) 2021

Written by Mark Gregorski
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood

Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) 2021

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Government Assistance Tax Tax Credit

If you’ve recently moved out of your parents’ home, you’ve probably come to realize very quickly just how expensive it can be. There are so many costs to cover, such as groceries, utility bills, mortgage or rent payments, and property taxes, all of which can rapidly drain your bank account and cause financial hardship.

The cost of living is exceptionally high in Ontario, home to some of Canada’s most expensive cities. To help Ontario residents manage the soaring living costs, the provincial government offers the Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB).

Moving out? Check out these mistakes first time renters make

What is The Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB)?

The OTB is a refundable tax credit designed to provide financial relief for low-to-moderate-income Ontarians. It aims to offset some of the living costs homeowners face, such as utility bills and property taxes. The benefit is a combination of the following three credits:

  • Northern Ontario Energy Credit
  • Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit
  • Ontario Sales Tax Credit

To qualify for the OTB, you need to be eligible to receive at least one of these three credits.

Northern Ontario Energy Credit 

The Northern Ontario Energy Credit is a tax-free payment that assists Northern Ontarians with the high energy costs they contend with living in the north. To be eligible for this credit, you must be a resident of Northern Ontario and fall into at least one of the following categories:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Have or previously had a spouse or partner
  • A parent who lives with or has lived with their child

Also, you must have paid for either:

  • Property taxes or rent on your primary residence
  • Occupancy costs while living in a nursing home
  • Home energy costs while living on a reserve. 

Is going green important to you. Check out these green tax credits, rebates and government programs.

Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit 

The Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit is a tax-free payment that helps Ontario residents cover their property taxes and the sales tax on their energy costs. To be eligible for this credit, you must fall into at least one of the following categories:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Have or previously had a spouse or partner
  • A parent who lives with or has lived with their child

Also, you must have paid for either:

  • Property taxes or rent on your primary residence
  • Occupancy costs while living in a nursing home
  • Home energy costs while living on a reserve.

You also qualify if you lived in a post-secondary school residence in the previous year.

Check out how much you may need to pay for Canadian provincial land transfer tax.

Ontario Sales Tax Credit 

The Ontario Sales Tax Credit is a tax-free payment designed to offset a portion of the sales tax Ontarians pay for goods and services. To be eligible for this credit, you must fall into at least one of the following categories:

  • At least 19 years of age
  • Married, previously married, or in a common-law relationship
  • A parent who lives with or has lived with their child

Does your child or spouse have a disability? Then you should check out the disability tax credit.

Ontario Trillium Benefit Payment Schedule

Below is the OTB payment schedule for 2021 (the OTB payment period runs from July to June):

  • January 8, 2021
  • February 10, 2021
  • March 10, 2021
  • April 9, 2021
  • May 10, 2021
  • June 10, 2021
  • July 9, 2021
  • August 10, 2021
  • September 10, 2021
  • October 8, 2021
  • November 10, 2021
  • December 10, 2021

For the 2021 OTB period, you will receive monthly payments if your benefit is more than $360, but you also have the option to receive one lump-sum payment in July (the end of the OTB payment period). If your payment is less than $360, you’ll be paid the entire amount in July.

Check out the payment dates for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

How Much Can You Receive with the Ontario Trillium Benefit?

The amount of OTB you receive will depend on your age, income, family size, residence, and how much you pay in rent or property tax. Below is an overview of what you can expect to get based on the three credits that constitute the OTB.

Northern Ontario Energy Credit (NOEC)

If you’re single, the maximum payment you’re entitled to is $158. If you have a family, the maximum payment is $243.

Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC)

You could receive a maximum OEPTC payment of:

  • $1,095 if you’re between 18 and 64 years old
  • $1,247 if you’re over 65 years old
  • $243 if you live on a reserve or in a long-term care facility
  • $25 if you’re a student living in a post-secondary school residence

Are you a student? Check out these student tax credits and deductions.

Ontario Sales Tax Credit (OSTC)

The maximum OSTC payment you can get is $316. This amount is for every adult and child in your household. 

Ontario Trillium Benefit FAQs

Is the OTB taxable?

No, OTB payments are not taxable; you’re not required to include them in your taxable income.

How do you apply for the OTB?

To qualify for the OTB, you must file your previous year’s income tax return. For example, to collect OTB payments for the July 2020-June 2021 period, you need to have filed your 2019 return. Your OTB payments may be delayed if you file late. To be considered for the NOEC and OEPTC, you must complete Form ON-BEN and submit it together with your tax return. There is no document to fill out to receive OSTC payments; the CRA will evaluate the details from your tax return to decide whether you’re eligible or not. Once you’re approved for OTB payments, you must reapply each year when you file your tax return to continue receiving them. You’re not guaranteed the same monthly payments during each OTB period. The CRA will make adjustments to your payments based on changes in your family’s net income, age, place of residence, and other factors.

If I’m married, will we both receive the OTB?

The OTB amount you’re eligible for is assigned based on the combined income of you and your spouse, but the credit will only be issued to one individual. If your spouse has already applied for the OTB, there’s no need for you to do so as well.

Final Thoughts

If you’re an Ontarian, you’re fully aware of how hard it can be to maintain a basic standard of living. Hence, anything that can relieve the financial pressure is helpful. If you’re a low-income earner, applying for the OTB during tax season is a no-brainer, as it will supply you with some extra income with no strings attached.


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