Are You Eligible For The Solidarity Tax Credit?

Are You Eligible For The Solidarity Tax Credit?

Written by Bryan Daly
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated March 9, 2023

Income taxes can be quite high in Canada, particularly Québec. Thankfully, there are many different tax rebates and credits to get you lower tax obligations. While you can qualify for tax rebates and credits on a federal level, there are some tax credits specific to Québec residents, including the refundable Solidarity Tax Credit (STC). 

What Is The Solidarity Tax Credit (STC)?

The Solidarity Tax Credit is a Quebec-based refundable tax credit for households with low-to-moderate incomes. Administered by Revenu Québec, this provincial tax benefit offers eligible residents and families a tax credit of up to $800 or more a year. 

The STC is made of three components:

  • Housing
  • Quebec Sales Tax (QST)
  • Individuals living in northern villages

While you might not be eligible for all of these components, you’re allowed to claim the Solidarity Tax Credit if you qualify for at least one. The STC is based on your financial situation on December 31 of the previous year. So, the amount you qualify for from July to June is based on your financial situation on December 31 of the previous year.      

Who’s Eligible For The Solidarity Tax Credit?

To be eligible for the Solidarity Tax Credit from July to June of the current tax year, you’ll have to file a tax return and meet all of the following criteria on December 31 of the previous year:

  • You were a Quebec resident
  • You were 18 years old or more. Or if you were not yet 18, you:
    • Had a spouse
    • Were a parent of a child
    • Were emancipated minor 
  • You were a Canadian citizen or:
    • A permanent resident or protected person
    • A temporary resident or temporary resident permit holder, who lived in Canada for the last 18 months.     

Income Eligibility Threshold 

Your “family income” is what appears on Line 275 of your tax return. If you had a spouse on December 31 of the previous tax year, that amount will also be on Line 275 of their return. If at that time, your family income was equal to or greater than the maximum family income in the list below, you are no longer eligible for the Solidarity Tax Credit.

Here are the current maximum family income thresholds based on family composition:

  • Individual With A Spouse – The maximum income threshold for an individual with a spouse is $63,351. For each dependent child, you can add $2,283 to the maximum. 
  • Single-Parent Family – The maximum income threshold for a single-parent family is $58,179. For each dependent child, you can add $2,283 to the maximum. 
  • Individual Without A Spouse- The maximum income threshold for a single individual is $58,179.   

How Much Will You Receive?

The amount qualified individuals and families can get per tax year depends on 3 components:

  • Your housing situation in December 31 of the previous tax year
  • The amount of Quebec Sales Tax (QST) being offset by the QST component 
  • If you live in a northern village (where costs are higher than the rest of QC) 

To get a basic estimation of the STC amount that you’re eligible for, you can use the Solidarity Tax Credit Estimator on the Revenu Québec website.    

What Happens If I Owe More Taxes Than My Solidarity Tax Credit?

A tax credit is “refundable” when the amount you qualify for is more than the taxes you owe

In other words, you’re only responsible for paying what the credit doesn’t cover. So, if you owe $1,500 in income taxes but you qualify for a $500 Solidarity Tax Credit, you’d only owe $1,000. 

If you’re unable to pay your taxes, you have the following options:

  • Cancel or Waive Penalty Fees or Interest – If a legitimate financial issue is stopping you from paying your tax debt, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may waive any penalties and interest. Acceptable circumstances include actions by the CRA, exceptional situations, financial hardship, and other provable causes.       
  • Government Payment Arrangement – The CRA also offers installment plans for people who can’t pay taxes due to financial hardship. These arrangements allow you to repay your tax debt over time and are based on your financial ability. The CRA can even apply tax credits or rebates, like the STC, to your unpaid balance.     
  • Personal Loan – Alternatively, you could get a personal loan to spread out your tax debt, which is a viable option if you can qualify for a low interest rate. One key to obtaining a low rate is to have a decent credit score (660 – 900). So, make sure to check your credit score before you apply and take steps to improve it if it’s bad.     

When Will You Get The Solidarity Tax Credit (STC) Payment?

If you qualify for the Solidarity Tax Credit, the CRA will send you a notice with your credit amount for that tax period, along with the information they used to calculate it. 

The amount you qualify for will impact your STC payments. If you qualify for: 

  • $800 or more, you’ll receive an STC payment once per month.
  • $241 to $799, you’ll receive an STC payment four times per year (in July, October, January, and April).
  • $240 or less, you’ll receive your payment in one lump sum in July.      

Solidarity Tax Credit Payment Dates

You should receive your STC within the first 5 days of the payment month. However, do note, if you do not file your Schedule D, your payment may not arrive until the fall. 

  • July 5, 2023
  • August 4, 2023
  • September 5, 2023 
  • October 5, 2023
  • November 3, 2023
  • December 5, 2023
  • January 5, 2024 
  • February 5, 2024
  • March 5, 2024
  • April 5, 2024
  • May 3, 2024
  • June 5, 2024      

How To Claim The Solidarity Tax Credit (STC)?

Even if you qualify for the Solidarity Tax Credit, completing Schedule D is the only way to claim it. Schedule D is where you enter any information related to the 3 components of the STC. If you are not eligible for Schedule D, you will only be eligible for the basic amount, which consists of the QST component and spousal amount (when applicable).

To get the full STC amount for a particular payment term, you must claim it no later than 4 years after the end of the taxation year used to calculate the credit for that period. 

So, since the STC for the 2023/2024 payment period is based on the 2022 taxation year, it must be claimed no later than December 31, 2026. If you are not registered for direct deposit, don’t forget to include your registration form when claiming the STC. You can still claim the STC if you did not claim it on your 2019, 2020, or 2021 tax return.                

Are There Other Quebec Tax Credits Or Rebates?

Yes. As a Quebec resident, you may be eligible for other provincial tax benefits, like:

Consumption Tax Rebates

In some cases, you might be entitled to a rebate on the consumption taxes (taxes based on your expenditures, rather than your income) that you pay in Quebec. You may qualify for a GST/HST or QST rebate if you paid taxes on certain types of goods and services.   

Collecting And Remitting Consumption Taxes

If you operate a business in Quebec, you may have to collect and remit certain types of consumption taxes on your sales, including the sale of goods and rental dwellings. 

Taxable, Zero Rates or Tax-Exempt Goods And Services

In Quebec, consumers must pay GST and QST when buying goods and services that are related to situations, such as health, transport, and groceries. You also have to pay specific taxes on certain goods and services, like lodging, fuel, insurance premiums, and alcoholic beverages. However, some goods/services are zero-rated or tax-exempt.     

Tax Credit For Childcare Expenses

Revenu Québec has a number of tax measures exclusively for families, including the Tax Credit For Childcare Expenses. The rate of this tax credit is based on your family net income, meaning your income, plus your spouse’s income (when applicable). 

Senior Assistance Tax Credit

If you meet certain conditions and are a Quebec resident who was at least 70 years of age on December 31 of the previous tax year, you may be eligible for a refundable tax credit for senior citizens. If applicable, your spouse must meet specific conditions too. 

Want To Receive The Solidarity Tax Credit (STC)?

Luckily, you can claim the STC if you’re a Quebec resident and meet certain conditions. Before you submit your income tax return, remember to do research and speak with a tax expert to find out if you qualify for any tax breaks, like the Solidarity Tax Credit.

Solidarity Tax Credit FAQs

How will I receive my STC payment?

Generally, you must be registered for direct deposit to collect your Solidarity Tax Credit. If your banking situation changes, make sure to notify Revenu Québec immediately, because you will lose your eligibility for the STC payment period (currently July 2023 – June 2024) if they aren’t able to deposit your credit within 4 years (by January 1, 2027). 

Can I claim the STC for the years I didn’t apply?

Yes, if you’re claiming the Solidarity Tax Credit for 2022, you can also claim it for your 2019, 2020, and 2021 income tax returns, provided you haven’t claimed them already. To get the full STC for any given period, you have to file a complete claim no later than December 31 of the fourth taxation year following the one you’re claiming currently. 

Can I claim the STC if I have a spouse?

If you were living with a spouse on December 31, 2022, only one of you can complete Schedule D to claim the Solidarity Tax Credit for both of you. If your spouse did not live with you, each of you must complete Schedule D to claim it. For instance, this can occur if one spouse lives permanently in a residential and long-term care center (CHSLD).

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Bryan is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University. He has been writing for Loans Canada for five years, covering all things related to personal finance, and aims to pursue the craft of professional writing for many years to come. In his spare time, he maintains a passion for editing, writing screenplays, staying fit, and travelling the world in search of the coolest sights our planet has to offer.

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