If you received the following benefits in 2016, you don’t need to apply for them every year. However, in order to continue receiving these benefits, you’ll need to:
- File your tax return each year
- Keep your personal information up to date with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)/Revenu Québec
- Keep supporting documentation in case either agency asks to see it at a later date
Since the eligibility criteria for each benefit is different and might be based on your income, marital status, family situation, etc., a change in any of these might affect the benefits you receive.
You no longer have to apply for the GST/HST credit each year. The CRA will automatically determine if you qualify for the credit once you file your tax return. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, only one of you can receive the credit and it’s paid to the person whose return is assessed first – the amount remains the same regardless of who receives it.
If you’re a new resident of Canada, you can apply for the GST/HST credit by completing the RC151: GST/HST Credit Application for Individuals Who Become Residents of Canada form.
Canada child benefit (CCB)
Starting July 1, 2016, the Canada child benefit (CCB) has replaced the universal child care benefit (UCCB), national child benefit supplement (NCBS), and the Canada child tax benefit (CCTB). If you were receiving the UCCB or CCTB amounts for your children, you don’t have to apply for the CCB this year or re-apply to receive the amounts next year.
If you’re a new parent, you’ll need to apply for the CCB payments soon after your child is born or as soon as you become your child’s primary caregiver. You can apply by:
- Using the Automated Benefits Application
- Signing up through the CRA’s My Account service
- Mailing in a completed form RC66: Canada child benefits application
Did you know? You can still apply to get payments for these benefits if you were eligible and had a child who was under the age of 18 before July 2016, even if you didn’t apply in previous years:
Working income tax benefit (WITB)
You can claim the WITB amount on your tax return for the year if you meet the following conditions:
- Your working income is over $3,000
- You were at least 19 years of age or older on December 31 (or if you’re under 19, you have a spouse or common-law partner or an eligible dependant on December 31) and
- You were a resident of Canada throughout the year
You aren’t eligible for the WITB if you don’t have an eligible dependant, you were a full-time student for more than 13 weeks, were confined in a prison or a similar institution for 90 days or more during the year, or if you don’t have to pay tax in Canada.
Note: H&R Block’s tax software will automatically calculate your WITB amount. However, you’ll need to confirm if you want to claim the WITB amount and, if applicable, the WITB disability supplement under the OPTIMIZATION icon of the WRAP-UP tab. If you’re filing a coupled return with your spouse or common-law partner, you’ll also need to tell us which one of you wants to claim the WITB amount.
If you qualify for the WITB amount, you can apply to receive up to 50% of the payments in advance. To do so, you need to complete the RC201: Working Income Tax Benefit Advance Payments Application form and submit it before August 31st each year.
Provincial/territorial benefits and programs
Generally, you don’t have to apply for your provincial or territorial benefits each year. However, there are certain provincial benefits such as the Ontario Trillium Benefit, which need to be applied for each year by completing the related form with your tax return. Refer to the CRA website for more information on your province-specific benefits.