The ON-BEN form is used to claim the Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) and Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant (OSHPTG). Both the OTB and OSHPTG are designed to help low- to moderate-income Ontario residents with costs such as energy sales tax, property tax, and more.
If you’re a resident of Ontario on December 31, and you meet the eligibility requirements for each tax credit, you can use the ON-BEN form to claim the following:
- A tax grant for senior homeowners that helps offset your property taxes (OSHPTG)
- The rent you paid in the year for your home (including a private long-term care home) or the amount you paid for accommodation in a public long-term care home in Ontario
- The property tax and home energy costs (such as electricity and heat) you paid in the year for your home in Ontario
- The Ontario Trillium Benefit entitlement (OTB)
What is the Ontario Trillium Benefit?
The Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) is a refundable tax credit that helps Ontarians with their energy costs and provides relief from sales and property tax. The OTB is made up of three tax credits:
- Ontario Sales Tax Credit
- Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit
- Northern Ontario Energy Credit
Your OTB payments are based on your previous year’s income. If you’re entitled to an annual amount of $360 or more, you can choose to receive the benefit either in monthly payments or get a single payment at the end of the benefit year; otherwise you'll receive a single payment in July.Keep in mind, you won’t receive a payment if your annual OTB amount is $2 or less.
In order to receive the OTB, you’ll need to:
- Meet the eligibility criteria for at least one of the three benefits of the OTB
- File your tax return each year and
- Apply for the OTB each year by completing and filing form ON-BEN with your return
- You or someone on your behalf paid:
- rent or property tax for your home
- accommodation costs for living in a public long-term care home
- home energy costs (for example, electricity, heat) for your home on a reserve OR
- You lived in a designated university, college, or private school residence
Note: If you have a spouse or a common-law partner, only one of you can claim the Ontario Energy and Property amount for both of you.
You can claim the Northern Ontario Energy Credit if:
- You lived in Northern Ontario on December 31
- At the beginning of the payment month, you’re at least 18 year of age, or have or previously had a spouse, or are a parent who lives or previously lived with your child, and
- You or someone on your behalf paid:
- Rent or property tax for your home
- Accommodation costs for living in a public long-term care home
- Home energy costs (for example, electricity, heat) for your home on a reserve
You don’t need to apply for the Ontario Sales Tax Credit. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will use the information from your return to see if you’re eligible for this tax credit and inform you accordingly.
What areas are considered Northern Ontario?
For the Northern Ontario Energy Credit, the CRA says the districts of Algoma, Cochrane, Kenora, Manitoulin, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Rainy River, Sudbury (including the City of Greater Sudbury), Thunder Bay, and Timiskaming are considered Northern Ontario.
What is the Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant?
You can claim up to $500 in Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant if:
- You or your spouse paid Ontario property tax in the previous year
- You meet the income requirements and
- As of December 31 of the previous year, you:
- were 64 years of age or older
- were a resident of Ontario and
- owned and lived in your home (or your spouse did)
Note: You might also qualify for the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit. Refer to the Ontario Trillium Benefit section above for more information.
Where do I claim this?
If you and your spouse are preparing your returns together and you’ve indicated you’re both 64 years of age or older OR that you’re both 63 years of age or younger, you’ll each have the option to claim the OTB and OSHPTG in your own returns. However, only one of you can claim the benefits and you’ll need to select which one of you will claim these.
If you indicated that just one of you is 64 years of age or older, the ON-BEN page can only be seen on the return of the individual who’s at least 64.
Finally, if you’re filing an uncoupled return and you indicated that your spouse is 64 years of age or older, you’ll not be able to access the ON-BEN page in your return.
Important: Before you begin, make sure you tell us that you lived in ONTARIO on December 31, 2016.
- Under the PREPARE tab, click the OTHER icon.
- Under the OTHER DEDUCTIONS section, select the checkbox labelled Ontario Trillium Benefit and Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant (ON-BEN).
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Continue.
- When you arrive at the page for the ON-BEN form, answer YES to the question: Are you applying for the Ontario energy and property tax credit (OEPTC) for 2017?
- Enter your additional information into the tax software.
Note: To save you time, our software doesn’t require you to enter to whom you paid rent, or your address, because that information is not required to be transmitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) with your tax return. However, if the CRA requires or asks you for that information at a later date, you have to provide it to them by completing and returning the ON-BEN form, on the T1 General - Application for the 2017 Ontario Trillium Benefit and Ontario Senior Homeowners' Property Tax Grant.
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