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What is the OTB Notice From the CRA?

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Quick Answer

  • Some of the most common reasons CRA may send you an OTB Notice is to approve your benefits, update your application status, or refund some of your tax credits if you’ve been overpaid. 
  • The amount you’ll receive from the OTB is the combination of the amounts you’ll receive from the NOEC, OEPTC, and OSTC programs. 
  • OTB payments are issued on the 10th of each month. If the 10th falls on a weekday or a holiday, recipients are paid on the last working day before the 10th.

The Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) is a provincial program that helps low-to-moderate-income Ontario residents pay for energy costs, sales, and property tax.

If you’ve received an OTB Notice from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), that means there have been recent changes in your life or situations that can affect your eligibility for OTB.

This article discusses everything you must know about OTB notices in detail, including what you should do after receiving one and the upcoming OTB payment dates.

OTB Notice CRA Meaning

There are different reasons why the CRA will send an OTB notice. Below are some of the most common reasons why you may receive a notification from the agency:

  • Approval of your benefits
  • Update on your application status
  • Changes to OTB benefit payments
  • To provide clarification on the increase and decrease of your benefit payments
  • Update your information with current changes
  • Refund some of the tax credit if you have been overpaid
  • Changes in your current situation that can affect your eligibility

It is typical for the CRA to send an OTB notice if there are any recent changes in your life or current situation that can affect your eligibility for the OTB. This includes marriage or relocation.

As mentioned in the list, another reason the CRA would send you an OTB notice is when you have been overpaid. The CRA will notify you that you owe the CRA and need to refund some of the tax credit.

The agency may send the OTB notice through your mail or email.

What to Do If You Receive an OTB Notice

When you receive an OTB notice, you must log in to your CRA account and make the necessary updates to reflect current changes. You can also call the CRA and have them update your information manually.

Related: How to register and open a CRA account.

Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) Explained

The Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) is a refundable tax credit that combines the three tax credits below.

Tax Credit NameOverview Maximum Amounts
Northern Ontario Energy Credit (NOEC)This credit is a tax-free payment that helps Northern Ontarians pay for high home energy costs.Single individuals and families can receive $172 and $265, respectively.
Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC)This credit is a tax-free payment that helps eligible Ontarians with their property taxes and sales tax on energy costs. Credit amounts are as follows:Up to $1,194 for individuals between 18 and 64 years oldAnd up to $1,360 for those over 65 years old.
Ontario Sales Tax Credit (OSTC)This tax-free payment helps Ontarians with their sales tax.Up to $345 per eligible individual. Additional credits are available. 

The OTB is provided to low-to-moderate-income Ontario residents to help them pay for energy costs, sales tax, and property tax. Ontarians eligible for at least one of the three credits enumerated above can receive the OTB.

In addition to the OTB, a related benefit called the Trillium Drug Plan, or the Ontario Trillium drug benefit, is offered to low-income Canadians to help them cover medication costs.

image showing an icon telling people to update information as an example of otb notice from the cra

How to Apply For OTB

To receive the OTB, you must meet the eligibility criteria and be entitled to receive a payment for at least one of the three credits (OEPTC, NOEC, or OSTC).

To apply for OTB and receive the benefit, follow this procedure:

  1. File your personal Income Tax and Benefit Return. Make sure to file your tax return even if you have no income to report.
  1. Find the ON-BEN Application Form in your tax return package. Complete the form and enclose it along with your tax return.
  1. Using the information you provided in your tax return, CRA will determine your eligibility and inform you if you are qualified to receive the credit.

If you have set up a direct deposit with the CRA, your credit will be directly deposited into your account once it is approved.

File your personal Income Tax and Benefit Return by April 30 to receive your OTB payment on time.

OTB Payment Dates

If you qualify for the OTB, the CRA will issue the benefit on behalf of the Ontario provincial government.

The OTB payment dates are as follows:

  • January 10, 2023
  • February 10, 2023
  • March 10, 2023
  • April 6, 2023
  • May 10, 2023
  • June 9, 2023
  • July 10, 2023
  • August 10, 2023
  • September 8, 2023
  • October 10, 2023
  • November 10, 2023
  • December 8, 2023

You will receive the OTB payments through direct deposit if you already receive your income tax refund or other benefits or credits via direct deposit. If not, you will receive the OTB payment by cheque.

Ontario Trillium Benefit Amounts in 2024

To determine how much you will receive from the OTB, add the amounts you would get for the three credits (NOEC, OEPTC, and OSTC).

The amount you will receive from the OTB will depend on your:

  • Age
  • Income
  • Residence
  • Family size
  • Amount paid in rent or property tax

As there is no OTB calculator, you can use the CRA child and family benefits calculator to get an estimate of your OTB.

FAQs

Do you get OTB every month?

You get the OTB every month since the payments are split into 12 and issued by the CRA on the 10th day of each month. Your OTB payments can be in the form of a cheque or direct deposit.

How do I claim OTB? Do both spouses get OTB?

To claim your OTB, file your Income Tax and Benefit Return (even if you do not have any income) and complete the ON-BEN application form. Only one spouse or common-law partner can apply to get the OTB. The spouse or partner whose return is assessed first will receive the benefit.

How do I cancel my OTB account?

No immediate information is available on how to cancel an OTB account. Call the Trillium benefit phone number or the Province of Ontario at 1‑866‑ONT‑TAXS (1‑866‑668‑8297) or visit the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Related: Canada Housing Benefit Top Up.

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SavvyNewCanadians Team

The SavvyNewCanadians Team work to break down Canadian personal finance information into easy-to-understand, actionable bits. Drawing from education in finance and over 20 years of combined experience writing about money matters, we aim to help you make smarter money decisions. You can learn more about the SNC team.

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