The province of Ontario offers several benefit programs that provide eligible residents with various kinds of support. Among these is the Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB), which helps low-to-moderate-income Ontario residents pay for energy costs, sales and property tax.
Eligible residents with recent changes in life or situations that can affect their eligibility for OTB will receive an OTB notice from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
This article will discuss OTB-relevant topics that include the OTB notice, CRA meaning, how to apply for the OTB, as well as the OTB payment dates and other appropriate information.
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.
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.
The Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) is a refundable tax credit that combines three tax credits.
- Northern Ontario Energy Credit (NOEC) – This credit is a tax-free payment that helps Northern Ontarians pay for high home energy costs.
- The maximum amounts that single individuals and families can receive are $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:
- $1,194 – For individuals between 18 and 64 years old
- $1,360 – For those over 65 years old
- $265 – For those living on a reserve or in a public long-term care home
- $25 – For the time you lived in a designated college, university or private school residence in 2022
- Ontario Sales Tax Credit (OSTC) – This tax-free payment helps Ontarians with their sales tax.
- Eligible residents can receive a credit amount of up to $345.
- An additional credit of up to $345 will be given to the spouse or common-law partner and each dependent child below 19 years old.
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.
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:
- File your personal Income Tax and Benefit Return. Make sure to file your tax return even if you have no income to report.
- Find the ON-BEN Application Form in your tax return package. Complete the form and enclose it along with your tax return.
- 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.
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.
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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.