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You might be eligible for the Sales Tax Transition Benefit

 

As part of Ontario’s new comprehensive tax package, the Ontario Sales Tax Transition Benefit (STTB) will provide temporary relief to residents of Ontario to help them adjust to the new harmonized sales tax system that comes into effect on July 1, 2010.

Ontario funds the program and Canada Revenue Agency administers the program through the personal income tax system.

Since the STTB program is time limited, and no benefit will be paid after April 30, 2013, it is important that you file your income tax returns before the deadlines listed below.

Remember, to qualify, you need to file your income tax return.

When can I expect to receive my benefit payments?

The STTB will be paid to eligible Ontario tax filers in three tax-free installments in June 2010, December 2010 and June 2011. If you receive your income tax refund through direct deposit the payment will be made to your bank account, otherwise you will receive a cheque.

How much can I receive?

The maximum benefit amount is $300 for single people and $1,000 for families (including single parents).

The benefit payments to single people will be reduced if their adjusted net income is greater than $80,000. The benefit payments to families will be reduced if their adjusted family net income is greater than $160,000. The reduction will be equal to 5% of the income amount that is greater than the threshold amounts. For example, a single person with adjusted net income of $81,000 would receive three benefit payments of $50 each. Single people with income over $82,000 would not receive a benefit. The table below shows the maximum benefits and the income ranges over which the benefit is phased-out.

How do I apply for the benefit?

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will administer the STTB on behalf of the Ontario Government through the personal income tax system. A separate application is not required to receive this benefit.

To qualify for the STTB , you are required to file a 2009 income tax return for the June 2010 and December 2010 payments, and a 2010 return for the June 2011 payment. If both you and your spouse or common-law partner file a tax return, the benefit payments will be made to the individual whose return is assessed by the CRA first.

Am I eligible for the benefit?

The following requirements will be used to determine who is eligible for STTB payments.

For the June 2010 benefit payment you must:

  • be a resident of Canada on December 31, 2009 and file a 2009 income tax return by April 30, 2011; or if you were not a resident of Canada on December 31, 2009, provide a statement of 2009 world income to CRA , by April 30, 2011
  • be 18 years of age or older or have a spouse or common-law partner or live with your dependant child on May 31, 2010
  • be a resident of Ontario on May 31, 2010.

For the December 2010 benefit payment you must:

  • be a resident of Canada on December 31, 2009 and file a 2009 income tax return by April 30, 2011; or if you were not a resident of Canada on December 31, 2009, provide a statement of 2009 world income to CRA , by April 30, 2011
  • be 18 years of age or older or have a spouse or common-law partner or live with your dependant child on November 30, 2010
  • be a resident of Ontario on November 30, 2010.

For the June 2011 benefit payment you must:

  • be a resident of Canada on December 31, 2010 and file a 2010 income tax return by April 30, 2012; or if you were not a resident of Canada on December 31, 2010, provide a statement of 2010 world income to CRA , by April 30, 2012
  • be 18 years of age or older or have a spouse or common-law partner or live with your dependant child on May 31, 2011
  • be a resident of Ontario on May 31, 2011.

Additional information may be requested from those immigrating to Ontario during the year in 2009 or 2010, to ensure eligibility and benefit amounts are accurately calculated, including a statement of world income and/or application for Canada Child Tax Benefit.

If you have any questions about the Ontario Sales Tax Transition Benefits and how they may apply to you, please call us at (416) 562-0808 or submit your question in our Ask the Expert form.

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