Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB)

What’s in this article?

Note: This is claimed on the same form as the Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant (OSHPTG) - click this link to learn more. 

What is this?

The Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) is a refundable tax credit to assist low income families. It combines three other credits to help people pay for energy costs and provides relief from sales and property tax. The benefits that the Ontario Trillium Benefit combines are:

  • 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 tax return. If you are 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. If your annual OTB amount is less than $360, you will receive a single payment in July. Note that if the annual OTB amount is $2 or less, you will not receive a payment.

You must complete form ON-BEN and file it with your income tax return to apply for the OTB. You must apply for these benefits each year.

The Ontario Ministry of Finance says...

You do not have to include property tax or rent receipts with the Ontario tax credits form. Keep all receipts in case the Canada Revenue Agency asks to see them. Receipts should state the year, the total amount of rent paid, and the name and address of the landlord.

 

Am I eligible?

In order to be eligible for the OTB, you have to be eligible for at least one of the three benefits: Ontario Sales Tax Credit, Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, or the Northern Ontario Energy Credit. You must also:

  • File your income tax and benefit return each year; and
  • Apply for the Ontario Trillium Benefit each year by completing and filing form ON-BEN for the Ontario Trillium Benefit.

The eligibility requirements for each of the three benefits that combine to form OTB are as follows:

  • Ontario Sales Tax Credit (OSTC)
    • You are a resident of Ontario at the beginning of the payment month; and
    • You are 19 years of age or older or have or previously had a spouse or common-law partner, or are a parent who lives or lived with your child.
  • Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC)
    • You are a resident of Ontario on December 31 and at least one of the following applies:
      • Your rent or property tax for your principal residence in Ontario was paid by or for you for the year;
      • Accommodation costs for living in a public long-term care home in Ontario were paid by or for you for the year;
      • Home energy costs (for example, electricity, heat) for your principal residence on a reserve in Ontario were paid by or for you for the year; or
      • You lived in a designated university, college, or private school residence in Ontario in the year. For a list of the designated post-secondary residences in Ontario, click this link.

Note: If you have a spouse, only one of you can claim the OEPTC for both of you. If only one of you was 64 or older at the end of 2015, that person has to claim the credit.

  • Northern Ontario energy credit (NOEC)
    • You are a resident of Northern Ontario on December 31 and you or someone on your behalf paid for the year:
      • Rent or property tax for your principal residence in Northern Ontario;
      • Accommodation costs for living in a public long-term care home in Northern Ontario; or
      • Home energy costs (for example, electricity, heat) for your principal residence on a reserve in Northern Ontario.

 

Where do I claim this?

Important: Before you begin, makes sure you tell us that you lived in ONTARIO on December 31st of the 2015 tax year, in H&R Block’s tax software. To do this:

1. Click the HOME tab.
2. Click the ABOUT YOU icon, and click the Your residence link. You will find yourself here:



To claim your Ontario Trillium Benefit amount, continue to follow these steps:
1. Click the PREPARE tab.
2. Click the OTHER icon. You will find yourself here:


3. Under the OTHER DEDUCTIONS section, select the checkbox for Ontario Trillium Benefit and Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant (ON-BEN).
4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Continue.

When you arrive at the page for the Ontario Trillium Benefit, enter your information into the tax software.

 

Where can I learn more?