Ontario Property Tax Assistance for Seniors
Seniors can take advantage of the Property Tax Deferment Program, which offers a 10-year tax holiday from principal residence properties.
Nobody likes paying property tax, and it can be especially hard for seniors on fixed incomes. Fortunately, there are programs that provide financial assistance for seniors to enable them to take care of their property tax bill.
The government of Ontario has many programs to help seniors with their costs of living. If you’re a low-to-moderate income senior, there are two important financial aid programs from the provincial government that can help you with the cost of your property tax.
The first one is the Ontario Senior Homeowners' Property Tax Grant (OSHPTG). The OSHPTG was started in 2008 to provide financial help for seniors.
This grant gives you up to $500 based on your adjusted family income from the previous year.
You are eligible for the OSHPTG if, as of last December 31, you:
- were 64 years of age or older
- paid Ontario property tax for 2020
- were one of the two:
- single, divorced or widowed and earned less than $50,000
- married or living common-law and you and your partner earned combined income of less than $60,000
- owned and occupied a principal residence in Ontario.
To apply for the OSHPTG, all you need to do is fill out the ON-BEN application form on your tax return. You can still apply even if you don’t have income to report and don’t owe any income tax.
Once you apply, you’ll get the grant around four to eight months after receiving your notice of assessment from the Canadian Revenue Agency.
The second form of assistance is the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC).
This is a two-in-one program that reduces the costs of your energy bill as well as your property tax. If you’re eligible for the OSHPTG, you’re probably also eligible for the OEPTC.
Something to keep in mind is that, since the OEPTC has two parts to it, you should apply if you’re eligible for either of them. You don’t want to miss out on senior benefits that you can easily claim.
Aside from having lived in Ontario as of the previous December 31, there’s only one other requirement. As long as one of the following criteria applies to you, you should apply for the OEPTC:
- The rent or property tax for your principal residence was paid for the previous year;
- Costs for living in a public or non-profit long-term care home was paid by or for you for the previous year;
- Home energy costs for your principal residence on a reserve in Ontario was paid for theprevious year.
The amount taken off from your taxes depends on a number of factors. These include your age, marital status, and the property tax paid by or for you.
The maximum for seniors is $1,247, which is a combination of $243 for the energy component and $1,004 for the property tax component.
That’s a nice chunk of change, isn’t it!
When you’re filling out the ON-BEN Form on your tax return, make sure to tick the box called “Application for the Ontario energy and property tax credit (OEPTC)” to apply for the OEPTC.
If you want an easy way to see how much money you’d get for filing your tax return, here’s a link to an online tax credit calculator.
Remember to apply for these awesome benefits for seniors in Ontario if you’re eligible.
For more information about the OSHPTG, visit the Ontario government’s website.
To find out more about the OEPTC, visit the Canadian government’s website.