a peek inside the fishbowl

01 Mar, 2017

Are you getting money back this year? Here’s how to check. (Sponsored**)

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Sponsored posts

We have officially hit a new parenting milestone: we are filing our children’s taxes this year. The girls are 15 (almost 16) and 17 (almost 18!) and both of them have been working at real jobs that actually issue T4s. It’s a rite of passage! It started with allowances and savings and now we’re at the next chapter of the Personal Finance Manual. (I can’t believe we are here already. In fact, I have been working on a post about our eldest’s university application process. (!!) Stay tuned for that.)

One of the items on our list of things to explain in that Personal Finance Manual – and it’s a biggie – is that the Ontario government provides eligible individuals and families with a number of tax credits and benefits through the personal income tax system each year. So when the folks at the Ministry of Finance asked me if I could help get the word out** I had to say yes, especially since this year, in addition to filing for our daughters, we will also be helping my mother with her return too. Also: I can’t seem to keep up with all of the changes and updates!

Are you getting your money back?

The question on everyone’s mind as tax season comes around again is surely this: are we getting any money back this year?

We explained to our kids that residents of Ontario have to file a tax return with the Canada Revenue Agency each spring, even if they have received social assistance or have no income to report for 2016, to qualify for Ontario tax credits and benefits.

Although every situation is different, it’s helpful to look at some real-life scenarios:

  • A single young adult earning $22,000 and paying $820/month in rent could get $777.
  • A single parent with one child and an income of $27,000 paying $800/month and $400 for art lessons could get $2,236.
  • A family of four with two kids and a combined income of $29,500 who paid $2,500 in property tax and $400 for music lessons could get $3773.

This is not pocket change! Make sure you file before April 30 to get your benefits on time!

Another good thing to know: if you forgot to apply for these Ontario credits and benefits in past years it may not be too late. Just call the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8281.

Ontario’s tax system supports the province’s programs and investments in education, transportation, health care, infrastructure and skills. It is also a way the government delivers vital financial support to thousands of households. For example, the Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) puts money directly into the pockets of parents who need it the most. Receiving the monthly OCB payment helps over 500,000 low- to moderate-income families keep pace with the costs of raising children each year.

Here’s some good news for seniors – and those of us in the sandwich generation! The Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant supports seniors by providing up to $500 a year to help with the cost of their property taxes.

Some of the Ontario tax credits and benefits available include:

* 2016 is the last year these credits can be claimed.

Last year, almost 60 per cent of Ontarians who filed a tax return got money back through the tax credits and benefits. This is why it’s important to take a minute and see how much money you or your family could get back. Try the Ontario Tax Credit Calculator and find out!

** This blog post is supported in part by the Ontario Ministry of Finance but my excitement about getting some $$ back is my own.

4 Responses to "Are you getting money back this year? Here’s how to check. (Sponsored**)"

1 | Jen_nifer

March 2nd, 2017 at 8:21 am


I remember sitting down doing my own taxes my first year with a part-time job and it hitting me how much money I frittered away on clothing and food.

I’m looking forward to your post about the university application process!

2 | Alison in Ottawa

March 2nd, 2017 at 9:59 pm


With my eldest in grade 9, I also look forward to your post about applying to university.

I would love a post on teenager job experiences and issues. That will be coming up in the near future over here.

3 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive A new chapter unfolds - a peek inside the fishbowl

March 6th, 2017 at 4:26 pm


[…] I mentioned in this recent post, our firstborn is off to university in the fall, which will leave us minus one child here at home […]

4 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive It's that time of year again (Sponsored**) - a peek inside the fishbowl

April 7th, 2017 at 2:36 pm


[…] Back in March, I posted some handy info that was shared with me by the Ontario Ministry of Finance. In a nutshell, they’ve developed some handy resources to help us figure out whether we’re getting money back this year. (You can read that post right here.) […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). During the day I work as a writer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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