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Senior Homeowners' Property Tax Grant FAQs

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(From The Province On Ontario Website) – Note: This Is Not A City Of Kawartha Lakes Program

Renters and Non-Seniors


Tax and Benefit Treatment


Eligible Recipients

Eligible Property Taxes

Eligible Properties

Further Technical Questions

What is the Ontario Senior Homeowners' Property Tax Grant?

This is a new, application-based grant provided by the province to help low- and moderate-income senior homeowners pay their property taxes.

Why are inserts being provided?

Given that the grant is a new, application-based program, it is important that people are aware of it and how to apply. Information on the program is being provided in with Assessment Notices mailed in our area on November 17, 2008.

I am a landlord and have received the insert, should my tenants apply for this new grant?

The new grant is only available to seniors who own their own homes. Tenants will not be eligible for this grant.

Renters and Non-Seniors

You are helping seniors who own homes with their property tax burdens. How are you helping low-income Ontarians who rent?

The government is committed to helping low- and moderate-income senior homeowners offset their property taxes.

Several support mechanisms are available to help lower-income individuals and families including rent-geared-to-income housing, rent controls and the new Rental Opportunity for Ontario Families (ROOF) program.

The government is increasing social assistance benefits by two per cent in 2008-09, the fourth increase since 2003. This will provide recipients with an additional $36 million in 2008-09 and $87 million in 2009-10 in income support.

The government provides property tax relief to eligible non-senior homeowners through the Ontario Tax Credits that are delivered through the personal income tax system.

Why is the grant only available to seniors?

Seniors, who wish to stay in their own homes but live on fixed incomes, are less able to supplement their income to deal with rising property values.

The government provides property tax relief to eligible non-senior homeowners through the Ontario Tax Credits that are delivered through the personal income tax system.


Do I have to apply? If so, how and when?

Yes, you must apply each year using your personal income tax return. For the 2009 grant, you will use the 2008 personal income tax return (Form ON479 which is included in Ontario returns) provided by the Canada Revenue Agency in early 2009.

Do I have to calculate the grant?

You do not need to calculate the grant. Once you have applied, the grant will be calculated for you and a cheque or direct deposit will be provided to those who qualify.

Tax and Benefit Treatment

Will the grant be taxable?

The Canada Revenue Agency has indicated that the grant will not be included in income and therefore will not be taxable.

Will the grant be included as income when applying for other senior benefits?

Because the grant will not be included in income, it will not affect other income- tested benefits.

Will I get this grant on top of my Ontario Tax Credits?

You may also apply for the credits. Most eligible seniors will receive more property tax relief than under the current system. Senior homeowners who already receive full property tax relief through the Ontario Tax Credits will continue to do so through the combination of the grant and the credit.


Does my property assessment have to increase to obtain the grant?

No, senior homeowners may be eligible for the grant whether their assessments go up or down (see below).

Eligible Recipients

Who is eligible for the grant?

You are eligible for the grant if you were a resident of Ontario on December 31 of the previous year, and property tax on a principal residence was paid by or for you in that year. On December 31 of the year before the grant is paid, you must be 64 or older and you must own and occupy the principal residence.

For example, you are eligible for the 2009 grant if on December 31 2008:

  • you are a resident of Ontario
  • you are 64 or older
  • you own and occupy a principal residence and property tax was paid by or for you in that year and on that residence.

What is the minimum age to be eligible for a grant?

For the 2009 grant, you must be 64 or older on December 31, 2008 to be eligible.

I turn 65 this year, will I get the full grant or will it be pro-rated for the part of the year following my birthday?

There will be no pro-rating. If the senior is 64 as of December 31 of the previous year, he or she will qualify for the full amount of the grant.

Must a person be a Canadian citizen in order to be eligible for a grant?

A grant is provided to Canadian citizens and landed immigrants. Individuals must be resident in Ontario and must file an Ontario personal income tax return.

My spouse is a senior and owns our home but is currently in a nursing home. I am not a senior. Are we entitled to the grant?

If the senior owns the home and intends to return, the application is made as a couple.

If both spouses or common-law partners are seniors, and live apart and maintain separate principal residences on December 31 of the previous year for health reasons, each may apply for a property tax grant as individuals.

In the year of the death of an eligible senior, can the spouse still receive the grant?

The spouse or common law partner should receive the grant if the home is their principal residence. For the next year, the surviving spouse or partner would have to meet the eligibility requirements to get a grant, e.g. meet the income and age tests.

Eligible Property Taxes

Do homeowners have to pay their property tax before receiving a grant?

Yes, the grant will be based on the prior year’s property tax paid.

In calculating my 2008 property taxes should I use all of the property taxes or only the education portion?

You should use total property taxes paid including the municipal and education property taxes. If you reside in an unorganized area, you may use amounts charged under the Provincial Land Tax Act or the Local Roads Boards Act or the Local Services Boards Act.

We are planning to sell our home in 2009. Are we still eligible for the 2009 grant?

Yes, if you meet the other eligibility criteria, you would be eligible as the grant is based on property taxes paid on your home in 2008.

Eligible Properties

Will secondary residences such as cottages be eligible for a property tax grant?

Secondary residences are not eligible.

Could a grant be claimed on more than one principal residence in a tax year?

Yes, applicants can designate more than one principal residence if the senior has lived in more than one principal residence consecutively in the previous year and lived in one of these residences on December 31 of that year.

Do I have to have owned the home for a minimum number of years to be eligible to receive a grant?

No, as long as a senior paid property tax in respect of their residence in the previous year, and lived in their principle residence on December 31 of the previous year, the duration of ownership will not be relevant.

I am a senior and own my home jointly with my spouse who is a non-senior. Are we eligible for the grant?

Yes, if you meet the other eligibility criteria Applicants should apply for the grant as a couple if the senior and non-senior are spouses or common-law partners.

I am a senior and jointly own my home with a non-senior who is not my spouse or common-law partner. Am I eligible for the grant?

You can apply for the grant as a single (i.e. not a couple) based on the share of property taxes that you pay.

I own my home but I am not a senior. However, my spouse is a senior. Should we apply for the grant?

Yes, people should apply as a couple if they and/or their spouse or common-law partner are seniors.

However, if you are separated because of marriage break-down, or due to medical necessity, you and your spouse will be treated as individuals.

Will seniors in co-operative buildings be eligible for the new grant?

For co-operatives, individual residents will receive the grant if they had an ownership interest and could provide proof of the amount of property tax paid. They cannot include common expenses or utility charges as part of the tax.

Further Technical Questions

Do I have the right to appeal if I am denied a grant?

Appeals will be permitted and will follow the procedures outlined in the Ontario Taxation Act, 2007.

If applicants disagree with an assessment, they may object to the Canada Revenue Agency. If applicants disagree with a decision resulting from an objection, they can appeal their assessments or determinations to the Superior Court of Justice.

I have an outstanding debt with the CRA and didn't receive a GST credit because I owed money to the government. Will I receive the grant?

The grant cannot be applied against other debts such as outstanding income tax payable. If you are eligible for the grant, you will receive it.

However, if you are re-assessed and it is found that you received a grant payment to which you were not entitled, or more than you were entitled to, you must pay back that amount or the amount will be deducted from future entitlements.

Similarly, if you receive a lower grant than you will be entitled to after a reassessment; you will be entitled to the additional amount.

Can I get the grant earlier by assigning it to a tax preparation service (e.g. H&R Block)?

No, the grant cannot be assigned.

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