Ontario’s package of reforms includes the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), which comes into effect on July 1, and a number of other tax cuts, credits and benefits for all Ontarians
Many seniors have already started to receive their first Ontario Sales Tax Transition Benefit payment. Senior couples and other families earning less than $160,000 are receiving three payments totalling $1,000. Individuals earning less than $80,000 are receiving three payments totalling $300. These transition payments will help 6.6 million families and individuals.
Starting in August, a new refundable sales tax credit of up to $260 per year, similar to the GST credit, will be provided for people – including seniors – with low incomes. In addition, eligible low and middle income senior homeowners and tenants will also receive the new Ontario Property Tax Credit, providing seniors with up to $1,025 annually.
There are also many items and services often purchased by seniors that will be exempt from the HST. A few of these include prescription drugs, medical devices, basic groceries and most health care services.
This tax package is a key component of the five-year Open Ontario plan, which supports job creation and enhances the programs and services, including education, health care and skills training, that Ontarians value.
"Most seniors and other Ontarians who filed their taxes this year have already received the first of three HST transition cheques. Even though the tax deadline has passed, it is not too late to file and take advantage of significant tax cuts, credits and other benefits provided through Ontario’s comprehensive tax package."
– Gerry Phillips
Minister Responsible for Seniors
In total, 93 per cent of Ontario taxpayers got a permanent income tax cut starting January 1, 2010.
Over 83 per cent of all purchases will see no change in tax.
The HST combines two existing taxes into a single, simple alternative – it means the 5 per cent GST is being combined with the 8 per cent PST into the single 13 per cent HST collected by the federal government.
Ontario’s existing PST system was first introduced in 1961 and is out-dated. The HST is more efficient, modern and straight-forward.
In addition to the tax relief measures provided through Ontario’s comprehensive tax package, the province also doubled the Seniors Property Tax Grant for 2010 to $500.