By MPP Toby Barrett
The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult to navigate for many.
To assist individuals and families soldier through some of the financial challenges, the Ontario government has introduced several tax credits.
Despite the difficulties we continue to face, the people of Ontario – the people of Haldimand-Norfolk – have demonstrated incredible teamwork and cooperation to minimize transmission of COVID-19. At a time when so many lives have been disrupted, the more awareness we all have of what is being offered and available, the more support can be delivered to you and your families.
At the end of March, the Ontario Government released its Budget 2021 Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, which highlighted many tax credits. The Budget recognizes and incorporates the needs of job seekers and seniors by offering a helping hand.
One example is our Jobs Training Tax Credit — a refundable personal income tax credit that returns 50 per cent of eligible training expenses for 2021, up to $2,000. Expenses that apply include everything from personal support worker training programs to heavy machinery training programs, to courses towards a degree, diploma, or certificate and much more. In combination with the federal government’s Canada Training Credit, applicants can receive up to $2,500 back next year for such training. The government is spending roughly $260 million in support to help about 230,000 people in Ontario.
My office hears from many seniors who are struggling throughout the pandemic as well.
The Seniors Home Safety Tax Credit for 2021 is a refundable personal income tax credit for people who turn 65 by the end of 2021. Those who live with a senior relative may also apply for this tax credit. It returns 25 per cent of up to $10,000 in eligible expenses — up to a maximum of $2,500 — for renovations to a senior’s principal residence. Eligible expense examples include grab bars, wheelchair ramps, stair lifts, and renovations to move a senior to the first floor of a home.
A total of $30 million has been set aside so 27,000 seniors can remain in their home longer.
We are also providing a one-time top-up for recipients of the Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) credit. The top-up is 20 per cent of their 2021 credit entitlements. This will increase 2021 CARE support for over 300,000 recipients from about $1,250 to $1,500. Introduced in 2019, the CARE tax credit provides Ontario families with flexible childcare support of up to 75 per cent of eligible childcare expenses.
Introduced in 2019, the CARE tax credit provides families with flexible childcare support of up to 75 per cent of their eligible childcare expenses. The CARE tax credit is in addition to the Child Care Expenses Deduction and focuses on lower- and moderate-income families.
In addition to the new tax credits introduced in the spring budget, you may be able to tap into other long-standing tax credits. For a list of all Ontario Government tax credits and incentives, please visit https://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/credit/
I encourage the people of Haldimand-Norfolk to use these tax credits to fill gaps created by last year’s global economic downturn and to help get back on the right track.
Toby Barrett is the MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk