An OTB notice is a letter sent to eligible Ontario residents informing them of their status with respect to the Ontario Trillium Benefit.
There are many reasons why you may have been sent an OTB notice.
As your personal or financial circumstances change, your eligibility for the OTB may also change, and this could trigger a change in your benefit.
Here are a few common reasons why Canadians receive an OTB notice:
- Simple updates on your OTB application status (approved, rejected, in progress)
- Notice of general changes to OTB benefit payments
- Notice that you owe money back to the CRA due to changes in eligibility
- Request for information needed to assess your OTB eligibility
- Notice of changes in your OTB benefit based on your status
This list isn’t exhaustive, so it’s best to read the notice thoroughly to understand if there is any action you need to take.
How Do I Respond to an OTB Notice From The CRA?
When you receive an OTB notice from the CRA, it’s important to review the notice carefully to ensure that the information is accurate and so that you can take action if needed.
If you have any questions or concerns about your OTB notice, the best course of action is to contact the CRA directly for assistance.
Here are a few things we recommend you do as soon as you receive an OTB notice:
- Review the notice carefully: Carefully read the notice to ensure that the information is correct, including your name, address, and eligibility for the benefits. Make sure to understand whether it is just a standard notice or if there are any actions required from you, such as proof of eligibility or a payment due.
- Make any necessary updates: If there are any errors or changes to your personal information, such as a change of address, you will need to update the information with the CRA. You can do this by calling the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 or by logging into your CRA account online.
- Verify your eligibility: If you are unsure about your eligibility for the Ontario Trillium Benefit program, you can check out the Ontario Trillium Benefit Q&As or contact the CRA directly for assistance.
- Confirm your payment information: The OTB notice will also provide information on how and when you will receive your benefit payments. Ensure that the payment information is correct and up-to-date.
- Take action promptly: If you need to make any updates or changes, it’s important to do so promptly to ensure that you receive your benefits on time or face any penalties.
What is the OTB (Ontario Trillium Benefit)?
The Ontario Trillium Benefit is a refundable tax credit that helps low income Ontarians with the costs of property tax and sales tax on energy.
The OTB consists of three different components:
- The Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC): provides assistance with the cost of energy and property taxes for eligible individuals and families.
- The Northern Ontario Energy Credit (NOEC): provides additional financial support to individuals and families living in Northern Ontario to help with the higher cost of energy in those regions.
- The Ontario Sales Tax Credit (OSTC): provides assistance to eligible individuals and families to help offset the cost of sales tax.
How Do I Know If I Am Eligible to Receive the OTB?
Eligibility for the OTB is determined based on factors such as income, home energy costs, family size, and residency.
The eligibility requirements differ between the three programs, and you must be eligible to at least one to receive the benefit.
The benefit is calculated and paid out monthly, on the 10th of each month (or the previous business day, if it falls on a weekend or statutory holiday).
Your benefit will be based on your prior year tax return, and the payment period is monthly between July 2023-June 2024.
How Do I Apply for OTB?
If you are an Ontario resident and want to apply for the OTB, the most important thing you need to do is file your prior year’s tax return, even if you didn’t have any income for that tax year.
Without filing your tax return, you won’t be able to apply for any component of the OTB.
If you want to apply for the OSTC only, you don’t need to fill out any additional forms.
Your eligibility will be automatically assessed by the CRA upon the submission of your tax return.
If you want to apply for the OEPTC or NOEC, then you need to complete Form ON-BEN in addition to filing your tax return.
If you are eligible to receive OTB but you owe taxes to the CRA, your OTB benefit payment will be paid back to the CRA until you have cleared your debts in full.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is an OTB Notice From The CRA?
The CRA could send you an OTB notice for a number of reasons, such as updating you on your OTB application status, notifying you about changes to your OTB benefits, requesting information to determine your eligibility for the benefit, and more.
The best way to understand why the CRA is contacting you is by reading the notice thoroughly, or contacting the CRA directly.
- What should I do if I receive an OTB Notice From The CRA?
- If you receive an OTB notice from the CRA, read the notice carefully, and see if the information is correct and if they require any action from you. You can always contact CRA directly if you have any questions or need clarification on your notice.