In mid-September, the Federal government announced three new refundable benefit programs that are geared to help put money back into the wallets of Canadian families.

Days ago, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that there will be a doubling of the GST/HST tax credit, which means that Canadians who filed a 2021 tax return and were eligible for the GST/HST Tax Credit will receive a one-time payment before the end of the year. This is pending the passage of proposed legislation with Royal Asset. 

The amount received will be double the amount normally received in six months (two quarterly payments) and will cost a total of $2.5 Billion. Maximum eligible amounts for the 2022-2023 benefit year are:

  • $467 for singles without children; the extra payment would be $233.50
  • $612 for married or common-law partners; or single parents; the extra payment would be $306
  • $161 for each child under the age of 19; the extra payment would be $80.50

Those who are struggling with housing can apply for the Housing Assistance for Low-Income Renters benefit. This one-time tax-free payment of $500 under the Canada Housing Benefit, was introduced in the April 2022 budget. This housing benefit is meant to help families whose net income is under $35,000 and single individuals with net income under $20,000. 

While the budget estimated costs at $435 million, it is more likely that the actual cost will be in the realm of $1.2 billion as 1.8 million people across the country will likely receive the payments. To qualify for the top-up, an application form to attest to the renter's age, income, residency and address of the rental property is required.  In addition tax filers must pay at least 30 per cent of adjusted net income on shelter costs, and rental payments must be for their own primary residence in Canada. the address of the property and the landlord’s contact information is required.

The federal Canada Housing Benefit works in collaboration with the provinces to assist people with subsidized housing and so is not usually available to the general public.   This top-up payment will not affect other government programming based on net income such as the Canada Workers Benefit, the Canada Child Benefit, the Goods and Services Tax Credit, and the Guaranteed Income Supplement.

Last but not least, the Canada Dental Benefit which will cost $5.3 billion over 5 years, will allow families with kids under 12 will qualify for an up-front tax-free payment for dental work in 2022, depending on their income level. The amounts paid must be justified with receipts and in order to qualify a family must have no private health care plan, and show proof of out-of-pocket dental costs. The qualifying amounts paid are retroactive to October  1 of this year. Family income must be under $90,000 and the amounts payable are:

  • Family net income under $70,000 = $650
  • Family net income between $70,000 and $79,999 = $390
  • Family net income between $80,000 and $90,000 = $260 

All the programs depend on a calculation of net family income.

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