Northern Ontario Energy Credit Questions and Answers

 

The questions and answers below refer to claims for the 2018 NOEC, which you apply for on your 2017 income tax and benefit return. However, the eligibility rules for previous are similar to the rules for the 2018 NOEC. If you need these rules, when reading the questions and answers below, replace current year references with the previous year(s). For example, for the 2017 NOEC, replace 2017 with 2016, 2018 with 2017 and 2019 with 2018.

  1. What is the Northern Ontario energy credit (NOEC)?
  2. What areas of Ontario are considered Northern Ontario for the NOEC?
  3. Am I eligible for the 2018 NOEC?
  4. How do I apply for the 2018 NOEC?
  5. How much is the 2018 NOEC?
  6. Do I have to calculate the 2018 NOEC?
  7. When will I get my 2018 NOEC payments?
  8. Who will issue the 2018 NOEC payments?
  9. What is a principal residence?
  10. What is eligible rent paid and what should I enter beside box 6110 on Form ON-BEN?
  11. What are eligible property taxes and what should I enter beside box 6112 on Form ON-BEN?
  12. What amounts cannot be included as rent or property tax paid?
  13. What should I enter beside box 6121 on Form ON-BEN for my home energy costs paid on a reserve in Ontario for 2017?
  14. What should I enter beside box 6123 on Form ON-BEN for the amounts I paid for living in a public or non-profit long-term care home in Ontario for 2017?
  15. Do I have to provide my receipts with my 2017 return to prove the amounts I paid?
  16. My spouse owns our home but she is living in a nursing home. Are we entitled to the 2018 NOEC?
  17. My spouse and I pay property taxes on both our house and our cottage. When we calculate our property tax paid, can we add together the amounts we paid for both properties?
  18. In the year of death, is the estate eligible for any NOEC payments for that year?
  19. How will the Canada Revenue Agency determine if I am a single parent so that I will qualify for the family-based 2018 NOEC payment?
  20. My ex-spouse and I share custody of our child. Neither of us has remarried. Will I receive the 2018 NOEC payments for my child?
  21. I'm single and I applied for the 2018 NOEC on my 2017 tax return. I still live in Northern Ontario and I gave birth to my first child on August 2, 2018. I do not share the care of my child. Will I qualify for the family-based NOEC payments?
  22. How do I register my child for the Canada child benefit (CCB) so that I will get the family-based 2018 NOEC payments?
  23. I filed for bankruptcy in 2017. Can I apply for the 2018 NOEC payments?
  24. I immigrated to Northern Ontario on June 15, 2017. Can I apply for the 2018 NOEC payments?
  25. I have not filed my 2017 income tax and benefit return. Will I receive a NOEC payment?
  26. I applied for the 2018 NOEC on my 2017 return and met all of the conditions to get these payments. However, I have not received any payments—what should I do?
  27. I am eligible for the 2018 NOEC payments but I forgot to apply when I filed my 2017 income tax and benefit return. Can I still apply?
  28. I moved to Northern Ontario on January 5, 2018. Am I eligible for the 2018 NOEC payments?
  29. I moved from Northern Ontario on August 15, 2018. Am I eligible for the 2018 NOEC payments?
  30. Do I have to be a Canadian citizen in order to be eligible for the NOEC?
  31. We are planning to sell our home in 2018. Are we still eligible for the 2018 NOEC?
  32. Are secondary residences in Ontario, such as cottages, eligible for the NOEC?
  33. Could a NOEC be claimed on more than one principal residence in a tax year?
  34. My address recently changed—what should I do?
  35. I have an outstanding debt with the Canada Revenue Agency and didn't receive my goods and services tax credit because I owed money to the Government. Will I receive the NOEC?
  36. Is the NOEC a taxable benefit?
  37. Will there be interest paid or charged on any NOEC underpayments or overpayments?
  38. If my application for the NOEC is denied, can I appeal?
  39. Who should I contact if I have a question about the Ontario provincial government policy regarding the NOEC?

Note

  • If, on your 2017 return, you chose to wait to get your 2018 OTB entitlement and your annual entitlement is over $360, it will be issued on June 10, 2019. See question 9 under Ontario trillium benefit for more details.
  • If your 2018 OTB annual entitlement is $360 or less, it will be issued in one lump-sum payment in the first payment month (usually July).
  • If your 2017 return is assessed after June 10, 2018, see question 7 for when you can expect to receive your payment.
  • If, on December 31, 2017, you were 64 years of age or older, and you owned and occupied a principal residence in Ontario for which you or someone on your behalf paid property tax in 2017, you may also be eligible for the 2018 Ontario senior homeowners' property tax grant.
  • You may also be eligible for the 2018 Ontario energy and property tax credit (OEPTC) if you lived in Ontario on December 31, 2017, and at least one of the following applies:
    • rent or property tax for your principal residence in Ontario was paid by or for you for 2017
    • accommodation costs for living in a public or non-profit long-term care home in Ontario were paid by or for you for 2017
    • home energy costs (for example, electricity, heat) for your principal residence on a reserve were paid by or for you in Ontario for 2017 or
    • you lived in a designated university, college, or private school residence in Ontario in 2017

2. What areas of Ontario are considered Northern Ontario for the NOEC?

For the NOEC, Northern Ontario means the districts of Algoma, Cochrane, Kenora, Manitoulin, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Rainy River, Sudbury (including the City of Greater Sudbury), Thunder Bay, and Timiskaming. You must live in one of these areas on December 31, 2017, to be eligible for the 2018 NOEC.

3. Am I eligible for the 2018 NOEC?

You may be eligible for the 2018 NOEC, if:

  • you were a resident of Northern Ontario (see question 2) on December 31, 2017, and one of the following conditions applies:
    • you will be 18 years of age or older before June 1, 2019
    • you had a spouse or common-law partner on or before December 31, 2017 or
    • you are a parent who lives or previously lived with your child (see question 19) and
  • for 2017, at least one of the following conditions applies to you:
    • rent for your principal residence (see question 9) in Northern Ontario was paid by or for you
    • property tax for your principal residence in Northern Ontario was paid by or for you
    • you lived on a reserve in Northern Ontario and home energy costs (for example, electricity, heat) were paid for your principal residence on the reserve by or for you or
    • you lived in a public or non-profit long-term care home in Northern Ontario and an amount for accommodation was paid by or for you

You must be a resident of Northern Ontario at the beginning of a month to receive that month’s payment.

You are not eligible for a particular monthly payment if you were confined to a prison or a similar institution for a period of 90 days or more that includes the first day of the payment month.

Note

If you will turn 18 before June 1, 2019, and you meet the eligibility criteria, you should apply for the 2018 NOEC on your 2017 return. You will only be issued the monthly payments for the periods after you turn 18. For example, if you turn 18 years of age on May 15, 2019, you will only be eligible for the 2018 NOEC payment that is issued in June 2019.

4. How do I apply for the 2018 NOEC?

To apply for the 2018 NOEC, you must file a 2017 income tax and benefit return. You also must complete Form ON-BEN, Application for the 2018 Ontario Trillium Benefit and Ontario Senior Homeowners' Property Tax Grant. Be sure to attach the completed form to your return. This form is included in the tax package for residents of Ontario.

When completing Form ON-BEN, be sure to place a tick beside box 6119 in the section called "Application for the Northern Ontario energy credit (NOEC)." Complete Parts A and B, and, if applicable, Part C on the back of the form. Make sure you provide the following information for 2017, if applicable:

  • enter the rent paid by or for you for your principal residence (including a private long-term care home) in Ontario for 2017 beside box 6110 (see question 10 and question 12 )
  • enter the property tax paid by or for you for your principal residence in Ontario for 2017 beside box 6112 (see question 11 and question 12)
  • enter your home energy costs (for example, electricity, heat) paid by or for you for your principal residence on a reserve in Ontario for 2017 beside box 6121 (see question 13 ) or
  • enter the accommodation costs paid by or for you for living in a public or non-profit long term care home in Ontario for 2017 beside box 6123 (see question 14 )

If you were married or living in a common-law relationship on December 31, 2017, the following applies to you:

  • only one spouse or common-law partner can apply for the payments for both of you
  • the same spouse or common-law partner who applies for the 2018 Ontario senior homeowners' property tax grant (by ticking box 6113 on Form ON-BEN) and the 2018 Ontario energy and property tax credit (by ticking box 6118) must claim the 2018 NOEC and
  • you must provide your spouse's or common-law partner's net income in the "Identification" area on page 1 of your 2017 return

5. How much is the 2018 NOEC?

If you are eligible for NOEC, the amount you receive depends on a number of factors including your adjusted family net income, your marital status and whether you have children.

The maximum annual credit is $151 for single individuals with no children and $232 for couples and single parents. If you are a single individual with no children, your credit will be reduced by 1% of your adjusted net income over $40,522. If you are a family, your credit will be reduced by 1% of your adjusted family net income over $52,100.

6. Do I have to calculate the 2018 NOEC?

No. You do not have to calculate your entitlement. After you apply, the 2018 NOEC will be calculated for you and, if you are entitled, your payments will be issued as explained in question 7. If you are not entitled, in most cases, you will receive a notice explaining why.

If you would like to calculate your 2018 payment, see the 2018 Northern Ontario energy credit calculation sheets or use our on-line Child and family benefits calculator.

For the prior-year calculation sheets, go to Northern Ontario energy credit calculation sheets.

7. When will I get my 2018 NOEC payments?

Your NOEC entitlement will be added to your entitlement for the Ontario sales tax credit and/or the OEPTC, if applicable, and you will receive a combined payment, called the Ontario trillium benefit (OTB). The annual OTB entitlement is usually divided by 12 and payments are issued monthly (see below for more details and the note for exceptions).

If you meet the eligibility requirements and your 2017 return is assessed by June 10, 2018, your 2018 NOEC payments will be issued on the 10th of each month, starting on July 10, 2018.

If your 2017 return is assessed after June 10, 2018, your first payment, which will include any prior month entitlements, will be issued within four to eight weeks after your 2017 return is assessed. Your remaining payments will be issued on the 10th of each month thereafter.

If you already receive your income tax refund or other benefits or credits by direct deposit, you will also receive your NOEC payments by direct deposit. Otherwise, you will receive your payments by cheque.

Note

If, on your 2017 return, you chose to wait to get your 2018 OTB entitlement in one payment at the end of the benefit year and your annual entitlement is over $360, it will be issued on June 10, 2019. See question 9 under Ontario trillium benefit for more details.

If your 2018 OTB annual entitlement is $360 or less, it will be issued in one lump-sum payment in the first payment month (usually July).

If, on your 2017 return, you chose to wait to get your 2018 OTB entitlement in one payment at the end of the benefit year and your annual entitlement is over $360, it will be issued on June 10, 2019. See question 9 under Ontario trillium benefit for more details.

If your 2018 OTB annual entitlement is $360 or less, it will be issued in one lump-sum payment in the first payment month (usually July).

8. Who will issue the 2018 NOEC payments?

The CRA will issue the 2018 NOEC payments for the Ontario provincial government.

9. What is a principal residence?

A principal residence is a housing unit in Ontario that you usually occupy during the year. For example, it can be a house, apartment, condominium, hotel or motel room, mobile home, or rooming house.

10. What is eligible rent paid and what should I enter beside box 6110 on Form ON-BEN?

Eligible rent paid is the rent that was paid for 2017 by you, or for you, for your principal residence, which was subject to Ontario municipal or education property tax. This means that if you lived, for example, in a social housing unit that was exempt from property tax, you may not enter rent paid for that unit in box 6110.

Beside box 6110, you should enter the total rent paid for your principal residence for 2017.

If you lived with your spouse or common-law partner on December 31, 2017, enter the total rent that was paid for both of you (including any amounts paid during a period of separation).

If you and your spouse or common-law partner separated during the year and lived apart on December 31, 2017, enter your share of the rent for the part of the year before the separation, plus your own rent after the separation.

If you shared a principal residence with one or more persons (other than your spouse or common-law partner), enter your share of the rent paid for the year.

If a portion of the rent paid for your principal residence has been claimed as a business expense, this amount should be deducted from the amounts claimed at line 6110 for the year.

If you did not own your principal residence and it was not held in trust for you, and an amount for property tax was paid by or for you for that residence in place of your rent or in addition to your rent, enter the amount beside box 6110.

If you were a farmer, enter beside box 6110 the rent paid for your principal residence and one acre of land.

If you rented a mobile home that you did not own, enter the amount of rent paid to your landlord beside box 6110.

If you lived in a private long-term care home, hospital, group home, chronic care facility or a similar institution, and the institution paid full municipal and school taxes, enter your rent beside box 6110. If the facility does not break down the cost of room and board (meals, laundering, or other services) on your receipt, you can claim an amount of up to 75% of your total payments as rent.

If you lived in a public or non-profit long-term care home, see question 14.

11. What are eligible property taxes and what should I enter beside box 6112 on Form ON-BEN?

Eligible property taxes are the amount of taxes paid for 2017 by you, or for you, for a home you own in Ontario.

Beside box 6112, you should enter your total property tax paid for your principal residence for 2017, including the municipal and education property taxes.

If you reside in an area that does not have a municipal organization, you may include amounts charged under the Provincial Land Tax Act or the Local Roads Boards Act or the Local Services Boards Act.

If you lived with your spouse or common-law partner on December 31, 2017, enter the total property tax paid for both of you (including any amounts paid during a period of separation).

If you and your spouse or common-law partner separated during the year and lived apart on December 31, 2017, enter your share of the property tax for the part of the year before the separation, plus your own property taxes paid after the separation.

If you shared and jointly owned a principal residence with one or more persons (other than your spouse or common-law partner), enter your share of the property tax paid for the year.

If you were a farmer, enter the property tax paid for your principal residence and one acre of land.

If you owned and occupied a mobile home, enter the combined total of the property tax paid for your home, plus the property tax that your landlord/site owner paid for the lot you leased. If the landlord does not provide a breakdown of the property tax paid for the lot, and you do not have an assessment for the lot from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation, you can estimate the property tax based on the fees paid to your landlord/site owner for the lot. It would be reasonable to take 20% of the fees and add that amount to any property tax paid on the mobile home.

12. What amounts cannot be included as rent or property tax paid?

Your rent and property tax paid cannot include amounts such as:

  • rent paid for a principal residence that is not subject to municipal and education property tax (such as a residence located on a reserve, or a tax exempt social housing unit)
  • other fees included in your rent that are for goods and services (for example, fees for board, housekeeping or other amenities)
  • condo fees (other than any part that is paid for the municipal and education property tax for your principal residence)
  • payments to relatives or friends who are not reporting the payments as rental income on their returns
  • property tax or rent paid on part of a home you used for rental or business purposes
  • property tax or rent paid on a second residence, such as a cottage, if you claimed property tax or rent for your principal residence for the same period or
  • amounts paid for living in a designated Ontario university, college or private school residence

13. What should I enter beside box 6121 on Form ON-BEN for my home energy costs paid on a reserve in Ontario for 2017?

If you lived on a reserve in Ontario, beside box 6121, you should enter the total of the amounts paid for 2017 for your energy costs (for example, electricity, heating) for your principal residence on the reserve.

14. What should I enter beside box 6123 on Form ON-BEN for the amounts I paid for living in a public or non-profit long-term care home in Ontario for 2017?

If you lived in a public or non-profit long-term care home in Ontario and the institution did not pay full municipal and school taxes, you should enter only the accommodation charges that were paid by you or for you for 2017.

If you lived in a private long-term care home, see question 10.

15. Do I have to provide my receipts with my 2017 return to prove the amounts I paid?

No. Whether you are filing electronically or filing a paper return, keep all your receipts in case the CRA asks to see them at a later date.

16. My spouse owns our home but she is living in a nursing home. Are we entitled to the 2018 NOEC?

In a situation where spouses or common-law partners live apart and maintain separate principal residences in Northern Ontario on December 31, 2017, for medical reasons, if they choose, each may apply for the 2018 NOEC for their separate eligible residence. For the purposes of these claims, the CRA considers you to be involuntarily separated, so your claims will be calculated as if you were single.

On your Form ON-BEN, Application for the 2018 Ontario Trillium Benefit and Ontario Senior Homeowners' Property Tax Grant, in addition to completing the application area for the NOEC, tick box 6108 in Part A on the back of the form and provide your spouse's or common-law partner's address in Part C – Involuntary separation. This will let the CRA know that there is an involuntary separation.

17. My spouse and I pay property taxes on both our house and our cottage. When we calculate our property tax paid, can we add together the amounts we paid for both properties?

No. You can only enter the property tax paid on your principal residence in Ontario. You can only have one principal residence at a time. As well, only one of you can apply for the NOEC payments for both of you.

18. In the year of death, is the estate eligible for any NOEC payments for that year?

If the deceased was single, separated, divorced or widowed and the date of death is before July 1, 2018, the estate is not eligible for any of the 2018 NOEC payments.

If the date of death is July 1, 2018, or later, the estate is only eligible for the 2018 NOEC payment(s) for a particular month if the date of death is on or after the first day of that month.

If the deceased had a spouse or common-law partner who had filed a tax return and is eligible, the surviving spouse will automatically receive the remaining payments for the year in question. The income from both spouses/partners will continue to be used in the calculation of the NOEC.

19. How will the CRA determine if I am a single parent so that I will qualify for the family-based 2018 NOEC payment?

The CRA will consider you a single parent for a particular month if, on December 31, 2017, you were not married or living in a common-law relationship and on the first day of that month our benefit registry shows that you have care (including shared custody care) of a child under the age of 18.

20. My ex-spouse and I share custody of our child. Neither of us has remarried. Will I receive the 2018 NOEC payments for my child?

There are no NOEC payments for children. However, as long as the CRA considered you to be a single parent for a particular month (as described in the previous question), your payment for that month will be based on the family income threshold. If the CRA does consider you to be a single parent for that month, your payment will be based on the single income threshold. If you are a single parent who shares the care of all your children for a payment issuance month, your payment will be calculated as the average of the family-based and single-based NOEC payments.

21. I'm single and I applied for the 2018 NOEC on my 2017 tax return. I still live in Northern Ontario and I gave birth to my first child on August 2, 2018. I do not share the care of my child. Will I qualify for the family-based NOEC payments?

For the July and August 2018 payments, you would only be entitled to the NOEC payment based on the single income threshold. However, after you register your child for the Canada child benefit (CCB), your remaining 2018 NOEC payments will be based on the family income threshold.

22. How do I register my child for the Canada child benefit (CCB) so that I will get the family-based 2018 NOEC payments?

To register your child, you can apply online on My Account by using the Apply for child benefits service or you can complete and send the CRA a Form RC66, Canada Child Benefits Application. You can download this form or order a copy. Go to forms and publications.

Send your completed form to the tax centre that serves your area.

23. I filed for bankruptcy in 2017. Can I apply for the 2018 NOEC payments?

Yes. Provided you meet the eligibility criteria explained in question 3, you can file your Form ON-BEN with the post-bankruptcy return you file for the tax year ending December 31, 2017. When the CRA calculates your adjusted family net income, the CRA will include your net income for the pre- and post-bankruptcy periods.

24. I immigrated to Northern Ontario on June 15, 2017. Can I apply for the 2018 NOEC payments?

Yes. Provided you meet the eligibility criteria explained in question 3, you can apply for the 2018 NOEC payments. However, in addition to completing Form ON-BEN, you will also have to file Form RC66SCH, Status in Canada / Statement of Income, to state your income from January 1, 2017, to the date you entered Canada. If you are married or living in a common-law relationship and your spouse or partner resides in Canada, you would also provide your spouse's or common-law partner's income for the same period on Form RC66SCH.

25. I have not filed my 2017 income tax and benefit return. Will I receive a 2018 NOEC payment?

No. To receive the 2018 NOEC amounts, you must file a 2017 income tax and benefit return and apply for the NOEC (see question 4).

26. I applied for the 2018 NOEC on my 2017 return and met all of the conditions to get these payments. However, I have not received any payments—what should I do?

You should wait until you have received your 2017 notice of assessment. The first 2018 NOEC payment is scheduled to be issued on July 10, 2018.

27. I am eligible for the 2018 NOEC payments but I forgot to apply when I filed my 2017 income tax and benefit return. Can I still apply?

Yes. You have to request an adjustment to your 2017 return. Do not file another 2017 income tax and benefit return. Instead, you can make your request using our My Account online service. My Account is a secure, convenient, and time saving way to access and manage your tax and benefit information online, seven days a week. For information on how to register, see My Account.

If you haven't signed up for My Account, you can send one of the following items to your tax centre: a completed Form T1-ADJ, T1 Adjustment Request, or a signed letter indicating that you want to apply for the 2018 NOEC amounts on your 2017 return.

Please attach a completed Form ON-BEN to your letter or Form T1-ADJ or provide information for whichever of the following amounts apply to you:

  • the rent paid by or for you for your principal residence in Ontario for 2017
  • the property tax paid by or for you for your principal residence in Ontario for 2017
  • the home energy costs paid by or for you for your principal residence on a reserve in Ontario for 2017 or
  • the accommodation costs paid by or for you for living in a public or non-profit long-term care home in Ontario for 2017

Note

You must also include your supporting receipts. If you forgot to apply for NOEC on an earlier return, you still can. Just follow the instructions above but provide the requested information for the applicable tax year.

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