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What Does an OTB Notice Mean?

Written by Jessica Steer
Reviewed by Emily Gardner
Whenever there are any changes to government benefits or your personal information, or you need to make changes, the federal government sends notices.
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    Due to this, you may have received an OTB notice in the mail. What exactly is OTB, though? Well, OTB stands for the Ontario Trillium Benefit

    The Ontario Trillium Benefit program actually includes 3 different refundable tax credits. These benefits include the Northern Ontario Energy Credit, Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, and the Ontario Sales Tax Credit, not the Ontario Trillium Drug Benefit. If you live in Ontario, there are plenty of reasons that you may have received an OTB notice related to one or all of these benefits. 

    Who Receives the Ontario Trillium Benefit

    As we mentioned above, the Ontario Trillium Benefit consists of three tax credits and is available to eligible Ontario residents. In order to start receiving OTB payments, you need to qualify for at least one of these credits. Let’s take a look at these different Ontario tax credits and who can qualify.

    Northern Ontario Energy Credit

    This credit is specifically for those who live in Northern Ontario. It helps those with low-to-moderate incomes who have high home energy costs. However, in order to qualify for this credit, you must meet the OTB eligibility criteria. These include:

    • Being at least 18 years of age
    • Having, or have previously had, a spouse or were in a common-law relationship
    • Being a parent who lives with or has previously lived with a child

    You must also have met at least one of these conditions in the previous year:

    • Paid rent or property tax for your main residence
    • Lived on a reserve in northern Ontario and paid the energy bills
    • Lived in a long-term care home in Northern Ontario and paid for a portion of your accommodations

    Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit

    The Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit is available to everyone in Ontario; however, you do have to apply for it. Even if you don’t currently live in Ontario, as long as you live in a designated University, College or Private School residence located in Ontario, you may also apply. 

    In order to be eligible for this credit, you must meet the same requirements as for the Northern Ontario Energy Credit. The purpose of this credit is to help those who have low to moderate-income Ontario residents by providing this tax-free payment that covers sales tax on energy costs as well as property taxes. 

    Ontario Sale Tax Credit 

    The Ontario Sales Tax Credit is just what it sounds like. It’s meant for low- to moderate-income residents and provides them with tax-free payment to relieve the cost of sales tax. However, in order to get approved, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

    • You must be at least 19 years of age
    • You must have or have had a spouse or common-law partner
    • You must be a parent who lives with or has previously lived with their dependent child

    How Much are the Ontario Trillium Benefit Payments

    When it comes to the Ontario Trillium Benefit payments, how much you receive each benefit year is based on your individual situation. Let’s take a look at the different amounts you could get. Keep in mind that the minimum OTB payment you can get is $10. 

    With the Northern Ontario Energy Credit, you can receive two different amounts. A single person can receive up to a maximum of $180. A family of 4 could receive up to a maximum of $277. However, you can always receive more money if you’re approved for more than one credit. 

    When it comes to the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, what you receive is based on your age as well as where you live. Those between the ages of 18 and 64 can receive up to $1,248, and those 65 and over can receive up to $1,421. If you lived in a public long-term care home or on a reserve, you could get up to $277. For those who live in college, university, or private school residences, you can get $25. 

    For the Ontario Sales Tax Credit, the payment amounts for those eligible can go up to $360. You may be eligible for another $360 if you have a spouse or common-law partner. You could also receive an additional $360 for each child who is under 19 years old on the first of the payment month. 

    OTB Payment Dates

    Even though these payments are for the province of Ontario, the payments are administered by the Canada Revenue Agency. Since OTB payments are monthly payments you’ll receive for the year, not just a single monthly payment, here is a list of 2024 payment dates for all of the Ontario Trillium Benefit Credits to be direct deposited into your account. The dates are all around the 10th of each month but will vary depending on weekends and statutory holidays. 

    It’s important to keep in mind that you don’t have to take the monthly payments. You can choose to get one lump sum payment instead that would be direct deposited into your account in July 2025. If you choose to get the one payment instead, then you don’t have to worry about these payment dates. No matter which option you choose, though, the payment will be labeled on your account statement as Canada PRO Deposit

    • January 10, 2024
    • February 9, 2024
    • March 8, 2024
    • April 10, 2024
    • May 10, 2024
    • June 10, 2024
    • July 10, 2024
    • August 9, 2024
    • September 10, 2024
    • October 10, 2024
    • November 8, 2024
    • December 10, 2024

    How To Apply for the Ontario Trillium Benefit

    In order to receive benefit payments through the OTB program, you must file your personal income tax and benefit return, even if you don’t have any income to report. When you complete your annual return, you must include the ON-BEN application form with your tax return package.

    Once you’ve completed this and submitted it, the Canada Revenue Agency will determine if you’re eligible for the credit or not. To ensure you receive your credits on time, though, you must complete your annual return by the tax deadline of April 30. Keep in mind that only one spouse can apply for the Ontario Trillium Benefit. 

    Notice of Amount Owing for the OTB

    If you received a notice from the CRA stating that you owe money regarding the Ontario Trillium Benefit, this is because you were overpaid. Because of this, the government is now requiring repayment for the amounts you received but weren’t owed. Even if these amounts aren’t paid back, they will be taken off of any future refunds or tax returns that you may receive. 

    OTB Tax Refund

    Depending on your financial situation, you can receive your Ontario Trillium Benefits in the form of an income tax refund. It really just depends on whether or not your financial situation has changed and based on your annual tax return. That said, it is unlikely you will receive a tax refund on OTB benefits since they’re based on the tax year once you file. 

    Ontario Trillium Benefit Letter

    There are plenty of reasons you could receive OTB notices. How you receive it is based on the type of correspondence you prefer from the federal government. These methods include email and paper mail. 

    As long as you receive one of the three OTB benefits you could receive an OTB benefit payments notice. It will be sent to you if your benefit payment amounts have changed if you need to make changes to your personal information, if you need to make an OTB repayment, or for any other reason.

    If, for any reason, the federal government needs to verify any information with you on behalf of the Ontario government, then they will get ahold of you with an OTB notice. That said, you can also find this information on your CRA account online. 


    No matter which province in Canada you live in, there are different government benefits that you could be eligible for. In Ontario, this is the Ontario Trillium Benefit. Since this benefit is broken into three different categories, it allows more Ontario residents to qualify for the benefit.

    However, in order to receive the OTB, you have to file your annual income tax and benefits return. If you want to ensure you receive the benefits on time, then your return should be filed by the income tax deadline. 

    When it comes to receiving an OTB notice, there are plenty of reasons why this may have happened. The federal government uses these notices to communicate with recipients about any changes or if any information is needed regarding their OTB benefits.

    Once you open the notice, you’ll see the reason that the federal government would have sent you the notice. If you need any more information or have any questions regarding the notice, you can contact the CRA directly. 

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