How to claim Ontario's staycation tax credit on your tax return
People in Ontario who vacationed in the province last year can claim the trip on their upcoming tax returns, and here’s how to do it.
Introduced as a temporary, refundable personal income tax credit for 2022, the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit can be used by families and individuals who went on a leisurely trip somewhere within the province.
Through this credit, Ontarians can claim 20 per cent of their eligible accommodation expenses between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2022.
“If you travelled for work, that wouldn’t count,” H&R Block tax specialist, Yannick Lemay, previously told CTV News Toronto. “We are excluding costs for food, entertainment, gas, and all extra expenses, but anything that goes for accommodation for travel, you can claim.”
Those who are looking to apply for this credit should have the receipts from their accommodation stays, Lemay noted.
“It’s up to $1,000 [for an individual], and it’s a 20 per cent rate credit, so that means Ontarians can get up to $200 back.”
Families and couples can claim up to $2,000 and get a maximum credit of $400.
HOW CAN I CLAIM THE STAYCATION TAX CREDIT?
When it's time to file your Income Tax and Benefit Return for last year, keep your eyes peeled for form ON479, which lists all of the refundable tax credits Ontarians can specifically claim.
"Many Ontario credits are calculated on this form, and then the total of credits calculated on this form goes onto the T1 returns on your federal tax return. It goes on line 47900," Lemay told CTV News Toronto Friday.
Ontario’s staycation tax credit can be found underneath the Ontario childcare access and relief from expenses (CARE) tax credit.
SO WHAT ELIGIBLE EXPENSES CAN I CLAIM?
Ontarians who stayed at a short-term accommodation for less than a month in province can claim the expenses through the credit – so long as it is a hotel, motel, resort, lodge, bed-and-breakfast, cottage, campground or vacation rental property.
The accommodation must have either been paid by you, or your spouse, partner, or eligible child.
All of the receipts from the eligible expenses must have the location, the date of stay, the name of who purchased the accommodations, and the cost. It should also have the amount of taxes you paid on the stay.
If all these conditions are met, Ontarians can claim the accommodation of one trip or multiple trips, and can be expensed up to $1,000 as an individual or $2,000 as a family.
WHAT CAN’T I CLAIM?
Vacations on boats, trains, or “other vehicles that can be self-propelled,” the province says, aren’t included with the tax credit. Timeshare agreements are also generally not included.
As for travel expenses, Ontarians cannot claim car rentals, fuel, flights, groceries, parking, or tickets purchased to visit location attractions. If the trip was also for school or work, it also cannot be claimed through the staycation tax credit.
Lastly, if the expenses were reimbursed – either by a friend or an employer – the stay cannot be claimed.
May 1 is the deadline for most Canadians to file their tax returns, with June 15 being the deadline for those who are self-employed.
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