10 March 2023

Two Important Updates for Tenants: RGI Reviews + Tax Credits

Ivy Farquhar
Ivy Farquhar

Rent-Geared-to-Income Annual Review Updates for 2023

The next Annual Income Review process for all Circle RGI Tenants is being slated for 2024. This means that RGI rents will remain the same until the 2024 Annual Review Process is complete.

However, if you are a Circle RGI Tenant and your income or household composition has changed since your last review, you must contact our Tenant Services department for an Interim Review. Failure to do so may result in retroactive charges from Circle in 2024 to make up the rent that you owe.

Please contact the Tenant Services Department with any questions: tenantservices@circlelandtrust.ca, or 437-781-8432 ext 2.

Change in the Tax Status of Circle's Homes, and How this Affects Tenants

During 2022, the ownership of Circle's homes was transferred to us from the previous owner Toronto Community Housing ("TCHC"). As part of the transfer process, Circle was granted exemption from paying municipal property taxes on all of those properties. This means that when our Tenants' homes transferred from TCHC to Circle, the City stopped charging property tax on those buildings.

How does this affect Tenants?
When filing annual income taxes, many Tenants apply for the Ontario Trillium Benefit (“OTB”), which includes a number of provincial tax credits. One of the credits that makes up the OTB is the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (“OEPTC”). In order to be eligible for the OEPTC, a Tenant must live in a building that is subject to municipal property tax. Since Circle's homes became exempt from these taxes during 2022, our Tenants will only be eligible for the months when their homes were owned by TCHC, and were not yet tax-exempt. This eligibility requirement is outlined on the Canada Revenue Agency's Q&A page about the OTB at this link (scroll to Question 11).

I am a Circle Tenant. If I claim the OEPTC for months in 2022 that I was not eligible, will the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) adjust the claim for me?
To our knowledge, the CRA does not always verify the tax status of a residence at the time of filing. This has meant that some Tenants who live in tax-exempt buildings have mistakenly collected the OEPTC for years, and then have been asked to pay it back to the CRA years later. (You can read about a recent situation with some TCHC Tenants in this CBC news article). So, it is important to make sure that you are only applying for tax credits that you are eligible for, otherwise you may be required to pay money back to the CRA.

What steps should Circle Tenants take?
Filing your taxes correctly is your responsibility. We recommend that Tenants work with your tax preparer or accountant, or connect with one of the free or discounted tax clinics listed below, so that they can advise you on which credits you are eligible for. Most of these clinics require advance registration. This information is also being mailed to your home in a letter. We recommend that you bring a copy of that letter to show the person helping prepare your taxes.

Who can I contact for more information?
If you have questions for TCHC
, or would like 2022 rent receipts for the months that TCHC owned your home, please contact the TCHC Call Center at help@torontohousing.ca or 416-981-5500.

If you have questions for Circle, please contact Tenant Engagement Coordinator Ivy Farquhar-McDonnell at community@circlelandtrust.ca, or 437-781-8432 ext 3.

Free and Discounted Tax Clinics – Downtown/East Toronto

Applegrove Community Complex – 60 Woodfield Rd (Queen St E & Greenwood)

Ralph Thornton Community Centre – 765 Queen St East (at Broadview Ave)
416-392-6810  Ext 221

Woodgreen Community Services – 815 Danforth Ave (at Pape Ave)
416-645-6000 ext. 1187

Toronto Reference Library – 789 Yonge St (at Bloor St)

Free and Discounted Tax Clinics – Scarborough/Malvern

AccessPoint on Danforth – 3079 Danforth Ave (Danforth & Victoria Park Ave)

Agincourt Community Services – Multiple locations near Kennedy Rd & Hwy 401acsatax@agincourtcommunityservices.com
416-321-6912 ext. 238

Fairview Public Library – 35 Fairview Maill Dr (Sheppard Ave & Hwy 404)416-395-5750

Highland Creek Library - 3550 Ellesmere Road (Ellesmere Rd & Conlins Rd)

Malvern Christian Assembly – 6705 Sheppard Ave E (Sheppard E & Neilson Rd)

The Second Chance Foundation – 3171 Eglinton Ave E (Eglinton & Kingston Rd)
416-792-6702 ext. 11

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