15 January 2024

Updates about RGI Reviews, Tax Season + More

Ivy Farquhar
Ivy Farquhar

Tenant Handbook Now Available Online
Circle’s Tenant Handbook is now available online at this link. The Handbook includes lots of important information on what to expect while living in a Circle home, what your rights are and what we expect from you as a Tenant. If you do not have online access and would like a copy, please contact your Community Tenant Services Worker.

Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) Annual Review Updates for 2024
The next RGI Annual Income Review process is taking place this year. All RGI Tenants should receive your Annual Review (AR) package in the mail starting in April 2024.  As a reminder, each member of your household that is 16 or older will need to have their 2023 Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency for Circle to complete the AR process. So, it is important to file your taxes as soon as possible. To help ensure that you can get your taxes done on time, we've compiled a list of free and discounted tax clinics in Circle's neighbourhoods. You can access the list here, or by contacting your Community Tenant Services Worker.

IMPORTANT: Change in the Tax Status of Circle Homes, and How it Impacts Tenants
In 2022, the ownership of the Scattered Homes was transferred from Toronto Community Housing Corporation (“TCHC”) to Circle Community LandTrust (“Circle”). As part of the transfer process, Circle was granted exemption from paying municipal property taxes on all our properties. This means that since the transfer, the City no longer charges property taxes on the Scattered Homes that were transferred to Circle.

I am a Circle Tenant. How does this change affect me?
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 your home became exempt from these taxes during 2022, you are no longer eligible to claim the OEPTC.

If I claim the OEPTC even though I am 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. 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 I take?
Filing your taxes correctly is your responsibility. We recommend that Tenants work with a tax preparer or accountant, or connect with one of the free or discounted tax clinics at this link so that they can advise you on which credits you are eligible for. Most of these clinics require advance registration. We sent a letter with more information about this to all our Tenants in January 2024. We recommend that you bring a copy of this letter to show the person helping prepare your taxes.

You can also go to your local library and ask if they will be running a tax clinic this year.

If you need more information about any of the updates above, please contact our Tenant Services department at tenantservices@circlelandtrust.ca, or 437-781-8432 Ext 2.

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