Why You Should Always Ask For A Rent Receipt
Your rent receipt is much more than just your proof of payment – for many Canadians, it’s a way to put money back in your pocket.
The Ontario energy and property tax credit (OEPTC) helps low- to moderate-income Ontario residents with the sales tax on energy costs. Claiming the amount of rent you paid can boost your monthly Trillium payment, which is especially important for post-secondary students accommodation on a tight budget.
Tax credits can really add up
When you do your taxes, complete the ON-BEN form and enter the total amount of rent you paid the previous year. You’ll need to include the name of your landlord.
How much you receive depends on your age, marital status and rent amount, but you could receive as much as $1,065, divided among monthly payments on the 10th of each month. (You can request your OEPTC in one lump sum payment, but then you’ll have to wait until the following June to get it, so most people opt to receive it monthly.)
Landlords are required to provide you with rent receipts, so don’t be shy about asking for them. While paying by cheque or e-transfer may seem like it’s providing you with proof of payment, the CRA requires an official rent receipt to allow you to claim rent on your income tax. The rent receipt needs to include the name of the landlord (an individual or company), contact information for the landlord, the address of the rental unit, the total amount of rent paid and the year.
If you have a roommate and your receipt shows the full amount of rent paid, simply include your share of the rent on the ON-BEN form.
A receipt lets you go back in time
If you didn’t apply in past years, you can go back and claim your rent by filling out a T1 adjustment form and an ON-BEN form from the year or years you didn’t claim. You’ll need to submit rent receipts from past years.
Always keep copies of your rent receipts for at least six years. If you e-file your taxes, which most people do, the CRA may send you a letter requesting copies of the rent receipts to confirm that you’re eligible for the tax credit.
Proof of payment protects you
The CRA requires only one receipt for the whole year, but you may opt to ask your landlord for a receipt each month. This helps protect you if there’s ever a mix-up. It’s your proof that you did, indeed, pay your rent.
It’s very important to also get a receipt for your deposit, which is usually equivalent to one month’s rent. Proof of this payment can help protect you when you give your notice to move.
If you’re planning a move, check out the apartment listings on Gottarent.com – where it’s easy to find the perfect unit or best house in your community.