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March 25, 2021
Canada: Ontario issues budget 2021–22
On 24 March 2021, Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy tabled the province’s fiscal 2021–22 budget. The budget contains some tax measures affecting individuals and corporations but contains no new taxes and no tax increases.
As set out in Table A, the Minister anticipates a deficit of CA$33.1 billion1 for 2021–22 and projects deficits for each of the next seven years.
Table A – Projections of Ontario budgetary deficit
Numbers may not add due to rounding.
The following is a brief summary of the key tax measures.
Business tax measures
Corporate tax rates
No changes are proposed to the corporate tax rates or the $500,000 small-business limit.
Ontario’s 2021 corporate tax rates are summarized in Table B.
Table B – 2021 Ontario (ON) corporate tax rates
* Rates represent calendar-year rates unless otherwise indicated.
Other business tax measures
The Minister proposed the following business tax measure:
This refundable credit is available to Canadian-controlled private corporations that make qualifying investments in eligible geographic areas of Ontario. The 10% tax credit is available for eligible expenditures in excess of $50,000 and up to $500,000 in a year, for property that becomes available for use on or after 25 March 2020.
The proposed enhanced 20% tax credit will be available for eligible expenditures in excess of $50,000 and up to $500,000 for property that becomes available for use in the corporation’s taxation year, for the period beginning on 24 March 2021 and ending before 1 January 2023.
Qualifying investments include expenditures for constructing, renovating or acquiring eligible commercial and industrial buildings and other assets, generally capital property included in Class 1 and Class 6 for the purposes of calculating a corporation’s capital cost allowance.
Personal income tax rates
The budget does not include any changes to personal income tax rates.
The 2021 Ontario personal tax rates are summarized in Table C.
Table C – 2021 Ontario personal tax rates
In addition, for 2021, a 20% surtax applies to basic Ontario tax in excess of $4,874, and an additional 36% surtax applies to basic Ontario tax in excess of $6,237.
Individuals resident in Ontario on 31 December 2021 with taxable income in excess of $20,000 must pay the Ontario Health Premium. The premium ranges from nil to $900 depending on the individual’s taxable income, with the top premium being payable by individuals with taxable income in excess of $200,600.
Individuals resident in Ontario on 31 December 2021 with taxable income up to $15,850 pay no provincial income tax as a result of a low-income tax reduction. The low-income tax reduction ($251 of Ontario tax) is clawed back for income in excess of $15,850 until the reduction is eliminated, resulting in an additional 5.05% of provincial tax on income between $15,851 and $20,821.
For taxable income in excess of $151,978, the 2021 combined federal-Ontario personal income tax rates are outlined in Table D.
Table D – Combined 2021 federal and Ontario personal tax rates
* The rate on capital gains is one-half the ordinary income tax rate.
Personal tax credits
This budget proposes changes to the following personal credits/amounts:
Temporary Ontario jobs training tax credit – Ontario is introducing a temporary Ontario jobs training tax credit for the 2021 taxation year. This refundable credit, which is modelled after the Canada training credit provided under the Income Tax Act (Canada), would be calculated as 50% of eligible expenses for 2021 and the maximum credit would be $2,000.
Individuals may claim the credit on their 2021 personal income tax return ifthey meet the following conditions:
An individual’s Canada training limit for 2021 may be found on their latest notice of assessment or reassessment for 2020 provided by the Canada Revenue Agency. In general, this limit is a running balance that builds up over time and is reduced by any training tax credit claims made. An individual will have a positive Canada training limit for 2021 if they have met age and income conditions, among other requirements set out in the federal Act, for 2019 and 2020.
Eligible expenses would be the same as those that can be claimed for the Canada training credit for 2021, which include:
Enhancement of Ontario child care access and relief from expenses (CARE) tax credit in 2021 – The budget proposes a one-time top-up of the CARE tax credit equal to 20% of the calculated CARE tax credit entitlement for 2021. The top-up will be delivered when CARE tax credit recipients file their 2021 personal income tax returns.
The CARE tax credit is a refundable tax credit providing eligible low- and moderate-income families with flexible child care support of up to 75% of eligible child care expenses. The CARE tax credit is available in addition to the child care expense deduction. The maximum credit each year is $6,000 per child under the age of 7, $3,750 per child between the ages of 7 and 16, and $8,250 for each child with a severe disability.
For purposes of the CARE tax credit, “eligible child care expenses” is defined as the taxpayer’s total entitlement under the child care expense deduction. The applicable credit rate is determined by the amount of family income, as determined for purposes of the child care expense deduction. The maximum rate of 75% applies to recipients with family income not exceeding $20,000 for the year and is nil when family income exceeds $150,000.
Ontario tourism tax credit – The 2020 budget announced a proposal to promote tourism within Ontario by providing Ontario residents with up to 20% support for eligible Ontario tourism expenses in 2021. The Government intends to proceed with this proposal by introducing legislation for a tax credit to encourage residents to explore Ontario when public health experts advise that it is safe to travel.
Other tax measures
In February 2021, Ontario initiated a consultation with First Nations with a view to address the issue of unregulated tobacco and develop a made-in-Ontario tobacco strategy. While the consultation is ongoing, Ontario will enhance and expand existing programs for tackling unregulated tobacco, including the following:
Other technical amendments
Ontario indicated it supports the Federal Government’s plan to consult on the modernization of Canada’s anti-avoidance rules and the general anti-avoidance rule in particular. As part of these efforts, the province is encouraging the Federal Government to consider ways to combat artificial income shifting, such as through the use of trusts or corporate continuances.
Administration and enforcement
Ontario may propose amendments to various statutes administered by the Ontario Minister of Finance to:
As well, Ontario may propose similar amendments to other statutes, including the Electricity Act, 1998.
For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:
Ernst & Young LLP (Canada), Toronto
Ernst & Young LLP (Canada), Ottawa
Ernst & Young LLP (Canada), London
Ernst & Young LLP (Canada), Waterloo