Canada Revenue Agency data shows that as of June 3, just more than eight million families in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick had applied for and received the “climate action incentive” rebates on their taxes. Together those families shared almost $1.75 billion in rebates.
The number of applicants is about 31, 000 more than the government estimated in May were eligible to apply. Only one member of a household can make the application for the rebate on behalf of the entire family.
A spokesman for the tax agency said he couldn’t say whether the estimated number of eligible families had changed since it released those numbers on May 21 but cautioned that is possible. He said the agency will not be ready to release the final number of applicants and payments until mid-July.
Self-employed people aren’t required to file their taxes until this month and some just file late, so the number of applicants will likely increase.
Ottawa imposed a levy of $20 per tonne of carbon emissions in the four provinces on April 1, because none of them had provincial carbon-pricing systems of their own. Seven per cent of the revenues are being given to small and medium-sized businesses as rebates or assistance to make energy efficiency investments, while three per cent will go to municipalities, hospitals, universities, and schools, which can’t pass on their added carbon tax costs.
Legislation requires 90 per cent of the revenues to be returned to individuals with the rebates, through a tax credit that varies by province because the amount of carbon tax someone pays will be influenced by where he or she lives. Officials have previously said rebate levels will be adjusted each year to ensure that 90 per cent target is always met.
This year’s rebates were paid up front, before the revenues were collected. It means the rebates were only based on estimates not actual amounts of carbon tax collected.
The federal government forecast paying out a total of $2.1 billion in climate action payments and has paid $1.75 billion to date. -CINEWS