The Ontario Opportunities Fund is a tool for involving the taxpayers of Ontario to work towards reducing the provincial debt. In today’s world, it is very normal for countries and provinces to owe money. Canada is in debt as a country itself. These debts accumulate over a course of time and are paid off mainly using internally generated revenue. The Province of Ontario is in debt as well and the Ontario Opportunities Fund is a tool devised by the provincial Government to reduce the debt. If you are a taxpayer in Ontario and want to know about the Ontario Opportunities fund, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get started.
Ontario Opportunities Fund: All You Need to Know
What is the Ontario Opportunities Fund?
The Ontario Opportunities Fund is an initiative of the Province of Ontario which was publicly launched as a means to reduce the provincial debt in 1996. Ontario’s provincial government has encouraged residents to contribute to it and help reduce the provincial debt. Any contribution made towards this debt is acknowledged with a receipt. The receipt can then be utilized to claim some non-refundable tax credit (once per financial year). Most contributions to the Ontario Opportunities Funds are made in tax refunds. However, residents can also send the money directly if they wish.
How to contribute to the Ontario Opportunities Fund?
These are the ways in which you can contribute to the Ontario Opportunities Fund:
Income Tax refunds
If you are entitled to an income tax refund, you have the option to fully or partially donate it towards the Ontario Opportunities Fund. Usually, once the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has thoroughly reviewed your taxes, you receive the tax refunds in your bank account. You can choose to donate your tax refunds to the Ontario Opportunities Fund. In order to do this, you will need to fill the Ontario Opportunities Fund section on page 4 of your tax return. You can choose to contribute any amount starting from $2 (anything lower than $2 is rejected). However, you must remember that if you contribute to the Ontario Opportunities Fund through your tax returns, you can only do so once per year.
Check Or Money Order
If you want to contribute more than once a year to the Ontario Opportunities Fund, this method is for you. You can donate to the fund by writing a check or a money order and mail it to the Ontario Financing Authority’s address:
Ontario Financing Authority,
1, Dundas Street, West suite 1400,
You must make sure that your check/money order is payable to the Minister of Finance- Ontario Opportunities Fund. After this is processed, the provincial government will go ahead and file all the donations you’ve made towards the Ontario Opportunities Fund. A receipt with the record of all your contributions towards the Ontario Opportunities Fund is released annually during February. The ticket will show donations made for the previous tax year and their respective dates. You aren’t required to mail these receipts to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) while filing your annual tax turn to claim the Ontario Opportunities Fund tax credits. Though you don’t need your receipt for tax purposes, it is advisable to keep copies for referencing.
How to claim a credit through the Ontario Opportunities Fund?
Once your contribution towards the Ontario Opportunities Fund is received by the provincial government, you will receive a receipt that will display all your contributions to the fund and the tax year they were made. This will be issued in February of each year.
When claimed in the form of a tax credit, this receipt helps reduce the tax that you have to pay every financial year. It can also result in a refund. Remember that you can only claim it once though.
Once you get the official receipt, you will need to use the dollar amount indicated to find out your total non-refundable tax credit on the tax refund.
You can claim the tax credit on the same year you made the contributions to reduce the total tax you owe. You also have the option to carry it forward and claim it on your tax return for any of the next five years. You can also claim tax credits for contributions made during the last five years.
To claim a credit, use the instructions for Schedule 1, Line 34900 and ON428 Form line 5896 to calculate the federal and provincial contributions and gifts tax credit for the tax year. Line 34900 can be used to claim the entire amount as well.
You can claim a maximum of 75% of your net income. It is highly advisable to claim tax credits for contributions carried forward from previous years before you claim tax credits for the current year’s assistance.
Ontario Tax form: Form ON428 line 58969 is also termed Donations and Gifts on the form. You can calculate the amount entered on line 58969 by taking entries from lines 16 and 17 for 2019, 17 and 18 for 2020 of the federal Schedule 9. Proceed to multiply these amounts using the rates on lines 32 and 33 for 2019, 44 and 45 for 2020 on Ontario Tax form ON428.
If it’s your first time calculating and claiming non-refundable tax credits, the whole process might seem a little daunting, but don’t get disheartened and give up, you will get it eventually.
Suppose you made contributions to the Ontario Opportunities Fund, and you intend to claim tax credits on your annual return, there are several ways you can go about it. You can also use tax software to make the tax credit claim process easier.
Ontario Opportunities Fund: Conclusion
The Ontario Opportunities Fund in essence is a way for resident taxpayers to help the provincial government reduce its debt burden. As a reward for that, the government sends a receipt to you for the contribution, which can be utilized to claim tax credits and reduce the amount of tax you pay in a given financial year.