Ever find yourself staring at your grocery receipt, wondering how on earth it added up so quickly? With food prices forecasted to increase by 5% to 7% this year, your concern is likely to grow.
But what if there was a way to ease the burden you feel every time you’re in the checkout lane at your local market? Thanks to Canada’s new Grocery Rebate, there is!
So what, exactly, is this rebate, how does it work, and are you eligible? Here’s everything you need to know about the 2023 Grocery Rebate.
- The Grocery Rebate is a one-time payment from the federal government that’s designed to help lower-income Canadians with rising food costs.
- You must qualify for the GST/HST credit based on your 2021 tax return to be eligible for the Grocery Rebate.
- If you didn’t file a 2021 tax return, you can still do so to see if you qualify for the Grocery Rebate (and the GST/HST credit for 2021).
What is Canada’s new Grocery Rebate?
Higher food prices are a tough reality for many Canadians—especially if you feel like you’re already stretching every dollar.
But there’s a silver lining: the new Grocery Rebate. Introduced as part of the 2023 federal budget to help Canadians handle rising grocery bills, this rebate is here to help you better manage the increased costs of living.
What could the Grocery Rebate mean for you?
Let’s say you’re a recent grad, just stepping into the world of financial adulting. You’ve landed your first job (congrats, by the way!), but between rent, student loan repayments, and other bills, your paycheque always seems to vanish in the blink of an eye.
Or maybe you’re a full-time student who’s also working part-time as a barista. Thanks to tuition, textbooks, and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life, your budget is stretched so thin it’s almost see-through.
Now add in the prospect of higher food prices. No matter the scenario, your dollars are going to struggle to keep up, right? Here’s the good news: The grocery rebate could be the financial boost you need. Think of it as a power-up in your financial game, giving you an extra edge to tackle the challenge of rising grocery costs.
How does Canada’s new Grocery Rebate work?
Let’s take the power-up analogy a step further: The rebate—which dropped on July 5, 2023, alongside the July 2023 quarterly GST/HST credit payment—works as a one-time boost to your wallet. (The GST/HST credit is a quarterly credit payment from the government to help people with lower incomes balance out the GST or HST they’re paying.)
What’s the value of this Grocery Rebate? It’s double the GST/HST credit amount you received back in January 2023—up to a maximum amount, that depends on your relationship status and the number of children you have:
Number of children
Maximum amount if you’re single
Maximum amount if you’re married or have a common-law partner
Who qualifies for the new Grocery Rebate?
Here’s the full scoop on eligibility: If you filed a tax return for 2021 and were eligible for the GST/HST credit for that year, you’ll qualify for the Grocery Rebate (and you should have received it by now!). This is because both your January 2023 GST/HST credit and the Grocery Rebate are calculated based on your 2021 tax return.
But what if you never got around to filing a tax return for 2021? For example, maybe you were still attending school full-time back then and didn’t have any income to report. No worries: There’s still time to file that return. And tax filing software, such as TurboTax, makes the tax filing process easy and straightforward.
Once you’ve filed your 2021 return, and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) assesses it and determines you qualify for the GST/HST credit, you’ll receive payment for the GST/HST credit amounts you’re eligible for, plus the Grocery Rebate.
What more is there to know about the Grocery Rebate for Canadians?
This rebate’s got more to it than meets the eye. So it’s worth clearing the air on some common misconceptions:
Myth: The grocery rebate is a recurring monthly benefit.
- Reality: You’ll get the rebate only once. (It’s a one-time power-up, remember?)
Myth: Everyone gets the same amount.
- Reality: The rebate amount varies. You’ll get double your GST/HST credit payment from January 2023, up to a maximum amount that depends on your relationship status and the number of children you have.
Myth: Everyone is eligible for the rebate.
- Reality: Not everyone is eligible for the rebate. You need to have qualified for the GST/HST credit for the 2021 tax year (which means you need to have filed a tax return for that year).
Myth: You need to apply separately for the rebate.
- Reality: You do not need to apply for the rebate separately. If you’re eligible, you’ll receive the rebate automatically.
How can you make the most of your Grocery Rebate?
So, you’ve got your Grocery Rebate. Now what? Here are some ideas for stretching those dollars even further:
- Think ahead. Treat your rebate like an in-game bonus. Map out how you’ll use it to maximize your points (or, in this case, your savings).
- Plan meals. Think of meal planning as your game plan. Planning your meals in advance helps you make the most of your groceries and reduce food waste.
- Buy in bulk. Buying in bulk can be cheaper in the long run, especially when it comes to nonperishable food items.
- Shop sales and use coupons. These are the secret weapons of grocery shopping: They can put a significant dent in your weekly food bill.
- Invest in long-term savings. Level up your finances by depositing a portion of your rebate into your savings.
- Equip yourself (with knowledge). Knowledge is power, and the more you know about budgeting, meal planning, and savvy shopping, the further your money will go.
When it comes to financial adulting, every tax credit (and rebate!) is a power-up that can help you level up. And just like in a game, you don’t want to miss any of them.
Get every credit you deserve
TurboTax automatically searches 400+ credits and deductions for you.