If you chose to avoid the headache of long lines, flight delays, or missing suitcases at the airport this year and traveled within Ontario instead–you could get some of your money back at tax time.
Enter the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit—a temporary personal income tax credit to encourage Ontarians to vacation locally.
- The Ontario Staycation Tax Credit is a temporary personal income tax credit that offers up to $400 when you file your 2022 taxes.
- The tax credit applies to eligible leisurely stays in Ontario between January 1 and December 31, 2022 (including Airbnb rentals).
- To be eligible to claim it, you must be a resident of Ontario as of December 31, 2022 and file your tax return.
What is the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit?
First, the basics: The Ontario Staycation Tax Credit is a temporary personal income tax credit for eligible Ontario residents.
This year, Ontarians can get up to 20% back on what they paid for short-term stays in Ontario—which could put back as much as $400 in your wallet.
So if you took a local getaway within Ontario in 2022, lean in closer, because this article is for you.
How does the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit work?
The tax credit allows Ontario residents to claim 20% of their eligible accommodation expenses, up to $1,000 for individuals and up to $2,000 for families. That means getting back up to $200 as an individual and up to $400 back as a family.
You can claim accommodation for a single trip or multiple trips in Ontario. So, if you rented a cottage on one trip and stayed at a hotel on another, both bills could be claimed on your taxes.
So in the new year, when you’re getting organized for tax time, gather your 2022 travel receipts.
How do I qualify for the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit?
Are you an Ontario resident on December 31, 2022? And did you pay to stay somewhere in the province between January 1 to December 31, 2022? If the answer is yes, you likely qualify for the tax credit.
One thing to note: only one individual per family can claim the tax credit in 2022, which can include the expenses of your spouse, common-law partner, and eligible children.
What expenses are eligible for the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit?
Did you rent a cottage in Muskoka this summer or stay at a hotel in Toronto or Ottawa for a concert or weekend getaway? Keep those receipts! You can claim accommodation expenses for holiday stays in Ontario of less than a month, which can include:
- Resorts or lodges
- Bed-and-breakfast operations
- Campgrounds (Ontario Parks, camping resorts, etc.)
- Vacation rental properties (Airbnb, VRBO, Homeaway, etc.)
- The accommodation portion of a tour package expense
However, you can’t just rent Grandpa’s cottage and call it a staycation expense. For it to be legit, it must meet the following criteria:
- The staycation expense must be yours. The bill must have been paid by you, your spouse or common-law partner, or your eligible child. Whereas if someone—your employer, school, friend, or relative—reimbursed you for the cost, the trip doesn’t qualify for the tax credit.
- Only applies to personal trips. The tax credit doesn’t apply to business travel (sorry!).
- There must be a paper trail. Get a detailed receipt that breaks down the amount paid, the date of stay, the amount of any GST/HST paid, the name of the payor, and the location of the accommodation.
- The host must be registered for GST/HST. Whether it’s a campground or Airbnb, whoever is hosting you must be registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST)/ Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). It must appear on the detailed receipt.
Example of the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit
Let’s say John and Sarah ran in a Toronto marathon in May and spent $720 to rent a hotel in Toronto for two nights. They rented a cottage for four nights in July, spending $1,080 on their accommodations. And in September, they spent two nights in Ottawa to celebrate their anniversary, spending $500 on hotel accommodations.
Altogether, they spent $2,300 on eligible accommodation expenses in Ontario as a family. John or Sarah can claim up to $2,000 of those expenses through the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit and receive $400 back as a family.
How to claim Ontario Staycation Tax credit
At tax time, while you’re gathering your T4 and other tax slips, dig up your detailed travel receipts from stays within Ontario in 2022.
Luckily, TurboTax has your back and makes it easy: just enter those expenses online and we’ll automatically claim the credit on your tax return.
Claiming the credit? We’ve got you!
Who doesn’t want to get (partially) paid to travel? Well, if you took a well-deserved break and explored beautiful Ontario this year, then you’re in for a treat at tax time. Claim the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit for eligible accommodation expenses (hotels, camping, vacation rentals) and get 20% back (up to $200 per individual and $400 per family).
Feel extra good about your staycation this year, too, because you helped bolster the local tourism and hospitality sector that was hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. So track down your receipts and keep them handy for when you file your 2022 tax return.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Yes, Airbnb stays of less than a month can count, provided the host is registered for GST/HST and the accommodation fits all the eligibility criteria. The same applies to other popular short-term rental sites like VRBO or Homeaway.
The Ontario Staycation Tax Credit is a refundable personal income tax credit. That means you can receive the tax credit (a.k.a. money back) when you file your return, regardless of whether you owe income tax for 2022.
The bottom line: claim any eligible expenses for the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit and get money back when you file your taxes.
No! Unlike a tax deduction, it doesn’t reduce anyone’s net taxable income. So gather up your receipts, up to $2,000 worth of eligible expenses as a family, and prepare to save a cool $400—regardless of whom claims it.
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