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Filing Your Return -> Ontario Seniors' Public Transit Tax Credit

Ontario Seniors' Public Transit Tax Credit

Ontario Taxation Act, 2007 s. 103.0.1

The Ontario 2017 Budget introduced a refundable public transit tax credit for seniors, for eligible transit expenses incurred on or after July 1, 2017.  To qualify to claim the credit, a taxpayer:

bullet must be at least 65 years old on the last day of the preceding taxation year (i.e., age 66+ in the taxation year of the costs), and
bullet must be resident in Ontario on the last day of the year.

In 2018 and subsequent years the maximum credit is $3,000, for a refundable credit of $450. (for 2017 $1,500, refundable credit of $225).

Eligible transit services include fares that would be paid on eligible Ontario or municipally-operated public transit services, including transit services offered by Metrolinx.  The service paid for must also be:

bullet a short-haul service people would commonly use for a return trip in a single day,
bullet offered to the general public, and
bullet operated by a bus, subway, train or tram.

Eligible transit services include those that run from within Ontario to a destination outside Ontario, such as those departing from Windsor to Detroit or Ottawa to Gatineau.

For more information, see Ontario Seniors' Public Transit Tax Credit on the Ontario website.

Line 364 Public Transit Pass Tax Credit - eliminated effective July 1, 2017 Federally

Income Tax Act s. 118.02

The Federal 2017 Budget proposes to eliminate this tax credit effective July 1, 2017.  The cost of public transit passes and electronic fare cards that relate to public transit use that occurs after June 2017 will no longer be deductible.

The Federal non-refundable tax credit for public transit passes was available for 2006 for the portion of the pass that was used on or after July 1, 2006, even if the pass was purchased earlier.  For 2006, only passes of a duration of one month or longer were eligible for the public transit tax credit.

The tax credit was revised effective January 1, 2007 to expand the eligibility criteria:

bullet weekly passes will qualify for the tax credit where the taxpayer purchases them for at least 4 consecutive weeks, and the passes provide the holder with unlimited use of the public transit system for a period of 5 to 7 days.
bullet electronic payment cards will qualify for the tax credit, where
bullet the cost relates to the use of public transit for at least 32 one-way trips during an uninterrupted period not exceeding 31 days, and
bullet that transit usage, and cost of those trips, are recorded and receipted to the purchaser by the relevant transit authority, in sufficient detail as to allow the Canada Revenue Agency to verify eligibility for the credit.

The public transit pass tax credit is available for the cost of passes for commuting on buses, streetcars, subways, commuter trains and local ferries.  A taxpayer can claim the transit pass tax credit on behalf of a spouse or common-law partner, or the taxpayer's children under age 19.

Your pass must provide certain information in order to support your claim for a public transit tax credit, including:

bullet duration of the pass
bullet date or period for which the pass is valid
bullet name of the transit authority or organization issuing the pass
bullet amount paid for the pass
bullet identity of the rider, either by name or unique identifier

If the pass does not provide all of the above information, the transit user is advised by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to retain a dated receipt, or cancelled cheques or credit card statements to support the tax credit claim.

This is a Federal tax credit, and Yukon also provides the same tax credit, on line 5835 of form YT428.  It was not available for any other province or territory prior to 2017.  The Yukon transit pass tax credit is also eliminated effective July 1, 2017. Resources

Tax Information for Students

Tax Tip:  Keep your public transit passes, and make sure they provide detailed information.

Revised: October 26, 2023


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