I covered this topic briefly a few years ago but all through this past tax season numerous questions and situations continued to arise as to what is acceptable and what to do if audited by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) when it comes to tenant and landlord rent receipts. Here is some information on what you need to know and what you will need to supply if requested.
Since the credit varies by province I will address what the CRA across Canada requires and then for the province of Ontario only.
First let’s look at the process when preparing a personal tax return. The form name when preparing an Ontario Income Tax and Benefit Return is called ON-BEN. ON-BEN is also used for credits relating to:
- Property tax paid
- Student residence
- Long term care facility and,
- Living on a reserve
I will only be addressing the rent aspect of the form. You will need the following information for each address that you are claiming the rent expense for:
- Postal code
- # of months residence in the tax year (this number cannot exceed 12 so be cautious of how you claim last month’s rent, or prepaid rent)
- Total amount of rent paid in that year for that address
- Name of landlord
The CRA will not accept a lease agreement, as that is only an agreement between you and the landlord.
The CRA will accept cancelled rent cheques. If they are photocopies, then front and back are required.
Be proactive when meeting with a prospective landlord. Ask the question – Will you be supplying me with a rent receipt? And get that in writing. If you’re paying month to month, get a rent receipt each month. Some landlords insist on post-dated cheques. If that’s the case then ask for a rent receipt covering the post-dated cheques. It’s better to know where you stand with your landlord at the beginning than being refused receipts one or two years later when the CRA is requesting copies and you lived at a number of addresses since then.
To calculate if you are eligible for the additional credits generated by the rent you pay in Ontario please click here.
Please click here to view/print a sample of a receipt that would be accepted by CRA and applies to all of Canada.
As always, I welcome your feedback. You can leave a comment right here on the site.
Until next time,