HST cheque may be in the mail but Ontario residents are not expecting it

More than 80 per cent of Ontarians are unsure or not expecting to receive the HST transitional benefit

TORONTO, June 7 /CNW/ - More than 6.6 million Ontario households will receive the HST Transitional Benefit payment starting June 10 but more than 80 per cent of provincial residents are unsure or don't expect to receive the payment, according to a recent survey commissioned by H&R Block Canada and conducted by Harris/Decima.

For people not expecting the HST transitional benefit, the reasons ranged from 'I earn too much money (26 per cent) to 'I never qualify for these kinds of benefits' (16 per cent) to 'not aware of the benefit' (11 per cent).

"The HST will be applied to some items that were previously exempt from provincial sales taxes so the HST transitional benefit is a short term series of payments meant to help offset some of the increases," explains Cleo Hamel, a Senior Tax Analyst from the Tax Advisory at H&R Block. "As long as you filed your 2009 tax return by April 30 and you qualify, you should be receiving the first installment payment shortly."

Less than half of Ontario residents who expect to receive the benefit (45 per cent) said filing their 2009 tax return triggered the HST transitional benefit, and more than 60 per cent said they did not know the amount.

The transitional benefit in Ontario actually includes a large number of taxpayers because the income thresholds are higher than other similar credits," says Hamel. "If you are single person earning $80,000 or less, you will qualify for the full amount. For families and couples, the threshold is $160,000. If you earn more than this, the HST benefit will be reduced accordingly."

Single Ontario residents who qualify will receive three payments of $100. Families and couples who qualify will receive three installments of $330, $335 and $335. The three installments will be paid in June and December 2010 and June 2011.

About the survey

This Canadian poll was conducted on teleVox, Harris/Decima's national telephone omnibus, from May 27 to May 30, 2010 and surveyed 328, randomly selected adult Ontario residents. The margin of error for the total sample is +/-5.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

    About H&R Block Canada

H&R Block Canada has been preparing taxes for more than 40 years and is Canada's leading tax preparation firm. Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, the company serves Canadian taxpayers in more than 1,100 offices across the country. H&R Block Canada Inc. is a subsidiary of H&R Block, Inc., a diversified company with subsidiaries providing a wide range of financial products and services. Additional information about H&R Block Canada is available at 1-800-HRBLOCK or visit www.hrblock.ca.

Follow the Tax Advisory at H&R Block at www.hrbtaxtalk.ca or @HRBTaxTalk on Twitter.

SOURCE H&R Block Canada Inc.

For further information: For further information: Tina Quelch, Calador Communications, (416) 925-6034, tina@calador.ca

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