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Liberals Reveal Dental Care Details, Boosts To Rent Benefit And GST Rebate In NDP-backed Affordability Package

The government has previously committed to providing dental care for uninsured Canadians with a family income of less than $90,000 annually, starting with children under 12-years-old in 2022.

The Canada Dental Benefit

The proposed Canada Dental Benefit would provide eligible parents or guardians with direct, up-front tax-free payments to cover dental expenses for their children under 12-years-old.

The target implementation date for the Canada Dental Benefit is December 1, 2022, pending Parliamentary approval and Royal Assent of enabling legislation, and the program would cover expenses retroactive to October 1, 2022.

The Canada Dental Benefit would provide payments up to $650 per child per year for families with adjusted net income under $90,000 per year and without dental coverage.

  • $650 would be provided for each eligible child if the family’s adjusted net income is under $70,000.
  • $390 would be provided for each eligible child if the family’s adjusted net income is between $70,000 and $79,999.
  • $260 would be provided for each eligible child if the family’s adjusted net income is between $80,000 and $89,999.

It is estimated that 500,000 Canadian children would benefit from this targeted investment of $938 million.

To access the Benefit, parents or guardians of eligible children would need to apply through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). In addition, they would need to attest that:

  • Their child does not have access to private dental care coverage;
  • They will have out of pocket dental care expenses for which they will use the Benefit;
  • They understand they will need to provide documentation to verify out of pocket expenses occurred (e.g. show receipts), if required.
  • The Goods and Services Tax Credit

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Credit helps offset the financial impact of the GST for low- and modest-income people and families. The credit is paid quarterly in January, April, July, and October, with benefit years beginning in July.

The total annual value of the GST Credit depends on family size and income. For the July 2022 through June 2023 benefit year, eligible people can receive up to:

  • $467 for singles without children;
  • $612 for married or common-law partners;
  • $612 for single parents; plus
  • $161 for each child under the age of 19.

To ensure the GST Credit is targeted to those who need it most, those with family net income of less than $39,826 in 2021 receive the full Credit amount. Above this income level, the GST Credit amount is gradually lowered as income increases. The full phasing out depends on family type – for instance, it is fully phased out at about $49,200 for a single person without children, and at about $58,500 for a couple with two children.

The GST Credit is indexed to inflation on an annual basis using Consumer Price Index data, as reported by Statistics Canada. For the July 2022 to June 2023 benefit year, the value of the GST Credit grew by 2.4 per cent based on the average Consumer Price Index over the October 2020 to September 2021 period. However, because these increases are based on the inflation rate from the prior year, the sharp rise in inflation in 2022 is not yet reflected in the GST Credit payments that Canadians are currently receiving.

Doubling the Goods and Services Tax Credit for Six Months

To support those most affected by inflation, the government is proposing to double the GST Credit for six months, which would deliver $2.5 billion in additional targeted support to current GST Credit recipients. This means, for the 2022-23 benefit year:

  • A single mother with one child and $30,000 in net income will receive $386.50 for the July through December 2022 period, and another $386.50 for the January through June 2023 period under the current GST Credit. With the temporary doubling of the GST Credit amounts for six months, she would receive an additional $386.50. In total, she would be receiving about $1,160 this benefit year through the GST Credit.
  • A single senior with $20,000 in net income will be receiving $233.50 for the July through December 2022 period and another $233.50 for the January through June 2023 period under the current GST Credit. With the temporary doubling of the GST Credit amounts for six months, this senior would receive an additional $233.50. In total, he would be receiving about $701 this benefit year through the GST Credit.
  • A couple with two children and $35,000 in net income will be receiving $467 for the July through December 2022 period and another $467 for the January through June 2023 period under the current GST Credit. With the temporary doubling of the GST Credit amounts for six months, this family would receive an additional $467. In total, they would be receiving about $1,401 this benefit year through the GST Credit.

The proposed extra GST Credit amounts would be paid to all current recipients through the existing GST Credit system as a one-time, lump-sum payment before the end of the year, pending Parliamentary approval and Royal Assent of enabling legislation. Recipients would not need to apply for the additional payment, but should file their 2021 tax return if they have not done so already to be able to receive both the current GSTC and the additional payment.

It is estimated that 11 million individuals and families would benefit from this additional support, including about nine million single people and almost two million couples. In total, this represents about half of Canadian families with children and more than half of Canadian seniors.

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