Frequently Asked Questions about the Older Adults Property Tax Deferral Program

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What is the Older Adults Property Tax Deferral Program?

  • The Older Adults Property Tax Deferral Program allows older adult homeowners with low incomes to defer their full property taxes for as long as they remain eligible.
  • This allows participants to focus their financial resources on their day-to-day needs, helping them to stay in their homes and improving their overall quality of life.
  • If you qualify, the deferral of your property taxes is interest-free.

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Who is eligible for the program?

  • You are aged 65 or older,
  • You own a home in Halton region (that must have been the principal residence of at least one of the registered owners for the last 4 years),
  • Together with the other registered owners of the property, you had a combined gross annual income (before tax) of less than $46,600,
  • You are not participating in any other property tax deferral or rebate programs offered by Halton Region or your Town/City, and
  • You have paid your property taxes from previous years in full.

For older adults who share a home, each registered owner must meet these criteria and include their information with the program application.

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How does it work?

  • If you qualify, the municipality will defer your property taxes interest-free for the current calendar year.
  • The deferred taxes will be a loan between you and your Local Municipality, which requires a lien on your property.
  • This is an annual program. Once you enrol, you must submit a renewal application (PDF file) by September 30 of each year.
  • If you do not reapply by September 30 or become ineligible after joining the program, the interest-free property tax deferral will continue for the current calendar year. A one-year grace period will be provided beginning in the next year, where the property taxes will continue to be deferred.
  • Unless you take action that ends your participation, such as selling your property, the program provides two full years for you to renew your participation and demonstrate your eligibility before you need to repay the deferred taxes. This ensures that you have every opportunity to continue the deferral of your property taxes.

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Does this program eliminate my property taxes?

  • No. This is a deferral on your property taxes that takes the form of an interest-free loan between you and your Local Municipality.
  • You will need to repay the deferred taxes after you leave the program.
  • The program does not include a grant and will not reduce or eliminate the amount of property taxes owed for your property.

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How do I apply?

  • Download the Older Adults Property Tax Deferral Program application form (PDF file).
  • Complete the application and mail it or drop it off at your Local Municipality's tax office by September 30 each year.
  • Your application will be processed by your Local Municipality. Municipal staff will administer the process.
  • If eligible, your Local Municipality will send you an acceptance notice and provide a full, interest-free deferral on your property taxes for the current calendar year. The deferral will take the form of a loan.
  • To receive an interest-free tax deferral of your property taxes, a lien will be placed on your home to ensure the deferred property taxes (without interest) can be recovered once your property is sold, transferred or otherwise disposed of.
  • This is an annual program, so you must submit an renewal application form (PDF file) by September 30 each year.
  • Applications and yearly renewals are expected to include a Notice of Assessment by Canada Revenue Agency from the most recent income tax return. This document must have been issued within 2 years of the application/renewal year as supporting documentation for income eligibility.

If you have questions, please contact the Tax Policy staff at:

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Do I need to apply each year?

  • Yes. This is an annual program based on the combined annual gross income of all registered owners. You must submit a renewal application form (PDF file) by September 30 each year.

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When do I need to pay back the property tax deferral?

Once you join the program, you can make full or partial deferral payments to your Local Municipality at any time. You only need to repay the full amount of deferred taxes in the following situations, whichever is earlier:

  • You sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of the property (payment will be due at closing),
  • You become ineligible for the program or do not reapply, and you are ineligible or do not renew again before September 30 in the one-year grace period (payment will be due on January 1 following the grace period), or
  • Your home enters probate as part of your estate (payment will be due on January 1 following the grace period).
    • For example, if you joined the program in 2016, and were either ineligible or did not apply for renewal in 2017, a one-year grace period begins in 2018. If you do not apply or renew by September 30, 2018, then all 2016, 2017 and 2018 deferred property taxes would be due in full on January 1, 2019. Interest will begin to accrue on January 1, 2019, in accordance with your Local Municipality’s tax collection by-laws.
  • Full payment is due in one lump sum. Payment options may be available through your Local Municipality.

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How does the grace period work?

  • The property tax deferral program includes a one-year grace period covering the calendar year (January - December) following the year in which the ineligibility/non-renewal first occurs.
    • For example, if ineligibility/non-renewal occurs on October 1, 2017, then the grace period would be January 1 - December 31, 2018.
  • During the one-year grace period, the previous years' deferred property taxes and current year property taxes will continue to be deferred interest-free.
    • In this example, the 2016, 2017 and 2018 taxes are deferred without interest.
  • If you are ineligible or do not renew during the grace period, all previous year and current year deferred taxes (2016, 2017 and 2018) will be owed at the end of the grace period (January 1 of the year following the one-year grace period).

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What if I need to use a line of credit to finance my home or re-mortgage? What if I already have a current mortgage or lending agreement?

  • You would need to discuss your financial situation with your financial institution. The lien required for the deferral program might affect your current financial arrangements or your ability to enter new financial arrangements. If your income remains below the set threshold, you will still qualify for the program.

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Where can I find my annual gross income (which determines eligibility for the program)?

  • Your total income, gross income or income before taxes can be found on your Notice of Assessment. The Notice of Assessment comes from the Canada Revenue Agency after you file your annual income tax return.

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What are the upfront costs of the program?

  • A non-refundable application fee of $50 will be required with the initial application. There is no fee for the annual renewal.
  • Upon approval for the deferral program, a non-refundable administration fee of $200 will be added to the value of the deferral to cover the costs of registering the lien and title search that will be performed by your Local Municipality.
  • You may wish to consult your financial institution before applying for this property tax deferral program. A lien against the property may affect other lending arrangements you currently have in place or wish to obtain in the future. Costs for any financial and/or legal advice will be the sole responsibility of the applicant(s).

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When does the property tax deferral start? Do I get a refund on property taxes already paid if I apply during the year?

  • The deferral begins when the application is approved.
  • Any taxes that are paid prior to the approval of the application will not be refunded.

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Can I re-pay my loan at any time?

  • Full and partial payments towards deferred property taxes with your Local Municipality are allowed at any time.

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How does this property tax deferral affect my income tax?

  • Program participants will not be eligible to claim the Ontario Property Tax Credit or the Senior Homeowner’s Property Tax Grant on income taxes while in the program.
  • Please consult your financial advisor about the program before you apply. Costs for any financial and/or legal advice related to this program will be the responsibility of the applicant(s).

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Is the Current Value Assessment the same as the current market value for my home?

  • No, the Current Value Assessment is the market value at a specific point in time provided by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) on your Property Assessment Notice and is not based on current market values (the price at which you could sell your home today).
  • Reassessments are conducted every 4 years by the MPAC for property tax purposes. View Property Assessment Notice Sample (PDF file).

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Can I apply for the program if my property taxes are currently in arrears (still owed) for my property?

  • All prior year(s) taxes, penalties and interest must be fully paid to be eligible for this property tax deferral program.

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What if my property has been registered for Tax Sale?

  • Tax sale properties are not eligible to have property taxes deferred.

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Is there a limit to the amount of property taxes I can defer?

  • The sum of the deferred property taxes and the $200 administration fee cannot exceed 50% of the property’s Current Value Assessment.

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Where can I find more details on the program?

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