Ontario seniors’ public transit tax credit

Important: The federal public transit amount was eliminated effective 1 July 2017. However, Ontario seniors can still claim the Ontario seniors’ public transit tax credit.

As an Ontario senior, you can claim the refundable Ontario seniors’ public transit tax credit to help with the costs of public transit costs.  

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a resident of Ontario as on December 31, 2018
  • Be 65 years of age at the beginning of the year for which you’re claiming the tax credit
  • Have made a qualifying payment for eligible public transit services that you used in 2018

You can claim up $3,000 in eligible public transit expenses and receive up to $450 each year. Keep in mind, you can only claim the tax credit for any senior fare you paid. However, if the transit service you used didn’t have a senior fare for the type of pass or ticket you purchased, you can claim the non-senior (adult) fare.

Note: You can only claim your own public transit expenses (you can't include the expenses you paid for your spouse or your dependants). 

Be sure to save your receipts and proof of payment to support your claim, as the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may ask to see these later. 

Which public transit services are eligible for this tax credit?

You can claim your eligible transit expenses for use of conventional or specialized public transit services. Long-haul and private-sector services (such as Via Rail) aren’t eligible for this tax credit.

  • Conventional public transit services: You can claim the fare you paid for Ontario or municipally-operated public transit services, including Metrolinx. The service you paid for must also be:
    • A short-haul service that is commonly used for a return trip in a single day
    • Available and offered to general public
    • Operated by bus, train, subway, or tram

    The service can include transit that runs from within Ontario to a destination outside Ontario. For example, a bus service from Ottawa to Gatineau or Windsor to Detroit.

  • Specialized public transit services: If you suffer from a disability, you can claim the expenses you paid for specialized public transit services (such as Wheel-Trans). These services must generally meet the same conditions as conventional public transit services.

What is a qualifying payment?

A qualifying payment is an amount that you paid for:

  • a public transit pass for a set number of rides during a period of at least one day
  • a public transit pass for an unlimited number of rides
  • an electronic payment card (such as a PRESTO card)
  • a single-use ticket or token (if a receipt was issued)
  • cash fare for specialized transportation services offered to people with disabilities (if a receipt was issued)

You’ll need to reduce the amount you paid by any reimbursements, allowances, or assistance you received or are entitled to receive for your public transit use, unless the amount has been included in your income and you haven’t deducted it anywhere else on your return.

Where do I claim this?

Follow these steps in H&R Block’s 2018 tax software:

Before you begin, make sure that you told us that you lived in Ontario on December 31, 2018:

  1. Under the PREPARE tab, click the OTHER tab. You'll find yourself here: 

    DIY18_OTHER_EN.png

  2. Under the CREDITS FOR SENIORS heading, select the checkbox labelled Ontario seniors' public transit tax credit.

  3. When you arrive at the page for your Ontario seniors' public transit tax credit, enter your information into the tax software.
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