Proof of Parental Income for Ontario Tuition Grant
Before an Ontario Tuition Grant (OTG) is issued to a student, parental income reported on the OSAP or OTG-only application is verified against income that the parent(s) reported to the Canada Revenue Agency. If parental income cannot be verified through the Canada Revenue Agency, the students are required to provide additional supporting documentation to prove their parent’s income.
Reasons parental income cannot be verified include:
- Parent(s) have identified “other income” e.g., foreign income and/or non-taxable income;
- One parent has claimed their spouse as a dependent on their income tax return and the spouse has not filed their own tax return – in this case, net income, not gross income of the dependent spouse is reported;
- Parent(s) have not filed tax returns;
- Parent(s) are exempt from filing tax returns (e.g., Status Indian income tax exemption);
- Incorrect or incomplete information has been provided on the OSAP application or to CRA (SINs, date of birth (DOB), parental first and last names) so that a match cannot be made;
- Parent(s) have identified income for Line 150 but they have not provided their SIN
- Parent(s) have filed tax return but CRA has not processed the return(s);
- Student incorrectly identified as a Crown ward or indicated that parents are deceased;
- Student is a Crown ward from another province or jurisdiction.
Where a parent’s income is earned in a foreign country, the parent is required to provide:
- Documentation from the tax agency of the country where the parent earned income stating their gross income during the required calendar year (e.g., tax card; notice of assessment); or
- Documentation from the parent(s) employer stating their gross income during the required calendar year (e.g., payment summary; certificate of income tax deducted; notarized letter from employer)
- must include the name, address, phone number, email and/or website address for the person or organization providing the information.
Where a parent’s income is from non-taxable sources, the parent is required to provide:
- A detailed letter from the agency, government, or organization providing the income received during the required calendar year.
- Letter must include the name, address, phone number, email and/or website address for the person or organization providing the information.
Where providing documentation for foreign or non-taxable income outlined above is not possible, an affidavit from the parent(s) stating their gross income earned during the required calendar year from a foreign or non-taxable source and stating reasons for not providing documentation noted above.
All supporting documents should be provided in either English or French, as stipulated in the supporting document description for proof of foreign or non-taxable income.
Where parental income information cannot be provided the student is not eligible for OTG unless there has been a successful family breakdown review.
If the student is unable to provide supporting documentation for parental income information (e.g., the parents do not plan to file tax returns), the student’s OSAP file can be updated to opt out of consideration for the OTG. Depending on the student’s need assessment, the opt-out may result in eligibility for other Ontario funding (i.e., Ontario loan or Ontario Access Grant).
Employment income is exempt from income tax under paragraph 81(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act and section 87 of the Indian Act if the income is situated on a reserve.
If a parent is a Status Indian who has earned all of his or her income during the required calendar year on a First Nations Reserve, the parent is not expected to file a tax return before the student can be considered for the OTG.
- A letter or documentation from the parent’s employer indicating the amount of the income earned and that it was earned on a First Nations Reserve.
- Documentation must include the name, address, phone number, email and/or website address for the person or organization providing the information.
- If submitting such documentation is not possible (e.g., the parent earned no income), the student would be required to submit an affidavit from the parent stating their gross income and outlining the reasons why providing documentation was not possible.
- If the combined gross parental income is under $160,000, the parental income verification requirement will be satisfied.
In some cases, Line 150 income cannot be verified with CRA because information has been entered incorrectly on the OSAP/OTG application or with CRA (e.g., wrong/crossed SINs, date of birth, or different names) or parents have provided Line 150 income but have not provided a SIN.
If the errors were made in tax returns submitted to CRA, it would be the responsibility of the parent to correct the errors with CRA. When the correction has been made, the CRA Notice of Assessment/Reassessment may be forwarded to the Ministry.
On the OTG-only application, the parental income verification process is bypassed if student indicates that they have Crown Ward/status with a Children’s Aid Society or that their parents are deceased. If, at a later date, the student status is corrected (i.e., student’s status is changed to dependent) and parental information is added, the parental income verification process is not re-triggered. That means that the OTG assessment will move forward to the confirmation of enrolment stage, parental income verification will not occur, and when the institution confirms enrolment, the grant will be issued.
If the ministry cannot verify parental income with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) before the March 31st of the current academic year deadline, the student is not eligible for the OTG. However, the student may request a review to have their parental income verified after the OTG deadline, if the parent’s taxes were filed prior to March 31st of the current academic year, but have not yet been processed by CRA.
Students must provide all documentation supporting the review no later than 60 days after the issue date on the CRA Notice of Assessment as listed on top left of the Notice of Assessment.
- copies of parental CRA Notice of Assessment;
- proof that the tax return was submitted to CRA prior to the March 31st of the current academic year deadline (e.g., proof of subsequent or ongoing communications with CRA or letter from accountant); or
- if no proof is available to show when the tax return was submitted, a signed affidavit from the parent(s) stating when they filed their taxes.
The supporting documentation (parental/spousal foreign and/or non-taxable income) can be satisfied if a student cannot provide parental income information for the purpose of the OTG because they were a Crown ward in another province or jurisdiction.
- Written documentation from a children’s aid society or equivalent from the province or jurisdiction where the student was made a ward of the Crown stating that the individual was made a ward of the Crown and that the individual has not been adopted.
- Other types of child protection statuses are not acceptable (e.g., temporary care order, society ward, foster care, kinship care, etc.).