Tax Assistance Programs

There are various tax assistance programs available for residential taxpayers based on age or income.

There are also legislated programs for commercial, industrial properties that are vacant, or partially vacant, as well as charitable or not for profit rebates where a qualifying group rents commercial or industrial space.

Residential programs

A low income deferral program allows eligible low-income seniors or low-income persons with disabilities to defer tax increases.

Eligibility

The following people are eligible to apply for a low income deferral:

Low-income senior means a person who is 65 years of age or older and receives assistance from:

  • the Guaranteed Income Supplement, GIS, as established under Part II of the Old Age Security Act (Canada) – Form T4-OAS (any amount greater than zero that appears in Box 21)

Low-income person with disabilities means a person receives assistance from:

  • Ontario Disability Support Program, ODSP – Form FBS
  • Family Benefits Act, FBA – Form FBS
  • Guaranteed Annual Income Supplement, GAINS – approval notice from Human Resources and Development Canada’s Income Security program and in addition to receiving said amount from the Guaranteed Income Systems program, is eligible to claim a disability amount as defined under the Income Tax Act. Call 905-546-2489 for more information.

Apply for a low income deferral

You can submit a Deferral of Taxes Annual Application Form (PDF, 36 KB) if you qualify for the program according to the criteria outlined above. You may apply at any time of the year, up until and including the last day of February of the following year.

Mail or submit your application in person to:

Tax Section
71 Main Street West, PO Box 2040 STN LCD 1
Hamilton, Ontario L8N 0A3

Fax: 905-546-2449

Deferral details

If at any time, you cease to be eligible for this program, all tax relief ceases and all deferred amounts (without interest) must be paid to the City of Hamilton.  

Annual eligible amounts shall be deferred until the property is sold at which time the total deferred amounts without interest thereon become a debt payable to the City of Hamilton.

For more information about this program, call 905-546-2489.   

Eligibility

You may be eligible for a $183 property tax credit if you and/or your spouse meet the following qualifications:

  1. You are 65 years of age before January 1, 2016 (born 1950 or earlier).
  2. The combined income of the property owner and spouse is $34,300 or less as indicated on Line 150-Total Income on the 2015 Notice of Assessment(s) from Canada Revenue Agency.
  3. The owner, spouse of the owner, or both, occupies the residential property as his, her or their personal residence.
  4. The personal residence is occupied by the owner or his or her spouse at the time when the tax rebate application is made and for at least 182 days during the city taxation year.
  5. The assessed value of your residential property is below $382,000, which represents 120% of the municipality's average single family residential assessment.

Apply for a seniors tax rebate

You may apply at any time of the year up until and including the last day of February of the following year. You may only receive one credit per owner.

To apply, complete a 2016 Seniors (65+) Tax Rebate Program Form (PDF, 249 KB) and submit it to:

Tax Section
71 Main Street West, PO Box 2040 STN LCD 1
Hamilton, Ontario L8N 0A3

Fax: 905-546-2449

To learn more about the program:

Compassionate appeals are for people who wish to receive a tax reduction due to extreme sickness or poverty. 

Compassionate appeals process

The City of Hamilton accepts compassionate appeals and submits them to the Assessment Review Board, or ARB, on your behalf.   The deadline for filing a compassionate appeal is the last business day of February of the year following the year under appeal.

The ARB mails a Notice of Hearing to you with the date, place and time when they will hear your appeal. Hearings are scheduled once a year, usually in April.  You, or a representative, must attend the hearing to have your tax reduction request considered.

Documentation verifying your financial information must be available at your hearing. Bring your current income tax return to the hearing as proof of your financial status.

Appeal for extreme poverty

If your compassionate appeal is due to extreme poverty, complete a Financial Statement (PDF, 22 KB) and mail it to:

City of Hamilton
Tax Department
PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL
Attention: Tax Appeals Officer
71 Main Street West
PO Box 2040 STN LCD 1
Hamilton, Ontario L8N 0A3

Appeal for extreme sickness

If your compassionate appeal is due to extreme sickness, have your doctor complete the Attending Physician’s Statement (PDF, 57 KB) and mail it with a Financial Statement (PDF, 22 KB) to:

City of Hamilton
Corporate Services, Tax Section
71 Main St West, 1st Floor
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4Y5

Fax: 905-546-2449

All applications and supporting documentation will remain confidential.

To learn more about this program, call the Tax Appeals Officer at 905-546-2424 ext. 2776.

Legislative programs

Provincial legislation requires municipalities to have a tax rebate program for registered charities for all years after 2003.

Eligibility

If you are a registered charitable organization under the provisions of the Canada Income Tax Act and lease space in a commercial or industrial building, you may be eligible for a 40% rebate in taxes this year.

Apply for a rebate

If you are eligible to receive the rebate according to eligibility criteria outlined above, complete the Charitable Rebate Application Form (PDF, 31 KB) and submit it to:

Attention: Taxation
Tax Section
71 Main Street West, PO Box 2040 STN LCD 1
Hamilton, Ontario L8N 0A3

Fax: 905-546-2449

For more information about this rebate, call 905-546-2489.

If you own a commercial or industrial property that is partially or entirely vacant, you may be eligible for a reduction in taxes for the period of the vacancy.

Eligibility

You may be eligible for a reduction in taxes if you have:

  • An entire commercial or industrial building that was unused for at least 90 consecutive days
  • A suite or unit within a commercial building that:
    • was unused for 90 consecutive days
    • is clearly delineated or physically separated from the used portions of the building
    • is either capable of being leased for immediate occupation or  undergoing or in need of repairs or renovations that prevent it from being available for lease for immediate occupation, or is  unfit for occupation
    • A portion of an industrial building that:
  • was unused for 90 consecutive days
  • is clearly delineated or physically separated from the used portions of the building

A building or portion of a building is not eligible for a rebate if:

  • it is used for commercial or industrial activity on a seasonal basis
  • it was subject to a lease during the period of vacancy, the term of which had started
  • during the period or vacancy it was included in a sub-class for vacant land

Apply for a tax reduction

You may submit a maximum of two Vacant Commercial and Industrial Rebate Applications (PDF, 208 KB) per property per year.  You can submit either:

  • One application for all vacancies that occurred on a property for the entire tax year
  • One application for vacancies during the first six months of the year and a second application for vacancies occurring in the last six months of the year.

Submit your application to:

City of Hamilton
Corporate Services, Tax Section
71 Main St West, 1st Floor
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4Y5

Fax: 905-546-2449

The deadline for submitting an application is February 28 of the year following the taxation year to which the application relates.

For more information about this tax reduction, call 905-546-2489.

You can apply to have your property taxes cancelled, reduced or refunded in certain conditions as per Section 357 and 358 of the Municipal Act.

  • File a Section 357 Tax Appeal due to a change event occurring during the taxation year such as a fire, tax class conversion or removal of a mobile unit on the property.
  • File a Section 358 Tax Appeal to cancel, reduce or refund taxes for one or both of the two years before the year in which the application is made.
  • File a Section 358 Tax Appeal for any overcharge caused by a gross or manifest error in the preparation of the assessment roll that is clerical or factual, including the transposition of figures, a typographical error or similar errors, but not an error in judgment in assessing the property.

Apply for a reduction, cancellation or refund

Complete the Application for Cancellation or Reduction of Taxes Form (PDF, 27 KB) and mail to:

City of Hamilton
Corporate Services, Tax Section
71 Main St West, 1st Floor
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4Y5

Fax: 905-546-2449

The deadline for submitting an application is February 28 of the year following the taxation year to which the application relates.