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Ontario Staycation Tax Credit Go-To Guide

May 3, 2022
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Ontarians are in on a hidden secret: the province really is yours to discover. Catchy tagline aside, Ontario boasts over 1-million square kilometers of discoverable landscape. Amid the pandemic, locals took to staycations as a way to venture out of their homes and redefine what it meant to “vacation.” And, it so seems that staycations are here to stay.

In addition to a change in scenery, Ontarians are also expanding their accommodation selections. Motels are resurfacing from their 1920s predecessors, as these chicly remodelled getaways are popular among Ontarians. Plus, they are far from the Rosebud Motel. Though, Schitt’s Creek fans appropriately flock to the now-popular selfie spot.

From caves to mountains, meadery to cottage country, Ontario truly has it all. The best part? The Ontario provincial government is offering a Staycation credit, which allows households to receive a refundable tax credit for staycation bookings for 2022 (more on eligibility below), making it all the more affordable to support local this summer.

So, where will you explore? The possibilities are yours to discover.

Here are a few of the team’s suggestions on must-stay motels, in road trip distance: 

The Opinicon Motel

Located in Chaffeys Lock, the Opinicon sits alongside the Rideau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site linking Kingston and Ottawa. Situated on the water about an hour outside the country’s capital, Opinicon boasts a 1950’s-inspired ice cream shop, private dining, a lounge and pub, and more. 

Somewhere Inn 

Somewhere Inn is located in Calabogie and is a recently redesigned hunting lodge nestled amongst the stunning lakes, forests, and mountains of the Ottawa Valley. A four-hour drive outside of Toronto, Somewhere Inn is an escape from everyday life and stresses where outdoor adventures are yours to discover. Take in beautiful lake views and rolling mountains with 11 rooms with kitchenettes on a cottage-esque property.

Penny’s Motel & Après Snack Bar

A hub for the ultimate Georgian Bay experience inspired by the local landscape and 70’s aesthetic, Penny’s promotes adventure and relaxation. Channelling the spirit of impromptu road trips, the chic motel showcases several amenities onsite. Penny’s features a courtyard, fire pits, picnic tables, heated patios, a bocce ball court, a restaurant, and a bar with room service. Escape all year round to this winter sports destination and as a bonus, bring your fur friends as Penny’s is happily pet-friendly.

The Royal

Tucked away in the heart of wine country in Prince Edward County, The Royal is an 1879 building that is lovingly restored. Near award-winning wineries, natural attractions, and excellent dining experiences, The Royal is the perfect spot to call home while you explore the County. Enjoy on-site amenities such as a spa and gym, a garden where locally sourced ingredients are highlighted on the restaurant’s menu, and a parlour and bar. This chic destination is open year-round for you to enjoy.

The June Motel

With locations in Prince Edward County and Sauble Beach, the ever-popular June Motel properties are insta and Netflix famous. Enjoy a chilled glass of rosé upon arrival and take in local hospitality while basking in life’s simple pleasures and experiences. Airing on ‘Motel Makeover’ these now hip motels are picture-worthy mid-century destinations, now you just need to pick – to vineyard or beach?

Other exciting pitstops 

  • Cyprus Lake Grotto
  • Flowerpot Island
  • Cheltenham Badlands
  • Prince Edward County
  • Webster’s Falls
  • 1000 Islands
  • La Cloche Mountains
  • Mazinaw Rock
  • Agawa Canyon
  • Lake Superior Ice Caves

Ontario Staycation Tax Credit

Good news for Ontario residents planning to vacation in the province this year! Those looking to get away could get back up to 20% on eligible accommodation expenses with the new, temporary Ontario Staycation Tax Credit.

This is a personal income tax credit for eligible Ontario residents to claim 20% of qualified accommodation expenses for vacations taken between January 1-December 31, 2022 in Ontario, up to a maximum of $1,000 for an individual and $2,000 for a family. 

Who is eligible:

Ontario residents and only one individual per family can claim the credit. The claim can include eligible expenses of your common-law or children.

Eligible expenses:

  • Leisure stay of less than a month
  • Hotel
  • Motel
  • Resort
  • Lodge
  • B&B
  • Cottage
  • Campground
  • Vacation rental property 

Stay must occur between January 1-December 31 2022, though, it does not matter when you have booked the stay. To be eligible for any one of the above-mentioned stays, you need an eligible receipt indicating:

  1. The vendor’s GST/HST registration number
  2. Location
  3. The amount that is considered the accommodation portion of the stay
  4. Amount of GST/HST paid
  5. Date of stay
  6. Name of the individual or business paid

The tax credit cannot be claimed for:

  • travel expenses that are not for short-term accommodation or camping accommodation, such as expenses for car rentals, fuel, flights, groceries, parking, or prices of admission into local attractions and places of interest
  • accommodation expenses reimbursed to you, your spouse or common-law partner, or your eligible child, by any person, including by a friend or an employer
  • expenses that are incurred for school or educational purposes, or for work, employment or business purposes or that can be claimed for a medical expense tax credit

You can claim the credit on your personal Income Tax and Benefit Return for 2022. The Ontario Staycation Tax Credit is a refundable personal income tax credit. This means that if you are eligible, you can get this tax credit regardless of whether you owe income tax for 2022. See here for more information on the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit.

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