Carbon rebate payments going out to some Canadians. Here’s what to expect 

Click to play video: 'Understanding the carbon tax: What Canadian families need to know about rebates'
Understanding the carbon tax: What Canadian families need to know about rebates
Understanding the carbon tax: What Canadian families need to know about rebates – Apr 4, 2024

The first instalment of the 2024 Canada carbon rebate will be delivered to some Canadians on Monday as long as they filed their taxes by the middle of March.

Canadians living in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and all four Atlantic provinces will receive the first of four instalments on Monday if they filed their 2023 taxes by March 15.

Those who filed their taxes since March 15 will see their first instalment on May 15, while those who file after Monday will wait until June or July.

The quarterly payments are based on household size and for a family of four range from $190 in New Brunswick to $450 in Alberta.

Based on the finance ministry’s estimates, annual payment totals for 2024/25 for a family of four are $1,800 in Alberta, $1,200 in Manitoba, $1,120 in Ontario, $1,504 in Saskatchewan, $760 in New Brunswick, $824 in Nova Scotia, $880 in Prince Edward Island and $1,192 in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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The top-up for rural residents remains at 10 per cent for now, as the amendment to increase that top-up to 20 per cent has not yet passed the House of Commons. This planned increase was announced in October to reflect the fact rural residents have fewer options to reduce their emissions like such as longer commutes to work and a lack of public transit.

Ottawa also has just launched a new online estimator that shows how much you should get from the rebates.

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In a bid to make the rebates more understandable Ottawa renamed them the “Canada Carbon Rebate” this year but is still negotiating with the big banks about changing how the deposits are labelled when they show up in your account.

Ottawa has been battling with banks about how the deposits are labelled since they moved to quarterly payments for the rebates in 2022.

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Many Canadians were confused, or didn’t realize they even got the rebate, when payments showed up with vague labels including “EFT deposit from Canada”, “EFT Credit Canada.” or sometimes just “federal payment.”

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The federal government asked the banks to help label them with the old moniker — the climate action incentive payment — but some didn’t arguing they had a 15 character limit for deposit description.

The deposits will be labelled different depending on where you bank, with some going with the full Canada Carbon Rebate name, others shortening it “CDACarbonRebate” or “Canada CCR/RCC.”

In French, the labels could be “Carbone RemiseCA” or “Dépôt direct/Remise canadienne sur carbone.”

The rebates are sent to offset what people pay in carbon pricing when they buy fuel so they’re not less worse off as a result.

People who do things to lower their fuel use are even better off because they still get the same rebate but pay less in carbon pricing.

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The rebate amounts are set annually based on how much carbon price Ottawa expects to collect in each province.

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British Columbia, Quebec and Northwest Territories have their own carbon pricing system for consumers so residents there don’t receive the federal payment. Yukon and Nunavut use the federal system but have an agreement to distribute the proceeds themselves.

The parliamentary budget officer says about 80 per cent of Canadians get back more from the rebates than they pay.

He also says though that the economic impact of carbon pricing could lower wages over time, erasing that benefit for some Canadians. The government however argues that climate change itself can cause economic harm if it is left unchecked.

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