Original Published 09:13 Apr 07, 2022

By KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A family of four in Alberta receives a refund of $1,079 on their 2021 taxes through the federal government’s climate action incentive payment.

“It’s a refund on the carbon tax you pay for your heating, your gas and anything else they charge carbon tax on,” Marilyn Dixon, preparer with Liberty Tax on Dunmore Road, told the News.

In Alberta the federal carbon tax – also known as a fuel charge – is automatically applied to heating and gas, among select other expenses. Prior to the 2021 tax year, the climate action incentive payment was called the climate action incentive rebate and was automatically paid out with an individual’s income tax. Now, taxpayers must apply for the CAIP by filling out a form titled Schedule 14 with their annual tax return.

“I think a lot of people didn’t realize they were getting it the last two years, because it’s always been attached to your income tax and now it’s being paid out separately,” said Dixon. “When you come in and do your income tax returns, we do a schedule – called Schedule 14 – which is for your climate action. We fill that all out and make sure your information’s up to date and have all of your dependent and it is filed along with your income tax.”

Anyone who chooses to do their own taxes must ensure they complete Schedule 14 and submit it with the rest of their tax information to receive the refund.

The refund is available to all residents of Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. To qualify, an individual must have resided in one of the four provinces during the 2021 tax year.

Individuals who live in small or rural communities are eligible for an additional 10 per cent supplement, so long as they indicate so in the required field on Schedule 14.

The refund amount is calculated based on an individual’s province of residence, marital status and number of dependents. In Alberta, an individual who lives alone and not in a small town or rural community can expect to receive $539; they will receive an additional $270 for a spouse and $135 for each child, up to two.

CAIP rates have continually risen since its establishment in Alberta in 2019. In its first year, an Albertan family of four who did not live in a small town or rural community, received $888 total. In 2020, that number rose to $981 total.

The 2021 refund will be paid in three increments.

“Normally they would pay it in April, July, October and January,” said Dixon, “but the first payment is going to be six months worth, as it’s going to be the April and July payment together.”

Individuals filing their tax return do not need to provide additional information.

“We just need to know if you have a partner and the names of your children,” said Dixon.

Dixon encourages Hatters to connect with her team at Liberty Tax at 587-801-1069 for more information about the CAIP or to book a tax return appointment.

“Right now we are open seven days a week and taking appointments (each day),” she said. “It’s always a great idea to phone ahead and book an appointment as we are very busy right now.”

This item reprinted with permission from Medicine Hat News, Medicine Hat, Alberta