The City has offered a penalty free payment grace period until April 15, 2020 to all property owners for the 2020 interim tax bill.
COVID-19 Property Tax Relief
2020 Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program
The City is offering a Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program for City of Ottawa residential property owners and small business property owners (assessed property value of up to $7.5 M) that have been financially affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will extend the interim property tax and final property tax deadlines of March 19, 2020 and June 18, 2020 to Friday, October 30, 2020.
Property owners must apply for the deferral before July 31, 2020 to be considered.
In order to qualify for this deferral a property owner must meet the following criteria:
- The property owner must have experienced financial hardship directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Property taxes must have been paid up to date before the March 2020 interim installment.
The property must be either;
A taxable residential property with a residential structure; or
A taxable property assessed in the following tax classes; occupied commercial, shopping, office, industrial, multi-residential or new multi-residential class and have a total taxable 2020 property assessment value equal to or under $7.5 million.
All other property tax classes and sub classes do not qualify for the deferral; these include but are not limited to farm, landfill, pipeline, managed forest, parking, vacant land, excess land, farmland awaiting development and all payment in lieu.
Property owners must be experiencing hardship in one or more of the following categories; temporary suspension of pay, loss of employment, excessive business revenue loss or temporary business closure.
Property owners who have received compensation from Business Interruption Insurance towards the payment of property taxes will not qualify.
Property owners must not be enrolled in the Farm Grant Program or the Low-Income People with Disabilities Tax Deferral program.
Eligible Property owners must apply for the deferral before July 31, 2020 to be considered.
The property will be ineligible if false or inaccurate information is provided in the application.
Property owners with tenants who do not pass on the deferral are deemed ineligible and all taxes, penalty and interest are payable immediately.
How to apply
Property owners must apply for the deferral before July 31, 2020 to be considered.
All applicants must complete this application form.
Once complete, you will receive a confirmation message that the application was successfully submitted. You will also receive a follow up message to confirm if you have been approved for the tax deferral of the 2020 property taxes
Monthly Pre-authorized Debit (PAD) plans
The Pre-authorized Debit Plans (PAD) are available for all businesses and residents who may be concerned about their cashflow during this time. PAD plans offer the convenience of paying your annual taxes in monthly installments instead of paying the full lump sum installment value in June, 2020. Registration must be by April 15, 2020. Withdrawals will begin in May and run to October, with payments equivalent to 1/6th of the previous year's taxes in May and June and the balance of the current year's taxes (excluding supplementary billings) distributed equally from July to October.
Enrolment in the Plan is free and there are no service charges that apply.
There are two easy ways to enroll:
- Log in to My ServiceOttawa, and follow the instructions.
- Open the Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD) Plan Form [ PDF ], fill in the appropriate information and send the scanned form (with a scanned copy of void cheque) to Revenue at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Void cheque Information
Attach an unsigned cheque marked "VOID" to your enrolment form.
Your void cheque must be for a valid chequing account at a Canadian financial institution. A line of credit or credit card cheque is not acceptable. If you do not have a void cheque, please submit a banking letter from your financial institution detailing your bank account information.
If you wish to have deductions withdrawn from an account that does not belong to one of the registered owners of the property, please submit a letter of undertaking from the financial institution.
This authorization will not be required each year. However, every year, you will be notified of your new payment amounts for the following taxation year.
Your pre-authorized debit (PAD) plan is NOT transferable, if you acquire a new property, you must complete a new application form.
There is a service fee for all payments refused by your banking institution. Subscribers to the pre-authorized debit (PAD) plan, who have more than three refused payments in a year, will be removed from the plan. The balance of the taxes will become due on the regular due dates and subject to standard penalties and interest of 1.25% per month for any late payments.
Supplementary Tax Bills are not included in the plan
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I be penalized for not meeting the interim property tax bill payment deadline of March 19, 2020?
No. All property owners have been given an interest free grace period up to April 15, 2020.
Will interest be applied to deferred payments?
With the implementation of the interim property tax payment, property owners will not be charged interest until after April 15, 2020, for outstanding interim property tax payments. Property owners who qualify for the Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program will have until October 30, 2020 to pay their full property tax amount. Interest will be applied if the October 30, 2020 deadline is missed.
I am unable to pay my interim property tax bill due to hardship from COVID-19. How do I ensure I am not penalized for missing the deadline?
All property owners have been given an interest free grace period up to April 15, 2020. The City is proposing a Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program for residents and business owners financially affected by COVID-19. On March 25, 2020, City Council will consider a motion to implement the program and its criteria. If approved, residents and business owners will have the opportunity to apply for the program online prior to the April 15, 2020 grace period. Residents and business owners who qualify for the program would require payment before October 30, 2020.
I am registered for pre-authorized debit payments and am not financially impacted by COVID-19. How does the grace period affect me?
On March 17, 2020 the City of Ottawa closed our Client Service Centres to support social distancing efforts and slow the spread of COVID 19 in our community. We recognized that this closure so close to the tax deadline could be challenging for residents who pay their property taxes in person at Client Services Centres. Given we did not extend the property tax deadline, we did extend a grace period to ensure those residents did not incur interest charges on late payments received after March 18, 2020.
Residents who are not financially impacted by COVID-19 and registered for pre-authorized debit payments do not need to take any action. Payments will continue to be withdrawn on schedule.
I am registered for pre-authorized debit payments but would like to apply to for the Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program. What should I do?
If you have been financially affected by COVID-19 and wish to cancel your preauthorized debit plan and apply for the property tax hardship deferral, please contact our staff at 613-580-2444 or email us at email@example.com.
The City is receiving a high volume of calls and emails, we ask for your patience as we serve each resident.
Why are businesses with an assessed property value of up to $7.5M being considered for this program and not others?
The program is designed to assist business owners experiencing financial hardship from COVID-19. The original threshold of $2.5M was determined by a detailed analysis of all Commercial, Office Retail and Industrial properties in Ottawa. The $2.5M threshold captured 76% of properties within those categories.
Upon discussions with City Council members and residents, we have expanded the threshold to business owners with an assessed property value of up to $7.5M. This new threshold will capture 91% of all business properties in Ottawa.
What if my business’ landlord is not deferring my rent despite taking advantage of the Property Tax Deferral Program?
The City has no legal authority to enforce landlords to pass the deferral measures to tenants. However, as part of the motion being brought forward to City Council on March 25, 2020, the City is urging landlords to extend the benefits of the program to tenants.