The Ontario government has announced its plan for a staycation tax credit.

Anyone planning a getaway within the province in the 2022 tax year could be eligible under the new "Ontario Staycation Tax Credit" program.

The program was announced as part of the Ford government's Fall Economic Statement, which was tabled on Thursday.

Ontarians would get a 20 per cent personal income tax credit on eligible accommodation between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, up to a maximum of $1,000 for an individual and $2,000 for a family, for a maximum credit of $200 or $400 respectively. 

Ontario residents could apply for this refundable credit when they file their 2022 personal tax returns and benefit even if they do not owe any tax.

According to the government, an eligible accommodation expense would have to be:

  • For a stay of less than a month at an eligible accommodation such as a hotel, motel, resort, lodge, bed-and-breakfast establishment, cottage or campground in Ontario
  • For a stay between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 of 2022
  • Incurred for leisure
  • Paid by the Ontario tax filer, their spouse or common-law partner, or their eligible child, as set out on a detailed receipt
  • Not reimbursed to the tax filer, their spouse or common-law partner, or their eligible child, by any person, including by a friend or an employer
  • Subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST)/Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), as set out on a detailed receipt.

The government said this tax credit will help the tourism and hospitality sectors recover and encourage Ontarians to explore the province. 

The credit would provide an estimated $270 million to support over one-and-a-half million families to further discover Ontario, the government said.

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Thursday she believes the staycation credit won't help families and says it should have been a full $1,000 refund on costs spent on a vacation in the province. 

"This thing that is in the update today - about $200 is what it comes out to - that's really not going to help families a great deal," Horwath said. "That's why our $1,000 tax credit idea might be helpful to some families who normally would have taken that vacation right now."