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The Ontario government has proposed a new employment training tax credit that would provide up to $2,000 per recipient for 50% of eligible training expenses.

The Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit, introduced in Wednesday’s provincial budget, would be temporary for the 2021 tax year and refundable, meaning even individuals without tax owing would benefit from the credit as long as they file a tax return for 2021.

Expenses eligible for the new credit are the same as those that can be claimed for the Canada training credit, a federal jobs training benefit program announced in the 2019 federal budget and effective in 2020. These expenses could include fees for postsecondary courses that provide credits towards a degree, diploma or certificate; fees for skills courses related to an occupation; and fees for occupational, trade or professional exams.

To be eligible for the Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit, applicants would have to be resident in Ontario on Dec. 31, 2021, and have a Canada training credit limit for 2021 greater than zero. Applicants can find their Canada training credit limit for 2021 on their notice of assessment for 2020 from the Canada Revenue Agency.

The Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit would provide about $260 million in support to 230,000 Ontarians this year, the government said.

In the budget, the government also proposed providing an additional $614 million during 2020-21 and 2021-22 to targeted employment and training supports for workers most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.