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Financial Information


What are taxes?

Taxes are collected from individual Canadians and businesses by the government to help pay for roads, schools, health care and other important government programs and services. Taxes are collected in different ways. 

Here is a factsheet highlighting the benefits and credit payments that newcomers can apply for and receive. These factsheets are also available in multiple languages here.

Sales Tax

Sales Tax is collected from individuals making purchases of goods or services.  The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) in Ontario is 13%. The HST amount is not usually included on the price tag, so the final sale price at the cash register will include an additional 13%. Some purchases are exempt from HST, including food products, child-care services, and prescription drugs. A portion of the HST (8%) goes to the provincial government, and the remaining 5% goes to the federal government.

Income Tax

In Canada, a portion of each employee’s income is considered taxable.  Most employees choose to have this amount deducted directly off their paycheque.  Others choose to calculate what they owe when they file their annual taxes and pay the difference at that time. The amount each person is required to pay varies based on their total annual earnings, minus any deductions and credits.  For more information about income tax, visit theCanada Revenue Agency (CRA) website​.

Property Tax

Property tax is collected by the municipal (or local) government from property owners to support programs, services, and infrastructure like roads and public utilities in local communities. The amount of property tax a property owner needs to pay depends on the assessed value of the property and the local property tax rate, which is set by individual municipal governments. For more information about property tax, visit the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) website.​​

Businesses in Ontario

Businesses in Ontario are also required to pay taxes, depending on the type of business being operated.  For more information about filing taxes and other tax information for business in Ontario, click here.

Here is a list of resources for more information about the tax system in Ontario

Credit and Credit History

Many banks in Canada will not give a person a credit card if they do not have a Canadian credit history.  A credit history is a record of the loans a person has applied for and credit cards they have used.  Having a good credit history is important because when you apply for a loan, it shows the lender that you have paid back your past debts.  A good credit history is important when you are applying for a mortgage or a personal loan.

There are different options to get a credit card with no Canadian credit history.  Talking to the staff at your bank is a good place to start.  Other options include applying for a secured credit card, a joint card or a retail credit card.


Having a bank account in Canada is an important way to take care of your money. Financial institutions like banks, trust companies, caisses populaires (in Quebec and Ontario) and credit unions provide a number of important services to clients, such as:

  • A safe place to keep your money
  • Services to help you manage your money and investments, including financial advice
  • Loans and mortgages if you need to borrow money

Banks do charge clients a service fee for having an account. However, the services fees vary at each bank and depend on factors such as the type of account, services used, and the number of times money is deposited or taken out of the account. The interest rate for the account might also vary at each banking institution.

When deciding on which bank to use, it is important to consider what you need the account for and how often you will use it. Review the types of accounts, services, service fees, and interest rates from a number of banks to compare your options before making a decision.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has information about Banks and financial institutions in Canada.

Visit to learn more about Bank Accounts​​ in Canada.

Financial Assistance

Employment Insurance (EI)

Employment Insurance (EI) is run by the Government of Canada. Employment Insurance provides temporary financial assistance to unemployed workers. Workers who are sick, pregnant, or caring for a newborn or adopted child, as well as those who must care for a family member who is seriously ill with a significant risk of death, may also be assisted by Employment Insurance.

Eligibility requirements depend on where you live and the type of benefits for which you are applying.  Always apply for Employment Insurance benefits as soon as you stop working. You can apply for benefits even if you have not yet received your Record of Employment. If you delay filing in your claim for benefits for more than four weeks after your last day of work, you may lose benefits.

For more information about eligibility and the length of time you can receive benefits, contact Service Canada.

The information listed below was provided by 211 Community Connection.

Service Canada
BarrieBarrie Service Canada Centre
48 Owen St
Barrie, ON L4M 3H1

Collingwood​The Federal Building
44 Hurontario St
Collingwood, ON L9Y 2L6

MidlandHuronia Mall
9225 Hwy 93
Midland, ON L4R 4K4

Orillia50 Andrew St S
Orillia, ON L3V 7T5
(Orillia City Centre)

Wasaga BeachMunicipal Building
30 Lewis St
Wasaga Beach, ON L9Z 1A1


The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is an agency that handles workplace insurance. If you were injured at your place of work you may be eligible for benefits provided by WSIB. Benefits provided by WSIB relate to health-care benefits, health-care equipment and supplies, loss of earnings, loss of retirement income, future economic loss, non-economic loss, occupational disease and survivor benefits, seriously injured workers, and compensation for survivors. Not all workplaces are covered under WSIB. In order to receive benefits through WSIB, you must file a claim and be deemed eligible.

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
Telephone: 416-344-1000
Toll free: 1-800-387-0750
TTY: 1-800-387-0050

Ontario Works is a program that provides basic financial and employment assistance to people in need. The County of Simcoe Ontario Works Department​ delivers this program to eligible Simcoe County residents.

Basic Financial Assistance

Applicants who qualify for Ontario Works Assistance can receive money to help cover the cost of basic needs (food, clothing, etc.) and shelter expenses. The amount of money they are eligible to receive depends on:

  • Family size
  • Age of dependents
  • Income
  • Assets
  • Shelter expenses

Employment Assistance Activities

As a condition of initial and continued eligibility for assistance, all employable adults must participate in one or more employment assistance activities. Ontario Works employment assistance helps people to become and stay employed, and includes employment activities such as:

  • Job search support services
  • Employment information session
  • Community participation (i.e. activities that allow people to contribute to the community and improve their employability)
  • Employment placement and job retention services
  • Supports for self-employment development
  • Referral to basic education
  • Young parenting program (Learning, Earning and Parenting, or LEAP)
  • Literacy and job-specific skills training
  • Screening for substance abuse and referral to assessment and treatment if necessary

The appropriate mix of employment assistance activities depends on the experience, skills, circumstances, and needs of individual applicants or participants and the realities of the local labour market. The amount of time a participant needs to engage in activities designed to help him or her increase employability and obtain sustainable employment will vary.

How to Apply

You can apply for social assistance online or by telephone.

  • Visit the Ontario Works section of the County of Simcoe website to learn how to apply for social assistance online.
  • To apply by telephone contact the County of Simcoe Integrated Services Unit at (705) 722-3132 or if you live in the Beeton area (905) 729-4514 and follow the auto attendant prompts.

The Ontario Disability Support Program provides income support to eligible people with disabilities who are in financial need, as well as offering employment support to help those with disabilities who can and want to work.  This program helps participants prepare for and find a job. ODSP is managed and delivered by the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

Income Support provides financial help for people with disabilities who are in need. It can help pay for living expenses, like food and housing.

Benefits that may be available

If you qualify for Income Support, you and your family may also qualify for other benefits, such as:

  • Drug coverage
  • Dental coverage
  • Vision care
  • Hearing aids
  • Diabetic supplies
  • Help with transportation costs to medical appointments
  • Wheelchair/mobility device repairs and batteries
  • Help to support your guide dog
  • Help with work-related expenses

Working while receiving income support

Many people who receive Income Support can and want to work. Ontario Disability Support Program Employment Supports can help you get ready for a new job or a training program, and can help you keep your job if you are at risk of losing it. Depending on your situation, you can work and receive Income Support at the same time. If you work, ODSP may be able to help you with work-related costs, such as child care.

How to Apply

You can apply for ODSP online or by telephone.

Barrie ​(705) 737-1311
Toll Free: 1-800-461-7551
TDD/TTY: (705) 737-9601
Services available in French and English
Orillia ​(705) 325-7408
Toll Free: 1-800-565-9871
TTY: (705) 325-3887
Services available in French and English