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Canadians Celebrate Tax Freedom Day on June 20

Type: Research Studies
Date Published: June 19, 2007
Research Topics:
Taxation, Tax Freedom Day
It is nearly impossible for an ordinary Canadian to have a clear idea how much tax they really pay. Most Canadians would have little difficulty determining how much income tax they pay; a quick look at their income tax return or pay stub would suffice. The same is true for Employment Insurance and Canada Pension Plan premiums. However, a host of other taxes are not so obvious. First, while Canadians are painfully aware of sales taxes, calculating the total amount paid would require people to track all of their purchases over the course of a year. Second, there exists a class of taxes of which Canadians are largely unaware and which are built into the price of goods and services. The most significant of the "hidden" taxes are import duties, excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol, amusement taxes, and gas taxes. Finally, most Canadians are unaware that they pay the employers' portion of payroll taxes such as EI and CPP premiums and other taxes levied on businesses. In other words, although businessess pay these taxes directly, the cost of business taxation is ultimately passed onto ordinary Canadians.
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