federal personal income tax

Canadians—there was no middle-class tax cut

Families that previously used the income-splitting tax credit could pay up to $2,000 more in federal income taxes.

Federal tax changes, looming CPP tax hike mean higher taxes for virtually all Canadian families

Nine-in-10 Canadian families with children will pay, on average, $2,218 more per year.

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The Effect on Canadian Families of Changes to Federal Income Tax and CPP Payroll Tax

Summary

  • Since coming into office, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has repeatedly claimed to have reduced taxes for middle class Canadian families—a claim based solely on the federal government’s reduction to the second lowest personal income tax rate from 22 to 20.5 percent. However, a recent study found that when all the Trudeau government’s major changes to the personal income tax system are properly accounted for (including the elimina­tion of income splitting and other tax credits), income taxes have been raised, not lowered, on the vast majority (81 percent) of middle income Canadian families.
  • In addition to enacting changes to the personal income tax system, the federal gov­ernment has also announced other significant tax changes that will take effect in the com­ing years. For instance, payroll taxes will be increased to fund an expansion of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), with the first increase tak­ing place in January 2019. The dramatic in­crease in the CPP payroll tax, which was a joint venture with the provinces but initiated largely by the federal government, will be fully imple­mented in 2025. This raises the prospect of even more middle income families in Canada paying higher taxes beyond what the changes to the federal income tax system would alone indicate.
  • This report measures the impact of the fed­eral government’s personal income tax chang­es and the fully implemented CPP payroll tax increase on the amount of taxes that Canadian families will pay. (A family is defined as a parent or parents with a child or children under age 18.) It finds that once fully implemented, virtually all (98.8 percent) of middle income Canadian fami­lies with children (with incomes ranging from $77,839 to $110,201) will pay higher taxes. And they will pay, on average, $2,260 more tax each year.
  • In fact, when looking at all 2.988 million families with children in Canada (excluding those in Quebec), 2.756 million, or 92.2 percent, will pay higher taxes—$2,218 more, on average, each year. Indeed, once the increase in CPP pay­roll taxes is fully implemented, nearly all Cana­dian families—regardless of where they stand in the income distribution—will pay higher taxes.

Canada’s health-care system fails to account for senior migration

Almost three-quarters of Canada’s total tax burden is paid by the working-age population.

Seniors migration cost British Columbia $7.2 billion in health-care expenses

Average per person spending on health care for Canadians over 70 is $13,797.

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The Impact of Interprovincial Migration of Seniors on Provincial Health Care Spending

Summary

  • The dominant role played by government financing in Canada’s single-payer health care system has led to an oversight related to demographics: senior migration.
  • Health care spending is skewed towards the first year of life and after retirement. The average amount spent on health care by governments in a person’s first year of life is $10,800. For those between the ages of 65 to 69, that amount is $6,424, but it rises to $13,797 for those over 70.
  • Taxes, on the other hand, start out quite low and then climb steadily to one’s prime earning years (56-63), before beginning to decline as one nears and then enters retirement.
  • When a senior migrates from one province to another, they are likely to have paid the bulk of their lifetime taxes in one province but will consume the majority of their health care in another.
  • Six provinces experienced a net inflow of seniors between 1980 and 2016: BC, AB, ON, NB, NS, and PEI. The remaining four provinces (SK, MB, QC, and NL) experienced a net outflow of seniors. British Columbia recorded the greatest inflow (40,512), while Quebec experienced the greatest outflow (37,305).
  • Based on average annual health care costs by age, British Columbia had the largest cost at $7.2 billion (in 2017 dollars) while Quebec had the largest savings at $6.0 billion.
  • A partial analysis of potential tax revenues provided by migrating seniors suggests that BC’s costs could have been mitigated by as much as 36.3 percent while Quebec’s savings could have been reduced by as much as 19.2 percent.

Prime Minister Trudeau thinks Canadians achieve better lives through government dependence

If families who receive CCB transfers begin to earn a higher income, their cash transfers will be reduced—a disincentive to hard work.