When Manitobas NDP government delivered its budget back in April, Finance Minister Stan Struthers ruffled some feathers with his announcement of an increase in the provincial sales tax (PST) to eight per cent from seven per cent, effective July 1, which happens to be Canada Day. His proposed tax hike has been hotly debated ever since.
total tax bill
Discussions about taxes are inevitably polarizing. Some Canadians think taxes are too high while others happily pay their share. But given the litany of taxes levied on us by the three levels of government, it is nearly impossible to get a sense of how much we truly pay.
Unless analyzing tax policy is part of your day job, you likely avoid thinking about what ultimately can be a polarizing topic. But with the deadline for filing our income tax returns around the corner, were all forced to at least temporarily think about taxes. The deadline after all is a sharp reminder of how much income tax we paid throughout the year.
Shortly before unveiling the provincial budget in March, Quebec Finance Minister Raymond Bachand told reporters that the average family pays enough taxes in Quebec. We couldnt agree more. This year Quebecers have to wait until June 17 (nearly six months) to celebrate Tax Freedom Day. That is, if the average family in Quebec had to pay all the taxes it owed to all levels of government in advance, they would have to hand-over every single dollar they earned up to June 17Tax Freedom Day.
If youve ever tried to calculate all the taxes you pay in a year to all levels of government, youve probably given up somewhere along the way. While most of us can easily decipher how much income tax we pay its right there on our tax returns its a lot more difficult to gauge how much we pay in not-so-obvious taxes.
Coincidentally, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is also scheduled to deliver the federal budget on Tax Freedom Day. All expectations for the budget are that it will look much like the March version, dubiously entitled A Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth.