People don't like paying their taxes in part because the connection between what we pay and the goods and services we receive has been broken. Add to that a massive shift toward a consumer society in which people derive a lot of social standing from what they consume and it's an uphill battle for taxes.
Contrary to a recent Wall Street Journal editorial, introducing a national sales tax, or value-added tax (VAT) creates a real opportunity for the United States. The nation could shift from its heavy reliance on income taxes (both absolute and comparative) to a consumption tax without affecting the budget deficit.
The big spending on the income splitting tax break, combined with the impact of lower oil prices has already left only a razor-thin balance and the Parliamentary Budget Officer predicts the budget will slip back into deficit in the next few years. Since it is no secret that this budget sets the stage for the upcoming federal election it is time for us to take a long hard look at the people we elect. We should not allow ourselves to be tricked by tax cut treats but think about who offers a plan for the future. Legacies take guts.
The Liberal finance minister assumed that taxes were useful but indeed a loss -- not to government, but to the citizens who pay the tax. Taxes are necessary, but we must be judicious about the money sent to politicians and civil servants. That includes understanding the money first belongs to Canadians.
The Vancouver Mayor's Council on Regional Transportation has an ambitious 30-year vision (starting with a 10-year plan) that would dramatically expand mass transit in Vancouver. Yet recent developments in personal transportation raise questions about long-term plans to build fixed point-to-point transit systems.
You have a social insurance number, a job, and even a T4, but you have never filed your taxes. Everyone has been in the exact same position -- you have to start somewhere. Sure, it can be intimidating, but it doesn't need to be. Why? Because it has never been easier to file. Need a little guidance? Here are three tips to make your first time filing a breeze.
I'm here to make the case for doing your taxes, whatever you earn. Every year, many Canadians living on low incomes choose not to file, stating little return -- no pun intended -- on the effort. Are you one of them? You may not realize that whatever bracket you fall in, filing has benefits tailored specifically to your situation. Below, you will find three reasons why filing is essential for those with low incomes.
The Harper Conservatives have done a lot of damage to Canada. It has been the proverbial death by a thousand cuts: health transfers, aboriginal education and health, child care, social and co-op housing. The list goes on. It has increased stress on ordinary Canadians and created a huge social, economic and environmental deficit. And it has increased unemployment and harmed economic growth. The big question will be: Can damage be undone without raising taxes on 90 per cent of middle and lower income Canadians? The answer is yes.
Single parents with custody receive some substantial tax savings and the Canada Revenue Agency will sometimes ask for proof of custody. Even though your children obviously live with you, you need to prove it to the CRA if they ask. They may want a third-party confirmation so be prepared if they come asking.
Taxes are indeed needed to fund important government services, critical both to a well-functioning economy and more generally, civilization. But there is a point when a larger, more interventionist government, combined with a heavier tax burden, can stunt economic growth and social outcomes, or achieve those outcomes only at great additional cost.
Tax compliance is a two way street. We trust that our friends, neighbours and business partners are honest and committed to paying their fair share. Instead, in the spirit of "penny-wise, pound-foolish," the government has cut the CRA more than any other department. The result is that the CRA now lacks the highly trained staff to handle complex cases. Wealthy Canadians know their chances of getting caught are small.
Another option for affluent families like Hugo and Milena is to consider setting up a family trust. It works best when families have a significant amount to settle into the trust or loan the trust. This may be considered for amounts over $1 million due to the costs to set up the trust and its ongoing administration.
Earn $17,787 in Alberta and you'll pay nothing in provincial income tax. Earn $50,000 and 6.4 per cent of your income is tax ($50,000 minus the $17,787 exemption; the 10 per cent tax is paid on the remaining $32,213). Earn $100,000 and 8.2 per cent of your income is tax. There's a word for such sliding proportions of tax paid: progressive.
There are a wild variety of employment expense claims that tax-filers make. Dry cleaning and teeth-whitening for on-air performers? Doesn't fly. My favourite may be the repairman whose employer demanded a bi-weekly haircut. He took his case to Tax Court, and lost. But it definitely showed determination.
Once again, Calgary city council has raised property taxes beyond the rate of inflation. No surprise. Over the past seven years, only once, in 2007, has council approved a tax increase below Calgary's inflation rate. The latest hike, 4.5 per cent in residential property taxes for 2015, is triple the average annual Statistics Canada inflation rate for the 2010-2014 period in Calgary
France's economy saw only a weak rebound after 2009 with real GDP growth rates of about two per cent in both 2010 and 2011 before slowing to a crawl with only 0.3 per cent growth in 2012. In comparison, Canada positively raced ahead, experiencing real GDP growth of 3.4, 3.0 and 1.9 per cent in 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively.