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Take In Some Tax Tips

In today’s edition of The Toronto Sun, Stefania Moretti discusses one of those life necessities that most of us wish we could avoid: taxes. We know it’s not tax time yet, but we always advise that you keep your financial records in check so that it’s easy to file your taxes when the time comes. Moretti, however, does provide some insight on to how Canadians can keep more of their money longer.

Interestingly, depending on where you live in Canada, your tax situation can change. She writes that high earners in British Columbia have it the best as “the combined federal and provincial tax is below $15,000 for someone making $70,000” this year. Citing the PricewaterhouseCoopers’ annual Tax Fact and Figures guide, she notes that “Ontarians enjoy the second-best rate at $15,492.”

However, if you earn more than “$150,000 a year, Alberta is the place to be with taxes of $45,304.” She reveals that this western province is tops when it comes to claiming an inheritance. Alberta’s probate fees are apparently pretty low. $400, to be exact, regardless of the value of the estate. Moretti notes that “the average probate fee in Canada is more than $3,500.”

When it comes to tax incentives for research, development, entertainment and media, Ontario leads the nation. Like B.C., Ontario is known for its entertainment industry as film makers often visit to make their movies in the province. As Moretti reports, movie producers get a “25% tax credit on all qualifying production costs as well as a 40% interactive digital media tax credit and a 35% film and television tax credit.”

What about those who are in the market for a new house? Says Moretti, New Brunswick is the best province for buying homes when it comes to taxes. The land transfer taxes in this east coast province are the lowest in the country. Buyers pay only $1,065 for a $400,000 home, she writes.

No matter where you are in Canada, however, the personal and corporate tax rates are fairly modest, especially when compared to those in the United States. According to Dale Meister, a tax services partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Calgary, the corporate rates in Canada are between 28 and 30 per cent.

Down south, these rates are generally in the 45% area. So naturally, it is common for people to complain about taxes. Some refer to the taking of taxes as “legal theft”. But, to be fair, our many taxes do help pay for important social requirements like the health care system that we, as Canadians, are so proud of.

But, let’s face it. Paying taxes isn’t much fun. It is important to know, however, that there are ways to soften the blow of your tax payments. Unfortunately, B.C. and Ontario residents will have the blow of HST to compound their tax obligations this year. As Moretti reveals, “”the HST will cost British Columbians an extra $320 a year while residents in Ontario will pay an extra $290 after transition payments run dry.”

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