Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

May 20, 2013 10:43 ET

Canadian Families Benefitting from Harper Government's Low-Tax Plan

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - May 20, 2013) - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, today announced that Canadian families are receiving significant tax refunds as a result of the low-tax measures introduced by the Harper Government since 2006.

"Our Government is committed to a low-tax plan that supports hardworking Canadian families," said Minister Shea. "We understand that keeping taxes low allows Canadians to keep more of their hard-earned money and meet the financial challenges of raising a family."

The average individual tax refund so far for the 2012 tax year is approximately $1,620. That is a significant increase from the average individual tax refund of $1,230 in 2007.

The Harper Government's strong record of providing tax relief to Canadians is delivering real results. The average family of four now saves more than $3,200 annually in taxes, including an average of $1,000 from reducing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate by two percentage points.

"Canadian families are seeing the results of our Government's low-tax plan and can reinvest their refunds in important family priorities," said Minister Shea. "We will continue to support tax relief measures that will help reduce the cost of every-day living."

The Harper Government has increased the amount of income that all Canadians can earn before paying federal income tax and reduced the lowest personal income tax rate from 16% to 15%.

Minister Shea joined many hardworking Canadian families at a Soccer Nova Scotia's event celebrating 100 years of soccer in the province, where she took the opportunity to highlight the many tax-saving measures that are available to Canadian families. These credits include:

  • The Children's Fitness Tax Credit allows eligible Canadian families to claim a 15 per cent non-refundable tax credit on an amount up to $500 for the cost of registering a child in eligible physical activity programs, such as soccer or hockey teams. For the 2011 tax year, over 1.5 million families took advantage of the Children's Fitness Tax Credit.
  • The Children's Arts Tax Credit allows eligible Canadian families to claim a 15 per cent non-refundable tax credit on an amount up to $500 for the cost of registering a child in eligible artistic, cultural, or other programs, such as music lessons or tutoring. Over 460,000 families claimed the Children's Arts Tax Credit in the 2011 tax year.
  • The Family Caregiver Tax Credit is a 15 per cent non-refundable tax credit on an amount of $2,000 that provides tax relief to caregivers of infirm dependent relatives. This includes, for the first time, infirm spouses, common-law partners, and minor children. Canadians were able to claim this new, non-refundable tax credit for the first time when filing their 2012 taxes.
  • The Tradesperson's Tool Deduction allows tradespeople to deduct from their income part of the cost of tools purchased throughout the year.
  • The Textbook Tax Credit provides increased tax relief to students in addition to the Tuition and Education Tax Credits. Students must first claim their credit on their own returns, but may be able to transfer unused amounts to a parent, grandparent, spouse or common-law partner.
  • The Public Transit Tax Credit allows Canadians to claim the full amount they spend on eligible transit passes for the year. In 2011, more than 1.6 million Canadians claimed this credit.
  • The Volunteer Firefighters' Tax Credit is available to any volunteer firefighter who serves at least 200 hours per year at one or more fire departments in their community. In 2011, more than 37,000 Canadian volunteer firefighters took advantage of this new tax credit.

For more information on these and other credits, go to www.cra.gc.ca/taxsavings.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Canadian families are benefitting from the Harper Government's low-tax plan. The average tax refund for the 2012 tax year is approximately $1,620 and the average family of four now saves more than $3,200 annually in taxes. "Our Government is committed to a low-tax plan that supports hardworking Canadian families," said Minister Shea.

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Contact Information

  • Clarke Olsen
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of National Revenue
    613-995-2960

    Noel Carisse
    Canada Revenue Agency
    Media Relations
    613-952-9184