An overview of important tax savings for Canadian families

Over the last month, there has been a lot of commentary surrounding the recent tax cuts announced by Prime Minister Harper.

Blaine Calkins

MP WETASKIWIN

Over the last month, there has been a lot of commentary surrounding the recent tax cuts announced by Prime Minister Harper. These cuts, as many of you know, are geared towards families — this is a positive step for hard-working Canadian families. Here are some facts about the initiatives:

For one, the Family Tax Cut or Income Splitting will allow higher-earning spouses to transfer up to $50,000 of taxable income to their spouses who are in a lower tax bracket. Additionally, this credit is capped at $2,000 for couples with kids under the age of 18, and will be claimable in the 2014 tax year.

Second, our government is increasing the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB). For kids under the age of six, starting Jan. 1, 2015, parents will receive a benefit of $160 per month for EACH child under six — an increase of $60 dollars per month. This amounts to a benefit of almost $2,000 per child.

Third, we have expanded the UCCB to children ages six through 17. Starting Jan. 1, 2015, parents will receive a benefit of $60 dollars per month for kids aged six to 17, totalling $720 dollars per child for the year.

Fourth, we are increasing the Child Care Expense Deduction Limit by $1,000 dollars — effective in the 2015 tax year. This means for children under the age of seven, parents can now claim $8,000.  For Children seven through 16, parents can claim $5,000, and $11,000 for children who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit. Additionally, last month the Prime Minister announced our intention to double the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and make it refundable.

These measures are a positive step forward for Canadian families, but the opposition disagrees. If we examine some of the numbers you can see clearly the opposition parties are offside with Canadian families.

For example, a couple that is a two-income couple with a seven-year-old and a three-year-old, with one parent making $95,000 and the other earning $25,000, the tax measures our government has announced and introduced since 2006 would save this family about $7,285 in 2015.  Furthermore, by calculating JUST the UCCB measures for this family starting in 2015 until the oldest child reaches 17 years of age, this family would benefit almost $14,000 dollars.

Justin Trudeau has said that our plan will not benefit single parents. He is misleading Canadians.  If you take a single parent earning $45,000 and raising a four-year-old child in 2015, under our measures this single parent would be better off by about $3,325 dollars. If you compound that until the child’s age of 17, assuming the parent has no other children, they will benefit from our measures by close to $13,000.

In Mr. Trudeau’s champagne world, that benefit might not mean anything, but for hard-working single parents in Central Alberta, $13,000 means help with everyday expenses, child care or future education planning. It is easy for the leader of the third party to make outlandish and unsubstantiated claims, but the numbers don’t suit his rhetoric.

While the opposition parties dream of ways to make life more taxing for Canadians, our government will continue to introduce measures that reduce the overall tax burden of Canadians and Canadian families so they have more of their own money staying in their pockets.