April is a taxing time of year

In this week’s report, I’d like to remind you that the deadline for most Canadians to file their 2023 income tax return is Tuesday, April 30, 2024. It’s also the last day to pay any income tax due without incurring additional penalties.

It’s important to note that income tax brackets are influenced by inflation. Below are the current federal income tax rates for the current year, which are relevant to the tax bracket.

They are:
• 15% on the portion of taxable income that is $55,867 or less, plus
• 20.5% on the portion of taxable income over $55,867 up to $111,733, plus
• 26% on the portion of taxable income over $111,733 up to $173,205, plus
• 29% on the portion of taxable income over $173,205 up to $246,752, plus
• 33% on the portion of taxable income over $246,752.
Each province also has its own rates.

Some people believe that current income tax rates are the highest they’ve ever been. To provide historical context, here’s some information from the year 2000.

In 2000, there were only three federal income tax brackets:
• Your first $30,004 was taxed at a rate of 17%,
• The amount between $30,004 and $60,009 was taxed at 25%, and
• All income over $60,009 was taxed at 29%.
In 2013, substantial changes were made. A fourth income tax bracket was introduced. Income up to $43,561 was then taxed at a lower rate of 15%. The second tax bracket was adjusted to tax income between $43,562 and $87,123 at 22%. The third bracket taxed income between $87,123 and $135,054 at 26%, and income over $135,054 was taxed at 29%.

The 2013 tax changes resulted in lower-income workers earning up to $43,561 paying 2% less in federal income tax.

More changes followed in the 2016 tax year, which included the addition of a fifth income tax bracket. For the lowest income earners (up to $45,202), the rate stayed at 15%. The next bracket, from $45,202 to $90,563, saw a reduction to 20.5% from 22%. The rates for income between $90,563 and $140,388 remained the same at 26%, and income between $140,388 and $200,000 was taxed at the previous year’s rate of 29%. However, the new fifth tax bracket taxed income over $200,000 at 33%.

The 2016 income tax changes resulted in no tax breaks for lower-income citizens, while those in the middle-income bracket did receive some. Higher-income earners were either taxed at the same rate as before or faced higher taxes.

As you can see, there have been numerous changes to income tax rates and, notably, income tax brackets over the past two decades. Your tax bracket may be lower or higher than in previous years, depending on your income level.

Some people have expressed concerns that Canada’s income tax system is overly complex and needs to be simplified for more efficiency.

This week, I’m interested in knowing your satisfaction level with our current federal income tax rates, tax brackets, and filing system. Are you generally content with the status quo? Why or why not?

I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll-free 1-800-665-8711.