Over the next several weeks, millions of Canadians will prepare and file their income tax forms for the 2015 taxation year. The good news if you’re living in Saskatchewan is a number of provincial tax credits are available that can help keep your taxes low.
“In Saskatchewan, we have an array of tax credits geared to helping everyone from first-time homebuyers to post-secondary graduates to people with lower incomes,” Finance Minister Kevin Doherty said. “I hope every Saskatchewan resident takes full advantage of the tax credits available to them, keeping their taxes low and saving more of what they earn.”
Provincial tax credits include:
- First-Time Homebuyers Tax Credit, a non-refundable income tax credit of up to $1,100, based on the first $10,000 of an eligible home purchase (a similar federal credit of up to $750 is also available).
- Graduate Retention Program Income, tax credits provided over a seven-year period that refund up to $20,000 of tuition fees paid by eligible post-secondary graduates who live in Saskatchewan and file a Saskatchewan tax return. For more information, visit the Saskatchewan Advanced Education website at http://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/education-and-learning/graduate-retention-program/about-the-graduate-retention-program.
- Saskatchewan Low-Income Tax Credit, a refundable income tax credit paid quarterly to assist lower-income Saskatchewan people. The credit is paid in conjunction with the federal Goods and Services Tax Credit. For more information, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/bnfts/rltd_prgrms/sk-eng.html.
- Active Families Benefit, a refundable income tax credit of up to $150 per child 18 years of age or younger that helps Saskatchewan families with the cost of their children’s participation in cultural, recreational and sports activities. For more information, visit the Saskatchewan Parks, Culture and Sport website at http://www.pcs.gov.sk.ca/afb.
- Employees’ Tool Tax Credit, a non-refundable income tax credit that helps with the cost of purchasing, replacing or upgrading eligible tools by qualifying employees as a condition of their employment. The credit consists of a one-time trade entry amount and an annual maintenance amount.
Last year in Saskatchewan, more than 275,000 households claimed the Low-Income Tax Credit, more than 58,000 recent graduates claimed Graduate Retention Program tax credits, more than 47,000 families claimed the Active Families Benefit, more than 7,000 new homeowners claimed the First-Time Homebuyers Credit, and more than 5,000 tradespersons claimed the Tool Tax Credit.
Changes announced in the 2015-16 Budget to the Graduate Retention Program (GRP) and the Active Families Benefit (AFB) are effective with the 2015 taxation year. The GRP credit can now be applied against the graduate’s Saskatchewan tax liability. Any rebate amount that cannot be applied against taxes payable will be carried forward and added to the next year’s instalment amount. Graduates will be allowed 10 years to fully claim their tuition rebate entitlement against taxes otherwise payable.
The AFB is now subject to income-testing and available to families with combined net incomes below $60,000.
“Since 2007, our government has delivered the largest income tax cuts and the largest education property tax cuts in Saskatchewan history,” Doherty said. “For the 2015 tax year, the personal income tax reductions introduced by our government are expected to save Saskatchewan people more than $485 million. Since 2007, Saskatchewan people have saved more than $3.3 billion as a result of these income tax measures.”
A Saskatchewan family of four with $50,000 in annual income will pay just $64 in provincial income tax for the 2015 tax year, compared to $2,302 in 2007, representing tax savings of $2,238 annually. In terms of all provincial taxes, that same family will pay $489 in Saskatchewan for the 2015 tax year, compared to $3,032 in Manitoba, $4,293 in British Columbia and $1,103 in Quebec.
For more information about eligibility or about how to claim any of the credits listed above, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca.