Decision Canada 2006

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

3 Easy Steps to Calculate Your 2% GST Tax Break

Martin's said cutting the GST is peanuts, giving one 50 cents on the purchase of a new toaster. Ignoring the irony and apparent partisanship of him not wanting to cut the GST when he said in the 90s it had to be done, let's see what the GST amounts to, for average Canadians.
Stats Can has the average family income, from 2003 (the most recent I could find; anyone with mor recent data is invited to comment), at about $60,000. It may have changed significantly since then, but I doubt it (the economy's strengthened, so if anything, the tax cuts will be slightly greater than shown here).
Anyways, here's how to calculate one's break under Harper's GST cut.

1) Calculate your after tax income. My mom earns about 60,000 as a teacher here in Quebec (though I think they're trying to cut it, but that's another post for another time), and for her that means $35,000 after taxes. It may be slightly different for families totaling 60,000, but it won't be anything drastic.

2) Estimate and then deduct the percentage of your income that goes to GST-exempt things. This primarily includes savings and investments, most groceries (anything essential, GST is charged on junk food). My mom spends 30-40% of her income on groceries, and I guessed 10% goes to savings, which is probably more than the national average (statscan says we're spending more and saving less, though I couldn't find exactly what the averages are). It makes for easy calculations though: 40% for food plus 10% for savings means 50% goes to GST-exempt things. My mom spend $17,500 on items taxed by the GST.

3) Multiply the remainder of your income by 0.02 (2%). This should show you how much of your income will be saved by the tax cut. Rather than going to the government, it stays in your pocket. In my mother's case, 17,500 x 0.02 = $350.

My mom, and the average Canadian family gets a tax break of a few hundred bucks.

Statistics Canada

While we're crunching numbers, I'd like to point out that Harper's way out front in the EKOS polls. Notably, they're saying we Canadians believe he's most able to articulate a vision for the country. I'm proud to say that I said he was leading, before the polls came out, because of policy. Fellow commentators, besides pundits and people taking and calling odds on the election might care to check it out when I said on Dec. 26 that Harper's in the lead.

This article was written by lcrentre over @ first. As lcentre's a member of the Decision Canada Team, I decided to crosspost it here, although I strongly suggest you read both blogs daily!


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