(File Photo)

Lower taxes, new RRSP rules among 2020 changes in Canada

$75 credit for digital news subscriptions and Alberta now has a federal carbon tax

Federal changes coming into effect Jan. 1 will lower taxes for most Canadians and affect retirees, recently separated individuals who want to use their retirement savings to buy a home, and digital news consumers.

The basic amount most Canadians can earn tax-free is going up on Jan. 1, resulting in slightly lower federal income taxes.

The increase in the basic personal amount was promised by the Liberals during the federal election campaign and is being phased in over four years until it reaches $15,000 in 2023.

For this year, the exemption amount will increase from $12,069 to $13,229. That will result in federal income tax savings of $113 in Quebec and $138 in the rest of Canada, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

The benefit will be lower for anyone earning more than $150,473 during the year and will be reduced to zero for Canadians with incomes above $214,368.

The tax cut will also be offset on individual paycheques by an increase in Canada Pension Plan premiums of up to $97, the CTF calculated. At the same time, employment insurance premiums will decrease, producing savings of about $20 for workers outside of Quebec, where the EI premium benefit will add up to $48 for some individuals.

Overall, residents of Ontario and Quebec earning less than $100,000 annually will see net savings of between $55 and $116, the federation estimated.

Also effective Jan. 1, Canadians experiencing a breakdown in their marriage or common-law partnership can qualify to withdraw money from their registered retirement savings plan, without incurring a tax penalty, to buy a home.

The Finance Department said individuals who make a withdrawal in the year a breakup occurs, or in the four preceding calendar years, can access the Home Buyers’ Plan, even if they are not a first-time home buyer.

It allows first-time home buyers to withdraw up to $35,000 from an RRSP to put toward a down payment without having to pay tax on the withdrawal.

KEEP READING: Hiking carbon tax to $210 cheapest way to hit Canada’s climate targets, commission says

Among the other federal tax changes coming into effect:

— Canadians who pay up to $500 for digital news subscriptions can apply for a $75 tax credit.

— Certain journalism organizations operating as not-for-profits will be allowed to register to receive donations from Canadians who can claim the amount for a charitable donation tax credit. Businesses donating money can also apply for tax savings.

— Two new types of annuities are being permitted under the tax rules for certain registered plans to provide Canadians with greater flexibility in managing their retirement savings.

— And, the federal carbon tax is being implemented in Alberta. The $20-per-tonne charge for carbon emissions will add to the cost of gas, diesel and heating fuels. Albertans had been paying a provincial carbon tax until it was abolished by the UCP government less than two months after the party won the Alberta election in the spring. Canadians in other provinces are already paying some form of carbon tax.

Terry Pedwell, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Black History Month: Documentary sheds light on black pioneers’ role in Victoria

Secret Victoria: Rush to Freedom looks at how a mass migration shaped the capital

Saanich teen serious lawn bowler

Chambers will compete in an international tournament in Australia

Hundreds of wax figures find new life in Saanich man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

Most Read