Tax benefits for seniors left out of debate

In terms of senior citizen tax issues there are two items, for whatever reason, that are barely mentioned by politicians or the media during the run-up to the current federal election, pension splitting and the Tax Free Savings Accounts.

It is safe to say that pension splitting is saving tens of thousands of seniors in the Greater Victoria area, literally tens of millions of tax dollars. In fact, the legislation approving pension splitting a few years ago must be one of the most, if not the most, significant change to the tax act in many years.

Income splitting, if it comes to pass, no doubt will provide the same financial benefit to hard-pressed Canadian families. Paying less tax of any type will benefit all Canadian families.

Likewise, the institution of the TFSA has been one of the most important tax measures undertaken by any federal government.

Indeed, the flexibility of this particular program must appeal to millions of Canadians.

For one thing, again relating to seniors, the TFSA may take some of the sting out of the mandatory withdrawal component of the Registered Retirement Income Fund, whereby withdrawals of at least $5,000 per year, can be deposited to a TFSA.

We should be giving credit where credit is due, for these two outstanding tax measures

H.J. Rice

Saanich